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a priori assumption
(ah-pree-ory) n. from Latin, an assumption that is true without f...
abscond
v. 1) traditionally to leave a jurisdiction (where the court, a p...
absolute
adj. complete, and without condition.
abstention doctrine
n. when the Supreme Court refuses to exercise its federal constit...
abstract
n. in general, a summary of a record or document, such as an abst...
abstract of judgment
n. a written summary of a judgment which states how much money th...
abstract of title
n. the written report on a title search which shows the history o...
abuse of discretion
n. a polite way of saying a trial judge has made such a bad mista...
abuse of process
n. the use of legal process by illegal, malicious, or perverted m...
acceleration clause
n. a provision in a contract or promissory note that if some spec...
acceptance of service
n. agreement by a defendant (or his/her attorney) in a legal acti...
access
n. 1) in real estate the right and ability to get to the property...
accessory
n. a second-string player who helps in the commission of a crime ...
accord and satisfaction
n. an agreement to accept less than is legally due in order to wr...
account stated
n. a statement between a creditor or the person to whom money is ...
accounts payable
n. bills that are owed.
accounts receivable
n. the amounts of money due or owed to a business or professional...
accusation
n. 1) in legal terms accusation means officially charging someone...
accused
n. a person charged with a crime.
actual controversy
n. a true legal dispute which leads to a genuine lawsuit rather t...
ad seriatim
adj. (add sear-ee-ah-tim) Latin for "one after another".
adhesion contract
n.(contract of adhesion) a contract (often a signed form) so imba...
adjusted basis
n. in accounting, the original cost of an asset adjusted for cost...
adjuster
n. an employee (usually a non-lawyer) of an insurance company or ...
administer
v. 1) to conduct the duties of a job or position. 2) particularly...
administrative hearing
n. a hearing before any governmental agency or before an administ...
administrative law
n. the procedures created by administrative agencies (governmenta...
administrative law judge
n. a professional hearing officer who works for the government to...
Administrative Procedure Act
n. the federal act which established the rules and regulations fo...
administrator
n. the person appointed by the court to handle the estate of some...
admissible evidence
n. evidence which the trial judge finds is useful in helping the ...
admission
n. a statement made by a party to a lawsuit or a criminal defenda...
admission against interest
n. an admission of the truth of a fact by any person, but especia...
admission of evidence
n. a judge's acceptance of evidence in a trial.
admission of guilt
n. a statement by someone accused of a crime that he/she committe...
admission to bail
n. an order of a court in a criminal case allowing an accused def...
adverse
adj. clearly contrary, such as an adverse party being the one sui...
adverse interest
n. a right or concern that is contrary to the interest or claim o...
adverse party
n. the opposite side in a lawsuit. Sometimes when there are numer...
adverse possession
n. a means to acquire title to land through obvious occupancy of ...
adverse witness
n. a witness in a trial who is found by the judge to be adverse t...
advisory opinion
n. an opinion stated by a judge or a court upon the request of a ...
affirmative defense
n. part of an answer to a charge or complaint in which a defendan...
after-discovered evidence
n. evidence found by a losing party after a trial has been comple...
age discrimination
n. an employer's unfair treatment of a current or potential emplo...
age of consent
n.
agent for acceptance of service
n. states require that a corporation name an actual person (usual...
aggravated assault
n. the crime of physically attacking another person which results...
agreed statement
n. occasionally the two parties on opposite sides of a lawsuit or...
alias
n. 1) a name used other than the given name of a person or refere...
alienation of affections
n. convincing a wife to leave her husband, often for another man,...
all the estate I own
n. a phrase from a poorly drafted will which means the possession...
American Bar Association
n. the largest organization of American lawyers, which has no off...
American Civil Liberties Union
n. a membership organization founded in 1920 to defend and protec...
American Depository Receipt
n. called in the banking trade an ADR, it is a receipt issued by ...
amicus curiae
n. Latin for "friend of the court," a party or an organization in...
amnesty
n. a blanket abolition of an offense by the government, with the ...
ancillary administration
n. administration of an estate's assets in another state. An "anc...
ancillary jurisdiction
n. a term used in federal courts when the court decides matters n...
answer
n. in law, a written pleading filed by a defendant to respond to ...
antitrust laws
n. acts adopted by Congress to outlaw or restrict business practi...
appraise
v. to professionally evaluate the value of property includ- ing r...
appraiser
n. a professional who makes appraisals of the value of property. ...
approach the witness
v. a request by an attorney to the judge for permission to go up ...
arm's length
adj. the description of an agreement made by two parties freely a...
arrears
n. money not paid when due, usually the sum of a series of unpaid...
arrest
v. 1) to take or hold a suspected criminal with legal authority, ...
arrest warrant
n. a judge's order to law enforcement officers to arrest and brin...
arson
n. the felony crime of intentionally burning a house or other bui...
articles of impeachment
n. the charges brought (filed) to impeach a public official. In r...
articles of incorporation
n. the basic charter of a corporation which spells out the name, ...
as is
adj. description of a condition in a sales contract in which the ...
assault
1) v. the threat or attempt to strike another, whether successful...
assault and battery
n. the combination of the two crimes of threat (assault) and actu...
assess
v. to set a value on property, usually for the purpose of calcula...
asset
n. generally any item of property that has monetary value, includ...
assign
1) v. to transfer to another person any asset such as real proper...
assigned risk
n. a person whose official driving record (accidents and tickets)...
assignee
n. a person to whom property is transferred by sale or gift, part...
assignment
n. the act of transferring an interest in property or some right ...
assignment for benefit of creditors
n. a method used for a debtor to work out a payment schedule to h...
Associate Justice
n. a member of the U.S. Supreme Court appointed by the President ...
association
n. any group of people who have joined together for a particular ...
assume
v. to take over the liability for a debt on a promissory note, wh...
assumption
n. the act of taking over a debt as part of payment for property ...
assumption of risk
n. 1) taking a chance in a potentially dangerous situation. This ...
assured
n. the person or entity that is insured, often found in insurance...
attest
v. 1) to confirm (usually in writing) that a document is genuine....
attestation
n. the act of witnessing a signature for the purpose of declaring...
attorney's advertising
n. the commercials which appear on television or crowd the yellow...
attorney's fee
n. the payment for legal services. It can take several forms 1) h...
attorney's work product
n. written materials, charts, notes of conversations and investig...
attractive nuisance doctrine
n. a legal doctrine which makes a person negligent for leaving a ...
authorities
n. 1) previous decisions by courts of appeal which provide legal ...
avulsion
n. the change in the border of two properties due to a sudden cha...
Bachelor of Laws
n. the degree in law from a law school, abbreviated to LLB, which...
back-to-back life sentences
n. slang for consecutive life terms imposed by a judge when there...
bail bondsman
n. a professional agent for an insurance company who specializes ...
bait and switch
n. a dishonest sales practice in which a business advertises a ba...
balance sheet
n. the statement of the assets and the liabilities (amounts owed)...
bankruptcy proceedings
n. the bankruptcy procedure is: a) filing a petition (voluntary o...
bar association
n. an organization of lawyers. There are two types, one of which ...
barrister
n. in the United States a fancy name for a lawyer or attorney. In...
basis
n. the original cost of an asset to be used to determine the amou...
beach bum trust provision
n. a requirement in a trust that a beneficiary can only receive p...
beneficial interest
n. the right of a party to some profit, distribution, or benefit ...
beneficial use
n. the right to enjoy the use of something (particularly such ple...
benefit of counsel
n. having the opportunity to have an attorney and legal advice in...
bequest
n. the gift of personal property under the terms of a will. Beque...
best evidence rule
n. the legal doctrine that an original piece of evidence, particu...
bestiality
n. copulation by a human with an animal, which is a crime in all ...
beyond a reasonable doubt
adj. part of jury instructions in all criminal trials, in which t...
bias
n. the predisposition of a judge, arbitrator, prospective juror, ...
bill of particulars
n. a written itemization of claims which a defendant in a lawsuit...
Bill of Rights
n. the first ten amendments to the federal Constitution demanded ...
bill of sale
n. a written statement attesting to the transfer (sale) of goods,...
blank endorsement
n. endorsement of a check or other negotiable paper without namin...
blue laws
n. state or local laws which prohibit certain activities, particu...
blue sky laws
n. laws intended to protect the public from purchasing stock in f...
board of directors
n. the policy managers of a corporation or organization elected b...
bona fide purchaser
n. commonly called BFP in legal and banking circles; a person who...
bondsman
n. 1) someone who sells bail bonds. 2) a surety (guarantor or ins...
breach of promise
n. historically, the dumping of a female fiancee by her intended ...
breach of trust
n. 1) any act which is in violation of the duties of a trustee or...
bucket shop
n. an unofficial and usually illegal betting operation in which t...
bulk sale
n. the sale of all or a large part of a merchant's stock as well ...
bulk sales acts
n. state laws (spelled out in the Uniform Commercial Code adopted...
bulk transfer
bulk sale
business
n. any activity or enterprise entered into for profit. It does no...
business invitee
n. a person entering commercial premises for the purpose of doing...
buy-sell agreement
n. a contract among the owners of a business which provides terms...
bylaws
n. the written rules for conduct of a corporation, association, p...
capital assets
n. equipment, property, and funds owned by a business.
capital gains
n. the difference between the sales price and the original cost (...
capital investment
capital expenditure
capital offense
n. any criminal charge which is punishable by the death penalty, ...
capital punishment
n. execution (death) for a capital offense. The U.S. Supreme Cour...
capital stock
n. the original amount paid by investors into a corporation for i...
capricious
adv., adj. unpredictable and subject to whim, often used to refer...
careless
adj., adv. 1) negligent. 2) the opposite of careful. A careless a...
carrying on business
v. pursuing a particular occupation on a continuous and substanti...
case
n. short for a cause of action, lawsuit, or the right to sue (as ...
case law
n. reported decisions of appeals courts and other courts which ma...
case of first impression
n. a case in which a question of interpretation of law is present...
case system
n. the method of studying law generally used in American law scho...
cashier's check
n. a check issued by a bank on its own account for the amount pai...
casual
adj. defining something that happens by chance, without being for...
casualty
n. 1) an accident which could not have been foreseen or guarded a...
casualty loss
n. in taxation, loss due to damage which qualifies for a casualty...
cause
from Latin causa 1) v. to make something happen. 2) n. the reason...
cause of action
n. the basis of a lawsuit founded on legal grounds and alleged fa...
cease and desist order
n. an order of a court or government agency to a person, business...
certificate of deposit (CD)
n. a document issued by a bank in return for a deposit of money w...
cestui que trust
n. (properly pronounced ses-tee kay, but lawyers popularly pronou...
cestui que use
(pronounced ses-tee kay use or setty kay use) n. an old-fashioned...
challenge for cause
n. a request that a prospective juror be dismissed because there ...
chambers
n. the private office of a judge, usually close to the courtroom ...
change of circumstances
n. the principal reason for a court modifying (amending) an exist...
character witness
n. a person who testifies in a trial on behalf of a person (usual...
charitable remainder trust (Charitable Remainder Irrevocable Unitrust)
n. a form of trust in which the donor (trustor or settlor) places...
