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Legal Terms

Review for Legal Terms Final

TermDefinition
adjournment is a temporary postponement to a case
administrator the person appointed to oversee an estate in the event that no will is written
affidavit a sworn written statement
alimony is the money paid by one spouse to another following a divorce
annulment is a legal decree stating that a marriage was not valid
appeal a request to a higher court to overturn the judgment of a lower one
arbitration a method of amicable dispute resolution
arraignment the initial appearance before a judge in a criminal case
article of incorportation is a document filed with the state incorporating a limited liability company
award a decision, usually by an arbitrator, in favor of a plaintiff or defendant , as the case may be
bail money paid to the court to guarantee the defendant's attendance at court at a later date
bankruptcy a process governed by federal law where a person cannot pay bills when due and payable
beneficiary the person named as such in a will or insurance policy
board of directors a group of individuals who run a company of behalf of the shareholders
brief a legal document that sets out the legal arguments in a lawsuit
burden of proof is the duty, in law, to show, according to the facts, that the allegations to the lawsuit are either false or true
capital gain/loss the profit or loss, as the case may be, from the sale of an asset, such as your home
cause of action is the reason/grounds on which the legal action is being submitted/brought
certify to testify in writing
class action lawsuit is where two or more plaintiffs join together to bring a case against another
collateral is the security you agree to put down on a loan and which you will have to forfeit in the event that you cannot repay the loan
complaint is a civil law action that initiates a lawsuit
condition are circumstances which are essential to the ascertain of a right (i.e. collateral as a condition for a loan)
conflict of interest means that you have competing interests in something that would make it difficult or impossible for you to fulfill your duty impartially
consideration is the thing, usually money, which you pay, under a contract, in exchange, for getting something else
contract is a legal agreement entered into between two or more persons
costs the sum awarded to the successful party to a lawsuit
counsel legal representation, lawyer or attorney
creditor someone to whom you owe money
custodian person appointed to manage and disperse funds on behalf of a child - normally a court order person
damages money paid to someone who has suffered injury or loss as a result of an action by a third party
debtor someone who owes money to a creditor
decision the verdict of a court in a case
deed a written legal document describing a piece of property and setting out the boundaries of that property
default is the failure to do something required of you under contract - an obligation
defendant is the person who has charges to answer (criminal) or is being sued (civil)
deposition where a witness testifies under oath and you have a pretrial discovery to determine whether or not the deposition is in fact true
discovery the process, pre-trial, where each party to a case will ask for documentation and information relevant to their case
dismissal the termination of a case
double jeopardy is the process of being tried twice for the same crime/offense
easement a right given to one person to enter the property of another without having to ask permission each time
estate all of the property of a deceased person
evidence document, photo, etc that prove a claim as to facts
executor person named in a will to dispense the estate
fault this means that you are to blame for something
felony a crime the nature of which is serious enough for you to spend one or more years in jail
fine punishment imposed for an offense
foreclosure occurs when a borrower cannot repay their debts and the creditor sells the property
franchise a business relationship whereby the owner of a business licenses others to use the name of his business
good faith is to act honestly and without deception
grand jury group of civilians conven
heirs person entitled by law to inherit the estate of a deceased person
implied means to give the appearance
incompetency to lack legal qualifications or fitness to discharge a legal duty
injunction a court order requiring you to stop doing something
intestate means to die without having left a will
joint custody means that both parents have equal rights to a child following a divorce
joint and several liability means that you agree to be jointly and individual liable for a debt with another person
judgment the official decision given by a court
jurisdiction the court's authority to hear your case
jury group of twelve citizens charged with hearing your case
lease a legal agreement to lend/hire something to a third party
lemon laws laws that require manufactures to repair defective cars
liability a duty or obligation for which you're legally responsible
living will is a legal document that sets out a person's wishes should they become incapacitated
minor a person under the legal age of consent
motion a request made to a judge asking him to rule on an issue of law
natural person an individual - as opposed to a company or partnership
negligence a failure to use a degree of care
notary public person authorized to witness documents
oath to swear to tell the truth
order direction (written or oral) of a court
petition written application to the court asking the court to take action on a specific matter
plaintiff the person who starts a lawsuit
pleadings applies in civil cases and are the allegations made by each of the parties to the case
power of attorney legal document authorizing another to act on your behalf
probate the legal process where the court oversees the distribution of property under a will
proceedings the process of a lawsuit
promissory note a written document under which a person promises to pay another money on a given date and pursuant to specified terms set out
quid pro quo is a latin term which means you'll get something for having given something
real property means land and all things attached to the land
reasonable means a level that an ordinary person would be expected to have
reply a plaintiff's response to a defendant's answer
security agreement means a contract under which you agree to give security as collateral for the loan in the event that the loan is not repaid
settlement is an agreement or decision in a civil case
statute of limitations is the period prescribed by law within which you have to file a lawsuit, otherwise you forfeit your rights to begin an action
subpeona legal order compelling you to appear in court
summons a legal document notifying you that a lawsuit has been initiated against you and how and where you must answer the claim
testator person who makes a will
tort a civil wrong
trust property given to a trustee to manage on behalf of beneficiaries
trustee person charged with looking after property under trust
verdict formal decision by a jury/court on the facts of a case
witness a person who gives evidence in court under oath
worker's compensation paid to a worker who suffers a work related injury or illness
writ a judicial order
due process is a legal doctrine that a person's trial proceedings be fair
Created by: ndouvier