Hello, I'm Robyn from TransLegal and today's lesson of the week deals with the very important Latin phrase bona fide.
Now, as I said, it's Latin and it means good faith and it's an extremely important concept in the law. It generally connotes something that is genuine or lawful and a mental state of honesty or truth. So for instance we say that
"the power to amend the Articles of Incorporation must be exercised bona fide for the benefit of the company"
or you could say
"she failed to establish the bona fides of her marriage"
and in that case it means good faith and what they're getting at is that you should get married in good faith because you want to marry that person, not get married just because you want to get a green card.
Now, in modern English usage the term bona fide is a synonym for credentials or background or documentation as to one's identity, so for instance we could say
"he was quick to defend his white collar bona fides",
pointing out that he has personally prosecuted white collar criminal matters. There we mean the fact that he has good credentials in prosecuting economic crimes or white collar criminal matters.
Now it is also worth noting that there are quite a few phrases which use bona fide, so for instance, a bona fide purchaser is a legal term that refers to an innocent party who has purchased property without any notice of a third party's claims.
Similarly, a bona fide holder is someone who has taken a financial instrument in good faith and now holds it, has taken that instrument at an appropriate price in the ordinary course of business and so this holder has no way of knowing that this instrument may not be free from other claims.
In tax law we talk about a bona fide business purpose and that means that you have a real business purpose for performing a transaction and that is part of a tax authority's determination of whether there was a true business reason for making a certain transaction.
Finally, we have bona fide residence and that is a place where somebody actually lives.
Then we have the term mala fide which means bad faith and is the antonym or opposite of good faith.
So, that's all for today's lesson. Good faith, bad faith and I hope that you understand that I had only bona fides in presenting this to you today. Thank you for listening and we look forward to your comments that you can enter in the box below. Goodbye.