Chief Justice
n. the presiding judge of any State Supreme Court and the U.S. Su...
child custody
n. a court's determination of which parent, relative or other adu...
child support
n. court-ordered funds to be paid by one parent to the custodial ...
circuit courts
n. a movable court in which the judge holds court sessions at sev...
circumstantial evidence
n. evidence in a trial which is not directly from an eyewitness o...
civil liberties
n. rights or freedoms given to the people by the First Amendment ...
civil penalties
n. fines or surcharges imposed by a governmental agency to enforc...
civil rights
n. those rights guaranteed by the Bill of Rights, the 13th and 14...
claim against a governmental agency
n. any time one believes he/she has a right to payment for damage...
claim against an estate
n. upon the death of a person and beginning of probate (filing of...
class
n. in legal (not sociological) terms, all those persons in the sa...
class action
n. a lawsuit filed by one or more people on behalf of themselves ...
clean hands doctrine
n. a rule of law that a person coming to court with a lawsuit or ...
clear and present danger
n. the doctrine established in an opinion written by Oliver Wende...
close corporation
n. a corporation which is permitted by state law to operate more ...
closed shop
n. a business that will hire only union members by choice or by a...
closing
n. the final step in the sale and purchase of real estate in whic...
closing argument
n. the final argument by an attorney on behalf of his/her client ...
co-trustee
n. a trustee of a trust when there is more than one trustee servi...
Code of Professional Responsibility
n. a set of rules governing the ethical conduct of attorneys in t...
coinsurance
n. an insurance policy in which the insurance company insures onl...
collateral descendant
n. a relative descended from a brother or sister of an ancestor, ...
collateral estoppel
n. the situation in which a judgment in one case prevents (estops...
collusion
n. where two persons (or business entities through their officers...
collusive action
n. a lawsuit brought by parties pretending to be adversaries in o...
commercial frustration
n. an unforeseen uncontrollable event which occurs after a writte...
commission
n. 1) a fee paid based on a percentage of the sale made by an emp...
common counts
n. claims for debt alleged in a lawsuit (included in the complain...
common stock
n. stock in a corporation in which dividends (payouts) are calcul...
commute a sentence
v.
compensation
n. 1) payment for work performed, by salary, wages, commission or...
compensatory damages
n. damages recovered in payment for actual injury or economic los...
compos mentis
n. (com-pose-men-tis) Latin for "having a sound mind."
compound interest
n. payment of interest upon principal and previously accumulated ...
compound question
n. the combination of more than one question into what seems to b...
compromise
1) n. an agreement between opposing parties to settle a dispute o...
compromise verdict
n. a decision made by a jury in which the jurors split the differ...
conclusion
n. 1) in general, the end. 2) in a trial, when all evidence has b...
conclusion of fact
n. in a trial, the final result of an analysis of the facts prese...
conclusion of law
n. a judge's final decision on a question of law which has been r...
concurrent sentences
n. sentences for more than one crime which are to be served at on...
condition subsequent
n. 1) in a contract, a happening which terminates the duty of a p...
conditional bequest
n. in a will, a gift which will take place only if a particular e...
conditional sale
n. a sale of property or goods which will be completed if certain...
confess
v. in criminal law, to voluntarily state that one is guilty of a ...
confession
n. the statement of one charged with a crime that he/she committe...
confession and avoidance
n. when a defendant admits the allegations in a complaint against...
confession of judgment
n. a written agreement in which the defendant in a lawsuit admits...
confiscate
v. to take one's goods or property without legal right, although ...
conflict of interest
n. a situation in which a person has a duty to more than one pers...
confusingly similar
adj. in the law of trademarks, when a trademark, logo or business...
conjugal rights
n. a spouse's so-called "rights" to the comforts and companionshi...
conscientious objector
n. a person who refuses to serve in the military due to religious...
conscious parallelism
n. an undiscussed imitation by a business of a competitor's actio...
consent
1) n. a voluntary agreement to another's proposition. 2) v. to vo...
consent decree
n. an order of a judge based upon an agreement, almost always put...
consent judgment
n. a judgment issued by a judge based on an agreement between the...
consequential damages
n. damages claimed and/or awarded in a lawsuit which were caused ...
conservatee
n. a person whom a court has determined because of physical or me...
conservator
n. a guardian and protector appointed by a judge to protect and m...
consideration
n. 1) payment or money. 2) a vital element in the law of contract...
consign
v. 1) to deliver goods to a merchant to sell on behalf of the par...
consignee
n. a person or business holding another's goods for sale or for d...
consignment
n. the act of consigning goods to one who will sell them for the ...
consortium
n. 1) a group of separate businesses or business people joining t...
conspiracy
n. when people work together by agreement to commit an illegal ac...
conspirator
n. a person or entity who enters into a plot with one or more oth...
constable
n. a law officer for a particular area such as a rural township, ...
constitution
n. the fundamental, underlying document which establishes the gov...
constitutional rights
n. rights given or reserved to the people by the U.S. Constitutio...
construction
n. the act of a lawyer or court in interpreting and giving meanin...
constructive
adj. a legal fiction for treating a situation as if it were actua...
constructive eviction
n. when the landlord does not go through a legal eviction of a te...
constructive fraud
n. when the circumstances show that someone's actions give him/he...
constructive notice
n. a fiction that a person got notice even though actual notice w...
constructive possession
n. when a person does not have actual possession, but has the pow...
constructive trust
n. when a person has title to property and/or takes possession of...
construe
v. to determine the meaning of the words of a written document, s...
consumer protection laws
n. almost all states and the federal government have enacted laws...
contiguous
adj. connected or "next to", usually meaning adjoining pieces of ...
contingent interest
n. an interest in real property which, according to the deed (or ...
continuing trespass
n. the repeat-ed unauthorized use of anoth- er's real property, a...
contract of adhesion
n.
controlled substance
n. a drug which has been declared by federal or state law to be i...
controversy
n. 1) disagreement, argument or quarrel. 2) a dispute, which must...
conversion
n. a civil wrong (tort) in which one converts another's property ...
cooperative housing
n. an arrangement in which an association or corporation owns a g...
corpus
n. 1) Latin for body. 2) the principal (usually money, securities...
corpus delicti
n. (corpus dee-lick-tie) Latin for the substantial fact that a cr...
corpus juris
n. the body of the law, meaning a compendium of all laws, cases a...
cosign
v. to sign a promissory note or other obligation in order to shar...
cost bill
n. a list of claimed court costs submitted by the prevailing (win...
cost of completion
n. the amount of money (damages) required to complete performance...
costs
n. shorthand for court costs.
counsel
1) n. a lawyer, attorney, attorney-at-law, counsellor, counsellor...
counsellor
n. a licensed attorney.
course
n. in the midst of or actively involved in at that time, as "in t...
course of employment
adj. actively involved in a person's employment at a particular t...
court costs
n. fees for expenses that the courts pass on to attorneys, who th...
court of appeals
n. any court (state or federal) which hears appeals from judgment...
Court of Customs and Patent Appeals
n. a federal court established (1929) to hear appeals from decisi...
covenant that runs with the land
n. a promise contained in a deed to land or real estate which is ...
covenants, conditions and restrictions
n. commonly called "CC and Rs," these are written rules, limitati...
credible witness
n. a witness whose testimony is more than likely to be true based...
creditor's claim
n. a claim required to be filed in writing, in a proper form by a...
creditor's rights
n. the field of law dealing with the legal means and procedures t...
crime against nature
n. an oldfashioned term for sodomy (anal sexual intercourse), whi...
crime of passion
n. a defendant's excuse for committing a crime due to sudden ange...
criminal justice
n. a generic term for the procedure by which criminal conduct is ...
cross-complaint
n. after a complaint has been filed against a defendant for damag...
cross-examination
n. the opportunity for the attorney (or an unrepresented party) t...
cruel and unusual punishment
n. governmental penalties against convicted criminal defendants w...
cruelty to animals
n. the crime of inflicting physical pain, suffering or death on a...
cumis counsel
n. an attorney employed by a defendant in a lawsuit when there is...
cumulative sentence
n. when a criminal defendant has been found guilty of more than o...
curtesy
n. in old common law, the right of a surviving husband to a life ...
custody
n. 1) holding property under one's control. 2) law enforcement of...
Customs Court
n. a federal court established (1926) to hear appeals from decisi...
cy pres doctrine
n. (see-pray doctrine) from French, meaning "as close as possible...
damages
n. the amount of money which a plaintiff (the person suing) may b...
dangerous
adj. unsafe, hazardous, fraught with risk. It can be negligence f...
dangerous weapon
n. any gun, knife, sword, crossbow, slingshot or other weapon whi...
de minimis
adj. (dee-minnie-miss) Latin for "of minimum importance" or "trif...
debtor in possession
n. in bankruptcy proceedings when a debtor has filed for the righ...
deceased
1) adj. dead. 2) n. the person who has died, as used in the handl...
decision
n. judgment, decree or determination of findings of fact and/or o...
declaration of trust
n. the document signed by a trustor (settlor) creating a trust in...
deed of trust
n. a document which pledges real property to secure a loan, used ...
defeasance
n. an antiquated word for a document which terminates the effect ...
defense
n. 1) a general term for the effort of an attorney representing a...
defense attorney
n. 1) the attorney representing the defendant in a lawsuit or cri...
degree of kinship
n. the level of relationship between two persons related by blood...
deleterious
adj. harmful.
demise
1) v. an old-fashioned expression meaning to lease or transfer (c...
demonstrative evidence
n. actual objects, pictures, models and other devices which are s...
depose
v. 1) to ask questions of a witness or a party to a lawsuit at a ...
deposition
n. the taking and recording of testimony of a witness under oath ...
depreciation reserve
n. a business fund in which the probable replacement cost of equi...
descent
n. the rules of inheritance established by law in cases in which ...
