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Legal test 1

Legal environment of business terms

QuestionAnswer
Appeal The right of the litigation parties to have the legal decisions of the trial judge reviewed by an appellate court.
Appellate court A court that decides whether a trial judge has made a mistake of law.
Courts of appeal A court that reviews decisions by lower courts.
Diversity of citizenship The plaintiffs filing a lawsuit must be from states different from those of the defendants. This requirement, along with over $75,000 at stake, is one method a federal court gains jurisdiction over the subject matter of a lawsuit.
Federal question cases Litigation involving the application or interpretation of the federal Constitution, federal statutes, federal treaties, or federal administrative agencies. The federal court system has subject matter jurisdiction over these issues.
Federal Rules of Civil Procedure A law passed by Congress that provides the procedural steps to be followed by the federal courts when handling civil litigation.
Judicial activism An activist judge tends to abide by the following judicial philosophies: (1) The political process cannot adequately handle society’s difficult issues; (2) the courts can correct society’s ills through the decision
Judicial restraint A judge who abides by the judicial restraint philosophy (1) believes that the political process, and not the courts, should correct society’s ills; (2) decides an issue on a narrow basis, if possible; (3) follows precedent whenever possible; and (4) does
Judicial review The power of courts to declare laws enacted by legislative bodies and actions by the executive branch to be unconstitutional.
Petit jury The fact
Small claims court
Subject matter jurisdiction The authority of a court to hear cases involving specific issues of law.
Supreme court The highest appellate court.
Trial court The level of any court system that initially resolves the dispute of litigants. Frequently, but not always, a jury serves as a fact
Writ of certiorari A discretionary proceeding by which an appellate court may review the ruling of an inferior tribunal.
Act Statute
Administrative Law The legal principles involved in the workings of administrative agencies within the regulatory process.
Breach of contract A party’s failure to perform some contracted
Citation The reference identifying how to find a case.
Civil law The area of law governing the rights and duties between private parties as compared with the criminal law. This term also describes the system of codifying law in many countries as compared with the judicial orientation of the common law system.
Codes A compilation of legislation enacted by a federal, state, or local government.
Common law That body of law deriving from judicial decisions as opposed to legislatively enacted statutes and administrative regulations.
Compensatory damages Usually awarded in breach
Conflicts of law Rules of law the courts use to determine that substantive law applies when there is an inconsistency between laws of different states or countries.
Constitutional law The legal issues that arise from interpreting the U.S. Constitution or a state constitution.
Constitutional relativity The idea that constitutional interpretation is relative to the time in which the Constitution is being interpreted.
Contract law The law of legally enforceable promises.
Corporate governance A term that has at least two meanings. One relates to how business organizations are created and managed. A second concerns how the various levels of government regulate business organizations as they transact business.
Corporation An artificial, but legal, person created by state law. As a business organization, the corporation’s separation of owners and managers gives it a high level of flexibility.
Criminal law That area of law dealing with wrongs against the state as representative of the community at large, to be distinguished from civil law, which hears cases of wrongs against persons.
Dicta Statements made in a judicial opinion that are not essential to the decision of the case.
Exemplary damages Punitive damages. Monetary compensation in excess of direct losses suffered by the plaintiff that may be awarded in intentional tort cases where the defendant’s conduct deserves punishment.
Holding The precise legal response in an opinion by an appellate court on an issue of law raised on appeal.
Intentional torts Noncontractual legal wrong cause by one who desires to cause wrong or where the wrong is substantially likely to occur from the behavior.
Jurisprudence The science of the law; the practical science of giving a wise interpretation of the law.
Law The rules of the state backed up by enforcement.
Legislation Laws passed by an elected body such as Congress, a state legislation, or local council/commission. Those laws enacted at the federal and state levels are called statutes. At the local level, such laws are often referred to as ordinances.
Negligence A person’s failure to exercise reasonable care that foreseeably causes another injury.
Opinion The decision of a judge, usually issued in a written form.
Ordinances The legislative enactment of a city, county, or other municipal corporation.
Precedent A prior judicial decision relied upon as an example of a rule of law.
Private law A classification of legal subject matters that deals most directly with relationships between legal entities. The law of contracts and the law of property are two examples of this classification.
Procedural law The body of rules governing the manner in which legal claims are enforced.
Property A bundle of private, exclusive rights in people to acquire, possess, use, and transfer scarce resources.
Property law The law of the legal fence that establishes exclusive right in someone called an owner.
Public law A classification of legal subject matters that regulates the relationship of individuals and organizations to society.
Punitive damages Monetary damages in excess of a compensatory award usually granted only in intentional tort cases where defendant’s conduct involved some element deserving punishment.
Remedy The action or procedure that is followed in order to enforce a right or to obtain damages for injury to a right; the means by which a right is enforced or the violation of a right is prevented, redressed, or compensated.
Rule of law The general and equal application of laws, even to lawmakers.
Sanctions Penalties imposed for violation of a law.
Specific performance Equitable remedy that requires defendants in certain circumstances to do what they have contracted to do.
Stare decisis The doctrine that traditionally indicates that a court should follow prior decision in all cases based on substantially similar facts.
Statute A legislative enactment.
Statutory construction The rules courts use in interpreting the meaning of legislation.
Substantive law A body of rules defining the nature and extent of legal rights.
