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NVRA study guide

abstract of title excerpts from the official records containing the essential information to show the chain of title to real estate and the facts of record that bear upon its marketability
ad hoc for only the particular case at hand
ad damnum the clause of a writ or declaration containing statement of damages claimed
adjudication the rendering of a decision; sometimes the decision itself
ad litem for the purposes of the suit
a fortiori with greater reason or more convincing force
aliunde from another source; from outside
allegation the claim of fact that a party makes in a pleading
allocution formality of court's inquiry of prisoner as to whether he/she has any legal cause to show why judgment should not be pronounced against him/her on verdict of conviction
amicus curiae friend of the court; one who volunteers information, with the court's permission, on matters of law
ancillary auxiliary, supplementary
annotations the case summaries which follow and construe the statutes printed in the commercially produced statute books. They are not official
answer the defendant's pleading which responds to the plaintiff's petition or complaint
ante listed prior in same index or material
appearance the act of submitting oneself to the court officially, usually by the attorney filing an appearance with the clerk
appellant the party seeking a change in a lower court's decision or administrative order by an appeal to a higher court
arraignment in criminal law, the formal hearing at which the defendant is called before the judge to plead to the charge
attachment a procedure whereby the plaintiff secures a lien against the property of the defendant to satisfy an obligation which may not yet be determined
attorney of record the attorney whose name appears in the official record as the lawyer representing the party
bail the process of taking some security to guarantee that an accused person will appear at a hearing or trial
bailiff the courtroom attendant who maintains order and facilitates the conduct of the trial
best evidence evidence from the most reliable source; an original as against a copy
bill of sale an instrument evidencing a transfer of personal property
brief the document that a lawyer files with the court arguing the law and facts in support of his/her case
burden of proof the duty that falls upon a party to prove a fact affirmatively
canon a system of correlated rules or standards
caption the heading on a pleading, containing name of court, county, parties, and the title of the document
causa mortis in contemplation of death
caveat warning
caveat emptor let the buyer beware
certiorari appellate review proceeding examining action of inferior court for further information; a writ of review or inquiry
chambers a judges office
change of venue moving a case from one county to another
chattel an item of personal property
chattel real an item of personal property so affixed to the real estate as to be considered a part thereof; a fixture
circumstantial evidence indirect evidence; evidence from which you can draw a conclusion, but it, itself, does not establish the fact
civil relating to private rights and remedies sought by suit, distinct from criminal proceedings
code compilation of all existing law in effect under a system of subjects in a particular jurisdiction
collusion secret cooperation for a fraudulent purpose
common law law evolving from ancient custom, from judicial decision and casual statutes, as contrasted with a concerted plan of statutory enactments
complainant the party making complain, thus instigating prosecution in a legal action
complaint the first document filed in a lawsuit by the plaintiff setting forth claim or case
condemnation the taking of private property for public use upon the payment of compensation
consideration in contract law, value given or received; can be money, services or property, or mutual performances; the factor that makes a contract binding
contempt of court acts which impede the court. It can be failure to carry out an order, or it can be disrespectful conduct
contingent fee the lawyer must win to get paid
contumacy stubborn resistance to authority
corpus delicti the body of the crime; that is, the physical object upon which the crime was committed
corroboration that which strengthens or confirms
costs the expenses of a trial or proceeding which may be charged to one or both of the parties. Usually does not include the attorney's fees
count a distinct statement of plaintiff's cause of action. A complaint or indictment may contain one or more counts
counterclaim the claim that a defendant may make against a plaintiff in the plaintiff's action against him
court of record court which is required to make a record of and preserve its proceedings
cross-examination interrogation of a party or a witness by the other side to test knowledge, observation, and credibility
d/b/a doing business as
damages the monetary redress which one seeks to recover from another
declaratory judgment one which simply declares the rights of parties or expresses opinion of the court on a question of law without ordering anything to be done.