descent and distribution
n. the system of laws which determine who will inherit and divide...
desert
v. to intentionally abandon a person or thing.
desertion
n. the act of abandoning, particularly leaving one's spouse and/o...
devise
1) v. an old-fashioned word for giving real property by a will, a...
devisee
n. a person who receives a gift of real property by a will. The d...
diminished capacity
n. essentially a psychological term which has found its way into ...
direct and proximate cause
n. the immediate reason damage was caused by an act or omission (...
disability
n. 1) a condition which prevents one from performing all usual ph...
disbar
v. to remove an attorney from the list of practicing attorneys fo...
disbarment
n. the ultimate discipline of an attorney, which is taking away h...
discharge
v. 1) to perform one's duties. 2) to dismiss someone from a job. ...
discharge in bankruptcy
n. an order given by the bankruptcy judge, at the conclusion of a...
disclaimer
n. 1) denial or renunciation by someone of his/her title to prope...
discount
n. the payment of less than the full amount due on a promissory n...
discovery
n. the entire efforts of a party to a lawsuit and his/her/its att...
discretion
n. the power of a judge, public official or a private party (unde...
discrimination
n. unequal treatment of persons, for a reason which has nothing t...
disfigure
v. to cause permanent change in a person's body, particularly by ...
dishonor
v. to refuse to pay the face amount of a check or the amount due ...
disinherit
v. to intentionally take actions to guarantee that a person who w...
disinheritance
n. the act of disinheriting.
disjunctive allegations
n. the attempt to claim in a civil lawsuit that one thing "or" an...
dismiss
v. the ruling by a judge that all or a portion (one or more of th...
dismissal
n. 1) the act of voluntarily terminating a criminal prosecution o...
dismissal with prejudice
n.
dismissal without prejudice
n.
disorderly conduct
n. 1) actions that disturb others. 2) minor criminal offenses, su...
disorderly house
n. 1) polite term for house of prostitution. 2) place of illegal ...
disposing mind and memory
n. the mental ability to understand in general what one possesses...
disposition
n. the court's final determination of a lawsuit or criminal charg...
dispossess
v. to eject someone from real property, either legally or by self...
dissent
n. 1) the opinion of a judge of a court of appeals, including the...
dissenting opinion
n.
dissolution
n. modern, gentler sounding, term for divorce, officially used in...
dissolution of corporation
n. termination of a corporation, either a) voluntarily by resolut...
distinguish
v. to argue that the rule in one appeals court decision does not ...
distress
1) n. the self-help taking of another's possessions in order to f...
distribute
v. 1) the dividing up of those assets of an estate or trust when ...
distribution
n. the act of dividing up the assets of an estate or trust, or pa...
District Attorney (D.A.)
n. an elected official of a county or a designated district with ...
district court
n. 1) in the federal court system, a trial court for federal case...
disturbing the peace
n. upsetting the quiet and good order particularly through loud n...
diversion
n. in criminal procedure, a system for giving a chance for a firs...
diversity of citizenship
n. when opposing parties in a lawsuit are citizens of different s...
divestiture
n. the court-ordered or voluntary giving up of a possession or ri...
divestment
n. the act of stripping one's investment from an entity.
doing business
v. carrying on the normal activities of a corporation on a regula...
domestic partners
n. unmarried couples, including homosexuals, living together in l...
domestic relations
n. a polite term for the legal field of divorce, dissolution, ann...
domestic violence
n. the continuing crime and problem of the physical beating of a ...
dominant estate
n. in real estate law, the property retained when the owner split...
dram shop rule
n. a statute (Dram Shop Act) or case law in 38 states which makes...
due process of law
n. a fundamental principle of fairness in all legal matters, both...
duress
n. the use of force, false imprisonment or threats (and possibly ...
earnest payment
n. a deposit paid to demonstrate commitment and to bind a contrac...
easement
n. the right to use the real property of another for a specific p...
egress
n. way of departure. A word usually used in conjunction with "acc...
ejusdem generis
(eh-youse-dem generous) v adj. Latin for "of the same kind," used...
election of remedies
n. an outmoded requirement that if a plaintiff (party filing suit...
eleemosynary
(eh-luh-moss-uh-nary) adj. charitable, as applied to a purpose or...
emblements
n. crops to which a tenant who cultivated the land is entitled by...
emotional distress
n. an increasingly popular basis for a claim of damages in lawsui...
enabling clause
n. a provision in a new statute which empowers a particular publi...
enclosure
(inclosure)n. land bounded by a fence, wall, hedge, ditch or othe...
endorse (indorse)
v. 1) to sign one's name to the back of a check, bill of exchange...
endorsement
(indorsement)n. 1) the act of the owner or payee signing his/her ...
equitable estoppel
n. where a court will not grant a judgment or other legal relief ...
erroneous
adj. 1) in error, wrong. 2) not according to established law, par...
errors and omissions
n. short hand for malpractice insurance which gives physicians, a...
escalator clause
n. a provision in a lease or other agreement in which rent, insta...
escape clause
n. a provision in a contract which allows one of the parties to b...
escheat
n. from old French eschete, which meant "that which falls to one,...
escrow
1) n. a form of account held by an "escrow agent" (an individual,...
escrow agent
n. a person or entity holding documents and funds in a transfer o...
escrow instructions
n. the written instructions by buyer and seller of real estate gi...
espionage
n. the crime of spying on the federal government and/or transferr...
esquire
n. a form of address showing that someone is an attorney, usually...
estate
n. 1) all that one owns in real estate and other assets. 2) commo...
estate by entirety
n. tenancy by the entirety
estate tax
n. generally a federal tax on the transfer of a dead person's ass...
estop
v. to halt, bar or prevent.
estoppel
n. a bar or impediment (obstruction) which precludes a person fro...
et seq.
(et seek) n. abbreviation for the Latin phrase et sequentes meani...
evasion of tax
n. the intentional attempt to avoid paying taxes through fraudule...
ex post facto
adj. Latin for "after the fact," which refers to laws adopted aft...
excessive bail
n. an amount of bail ordered posted by an accused defendant which...
excise
n. a tax upon manufacture, sale or for a business license or char...
exclusionary rule
n. the rule that evidence secured by illegal means and in bad fai...
excusable neglect
n. a legitimate excuse for the failure of a party or his/her lawy...
executory interest
n. an interest in property (particularly real estate) which will ...
exemplary damages
n. often called punitive damages, these are damages requested and...
expense
n. in business accounting and business taxation, any current cost...
expert testimony
n. opinions stated during trial or deposition (testimony under oa...
expert witness
n. a person who is a specialist in a subject, often technical, wh...
express
adj. direct, unambiguous, distinct language, particularly in a co...
express contract
n. a contract in which all elements are specifically stated (offe...
extension
n. granting of a specific amount of extra time to make a payment,...
extenuating circumstances
n. surrounding factors (sometimes called mitigation) which make a...
extinguishment
n. the cancellation or destruction of a right, quite often becaus...
extraordinary fees
n. attorneys' fees claimed, usually in the administration of a de...
extrinsic fraud
n. fraudulent acts which keep a person from obtaining information...
eyewitness
n. a person who has actually seen an event and can so testify in ...
failure of consideration
n. not delivering goods or services when promised in a contract. ...
failure of issue
n. when someone dies leaving no children or other direct descenda...
fair trade laws
n. state laws which permit manufacturers or producers to set mini...
fair use
n. the non-competitive right to use of copyrighted material witho...
false arrest
n. physically detaining someone without the legal right to do so....
false imprisonment
n. depriving someone of freedom of movement by holding a person i...
false pretenses
n. the crime of knowingly making untrue statements for the purpos...
family purpose doctrine
n. a rule of law that the registered owner of an automobile is re...
federal courts
n. the court system which handles civil and criminal cases based ...
federal question
n. one basis for filing a lawsuit in federal district court is th...
Federal Tort Claims Act
n. a statute (1948) which removed the power of the federal govern...
fee simple
n. absolute title to land, free of any other claims against the t...
felonious
adj. referring to an act done with criminal intent. The term is u...
fictitious defendants
n. when a party suing (plaintiff) is not sure if he/she knows if ...
fiduciary relationship
n. where one person places complete confidence in another in rega...
fighting words
n. words intentionally directed toward another person which are s...
final settlement
n. an agreement reached by the parties to a lawsuit, usually in w...
findings of fact
n.
first degree murder
n. although it varies from state to state, it is generally a kill...
first impression
adj. referring to a legal issue which has never been decided by a...
floating easement
n. an easement (a right to use another's property for a particula...
forced sale
n. a sale of goods seized by the sheriff to satisfy (pay) a judgm...
foreclosure
n. the system by which a party who has loaned money secured by a ...
foreclosure sale
n. the actual forced sale of real property at a public auction (o...
forensic
1) adj. from Latin forensis for "belonging to the forum," ancient...
forensic medicine
n. research, reports and testimony in court by experts in medical...
forensic testimony
n. any testimony of expert scientific, engineering, economic or o...
forensics
n. public speaking or argumentation.
foreseeability
n. reasonable anticipation of the possible results of an action, ...
foreseeable risk
n. a danger which a reasonable person should anticipate as the re...
forum non conveniens
(for-uhm nahn cahn-vee-nee-ehns) n. Latin for a forum which is no...
foster child
n. a child without parental support and protection, placed with a...
four corners of an instrument
n. the term for studying an entire document to understand its mea...
franchise
1) n. a right granted by the government to a person or corporatio...
franchise tax
n. a state tax on corporations or businesses.
fresh pursuit
n. immediate chase of a suspected criminal by a law enforcement o...
friendly suit
n. a lawsuit filed in order to obtain a court order when the part...
frisk
v. quickly patting down the clothes of a possible criminal suspec...
frivolous
adj. referring to a legal move in a lawsuit clearly intended mere...
fruit of the poisonous tree
n. in criminal law, the doctrine that evidence discovered due to ...
frustration of purpose
n. sometimes called commercial frustration, when unexpected event...
fugitive from justice
n. a person convicted or accused of a crime who hides from law en...
full disclosure
n. the need in business transactions to tell the "whole truth" ab...
fungible things
n. sometimes merely called "fungibles," goods which are interchan...
future interest
n. a right to receive either real property or personal property s...
garnish
v. to obtain a court order directing a party holding funds (such ...
garnishee
n. a person or entity, quite often a bank or employer, which rece...
garnishment
n. the entire process of petitioning for and getting a court orde...
gender bias
n. unequal treatment in employment opportunity (such as promotion...
general counsel
n. the chief attorney for a corporation, who is paid usually full...
general damages
n. monetary recovery (money won) in a lawsuit for injuries suffer...
generation skipping
adj., adv. referring to gifts made through trusts by a grandparen...
good cause
n. a legally sufficient reason for a ruling or other action by a ...
