|adversarial system ||a system of justice involving conflicting parties where the role of the judge is to remain neutral|
|defendent ||A person charged with a crime or against whom a civil action has been filed.|
|due process of law ||Procedural and substantive rights of citizens against government actions
that threaten the denial of life, liberty or property.
|federalism ||The constitutional distribution of government power and responsibility between the
national government and the states.
|lex talionis ||The ancient law of retaliation.|
|natural law ||Principles of human conduct believed to be ordained by God or nature, existing
prior to and superseding human law.
|plaintiff ||The party who started a legal proceeding|
|positive law ||The written law enforced by government.|
|rule of law ||The idea that law, not the discretion of officials, should govern public affairs.|
|stare decisis ||The principle that past decisions should stand as precedents for future decisions:
“To stand by decided matters.”
|united states constitution ||The fundamental law of the United States of America setting forth
the structure and powers of government and the rights of the people.
|alternative dispute resolution ||Any method of resolving disputes without judicial adjudication.|
|appellate jurisdiction ||The authority of a court of law to hear an appeal or otherwise review a
decision made by a lower court.
|arbitration ||Method of settling a dispute between parties involving a referee or panel of referees
who decide the matter on the merits after presentations by the disputants.
|diversity of citizenship jurisdiction ||The authority of federal courts to hear cases in which the
parties are citizens of different states and the amount in controversy exceeds $75,000.
|federal question jurisdiction ||The authority of federal courts to decide issues of national law.|
|jurisdiction (generally) ||The power or authority of a court, or tribunal, to hear and decide certain
types of cases between parties of a specific geographical region.
|legislature ||An elected lawmaking body, Congress at the federal level and one for each state
|mediation ||A non-adversarial process of dispute typically by a neutral party
assists in the resolution without providing the resolution. Parties are fully informed, explore their issues and settlement alternatives, and craft a mutually acceptable resolution.
|negotiation ||Method of settling a dispute between parties without a formal trial.
|affirmative action ||A broad term referring to a variety of efforts designed to assist women and
|bill of rights ||The first 10 amendments to the Constitution|
|checks and balances ||Governmental powers are given to different branches of the government|
|concurrent powers ||Powers are exercised jointly by the federal and state governments.|
|contract clause ||Constitutional provision that prohibits legislatures from passing laws that impair the obligation of contracts |
|enumerated powers ||Powers are specifically stated in the Constitution.|
|implied powers ||Powers necessary for a government to carry out its explicit duties.|
|preceden ||A judicial decision cited as authority controlling or influencing the outcome of a similar case. |
|prior restraint ||An official act preventing publication of a particular work.|
|standing ||The right to initiate a legal action or challenge based on the fact that one has suffered or is likely to suffer a real and substantial injury. |
|accessory to a crime ||A person who assisted with the crime but did not directly participate. |
|beyond a reasonable doubt ||The government’s burden of proof in a criminal case|
|exclusionary rule ||Prohibits use of illegally obtained evidence in a criminal prosecution.|
|fruit of the poisonous tree doctrine ||Evidence obtained from other inadmissible evidence is also excluded by the court. |
|inchoate offense ||A series of steps or activity directed toward the completion of a crime. |
|mens rea ||Criminal Intent|
|principal to a crime ||A person directly involved in committing a crime|
|probable cause ||Sufficient grounds, based upon known facts, to believe a crime has been committed. |
|search ||An intrusion by law enforcement or other government officials that affects an individual’s legally protected zone of privacy |
|seizure ||An action by the police when they take possession or control of property or persons|
|"but for" test ||One test used to find negligence.|
|comparative negligence ||Doctrine that allows a plaintiff to recover damages from a defendant in a negligence action even though the plaintiff’s own negligence contributed to the harm suffered by the plaintiff. |
|comparative negligence 2 ||However, the plaintiff’s damages are reduced based on the amount of the plaintiff’s own negligence. |
|contributory negligence ||A common law doctrine that provides that where a plaintiff’s own negligence contributed to the harm suffered by the plaintiff the plaintiff cannot recover damages against the defendant for that harm |
|intentional acts ||Acts committed purposely|
|intervening act ||An act, human or natural, that occurs after the original tort. The act can excuse the original tort unless it was foreseeable by the tortfeasor. |
|negligent acts or omissions ||Acts or omissions committed by a person who fails to act as a reasonably prudent person would act under identical circumstances. |
|proximate cause ||The cause that is nearest to a given effect. A cause and effect relationship. |
|reasonable person ||The hypothetical person referred to by courts as the objective standard for judging a person's acts or omissions giving rise to an action in tort. |
|Res ipsa loquitor ||the thing speaks for itself|
|tort ||A wrong or injury other than a breach of contract for which the remedy is a civil suit for damages. |
|acceptance ||When a party agrees to an offer.|
|bilateral contract ||A contract where two parties exchange promises|
|capacity ||The legal ability to enter into a contract|
|consideration ||The exchange of value in a contract|
|corporation ||An artificial entity created for business purposes|
|implied contract ||A contract between parties based on the actions or inactions of the parties. |
|offer ||A proposal to enter into a contract|
|partnership ||A business organization formed by two or more persons who share profits and losses. |
|Sole Proprietorship ||A business owned by only one person.|
|unilateral contract ||When one party makes a promise in exchange for an act or performance|
|appellate procedure ||The rules followed by appellate courts.|
|cause of action ||A right to bring suit based on someone’s breach of a legal duty.|
|civil procedure ||The rules used by civil courts.|
|damages ||Monetary compensation awarded by a court.|
|direct evidence ||Evidence that proves a fact without the need for inferences or presumptions|
|indirect evidence ||Inferences (presumptions) that tend to prove the existence of a particular fact or the assertion of that fact. Also know as circumstantial evidence. |
|opening statement ||Gives the jurors an outline of the case|
|peremptory challenge ||Excusing a potential juror without stating a reason.|
|rules of evidence ||Governs the exclusion and introduction of evidence in courts. |
|voir dire ||Selection of the jury|