decree a decision or order of a court
default a failure to take a required step within a specified time
defendant one against whom the action is brought
déjà vu already seen; the illusion of having previously experienced something actually encountered for the first time
de jure legitimate; lawful
de minimis insignificant; minute; frivolous
demurrer a plea for the dismissal of a lawsuit on the grounds that even if the statements of the opposition are true, they do not sustain the claim
de novo anew; starting over as though not done before
deposition taking testimony outside the courtroom before a court reporter with the other side present for purpose of cross examination. Testimony given under oath
dictum in a court's decision, the statement of a rule or principle of law with is not essential to the determination of the issues in a particular case but is used to explain the court's reasoning
digest a multi-volume collection of abbreviated case summaries arranged by subject matter. A research tool
directed verdict a verdict that the judge instructs the jury to return which it must do. Used when there are no factual issues for the jury to decide
direct evidence that offered by eyewitnesses as contrasted to circumstantial evidence from which conclusions are drawn
direct examination interrogation of one's own party or witnesses
discovery the pretrial process whereby one side seeks to discover facts known by the other side.
dismissal without prejudice dismissal without trial which permits party to bring another civil action for the same cause unless civil action is otherwise barred
dissent the opinion of a judge who does not agree with the majority of the court
dissolution termination
domicile the actual place that is home to the person
double jeopardy being prosecuted twice for the same crime
due process according a person all of the rights and privileges afforded by the law
e.g. for example; exempli gratia
easement a right of access onto, over, under, or across real property
emancipation freed of parental control although not yet having reached age of majority
embezzlement fraudulent use of money entrusted to one's care
eminent domain the power to take private property for public use though condemnation proceedings and compensation
en banc all of the judges of one court sitting together
enjoin usually to stop a person from doing some act by court order
equity as used in trial work, means a system of justice for causes of action not governed by specific statutes or law
equity as used in property or contract law, means the interest that person has in property he/she is mortgaging or buying
escrow held by a third party until an agreed event takes place
estate the total probate assets of a deceased person
et al and others
et seq and following
et ux and wife
exception a legal objection to ruling of court
exculpatory refers to evidence and/or statements which tend to clear, justify, or excuse a defendant from alleged fault or guilt
ex officio by virtue or because of an office
ex parte by or for one person, not adversary
ex relatione upon relation or information
ex rel on behalf of
extradition surrender of an alleged criminal by one state to another
false pretenses the crime of knowingly making untrue statements for the purpose of obtaining money or property
felony a serious crime established by statute; punishable by imprisonment
fiduciary a broad term for one who has a trust to perform; trustees, guardians, and agents are all fiduciaries
foreclosure action to take possession of mortgaged property and to collect for amounts still due and owing thereon when the conditions set forth in the mortgage have not been met
fraud intentional perversion of truth for purposes of persuading another to part with something of value
garnishes to take by legal authority
garnishment action compelling a third party to pay some of the defendant's money to the plaintiff
grand jury hears criminal accusations and holds for trial or refuses to indict
guardian one appointed by the court to be responsible for the person and/or property of another
guardian ad litem appointed to protect a minor defendant's interest during specific litigation
habeas corpus writ for the release of a prisoner
headnote the paragraphed material which precedes the opinion of the court describing the issues in a particular decision
heir one who inherits the property of another by operation of law rather than by will
hornbook law those principles of law which are known generally to all and are free from doubt and ambiguity
hostile witness witness who manifests so mush hostility or prejudice under examination in chief that the party who has called witness is allowed to cross examine him/her to treat witness as thought he/she had been called by the opposite party
hung jury one which cannot agree on a verdict
hypothetical question a question asking an expert witness to assume proven facts and eliciting witness' opinion based on those facts
i.e. id est; that is
impeachment destruction of witness' credibility
in camera in chambers
exculpatory that which tends to incriminate or bring about a criminal conviction
indictment a formal charge by a grand jury
infra below, later in this document
injunction a court order prohibiting some action
in limine on or at the threshold; at the very beginning; preliminary
in personam against a person to impose a liability or obligation