Good Samaritan rule
n. from a Biblical story, if a volunteer comes to the aid of an i...
goods
n. items held for sale in the regular course of business, as in a...
grandfather clause
n. 1) a clause in a statute or zoning ordinance (particularly a c...
gratuitous
adj. or adv. voluntary or free.
gross income
n. in calculating income tax, the income of an individual or busi...
gross negligence
n. carelessness which is in reckless disregard for the safety or ...
guest
n. 1) in general, a person paying to stay in a hotel, motel or in...
guest statute
n. a state law which sets standards of care by the driver of a ca...
habeas corpus
(hay-bee-us core-puss) n. Latin for "you have the body," it is a ...
harass
(either harris or huh-rass) v. systematic and/or continual unwant...
harassment
(either harris-meant or huh-rass-meant) n. the act of systematic ...
harmless error
n. an error by a judge in the conduct of a trial which an appella...
head of household
n. 1) in federal income tax law, the person filing a tax return w...
hearsay
n. 1) second-hand evidence in which the witness is not telling wh...
hearsay rule
n. the basic rule that testimony or documents which quote persons...
heat of passion
n. in a criminal case, when the accused was in an uncontrollable ...
heiress
n. feminine heir, often used to denote a woman who has received a...
heirs of the body
n. descendants of one's bloodline, such as children or grandchild...
hidden asset
n. an item of value which does not show on the books of a busines...
hobby loss
n. in income tax, a loss from a business activity engaged in more...
hold harmless
n. a promise to pay any costs or claims which may result from an ...
holder in due course
n. one holding a check or promissory note, received for value (he...
homestead
1) n. the house and lot of a homeowner which the head of the hous...
hostile possession
n. occupancy of a piece of real property coupled with a claim of ...
hostile witness
n. technically an "adverse witness" in a trial who is found by th...
hot pursuit
n. when a law enforcement officer is so close behind the alleged ...
house counsel
n. any attorney who works only for a particular business.
household
n. a family living together, all of whom need not be related.
illusory promise
n. an agreement to do something that is so indefinite one cannot ...
implied consent
n. consent when surrounding circumstances exist which would lead ...
impossibility
n. when an act cannot be performed due to nature, physical impedi...
in absentia
(in ab-sensh-ee-ah) adj. or adv. phrase. Latin for "in absence," ...
in chambers
adj. referring to discussions or hearings held in the judge's off...
in extremis
(in ex-tree-miss) adj. from Latin, facing imminent death.
in fee simple
adj. referring to holding clear title to real property.
in forma pauperis
(in form-ah paw-purr-iss) adj. or adv. Latin for "in the form of ...
in loco parentis
prep. (in loh-coh pah-rent-iss) Latin for "instead of a parent" o...
in personam
adj. (in purr-soh-nam) from Latin for "directed toward a particul...
in propria persona
adj. from Latin "for one's self," acting on one's own behalf, gen...
in terrorem clause
(in tehr-roar-em)n. from Latin for "in fear," a provision in a wi...
incest
n. sexual intercourse between close blood relatives, including br...
indecent exposure
n. the crime of displaying one's genitalia to one or more other p...
indefeasible
adj. cannot be altered or voided, usually in reference to an inte...
indeterminate sentence
n. the prison term imposed after conviction for a crime which doe...
indictable offense
n. a crime (offense) for which a Grand Jury rules that there is e...
indispensable party
n. a person or entity which must be included in a lawsuit so that...
indorse
v.
indorsement
n.
informed consent
n. agreement to do something or to allow something to happen only...
ingress
1) n. entrance. 2) n. the right to enter. 3) v. the act of enteri...
inquest
n. 1) an investigation and/or a hearing held by the coroner (a co...
insanity
n. mental illness of such a severe nature that a person cannot di...
insanity defense
n. the claim of a defendant in a criminal prosecution that he/she...
insertion
n. the addition of language at a place within an existing typed o...
insider
n. someone who has a position in a business or stock brokerage, w...
insider trading
n. the use of confidential information about a business gained th...
insolvency
n. 1) the condition of having more debts (liabilities) than total...
inspection of documents
n. the right to examine and copy the opposing party's papers in a...
installment contract
n. an agreement in which payments of money, delivery of goods or ...
instruction
n. an explanation of the law governing a case which the judge giv...
instrument
n. 1) a written legal document such as a contract, lease, deed, w...
insufficient evidence
n. a finding (decision) by a trial judge or an appeals court that...
insurance
n. a contract (insurance policy) in which the insurer (insurance ...
insured
n. 1) the person or entity who will be compensated for loss by an...
insurer
n. an insurance company which agrees to pay someone who pays them...
inter se
(in-tur say)prep. Latin for "among themselves," meaning that, for...
inter vivos
(in-tur veye-vohs) adj. Latin for "among the living," usually ref...
inter vivos trust
n. a trust created by a writing (declaration of trust) which comm...
interest
n. 1) any and all, partial or total right to property or for the ...
interrogatories
n. a set of written questions to a party to a lawsuit asked by th...
interstate commerce
n. commercial trade, business, movement of goods or money, or tra...
intervening cause
n. an event which occurs between the original improper or dangero...
intestacy
n. the condition of having died without a valid will. In such a c...
intestate
adj. referring to a situation where a person dies without leaving...
intestate succession
n. the distribution when a person dies without leaving a valid wi...
intrinsic fraud
n. an intentionally false representation (lie) which is part of t...
invasion of privacy
n. the intrusion into the personal life of another, without just ...
inverse condemnation
n. the taking of property by a government agency which so greatly...
invest
v. to put money into a business or buy property or securities for...
investment
n. the money put into use for profit, or the property or business...
ipse dixit
(ip-sah dicks-it) v. Latin for "he himself said it," meaning the ...
ipso facto
(ip-soh fact-toe)prep. Latin for "by the fact itself." An express...
irreconcilable differences
n. the usual basis for granting a divorce (dissolution) in no-fau...
issue
1) n. a person's children or other lineal descendants such as gra...
joinder of issue
n. that point in a lawsuit when the defendant has challenged (den...
joint and several
adj. referring to a debt or a judgment for negligence, in which e...
joint custody
n. in divorce actions, a decision by the court (often upon agreem...
joint enterprise
n. a generic term for an activity of two or more people, usually ...
joint powers agreement
n. a contract between a city, a county and/or a special district ...
joint tortfeasors
n. two or more persons whose negligence in a single accident or e...
Jones Act
n., adj. a federal law which covers injuries to crewmen at sea, g...
judgment notwithstanding the verdict
(N.O.V.) n. reversal of a jury's verdict by the trial judge when ...
judicial discretion
n. the power of the judge to make decisions on some matters witho...
judicial foreclosure
n. a judgment by a court in favor of foreclosure of a mortgage or...
judicial proceedings
n. any action by a judge re: trials, hearings, petitions or other...
judicial sale
n. a sale of goods by an official (keeper, trustee or sheriff) ap...
Juris Doctor
(J.D.) n. the law degree granted upon graduation by many univers...
jurisdiction
n. the authority given by law to a court to try cases and rule on...
jurisdictional amount
n. the range between the minimum and maximum amount of money or v...
jurisprudence
n. the entire subject of law, the study of law and legal question...
jurist
n. although it means any attorney or legal scholar, jurist popula...
jury fees
n. the rather minimal amount paid each day to jurors, plus paymen...
jury of one's peers
n. a guaranteed right of criminal defendants, in which "peer" mea...
jury selection
n. the means by which a jury is chosen, with a panel of potential...
jury stress
n. a form of mental, emotional, psychological, physical and sexua...
just compensation
n. 1) in general a fair and reasonable amount of money to be paid...
justice
n. 1) fairness. 2) moral rightness. 3) a scheme or system of law ...
justice of the peace
(JP) n. a judge who handles minor legal matters such as misdemean...
justiciable
n. referring to a matter which is capable of being decided by a c...
justifiable homicide
n. a killing without evil or criminal intent, for which there can...
labor and materials
(time and materials) n. what some builders or repair people contr...
laches
n. the legal doctrine that a legal right or claim will not be enf...
landlord's lien
n. the right of a landlord to sell abandoned personal property le...
lapse
1) v. to fail to occur, particularly a gift made in a will. 2) v....
last antecedent rule
n. a doctrine of interpretation (construction) of statutes that a...
last clear chance
n. a rule of law in determining responsibility for damages caused...
last will and testament
n. a fancy and redundant way of saying "will." Lawyers and client...
lateral support
n. the right of a land- owner to assurance that his/her neighbor'...
law of the case
n. once a judge has decided a legal question during the conduct o...
lawsuit
n. a common term for a legal action by one person or entity again...
leading question
n. a question asked of a witness by an attorney during a trial or...
leading the witness
n. asking a question during a trial or deposition which puts word...
lease
1) n. a written agreement in which the owner of property (either ...
leasehold
n. the real estate which is the subject of a lease (a written ren...
legal advertising
n. 1) notices of probate sales and other documents required by la...
legal aid society
n. an organization formed to assist persons who have limited or n...
legal separation
n. a court-decreed right to live apart, with the rights and oblig...
legal services
n. the work performed by a lawyer for a client.
legalese
n. slang for the sometimes arcane, convoluted and specialized jar...
lessee
n. the person renting property under a written lease from the own...
lesser crime
n.
lesser-included offense
n. in criminal law, a crime which is proved by the same facts as ...
lessor
n. the owner of real property who rents it to a lessee pursuant t...
letters
n. shorthand for letters testamentary or letters of administratio...
letters of administration
n. a document issued by the court clerk which states the authorit...
letters testamentary
n. a document issued by the court clerk which states the authorit...
lewd and lascivious
adj., adv. references to conduct which includes people living tog...
libel per se
n. broadcast or written publication of a false statement about an...
license
1) n. governmental permission to perform a particular act (like g...
licensee
n. a person given a license by the government or under private ag...
licensor
n. a person who gives another a license, particularly a private p...
lie detector test
n. a popular name for a polygraph which tests the physiological r...
life estate
n. the right to use or occupy real property for one's life. Often...
life without possibility of parole
n. a sentence sometimes given for particularly vicious criminals ...
limitation of actions
n. the period of time in which a person has to file with the cler...