Tort A civil wrong other than a breach of contract.
Tort law Establishes rules for compensation when an owner’s legal boundaries are wrongfully crossed by another.
Uniform Commercial Code (UCC) The most successful attempt to have states adopt a uniform law. This code’s purpose is to sim
Affidavits A sworn written statement made before an officer authorized by law to administer oaths.
Answer The responsive pleading filed by a defendant.
Appellant The party seeking review of a lower court decision.
Appellee The party responding to an appeal; the winner in the trial court.
Beyond a reasonable doubt The burden of proof required in a criminal case. The prosecution in a criminal case has the burden of proving the defendant is guilty, and the jury must have no reasonable doubt about the defendant’s guilt.
Brief A written document produced by a party for a reviewing court that contains the facts, propositions of law, and argument of a party. It is in this document that the party argues the desired application of the law and any contentions as to the rulings of th
Burden of proof The term burden of proof has two meanings. It may describe the party at a trial with the burden of coming forward with evidence to establish a fact. The term also describes the party with the burden of persuasion. This party must convince the judge or jur
Class action suit
Clear and convincing proof A burden of proof that requires the party with the burden to establish clearly the existence of the alleged facts. This burden requires more proof than merely having a preponderance of evidence on one’s side.
Complaint In legal practice, the first written statement of the plaintiff’s position and allegations, which initiates the lawsuit.
Counterclaim Any claim filed by the defendant in a lawsuit against the plaintiff in the same suit.
Counterdefendant The party involved in litigation against whom a counterclaim is filed. This party is the original plaintiff.
Counterplaintiff The party involved in litigation who files a counterclaim. This party is the original defendant who is making a claim against the original plaintiff.
Default The failure of a defendant to answer a plaintiff’s complaint within the time period allowed by the court. Upon the defendant’s default, a judgment is entered in the plaintiff’s favor.
Defendant The party involved in a lawsuit that is sued; the party required to respond to the plaintiff’s complaint.
Depositions A discovery process outside the court’s supervision that involves the sworn questioning of a potential witness. This oral questioning is reduced to a written form so that a record is established.
Directed verdict A motion for a directed verdict requests that the judge direct the jury to bring in a particular verdict if reasonable minds could not differ on the correct outcome of the lawsuit. In deciding the motion, the judge will view in the light most favorable to
Discovery Procedures by which one party to a lawsuit may obtain information relevant to the case from the other party or from third persons.
Execution To carry out some action to completion. With respect to enforcing a court’s judgment, an execution involves the seizure of the debtor’s property, a sale of the property, and the payment of proceeds to the creditor.
Extradition The process that one state uses to have another state transfer to the jurisdiction of the first state a person accused of criminal activities.
Garnishment A legal proceeding whereby a creditor may collect directly from a third party who is obligated to the debtor.
Interrogatories A written question submitted by one party to another in a lawsuit; a type of discovery procedure.
Judgment Official adjudication of a court of law.
Judgment notwithstanding the verdict The decision of a court that sets aside the verdict of a jury and reaches the opposite result.
Judgment on the pleadings A principle of litigation, in the form of a motion, whereby one party tests the validity of the allegations contained in the complaint and answer. Upon this motion a judge might determine that the pleadings contain no issues of fact or law and thus grant
Jury instructions A statement made by the judge to the jury informing them of the law applicable to the case the jury is bound to accept and apply.
Long arm statutes
Motion The process by which the parties make written or oral requests that the judge issue an order or ruling.
Oral argument Attorneys appear in person before the appellate court to explain orally to the court their position in the case and answer the court’s questions about the case.
Peremptory challenges The power granted each party to reject a limited number of potential jurors during voir dire examination. No reason for the rejection need to be given.
Personal jurisdiction The power of a court over the parties involved in the litigation process.
Petitioner The party filing either a case in equity or a petition for a writ of certiorari before a supreme court.
Plaintiff The person who initiates a lawsuit.
Pleadings The system for defining and narrowing the issues by parties who file formal documents stating their respective positions in a lawsuit.
Preponderance of evidence In the judgment of the jurors, evidence that has greater weight and overcomes the opposing evidence and presumptions.
Request for an admission A method of discovery used to narrow the issues to be litigated by having a party request that the other party admit the facts that are not in dispute.
Request for production of documents A method of discovery whereby one party asks the other to provide documents for the requesting party’s review.
Res judicata The doctrine that deems a former adjudication conclusive and prevents a retrial of matters decided in the earlier lawsuit.
Respondent The party answering a petition for a writ of certiorari in the Supreme Court.
Standing to sue The requirement that a plaintiff must satisfy by demonstrating a personal interest in the outcome of litigation or an administrative hearing.
Statute of limitations A statute that sets a date after which a lawsuit may not be brought. The statute begins running after the happening of a certain event, such as the occurrence of an injury or the breach of a contract.
Summary judgments A judicial determination that no genuine factual dispute exists and that one party to the lawsuit is entitled to judgment as a matter f law.
Summons An official notice to a person that a lawsuit has been commenced against him or her and that he or she must appear in court to answer the charges.
Third party defendants
Verdict Findings of fact by the jury.
Voir dire The preliminary examination of prospective jurors for the purpose of ascertaining bias or interest in the lawsuit.
Created by: studyjunk