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Fact Bound When even a minor change in the facts can change the outcome.
Cause of action A claim that based on the law and the facts is sufficient to support a lawsuit.
Legal Research The process of finding the law
Legal Reasoning The application of legal rules to a clients specific factual situation; also known as legal analysis
Stare decisis once a court has decided one way on an issue, other courts in that jurisdiction will decide the same way on same issue unless they can be convinced to change.
Precedent One or more prior court decisions.
Analogous similar
Distinguishable Different
Legal Writing Case briefs, law office memoranda, and documents filed with the court
Litigation A lawsuit; a controversy to be settled in a court
National Federation of Paralegal Associations Nat'l Association of paralegal association.
Freelance Paralegal A paralegal who works as an independent contractor rather than as an employee of a law firm or corporation.
Lay advocate Generally someone operating within the law, representing persons before administrative agencies that permit this practice.
Legal technician a non lawyer who provides legal services directly to the public without being under supervision of attorney. Constitutes as unauthorized practice of law.
American Association on Paralegals Nat'l organization of programs that promote high standards for paralegal education.
National Association of Legal Assistants A national paralegal association.
International Paralegal Management Association A nat'l association of legal assistant managers.
Registration The process by which individuals or organizations have their names placed on an official list kept by some private organization or governmental agency.
Certified The status of being formally recognized by a nongovernmental agency to having met special criteria (education or exam).
Certificated The status of having received a certificate documenting that the person has successfully completed an educational program.
Partnership A business run by two or more persons as co-owners.
Professional Corporation (PC) A professional entity where stockholders share in the organizations profits but have their liabilities limited to the amount of their investment.
Limited Liability Partnership (LLP) professional entity in which the owners share in the organizations profits but are not liable for the malpractice of their partners.
Legal Clinic Usually organized as either a partnership or a professional corporation, law clinics provide low-cost legal services on routine matters by stressing low overhead and high volume.
Legal services offices Affiliated with the federal governments Legal Services Corporation, these offices serve those who would otherwise be unable to afford legal assistance.
Laws rules of conduct promulgated and enforced by the government.
Jurisprudence The study of law and legal philosophy.
Natural Law A legal philosophy whose proponent think there are ideal laws that can be discovered through careful thought and humanity's innate sense of right and wrong
Legal Positivism A legal theory whose proponents believe that the validity of a law is determined by the process through which it reflects natural law principles.
Legal Formulation A legal theory that views the law as a complete and autonomous system of logically consistent principles within which judges find the correct result by simply making logically deductions.
Legal realism A legal philosophy whose proponents think that judges decide cases based on factors other than logic and preexisting rules, such as economic and sociological factors.
Originalism An approach to constitutional interpretation that narrowly interprets the text of the Constitution in a manner that is consistent with that most people understood those words to mean at the time that they were written.
Evolutionary approach An approach to constitutional interpretation in which judges seek to determine the underlying purpose that the time they wrote the law and he modern-day option that best advances the purpose.
Constitutional law A body principles and rules that are either explicitly stated in, or inferred from, the constitutions of the United States and those of the individual states.
Separation of powers The division of governmental power month the legislative, executive, and judicial branches.
Checks and balances Division among governmental branches so that each branch acts as a check on the power of the other two, thereby maintaining a balance of power among the three branches.
Federalism A system of governmental in which the authority to govern is split between a single, nationwide central government and several regional governments that control specific geographical areas.
Bill of Rights The first ten amendments to the U.S. Constitution.
Power of judicial review A court's power to review statutes to decide if they conform to the federal or state constitution.
Statute A law enacted by a state legislature or by Congress.
Administrative Law Rules and regulations created by administrative agencies.
Regulation A law promulgated by an administrative agency.
Enabling act A statute establishing and setting out the powers of an administrative agency.
Fourth branch of government Administrative agencies.
Common Law A law created by the courts.
Codification of the common law The process of legislative enactment of areas of the law previously governed solely by the common law.
Derogation of the common law Used to describe legislation that changes the common law.
Equity Fairness; a court's power to do justice. Equity powers allow judges to take action when otherwise the law would limit their decisions to monetary awards. Provides the ability to issue an injunction and to order a specific performance.
Injunction A court order requiring a party to perform a specific act or to cease doing a specific act.
Specific performance A requirement that a party fulfill his or her contractual obligations.
Doctrine of implied powers powers not stated in the constitution but that are necessary for congress to carry out other, expressly granted powers.
Preemption The power of the federal government to prevent states from passing conflicting laws, and sometimes even prohibit states from passing any laws on a particular subject.
Civil Law Law that deals with harm to an individual.
Criminal Law Law that deals with harm to society as a whole.
Plaintiff A person who initiates a law suit.
Defendant The person who is sued; in a criminal case the person who is being charged with a crime.
Beyond a reasonable doubt The standard of proof used in criminal trials. The evidence presented must be so conclusive and complete that all reasonable doubts regarding the facts are removed from the jurors minds.