limited jurisdiction
n. courts' authority over certain types of cases such as bankrupt...
limited partnership
n. a special type of partnership which is very common when people...
lineal descendant
n. a person who is in direct line to an ancestor, such as child, ...
liquidated damages
n. an amount of money agreed upon by both parties to a contract w...
lis pendens
(lease pen-dense) n. Latin for "a suit pending," a written notice...
litigious
adj. referring to a person who constantly brings or prolongs lega...
living trust
n. sometimes called an inter vivos (Latin for "within one's life"...
locus
(low-cuss) n. Latin for "place," it means "place which" this or t...
long cause
n. a lawsuit in which it is estimated that a trial will take more...
long-arm statute
n. law which gives a local state court jurisdiction over an out-o...
loss
n. 1) the value placed on injury or damages due to an accident ca...
loss of bargain
n. the inability to complete a sale or other business deal, cause...
loss of consortium
n. the inability of one's spouse to have normal marital relations...
loss of use
n. the inability to use an automobile, premises or some equipment...
magistrate
n. 1) a generic term for any judge of a court, or anyone official...
malfeasance
n. intentionally doing something either legally or morally wrong ...
malicious prosecution
n. filing a lawsuit with the intention of creating problems for t...
malum in se
(mal-uhm in say) adv. Latin referring to an act that is "wrong in...
mandamus
(man-dame-us) n. Latin for "we order," a writ (more modernly call...
manifest
1) adj., adv. completely obvious or evident. 2) n. a written list...
manslaughter
n. the unlawful killing of another person without premeditation o...
marital rights
n. an old-fashioned expression for the rights of a husband (not r...
marshal
1) n. a federal court official who may serve papers and act as a ...
Massachusetts Trust
n. a business in which the investors give management authority to...
master
n. 1) employer, in the area of law known as "master and servant,"...
master and servant
n. the body of law, including statutes and legal decisions which ...
material representation
n. a convincing statement made to induce someone to enter into a ...
material witness
n. a person who apparently has information about the subject matt...
maxims
n. a collection of legal truisms which are used as "rules of thum...
mechanic's lien
n. the right of a craftsman, laborer, supplier, architect or othe...
meeting of the minds
n. when two parties to an agreement (contract) both have the same...
mens rea
(menz ray-ah) n. Latin for a "guilty mind," or criminal intent in...
mental anguish
n. mental suffering which includes fright, feelings of distress, ...
mental suffering
n. emotional pain synonymous with "mental anguish."
mesne
: (mean, with a silent s) adj. from Norman French for intermediat...
mesne profits
n. profits which have accrued while there was a dispute over land...
metes and bounds
(meets and bounds) n. a surveyor's description of a parcel of rea...
ministerial act
n. an act, particularly of a governmental employee, which is perf...
minutes
n. 1) the written record of meetings, particularly of boards of d...
mirror wills
n. the wills of a husband and wife which are identical except tha...
misadventure
n. a death due to unintentional accident without any violation of...
misappropriation
n. the intentional, illegal use of the property or funds of anoth...
misdemeanor
n. a lesser crime punishable by a fine and/or county jail time fo...
misfeasance
n. management of a business, public office or other responsibilit...
misjoinder
n. the inclusion of parties (plaintiffs or defendants) or causes ...
misnomer
n. the wrong name.
misprision of a felony
n. the crime of concealing another's felony (serious crime) from ...
misrepresentation
n. the crime of misstating facts to obtain money, goods or benefi...
mistake
n. 1) an error in comprehending facts, meaning of words or the la...
mistrial
n. the termination of a trial before its normal conclusion becaus...
mitigating circumstances
n. in criminal law, conditions or happenings which do not excuse ...
mitigation of damages
n. the requirement that someone injured by another's negligence o...
modus operandi
(mode-us ah-purr-and-ee or ah-purr-and-eye) n. from Latin, a crim...
molestation
n. the crime of sexual acts with children up to the age of 18, in...
motion for a summary judgment
n. a written request for a judgment in the moving party's favor b...
motion for dismissal
(non-suit) n. application by a defendant in a lawsuit or criminal...
motion to strike
n. a request for a judge's order to eliminate all or a portion of...
motion to suppress
n. a motion (usually on behalf of a criminal defendant) to disall...
multifarious
adj., adv. reference to a lawsuit in which either party or variou...
multiplicity of suits
n. several actual or potential lawsuits which should be joined to...
mutual wills
n. wills made by two people (usually spouses, but could be "partn...
National Labor Relations Board
n. an independent regulatory commission created in 1935 by the Na...
natural person
n. a real human being, as distinguished from a corporation, which...
necessary
adj., adv. 1) essen- tial. 2) less forcefully, it can mean conven...
necessary inference
n. 1) a conclusion militated by reason and logic applied to known...
necessary party
n. a person or entity whose interests will be affected by the out...
negligence per se
(purr say) n. negligence due to the violation of a public duty, s...
negotiable instrument
n. check, promissory note, bill of exchange, security or any docu...
net estate
n. the remaining estate of a person who has died, calculated by t...
nisi prius
: (nee-see pree-us) adj. Latin for "unless first," in some jurisd...
no contest
n. in criminal law, a defendant's plea in court that he/she will ...
no fault insurance
n: a type of automobile insurance required of car owners by law i...
no-par stock
n. shares in a corporation which are issued without a price per s...
nolle prosequi
(no-lay pro-say-kwee) n. Latin for "we shall no longer prosecute,...
nominal damages
n. a small amount of money awarded to a plaintiff in a lawsuit to...
non compos mentis
: (nahn com-pose meant-is) adj. referring to someone who is insan...
non sequitur
: (nahn sek [as in heck]-kwit-her) n. Latin for "it does not foll...
non-conforming use
n. the existing use (residential, commercial, agricultural, light...
non-contestability clause
n. an insurance policy provision which requires the insurance com...
non-contiguous
adj. referring to two or more parcels of real property which are ...
non-discretionary trust
n. a trust in which the trustee is directed to invest only in spe...
non-feasance
n. the failure of an agent (employee) to perform a task he/she ha...
non-suit
n. a ruling by the judge in a lawsuit either when the plaintiff (...
not guilty by reason of insanity
n. plea in court of a person charged with a crime who admits the ...
notorious possession
n. occupation of real property or holding personal property in a ...
noxious
adj. harmful to health, often referring to nuisances.
nuisance
n. the unreasonable, unwarranted and/or unlawful use of property,...
O.S.C.
n. short for order to show cause.
obscene
adj., adv. a highly subjective reference to material or acts whic...
obstruction of justice
n. an attempt to interfere with the administration of the courts,...
occupational disease
n. an illness resulting from long-term employment in a particular...
of counsel
adj. reference to an attorney who is not actively involved in the...
offense
n. a crime or punishable violation of law of any type or magnitud...
official misconduct
n. improper and/or illegal acts by a public official which violat...
officious intermeddler
n. a volunteer who assists and/or benefits another without contra...
offset
1) n. also called a "setoff," the deduction by a debtor from a cl...
offshore corporation
n. a corporation chartered under the laws of a country other than...
omission
n. 1) failure to perform an act agreed to, where there is a duty ...
omnibus clause
n. 1) an automobile insurance policy clause which provides covera...
on all fours
adj. a reference to a lawsuit in which all the legal issues are i...
on the merits
adj. referring to a judgment, decision or ruling of a court based...
on the stand
prep. testifying during a trial, in which the witness almost alwa...
opening statement
n. the explanation by the attorneys for both sides at the beginni...
order to show cause
n. a judge's written mandate that a party appear in court on a ce...
ordinary course of business
n. conduct of business within normal commercial customs and usage...
original jurisdiction
n. the authority of a court to hold a trial, as distinguished fro...
ostensible agent
n. a person who has been given the appearance of being an employe...
ostensible authority
n. apparent authority to do something or represent another person...
ouster
n. 1) the wrongful dispossession (putting out) of a rightful owne...
out-of-pocket expenses
n. moneys paid directly for necessary items by a contractor, trus...
ownership
n. legal title coupled with exclusive legal right to possession. ...
pain and suffering
n. the physical and mental distress suffered from an injury, incl...
parens patriae
(paa-rens pat-tree-eye) n. Latin for "father of his country," the...
parish
n. 1) a geographic area served by a church (particularly Catholic...
partial disability
n. the result of an injury which permanently reduces a person's a...
partnership
n. a business enterprise entered into for profit which is owned b...
party of the first part
n. reference in a written contract to identify one of the people ...
party of the second part
n. a reference to a party to a written contract, as distinguished...
passenger
n. a rider who has paid a fare on a train, bus, airline, taxi, sh...
passion
n.
passive
adj. referring to being inactive. A "passive trustee" is one who ...
paternity suit
n. a lawsuit, usually by a mother, to prove that a named person i...
payment in due course
n. the giving of funds to the holder of a promissory note or bill...
peaceable possession
n. in real estate, holding property without any adverse claim to ...
pendent jurisdiction
n. in federal procedure, the policy that allows a federal court t...
per se
(purr say) adj. Latin for "by itself," meaning inherently. Thus, ...
per stirpes
(purr stir-peas) adj. Latin for "by roots," by representation. Th...
permanent disability
n. an injury which impairs the physical and/or mental ability of ...
permissive
adj. 1) referring to any act which is allowed by court order, leg...
person
n. 1) a human being. 2) a corporation treated as having the right...
personal effects
n. things which include clothes, cosmetics and items of adornment...
personal property
n. same as "personalty."
personal service
n. delivering a summons, complaint, notice to quit tenancy or oth...
personal services
n. in contract law, the talents of a person which are unusual, sp...
personalty
n. movable assets (things, including animals) which are not real ...
physician-patient privilege
n. the right and obligation of a physician to refuse to testify i...
pink slip
n. 1) slang for official automobile registration certificate, due...
plagiarism
n. taking the writings or literary concepts (a plot, characters, ...
plaintiff's attorney
n. the attorney who represents a plaintiff (the suing party) in a...
police powers
n. from the 10th Amendment to the Constitution, which reserves to...
political question
n. the determination by a court (particularly the Supreme Court) ...
positive law
n. statutory man-made law, as compared to "natural law," which is...
posse comitatus
(pahs-see coh-mitt-tah-tus) n. from Latin for "possible force," t...
possess
v. to own, have title to, occupy, physically hold or have under e...
possession
n. 1) any article, object, asset or property which one owns, occu...
possession of stolen goods
n. the crime of possession of goods which one knows or which any ...