in re in the matter of; concerning
inter alia among other things
interlineation amending of pleading or motion by written insertion between words or lines already typed or printed
interlocutory temporary or intermediate; not final
interrogatories written questions propounded by one party and served on adversary, who must serve written answers thereto under oath
inter vivos among the living, done during lifetime
irrelevant not pertinent; does not relate to the matter at issue
issue a point of dispute between the parties to a lawsuit
joint tenancy an ownership of property by tow or more persons; when one joint tenant dies, his/her interest passes to the other tenants
judgment formal decision given by court
judge pro tem lawyer appointed by judge to sit on bench when regular judged cannot be there
jurat synonymous with acknowledgment; place on document for signatures to be notarized
lease a document evidencing the transfer of the use of property for a limited time
lessee one who leases property from another; tenant
lessor one who leases property to another; landlord
levy seizing of property through a court order
levy imposition of a tax
lex loci the law of the place
liable responsible; chargeable with
libel defamation by writing
lien a charge against property
lis pendens a pending lawsuit
litigate to carry on legal contest by judicial process
mala fides with bad faith
mandamus order of a higher court directing a lower court to take certain action
mesne intermediate
Miranda Rule Warning the requirement that a person receive certain warnings relating to privilege against self-incrimination and right to the presence and advice of an attorney before any custodial interrogation by law enforcement authorities
misdemeanor offense not punishable by imprisonment in the penitentiary
mortgagee an entity who lends money to a borrower
mortgagor an individual or company who borrows money
motion in limine Latin for threshold. A motion made at the start of a trial requesting that the judge rule that certain evidence may not be introduced in trail
movant applicant for rule or order in court
nisi prius trial court where tried to jury as distinguished from appellate court
next friend the equivalent of a guardian, but not appointed as such
nolle prosequi commonly nolle pros - an entry on the record denoting that the plaintiff or prosecutor will proceed no further in action or suit
nole contendere I do not contest the claim
non sequitur fallacy; it does not follow
nunc pro tunc entered at a time subsequent with retroactive effect
objection method of directing attention to an error in the course of the trial
open court when court is in session
ordinance a municipal statute
parties the persons actively concerned in the prosecution and defense of a legal proceeding, such as plaintiff and defendant
pendente lite while suit is pending
per capita by the head; all eligible share and share alike
peremptory challenge excusing a prospective juror without explanation or reason
perjury false swearing
petitioner one making written request for relief in court
petit jury the ordinary jury, distinguished from grand jury
plagiarism theft of literary property
plaintiff the person or company or corporation or any legal entity named in caption of lawsuit as bringing the action
plea a pleading in a civil or criminal case
pleading an instrument used to frame the issues in a lawsuit
poll after a verdict to examine each juror separately as to concurrence in verdict
power of attorney written authorization to act as one's agent
praecipe any of various writs commanding a person to do something or to appear and show cause why he/she should not
prayer a request that the court will grant relief desired
preliminary hearing first appearance before a judge, for purpose of determining whether there are grounds for prosecution
preponderance greater weight, said of evidence
pre-sentence a study of a defendant made by investigation by probation and parole officer prior to sentencing
prima facie on the first appearance; will suffice until contradicted and overcome by other evidence
pro hac vice for this occasion
prohibition order of a higher court ordering a lower court or official to refrain from taking certain action
pro se for oneself; in one's own behalf
punitive damages monetary compensation awarded to plaintiff in a lawsuit in excess of what compensates for property loss, awarded to redress for mental anguish suffered from defendant's misconduct or to punish defendant for wrong and evil actions
putative commonly accepted or supposed
quash to set aside as void
quasi judicial part judicial, or judicial character
quid pro quo one equivalent for another; this for that
quitclaim to release or relinquish a claim - releases right or title to another without professing validity of title
rebuttal state of trial proceedings demonstrating evidence of previous witnesses as untrue; the evidence itself
recidivist habitual criminal
reciprocal a mutual shared interest or legal action by each of two judicial areas
recognizance an obligation entered into in court requiring a performance of an act, such as appearance in court
record the official proceedings of a trial
redundant needlessly repetitive
reply the pleading the responds to an answer
res literally, the thing
res gestae things done
res ipsa loquitur the thing speaks for itself