Preponderance of the evidence The standard of proof most commonly used in civil trials. The evidence presented must prove that it is more likely than not that the defendant committed the wrong.
Clear and convincing The standard of proof used in some civil trials. The evidence must be greater than the preponderance of the evidence but less than beyond reasonable doubt.
Damages Monetary compensation, including compensatory, punitive, and nominal damages.
Injunction A court order requiring a party to perform a specific act or to cease doing a specific act.
Double jeopardy A constitutional protection against being tried twice for the same crime.
Felony A serious crime usually carrying a prison sentence of one or more years.
Misdemeanor A minor crime not amounting to a felony, usually punishable by a fine or jail sentence of less than a year.
Mens rea bad intent
Actus reus bad act
Prima facie case What the prosecution or plaintiff must be able to prove in order for the case to do to the jury-, that is, the elements of the prosecutions case or the plaintiffs cause of action.
Defense A fact or legal argument that would relieve the defendant of guilt in a criminal case.
Cause of action A claim that based on the law and the facts is sufficient to support a lawsuit.
Affirmative defense A defense whereby the defendant offers new evidence to avoid judgement.
Sovereign immunity The prohibition against suing the government without the governments consent.
Compensatory damages Money awarded to a plaintiff in payment for his or her actual losses.
Punitive damages Money awarded to a plaintiff in cases of intentional torts in order to punish the defendant and serve as a warning to others.
Nominal damages A token sum awarded when liability had been found but monetary damages cannot be shown.
Contract An agreement supported by consideration.
Consideration Something of value exchanged to form the basis of a contract.
Property Law Law dealing with ownership.
Real Property Land and objects permanently attached to land.
Personal property All property that is not real property.
Constructive Not factually true, but accepted by the courts as being legally true.
Legal fiction An assumption that something that is not real (treating a corporation as a person for litigation purposes)
Tort Law Law that deals with harm to a person or a person's property.
Intentional tort A tort committed by one who intends to do the act that creates the harm.
Negligence The failure to act reasonably under the circumstances.
Contributory negligence Negligence by the plaintiff that contributed to his or her injury.
Assumption of the risk Voluntarily and knowingly subjecting oneself to danger.
Comparative negligence A method for measuring the relative negligence of the plaintiff and the defendant, with a commensurate sharing of the compensation for the injuries.
Strict Liability Liability without a showing of fault.
Substantive Law Law that creates rights and duties
Procedural Law Law that regulates how the legal system operates.
Statute of Limitations The law that sets the length of time from when something happens to when a lawsuit must be filed before the right to bring it is lost.
Jurisdiction The power of a court to hear a case.
Trial courts Courts that determine the facts and apply the law to the facts.
Original jurisdiction The authority of a court to hear a case when it is initiated as opposed to appellate jurisdiction.
Questions of fact Questions relating to what happened: who, what, where, when and how.
Questions of law Questions relating to the interpretation or application of the law.
Bench trial A trial conducted without a jury.
Entrapment A defense requiring proof that the defendant would not have committed the crime but for police trickery.
Appellate courts Courts that determine whether lower courts have made errors of law.
Appellant or petitioner The party in a case who had initiated an appeal.
Appellee or respondent The party in a case against who an appeal had been filed.
Harmless error A trial court error that is not sufficient to warrant reversing the decision.
Reverse A decision is reversed when an appellant court overturns or negates the decision of a lower court.
Remand When an appellate sends a case back to the trial court for a new trial or other action.
Majority opinion An opinion in which a majority of the court joins.
Concurring opinion An opinion that agrees with the majority's result but disagrees with its reasoning.
Dissenting opinion An opinion that disagrees with the majorities decision and it's reasoning.
U.S court of appeals The intermediate appellate courts in the federal system.
U.S. district courts The general jurisdiction trial court in the federal system.
Inferior courts In the federal system, all courts other than the U.S. Supreme Court.
General jurisdiction A court's power to hear any type of case arising within it's geographical area.
Limited jurisdiction A court's power to hear only specialized cases.
Subpoena A court order requiring a person to appear to testify at a trial or deposition.
En banc When an appellate court that normally sits in panels sits as a whole.
Writ of certiorari A means of gaining appellate review; in the U.S. Supreme court the writ is discretionary and will be issued to another court to review a federal question if four of the nine justices vote to hear the case.
Constitutional court A court established by article III of the U.S Constitution.
Legislative courts Courts created under Congress's Article I powers.
Court of record A court where a permanent record is kept of the testimony, lawyer's remarks, and judges rulings.
General jurisdiction A courts power to hear any type of case arising within its geographical area.
Limited jurisdiction A courts power to hear only specialized cases.
Exclusive jurisdiction When only one court has the power to hear a case.
Concurrent jurisdiction When more than one court has jurisdiction to hear a case.
Federal question jurisdiction The power of the federal courts to hear matters of federal law.
Diversity jurisdiction The power of the federal courts to hear matters of state law if the opposing parties are from different states and the amount in controversy exceeds 75,000.
Removal The transfer of a case from one state court to another or from a state court to a federal court.
Created by: klacardoza