possessory interest
n. in real estate, the intent and right of a person to occupy and...
possibility of a reverter
n. the potential that the title to a real property interest will ...
post
v. 1) to place a notice on the entrance or a prominent place on r...
post mortem
n. Latin for "after death," an examination of a dead body to dete...
postdated check
n. a check delivered now with a written date in the future, so th...
predecease
v. to die before someone else, as "if my brother, Harry, should p...
preferred stock
n. a class of shares of stock in a corporation which gives the ho...
premises
n. 1) in real estate, land and the improvements on it, a building...
prescription
n. the method of acquiring an easement upon another's real proper...
prescriptive easement
n. an easement upon another's real property acquired by continued...
presentment
n. 1) making a demand for payment of a promissory note when it is...
presiding judge
n. 1) in both state and federal appeals court, the judge who chai...
presumption
n. a rule of law which permits a court to assume a fact is true u...
presumption of innocence
n. a fundamental protection for a person accused of a crime, whic...
pretrial discovery
n.
prima facie case
n. a plaintiff's lawsuit or a criminal charge which appears at fi...
prime suspect
n. the one person law enforcement officers believe most probably ...
principal place of business
n. location of head office of a business where the books and reco...
prior restraint
n. an attempt to prevent publication or broadcast of any statemen...
prior(s)
n. slang for a criminal defendant's previous record of criminal c...
private nuisance
n. the interference with an individual's peaceful enjoyment of on...
private parts
n. men's or women's genitalia, excluding a woman's breasts, usual...
privilege against self incrimina-tion
n. a right to refuse to testify against oneself in a criminal pro...
privileges and immunities
n. the fundamental rights that people enjoy in free governments, ...
pro se
(proh say) prep. Latin for "for himself." A party to a lawsuit wh...
probable cause
n. sufficient reason based upon known facts to believe a crime ha...
probative facts
n. evidence which tends to prove something which is relative to t...
process
n. in law, the legal means by which a person is required to appea...
process server
n. a person who serves (delivers) legal papers in lawsuits, eithe...
professional corporation
n. a corporation formed for the purpose of conducting a professio...
professional negligence
n.
promise
1) n. a firm agreement to perform an act, refrain from acting or ...
promissory estoppel
n. a false statement treated as a promise by a court when the lis...
promissory note
n. a written promise by a person (variously called maker, obligor...
promotional stock
n. stock issued in a newly formed corporation and given to a prom...
propria persona
adj. from Latin, for oneself.
proprietary interest
n. a total or partial ownership.
proprietary rights
n. those rights which go with ownership of real property or a bus...
prosecute
v. 1) in criminal law, to charge a person with a crime and therea...
prosecution
n. 1) in criminal law, the government attorney charging and tryin...
prosecutor
n. generic term for the government's attorney in a criminal case,...
prospectus
n. a detailed statement by a corporation required when there is a...
prostitute
n. a person who receives payment for sexual intercourse or other ...
prostitution
n. the profession of performing sexual acts for money. Prostituti...
protective custody
n. the act of law enforcement officials in placing a person in a ...
protest
1) v. to complain in some public way about any act already done o...
provisional remedy
n. a generic term for any temporary order of a court to protect a...
proviso
n. a term or condition in a contract or title document.
proximate cause
n. a happening which results in an event, particularly injury due...
public administrator
n. a county official with the responsibility to handle the affair...
public easement
n. the right of the general public to use certain streets, highwa...
public nuisance
n. a nuisance which affects numerous members of the public or the...
public trust doctrine
n. the principle that the government holds title to submerged lan...
public use
n. the only purpose for which private property can be taken (cond...
publish
v. to make public to at least one other person by any means.
punitive damages
n. (synony- mous with exemplary damages), damages awarded in a la...
quash
v. to annul or set aside. In law, a motion to quash asks the judg...
quasi
: (kway-zeye, kwah-zee) adj., adv. from Latin for "as if," almost...
quasi community property
n. in community property states, property acquired by a couple wh...
quasi contract
n. a situation in which there is an obligation as if there was a ...
quasi corporation
n. a business which has operated as a corporation without complet...
quasi in rem
adj. referring to a legal action which is primarily based on prop...
quasi-criminal
adj. a reference to a court's right to punish for actions or omis...
quasi-judicial
adj., adv. referring to the actions of an agency, boards or other...
Queen's Bench
n. 1) the highest court in Great Britain during the reign of a Qu...
question of fact
n. in a lawsuit or criminal prosecution, an issue of fact in whic...
question of law
n. an issue arising in a lawsuit or criminal prosecution which on...
race to the courthouse
n. slang for the rule that the first deed, deed of trust, mortgag...
Racketeer Influenced Corrupt Organization (RICO) statue
n. a federal law which makes it a crime for organized criminal co...
ransom
1) n. money paid to a kidnapper in demand for the release of the ...
rational basis
n. a test of constitutionality of a statute, asking whether the l...
real estate
n. land, improvements and buildings thereon, including attached i...
real estate investment trust
n. nicknamed REIT, a real estate investment organization which fi...
real party in interest
n. the person or entity who will benefit from a lawsuit or petiti...
reasonable
adj., adv. in law, just, rational, appropriate, ordinary or usual...
reasonable care
n. the degree of caution and concern for the safety of himself/he...
reasonable doubt
n. not being sure of a criminal defendant's guilt to a moral cert...
reasonable reliance
n. particularly in contracts, what a prudent person would believe...
reasonable speed
n. the speed of an automobile determined to be lower than the pos...
reasonable time
n. in contracts, common custom in the business or under the circu...
reasonable wear and tear
n. commonly used in leases to limit the tenant's responsibility (...
rebuttable presumption
n. since a presumption is an assumption of fact accepted by the c...
receivership
n. the process of appointment by a court of a receiver to take cu...
recess
n. a break in a trial or other court proceedings or a legislative...
recidivist
n. a repeat criminal offender, convicted of a crime after having ...
reciprocal discovery
n. the exchange of documents, lists of witnesses, and other infor...
reckless
adj. in both negligence and criminal cases, careless to the point...
reckless disregard
n. gross negligence without concern for danger to others. Actuall...
reckless driving
n. operation of an automobile in a dangerous manner under the cir...
recording acts
n. the statutes of each state which established the keeping of of...
records
n. in business, particularly corporations, all the written busine...
recourse
n. the right to demand payment to the writer of a check or bill o...
recusal
n. the act of a judge or prosecutor being removed or voluntarily ...
recuse
v. to refuse to be a judge (or for a judge to agree to a request ...
refresh one's memory
v. to use a document, exhibit or previous testimony in order to h...
register
n. in corporations, the record of shareholders, and issuance and ...
registration statement
n. a detailed report to be filed with the Securities and Exchange...
registry of deeds
n. the records of land title documents kept by the County Recorde...
regulations
n. rules and administrative codes issued by governmental agencies...
release
1) v. to give up a right as releasing one from his/her obligation...
release on one's own recognizance
v. for a judge to allow a criminal defendant pre-trial freedom wi...
remise
v. to give up something, sometimes used in quitclaim deeds.
reports
n. the published decisions of appeals courts in all states and fe...
repossess
v. to take back property through judicial processes, foreclosure,...
represent
v. 1) to act as the agent for another. 2) to act as a client's at...
representation
n. 1) the act of being another's agent. 2) acting as an attorney ...
representative
1) n. an agent. 2) n. in probate law, a generic term for an execu...
request
1) v. to ask or demand a judge to act (such as issuing a writ) or...
requirements contract
n. a contract between a supplier (or manufacturer) and a buyer, i...
res
(rayz)n. Latin, "thing." In law lingo res is used in conjunction ...
res adjudicata
n. a thing (legal matter) already determined by a court, from Lat...
res gestae
(rayz jest-tie) n. from Latin for "things done," it means all cir...
res ipsa loquitur
(rayz ip-sah loh-quit-her) n. Latin for "the thing speaks for its...
res judicata
: (rayz judy-cot-ah) n. Latin for "the thing has been judged," me...
resale
n. selling again, particularly at retail. 2) adj. referring to sa...
rescind
v. to cancel a contract, putting the parties back to the position...
rescission
n. the cancellation of a contract by mutual agreement of the part...
rescue doctrine
n. the rule of law that if a rescuer of a person hurt or put in p...
reservation
n. a provision in a deed which keeps (reserves) to the grantor so...
reserve
v. to keep for oneself a right or a portion of the real property ...
reserve fund
n. a fund of money created to take care of maintenance, repairs o...
residence
n. 1) the place where one makes his/her home. However, a person m...
resident
n. a person who lives in a particular place. However, the term is...
residuary bequest
n. in a will, the gift of whatever is left (the residue) after sp...
residue
n. in a will, the assets of the estate of a person who has died w...
resisting arrest
n. the crime of using physical force (no matter how slight in the...
resolution
n. a determination of policy of a corporation by the vote of its ...
respondeat superior
(rehs-pond-dee-at superior) n. Latin for "let the master answer,"...
respondent
n. 1) the party who is required to answer a petition for a court ...
responsible
adj. 1) legally liable or accountable. 2) having the ability to p...