res judicata a thing or pint formerly in controversy but now judicially settled
respondent person against whom relief is asked, who opposes prayer of petition
retainer the arrangement (or the fee) where a lawyer undertakes a represent a client
rigor mortis rigidity of muscles occurring after death
riparian rights rights which accrue to owner of land on the banks of waterway
security agreement a lien on goods or personal property to secure payment on the purchase price of goods on the installment plan; replaces the old chattel mortgage
separate maintenance allowance granted to a spouse for support of the spouse and children while living apart from husband/wife
show cause a direction to appear and present reasons to court why some order or decree should not take effect or be confirmed
sic Latin for "thus in the original" - exact reproduction
sine qua non the essential element
slander oral defamation
special judge one selected from a panel to serve as judge in a particular case
stare decisis the rule of precedent; that which is decided once will be applied in the future
statute the written law as enacted by the legislature
statute of limitations statute specifying a time period within which something must be done or rights will be lost
stay a short term court ordered delay in judicial proceedings
stipulation the agreement of counsel as to existence of certain facts or circumstances
sua sponte of its own will or motion
subpoena under penalty or pain; order of the court requiring a witness to appear
subpoena ad testificandum subpoena to testify
subpoena duces tecum an order of the court for a witness to produce documents or records
sui juris of one's own right
suo nomine in one's own name
summary judgment decision given by court without delay or formality of full proceedings
summons a writ of notification requiring the person to appear and defend
support the sums required of a divorced parent for the support of the children of the marriage
supra above, earlier in this document
tenants in common a joint tenancy of two or more people, but when one tenant in common dies, his/her interest passes to his/her heirs, not the other tenants
tenancy by entirety a joint tenancy between husband and wife; each is considered as owning the whole, when one dies, the other still owns all the property
tort a civil wrong
transcript an official report of the proceedings of a trial
trauma physical or mental injury to a person caused by external violence
trust the placing of property in one's hands for the benefit of another
trustee a person who hold the assets of a trust
trusty a person who is trusted or trustworthy
UCC Uniform Commercial Code
ultra vires outside of the scope of authority to act
unclean hands one of the equitable maxims embodying the principle that a party seeking equitable relief must not have done any dishonest act in the transaction upon which he/she maintains an action of equity
usury charging more than the legal rate of interest
vendee buyer
vendor seller
venire an entire panel from which jury is drawn
venue place of jurisdiction
viz videlicet; namely
voir dire speak the truth; a preliminary examination to determine competency of witness or jury
wanton grossly negligent or careless
ward a person placed in the care of a guardian by court order
warrant a written order directing the arrest of a person or persons, issued by a court, body, or official having authority to issue warrants of arrest
weight of evidence a phrase which indicates the relative value of the totality of evidence presented on one side of a judicial dispute, in light of the evidence presented on the other side
whiplash injury neck injury commonly associated with "rear-end" automobile collisions
work product that work done by an attorney in the process of representing the client which is ordinarily not subject to discovery
writ court order commanding or authorizing some action
femme fatale attracted to danger; dangerous women
force majure unexpected event; to get out of contract
gauche lacking social grace
glasnost public policy of Soviets - political prisoners
gulag Soviet labor camp
imbroglio misunderstanding; bitter nature
intelligentsia intellectuals; class/society
jihad holy war by Muslims
kamikaze Japanese suicide bombers
laissez faire gov't should interfere little
noblese oblige high power moral obligation; honor; generosity
nom de plume pen name
perestroika 1986 economic reform in Russia
piece de resistance best of meal; noteworthy prize
sans without
savoir-faire tact; grace in social situations
schlep to drag or carry someone or something; a journey; a distance to travel or carry something; stupid person; a bothersome person.
shtick (especially in comic acting) a routine or piece of business inserted to gain a laugh or draw attention to oneself; one's special interest, talent, etc.
tête-à-tête  a private conversation or interview, usually between two people.
tour de force an exceptional achievement by an artist, author, or the like, that is unlikely to be equaled by that person or anyone else; stroke of genius; a particularly adroit maneuver or technique in handling a difficult situation
verboten forbidden, as by law; prohibited.
Zeitgeist the spirit of the time; general trend of thought or feeling characteristic of a particular period of time.
Created by: 1613712232


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