Restatement of the Law
n. a series of detailed statements of the basic law in the United...
restitution
n. 1) returning to the proper owner property or the monetary valu...
restraining order
n. a temporary order of a court to keep conditions as they are (l...
restraint of trade
n. in antitrust law, any activity (including agreements among com...
restraint on alienation
n. an attempt in a deed or will to prevent the sale or other tran...
restriction
n. any limitation on activity, by statute, regulation or contract...
restrictive covenant
n. 1) an agreement included in a deed to real property that the b...
restrictive endorsement
n. an endorsement signed on the back of a check, note or bill of ...
result
n. common lawyer lingo for outcome of a lawsuit.
resulting trust
n. a trust implied by law (as determined by a court) that a perso...
return of service
n. written confirmation under oath by a process server declaring ...
reversal
n. the decision of a court of appeal ruling that the judgment of ...
reversible error
n. a legal mistake at the trial court level which is so significa...
reversion
n. in real property, the return to the grantor or his/her heirs o...
rights
n. 1) plural of right, which is the collection of entitlements wh...
riparian rights
n. the right of the owner of the land forming the bank of a river...
risk
n. chances of danger or loss, particularly of property covered by...
risk of loss
n. the responsibility a carrier, borrower or user of property or ...
roadside test
n. a preliminary test law enforcement officers use on a suspected...
rogatory letters
n. a written request by a judge to a judge in another state askin...
rule against perpetuities
n. the legal prohibition against tying up property so that it can...
rules of court
n. a set of procedural regulations adopted by courts which are ma...
said
adj. a reference back to a thing that was previously mentioned or...
sale
n. transfer of something (and title to it) in return for money (o...
salvage
1) v. to save goods. 2) n. payment to a person or group which sav...
sanction
n. 1) a financial penalty imposed by a judge on a party or attorn...
satisfaction
n. receiving payment or performance of what is due.
satisfaction of judgment
n. a document signed by a judgment creditor (the party owed the m...
satisfaction of mortgage
n. a document signed by a lender acknowledging that a mortgage ha...
save harmless
v. 1) also called hold harmless, to indemnify (protect) another f...
savings and loan
n. a banking and lending institution, chartered either by a state...
scienter
n. Latin for "having knowledge." In criminal law, it refers to kn...
scintilla
n. Latin for "spark." Scintilla is commonly used in reference to ...
scope of employment
n. actions of an employee which further the business of the emplo...
scrivener
n. a person who writes a document for another, usually for a fee....
seal
n. a device which creates an impression upon paper or melted wax,...
sealed verdict
n. the decision of a jury when there is a delay in announcing the...
sealing of records
n. trial records and decisions which a judge orders kept secret. ...
search
v. 1) to examine another's premises (including a vehicle) to look...
search and seizure
n. examination of a person's premises (residence, business or veh...
search warrant
n. a written order by a judge which permits a law enforcement off...
second degree murder
n. a non-premeditated killing, resulting from an assault in which...
secondary boycott
n. an organized refusal to purchase the products of, do business ...
secret rebate
n. a kickback of money by a business to a "preferred" customer, n...
secured transaction
n. any loan or credit in which property is pledged as security in...
securities
n. generic term for shares of stock, bonds and debentures issued ...
security deposit
n. a payment required by a landlord from a tenant to cover the ex...
security interest
n. generic term for the property rights of a lender or creditor w...
sedition
n. the federal crime of advocacy of insurrection against the gove...
seduction
n. the use of charm, salesmanship, promises, gifts and flattery t...
seisin
(sees-in) n. an old feudal term for having both possession and ti...
seized
(seised) n. 1) having ownership, commonly used in wills as "I giv...
seizure
n. the taking by law enforcement officers of potential evidence i...
self-dealing
n. in the stock market, using secret "inside" information gained ...
self-defense
n. the use of reasonable force to protect oneself or members of t...
self-executing
adj. immediately effective without further action, legislation or...
self-help
n. 1) obtaining relief or enforcing one's rights without resortin...
self-incrimination
n. making statements or producing evidence which tends to prove t...
self-serving
adj. referring to a question asked of a party to a lawsuit or a s...
sell
v. to transfer possession and ownership of goods or other propert...
seller
n. one who sells goods or other property to a buyer (purchaser).
senior lien
n. the first security interest (lien or claim) placed upon proper...
sentence
1) n. the punishment given to a person convicted of a crime. A se...
separate property
n. in community property states (California, Texas, Arizona, Idah...
separation
n. married persons living apart, either informally by one leaving...
separation agreement
n. an agreement between two married people who have agreed to liv...
sequester
v. to keep separate or apart. In so-called "high-profile" crimina...
sequestration
n. the act of a judge issuing an order that a jury or witness be ...
seriatim
(sear-ee-ah-tim) prep. Latin for "one after another" as in a seri...
servant
n. an employee of an employer, technically one who works for a ma...
service
n. 1) paid work by another person, either by contract or as an em...
service by FAX
n. delivery of legal documents required by statute to be "served"...
service by mail
n. mailing legal pleadings to opposing attorneys or parties, whil...
service by publication
n. serving a summons or other legal document in a lawsuit on a de...
service of process
n. the delivery of copies of legal documents such as summons, com...
services
n. work performed for pay.
servient estate
n. real property which has an easement or other use imposed upon ...
session
n. 1) a meeting (or "sitting") of a court for a particular period...
set
v. to schedule, as to "set a case for trial."
set aside
v. to annul or negate a court order or judgment by another court ...
setoff
(offset) n. a claim by a defendant in a lawsuit that the plaintif...
setting
n. the action of a court, clerk or commissioner in scheduling a t...
settle
v. to resolve a lawsuit without a final court judgment by negotia...
settlement
n. the resolution of a lawsuit (or of a legal dispute prior to fi...
settlor
n. the person who creates a trust by a written trust declaration,...
severable contract
n. an agreement which is made up of several separate contracts be...
several liability
n. referring to responsibility of one party for the entire debt (...
severance
n. 1) a separating by court order, such as separate trials for cr...
sex offender
n. generic term for all persons convicted of crimes involving sex...
sexual harassment
n. unwanted sexual approaches (including touching, feeling, gropi...
shall
v. 1) an imperative command as in "you shall not kill." 2) in som...
share
n. 1) a portion of a benefit from a trust, estate, claim or busin...
share and share alike
adj. referring to the equal division of a benefit from an estate,...
shareholder
n. the owner of one or more shares of stock in a corporation, com...
shareholders' agreement
n. an employment agreement among the shareholders of a small corp...
shareholders' derivative action
n. a lawsuit by a corporation's shareholders, theoretically on be...
shareholders' meeting
n. a meeting, usually annual, of all shareholders of a corporatio...
sharp practice
n. actions by a lawyer using misleading statements to opposing co...
Shepardize
n. a method of locating reports of appeals decisions based on pri...
sheriff
n. the top law enforcement officer for a county, usually elected ...
sheriff's sale
n. an auction sale of property held by the sheriff pursuant to a ...
shield laws
n. statutes enacted in some states which declare that communicati...
shifting the burden of proof
n. the result of the plaintiff in a lawsuit meeting its burden of...
short cause
n. a lawsuit which is estimated by the parties (usually their att...
shortening time
n. an order of the court in response to the motion of a party to ...
show cause order
n. an order of the court, also called an order to show cause or O...
sidebar
n. 1) physically, an area in front of or next to the judge's benc...
sign
v. 1) to write one's signature on a document, including an "X" by...
silent partner
n. a non-legal term for an investor who puts money into a busines...
similarly situated
adj. with the same problems and circumstances, referring to the p...
simple trust
n. a trust which requires that all income be distributed each yea...
simultaneous death act
n. a statute in effect in most states which provides that if a hu...
sine qua non
(see-nay kwah nahn) prep. Latin for "without which it could not b...
situs
n. Latin for "location," be it where the crime or accident took p...
slander
n. oral defamation, in which someone tells one or more persons an...
small claims court
n. a division of most municipal, city or other lowest local court...
sodomy
n. anal copulation by a man inserting his penis in the anus eithe...
sole proprietorship
n. a business owned by one person, as distinguished from a partne...
solicitation
n. the crime of encouraging or inducing another to commit a crime...
solicitor
n. an English attorney who may perform all legal services except ...
Solicitor General
n. the chief trial attorney in the federal Department of Justice ...
solitary confinement
n. the placement of a prisoner in a federal or state prison in a ...
solvency
n. 1) having sufficient funds or other assets to pay debts. 2) ha...
sound mind and memory
n. having an understanding of one's actions and reasonable knowle...
sounds in
adj. referring to the underlying legal basis for a lawsuit or one...
speaking demurrer
n. an attempt to introduce evidence during a hearing on a demurre...
special
adj. referring to a particular purpose, person or happening. In l...
special administrator
n. a person appointed by the court in a probate proceeding (manag...
special appearance
n. the representation by an attorney of a person in court for: a)...
special circumstances
n. in criminal cases, particularly homicides, actions of the accu...
special damages
n. damages claimed and/or awarded in a lawsuit which were out-of-...
special master
n. a person appointed by the court to carry out an order of the c...
special prosecutor
n. an attorney from outside of the government selected by the Att...
special verdict
n. the jury's decisions or findings of fact with the application ...
specific bequest
n. the gift in a will of a certain article to a certain person or...
specific devise
n. the gift in a will of a certain piece of real estate to a cert...
specific finding
n. a decision on a fact made by a jury in its verdict and which t...
specific legacy
n. a gift in a will of a certain article or property to a certain...
specific performance
n. the right of a party to a contract to demand that the defendan...
speculative damages
n. possible financial loss or expenses claimed by a plaintiff (pe...
speedy trial
n. in criminal prosecutions, the right of a defendant to demand a...
spendthrift clause
n. a provision in a trust or will that states that if a prospecti...
spontaneous exclamation
n. a sudden statement caused by the speaker having seen a surpris...
spot zoning
n. a provision in a general plan which benefits a single parcel o...
spousal support
n. payment for support of an ex-spouse (or a spouse while a divor...
springing interest
n. a future right to title to real property created by a deed or ...
stakeholder
n. a person having in his/her possession (holding) money or prope...
standard of care
n. the watchfulness, attention, caution and prudence that a reaso...
standing
n. the right to file a lawsuit or file a petition under the circu...
star chamber proceedings
n. any judicial or quasi-judicial action, trial or hearing which ...
stare decisis
: (stah-ree duh-sigh-sis) n. Latin for "to stand by a decision," ...
state
n. 1) the federal or state government and any of its departments,...
state action
n. in federal Civil Rights Acts, dating back to 1875, any activit...
state of domicile
n. the state in which a person has his/her permanent residence or...
status conference
n. a pre-trial meeting of attorneys before a judge required under...
statute
n. a federal or state written law enacted by the Congress or stat...
statute of frauds
n. law in every state which requires that certain documents be in...
statute of limitations
n. a law which sets the maximum period which one can wait before ...
statutory offer of settlement
n. a written offer of a specific sum of money made by a defendant...
statutory rape
n. sexual intercourse with a female below the legal age of consen...
stay
n. a court-ordered short-term delay in judicial proceedings to gi...
stay away order
n. a court order that a person may not come near and/or contact a...
stay of execution
n. a court-ordered delay in inflicting the death penalty.
stipulation
n. an agreement, usually on a procedural matter, between the atto...
stock
1) n. inventory (goods) of a business meant for sale (as distingu...
stock certificate
n. printed document which states the name, incorporation state, d...
stock in trade
n. the inventory of merchandise held for sale.
stock option
n. the right to purchase stock in the future at a price set at th...
stockholder
n. shareholder in a corporation.
stockholders' derivative action
n.
stop and frisk
n. a law enforcement officer's search for a weapon confined to a ...
straw man
n. 1) a person to whom title to property or a business interest i...
street
n. a roadway in an urban area, owned and maintained by the munici...
strict construction
(narrow construction) n. interpreting the Constitution based on a...
strict liability
n. automatic responsibility (without having to prove negligence) ...
strike
1) v. to remove a statement from the record of the court proceedi...
structure
n. anything built by man/woman, from a shed to a highrise or a br...
sua sponte
: (sooh-uh spahn-tay) adj. Latin for "of one's own will," meaning...
subchapter S corporation
n. the choice by a small corporation to be treated under "subchap...
subcontractor
n. a person or business which has a contract (as an "independent ...
subject to
adj. referring to the acquisition of title to real property upon ...
sublease
n. the lease to another of all or a portion of premises by a tena...
submitted
n. the conclusion of all evidence and argument in a hearing or tr...
subordination
n. allowing a debt or claim which has priority to take second pos...
subordination agreement
n. a written contract in which a lender who has secured a loan by...
subornation of perjury
n. the crime of encouraging, inducing or assisting another in the...
subpena
(subpoena): (suh-pea-nah) n. an order of the court for a witness ...
subpena duces tecum
: (suh-pea-nah dooh-chess-take-uhm or dooh-kess-take-uhm): a cour...
subpoena
n. the original spelling of subpena, still commonly used.
subrogation
n. assuming the legal rights of a person for whom expenses or a d...
subrogee
n. the person or entity that assumes the legal right to attempt t...
subrogor
n. a person or entity that transfers his/her/its legal right to c...
subscribe
v. 1) to sign at the end of a document. The courts have been flex...
substantial performance
n. in the law of contracts, fulfillment of the obligations agreed...
substantive law
n. law which establishes principles and creates and defines right...
substitute in
v. to take over a case from another lawyer, which must be confirm...
substituted service
n. accomplishing service (delivery) of legal documents required t...
substitution
n. putting one person in place of another, in particular replacem...
substitution of attorney
n. a document in which the party to a lawsuit states that his/her...
succession
n. the statutory rules of inheritance of a dead person's estate w...
successive sentences
n. in criminal law, the imposition of the penalty for each of sev...
suffering
n. the pain, hurt, inconvenience, embarrassment and/or inability ...
sui generis
(sooh-ee jen-ur-iss) n. Latin for "one of a kind," unique.
suicide
n. the intentional killing of oneself. Ironically, in most states...
suit
n. generic term for any filing of a complaint (or petition) askin...
sum certain
n. a specific amount stated in a contract or negotiable instrumen...
summary adjudication of issues
n. a court order ruling that certain factual issues are already d...
summary judgment
n. a court order ruling that no factual issues remain to be tried...
summation
n. the final argument of an attorney at the close of a trial in w...
summons
n. a document issued by the court at the time a lawsuit is filed,...
Superior Court
n. the name used in 16 states for the basic county trial court.
supersedeas
(sooh-purr-said-ee-uhs) Latin for "you shall desist," an order (w...
superseding cause
n. the same as an "intervening cause" or "supervening cause," whi...
supplemental
adj. referring to anything that is added to complete something, p...
suppression of evidence
n. 1) a judge's determination not to allow evidence to be admitte...
supra
(sooh-prah) Latin for "above," in legal briefs and decisions it r...
supremacy clause
n. Article VI, section 2 of the U.S. Constitution, which reads: "...
Supreme Court
n. 1) the highest court in the United States, which has the ultim...
surcharge
n. an additional charge of money made because it was omitted in t...
surety
n. a guarantor of payment or performance if another fails to pay ...
surplusage
n. a term used in analyzing legal documents and pleadings to refe...
surrebutal
n. in written or oral legal argument, the response to the other p...
surrender
v. 1) to turn over possession of real property, either voluntaril...
surrogate
n. 1) a person acting on behalf of another or a substitute, inclu...
surrogate court
n. a court in a few states (including New York) with jurisdiction...
survivor
n. a person who outlives another, as in "to my sons, Arnold and Z...
survivorship
n. the right to receive full title or ownership due to having sur...
suspended sentence
n. in criminal law, a penalty applied by a judge to a defendant c...
sustain
v. in trial practice, for a judge to agree that an attorney's obj...
swear
v. 1) to declare under oath that one will tell the truth (sometim...
swindle
v. to cheat through trick, device, false statements or other frau...
syndicate
n. a joint venture among individuals and/or corporations to accom...
tax costs
n. a motion to contest a claim for court costs submitted by a pre...
tax evasion
n. intentional and fraudulent attempt to escape payment of taxes ...
tax sale
n. an auction sale of a taxpayer's property conducted by the fede...
temporary insanity
n. in a criminal prosecution, a defense by the accused that he/sh...
tenancy at sufferance
n. a "hold-over" tenancy after a lease has expired but before the...
tentative trust
n. a bank account deposited in the name of the depositor "in trus...
testacy
n. dying with a will (a testament). It is compared to "intestacy,...
testamentary
adj. pertaining to a will.
testamentary capacity
n. having the mental competency to execute a will at the time the...
testamentary disposition
n. how the terms of a will divide the testator's (will writer's) ...
testamentary trust
n. a trust created by the terms of a will. Example: "The residue ...
testator
n. a person who has written a will which is in effect at the time...
testatrix
n. female form of testator, although distinguishing between gende...
testify
v. to give oral evidence under oath in answer to questions posed ...
testimony
n. oral evidence given under oath by a witness in answer to quest...
three strikes, you're out
n. recent (beginning 1994) legislation enacted in several states ...
tide lands
n. land between the high and low tides, which is uncovered each d...
time is of the essence
n. a phrase often used in contracts which in effect says: the spe...
time served
n. the period a criminal defendant has been in jail, often while ...
title abstract
n. a history of the chain of title.
title insurance
n. a policy issued by an insurance company guaranteeing that the ...
title search
n. the examination of county records for the property's title his...
tools of trade
n. in bankruptcy law, the equipment a person requires in order to...
tort claims act
n. a federal or state act which, under certain conditions, waives...
tortfeasor
n. a person who commits a tort (civil wrong), either intentionall...
tortious
adj. referring to an act which is a tort (civil wrong).
trade secret
n. a process, method, plan, formula or other information unique t...
transcript
n. the written record of all proceedings, including testimony, in...
transfer
n. 1) the movement of property from one person or entity to anoth...
transfer agent
n. a person or company retained by a corporation to process trans...
transfer in contemplation of death
n. giving property under the belief of the giver that he/she is a...
transferred intent
n. in both criminal and tort (civil wrong) law, when an intent to...
treason
n. the crime of betraying one's country, defined in Article III, ...
treasury bill
n. a promissory note issued in multiples of $10,000 by the U.S. T...
treasury bond
n. a long-term bond issued by the U.S. Treasury.
treasury note
n. a promissory note issued by the U.S. Treasury, for a period of...
treasury stock
n. stock of a private corporation which was issued and then bough...
treble damages
n. tripling damages allowed by state statute in certain types of ...
trespass
n. entering another person's property without permission of the o...
triple net lease
n. a lease in which the lessee's (tenant's) rent includes a share...
trust
n. an entity created to hold assets for the benefit of certain pe...
trust deed
n. another name for a deed of trust, a form of mortgage used in s...
trust fund
n. the principal (called the corpus) of a trust, made up of its a...
trustee
n. a person or entity who holds the assets (corpus) of a trustee ...
trustee in bankruptcy
n. a person appointed by a bankruptcy court to supervise the affa...
trustor
n. the creator of a trust (who normally places the original asset...
turn states' evidence
v. for a person accused of a crime to decide to give the prosecut...
Twinkie defense
n. a claim by a criminal defendant that at the time of the crime ...
ultra vires
(uhl-trah veye-rehz) adj. Latin for "beyond powers," in the law o...
ultrahazardous activity
n. an action or process which is so inherently dangerous that the...
unclean hands
n. a legal doctrine which is a defense to a complaint, which stat...
unconscionable
adj. referring to a contract or bargain which is so unfair to a p...
unconstitutional
adj. referring to a statute, governmental conduct, court decision...
undisclosed principal
n. a person who uses an agent for his/her negotiations with a thi...
undivided interest
n. title to real property held by two or more persons without spe...
unified estate and gift tax
n. in federal estate taxes, the value of the estate plus gifts up...
uninsured motorist clause
n. the clause in a policy of insurance on an automobile which pro...
unissued stock
n. a corporation's shares of stock which are authorized by its ar...
unjust enrichment
n. a benefit by chance, mistake or another's misfortune for which...
unlawful assembly
n. the act of assembling for the purpose of starting a riot or br...
unreasonable search and seizure
n. search of an individual or his/her premises (including an auto...
use
n. the right to enjoy the benefits of real property or personal p...
use tax
n. a state tax on goods purchased in another state for use in the...
usurious
adj. referring to the interest on a debt which exceeds the maximu...
usury
n. a rate of interest on a debt which is exorbitant and in excess...
valuable consideration
n. a necessary element of a contract, which confers a benefit on ...
vehicular manslaughter
n. the crime of causing the death of a human being due to illegal...
vest
v. to give an absolute right to title or ownership, including rea...
vested
adj. referring to having an absolute right or title, when previou...
vested remainder
n. the absolute right to receive title after a presently existing...
vexatious litigation
n. filing a lawsuit with the knowledge that it has no legal basis...
vicarious liability
n. sometimes called "imputed liability," attachment of responsibi...
void for vagueness
adj. referring to a statute defining a crime which is so vague th...
voting trust
n. a trust which solicits vote proxies of shareholders of a corpo...
waste
n. 1) any damage to real property by a tenant which lessens its v...
watered stock
n. shares of stock of a corporation which have been issued at a p...
wet reckless
n. a plea to a charge of reckless driving which was "alcohol rela...
whiplash
n. a common neck and/or back injury suffered in automobile accide...
widow's election
n. the choice a widow makes between accepting what her husband le...
will contest
n. a lawsuit challenging the validity of a will and/or its terms....
witness
1) n. a person who testifies under oath in a trial (or a depositi...
witness stand
n. a chair at the end of the judge's bench on the jury box side, ...
words of art
n. 1) specialized language with meaning peculiar to a particular ...
Workers' Compensation Acts
n. state statutes which establish liability of employers for inju...
Workmen's Compensation
n. a former name for worker's compensation before the unisex titl...
writ of coram nobis
: (writ of core-uhm noh-bis) n. from Latin for "in our presence,"...
youthful offenders
n. under-age people accused of crimes who are processed through a...

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The People's Law Dictionary by Gerald and Kathleen Hill Publisher Fine Communications

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