There are several terms that are good to know regarding processes and practices in court. Negligence - A situation in which someone did not pay attention or take the requisite level of care. In an appeal it is the party who/ which did not commence the appeal. © copyright 2003-2021 Study.com. Get the unbiased info you need to find the right school. Legatee: The recipient of a legacy; an individual who inherits something. Legal terminology is full of Latin terms which are used regularly. | {{course.flashcardSetCount}} Judicial officers of the Supreme Court and the highest court in each state are called justices. Study.com has thousands of articles about every “Reasonable person” is one we all have trouble with, but especially non-lawyers, as it has specific legal meaning, that is it is more limited than as used in general language. 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The chief judge also decides cases, and the choice of chief judges is determined by seniority. record - A written account of all the acts and proceedings in a lawsuit. Legal translation is the translation of language used in legal settings and for legal purposes. venue - The geographical location in which a case is tried. trial - A hearing that takes place when the defendant pleads "not guilty,” and the parties are required to come to court to present evidence. What is Retributive Justice? Other precedents need not be followed by the court but can be considered influential. Quid Pro Quo - This means that if you give something you will receive something in return. Has the same effect as a plea of guilty as far as the criminal sentence is concerned, but the plea may not be considered an admission of guilt for any other purpose. Working Scholars® Bringing Tuition-Free College to the Community. opinion - A judge's written explanation of a decision of the court. The court’s ruling comes from a majority of judges and forms the majority opinion. The following terms are just the most popular ones. Log in or sign up to add this lesson to a Custom Course. plaintiff - The person who files the complaint in a civil lawsuit. {{courseNav.course.mDynamicIntFields.lessonCount}} lessons complaint - A written statement by the plaintiff stating the wrongs allegedly committed by the defendant. jury - Persons selected according to law and sworn to inquire into and declare a verdict on matters of fact. Not-Guilty by Reason of Insanity - Stating that the person was not in a mind to understand the crime being committed. Alford plea - A defendant’s plea that allows him to assert his innocence but allows the court to sentence the defendant without conducting a trial. witness - A person called upon by either side in a lawsuit to give testimony before the court or jury. Below is our growing list of legal definitions beginning with the letter "A".If there is a term you are looking for please use our search form below and enter the legal term.US Legal, Inc. updates the database of terms weekly and boasts the most up-to-date legal term dictionary on the Internet. inculpatory evidence - Evidence which tends to show the defendant’s guilt. Legal Terminology is not only used by lawyers but also used in a wide range of associated legal professions. It is intended to last only until a hearing can be held. A dissenting opinion disagrees with the majority because of the reasoning and/or the principles of law on which the decision is based. The easiest-to-read, most user-friendly guide to legal terms. It also is used as a synonym for venue, meaning the geographic area over which the court has territorial jurisdiction to decide cases. In some cases, state courts can decide these issues, too, but the cases can always be brought in federal courts. Some issues can be heard in both state and federal courts. This determines the rest of the court proceedings. A term rule is in the nature of a day rule, by which a prisoner is enabled by the terms of one rule, instead of a daily rule, to quit the prison or its rules for the purpose of transacting his business. Federal courts look to the United States Sentencing Commission Guidelines when deciding the proper punishment for a given crime. As law is a culture-dependent subject field, legal translation is … grand jury - A body of citizens who listen to evidence of criminal allegations, which are presented by the government, and determines whether there is probable cause to believe the offense was committed. A prosecutor tries a criminal case on behalf of the government. probable cause - An amount of suspicion leading one to believe certain facts are probably true. contract - An agreement between two or more persons that creates an obligation to do or not to do a particular thing. jurisdiction - (1) The legal authority of a court to hear and decide a case. Malpractice - A person who had a responsibility for care and ignored or completely disregarded their responsibility. For example, district courts are bound by the decisions of the court of appeals that can review their cases, and all courts – both state and federal – are bound by the decisions of the Supreme Court of the United States. Decision - the determination of a case by the judge of the court. I’m glad people ask those questions because the legal terminology that surrounds the Probate process can be difficult to understand if you don’t have a background in Wills & Estates law. Legal Terminology, Part 1. evidence - Information presented in testimony or in documents that is used to persuade the fact finder (judge or jury) to decide the case for one side or the other. arraignment - A proceeding in which an individual who is accused of committing a crime is brought into court, told of the charges, and asked to plead guilty or not guilty. Contact the Webmaster to submit comments. indictment - The formal charge issued by a grand jury stating that there is enough evidence that the defendant committed the crime to justify having a trial; it is used primarily for felonies. allegation - Something that someone says happened. Read on to find out more. Terms are listed in alphabetical order and can be better accessed by choosing a letter here: A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z. acquittal - Judgment that a criminal defendant has not been proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. A prototype of an instrument to be employed in a legal transaction or a judicial proceeding that includes the primary essential matters, the appropriate technical phrases or terms, and any additional material required to render it officially accurate, arranged in suitable and systematic order, and conducive to Adaptation to the circumstances of the particular case. Acquit - Being found not guilty by a jury or judge, or the determination that there was not enough evidence to convict beyond a reasonable doubt. The plaintiff initially decides where to bring the suit, but in some cases, the defendant can seek to change the court. counterclaim - A claim that a defendant makes against a plaintiff. Marshal (or bailiff) - enforce the rules of behavior in courtrooms. transcript - A written, word-for-word record of what was said, either in a proceeding such as a trial or during some other conversation. The Legal Terms Glossary defines over 100 of the most common legal terms in easy-to-understand language. tort - A civil wrong or breach of a duty to another person as outlined by law. statement - A description that a witness gives to the police and that the police write down. Motions can be filed before, during, and after trial. discovery - Lawyers' examination, before trial, of facts and documents in possession of the opponents to help the lawyers prepare for trial. lt is obtained in the same manner as a day rule. (English common law is the basis of state legal systems in the U.S., with the exception of Louisiana.) Counterclaims can often be brought within the same proceedings as the plaintiff’s claims. See Rules. Subpoena - A requirement by the court to show up and testify as needed. A guide to legal terminology in relation to Wills and Estates By Claire Tyler 17 Apr 2013 Andy was appointed as executor of his father’s Will. Lawyers must file a variety of documents throughout the life of a case. Legal Terminology In 1974, a group of legal interpreting experts convened in Michigan to develop a manual to be used in training legal interpreters. uphold - The decision of an appellate court not to reverse a lower court decision. For example, a trial court may use a prior decision from the Supreme Court that has similar issues. temporary restraining order - Prohibits a person from an action that is likely to cause irreparable harm. Custodian - A guardian of a child who is responsible for money allocation. affidavit - A written statement of facts confirmed by the oath of the party making it. default judgment - A judgment rendered because of the defendant's failure to answer or appear. A federal court in one state, for example, can usually only decide a case that arose from actions in that state. en banc - "In the bench" or "full bench." Affidavits must be notarized or administered by an officer of the court with such authority. jury pool - The group of people from which the actual jury is chosen. Common Legal Words Notice: This list of common legal words was compiled by the Connecticut Judicial Branch solely as a public service. 2. The following terms are just the most popular ones. warrant - An arrest warrant is a written order directing the arrest of a party. 471 words Karen Ratay Spanish Interpreter and Translator Edited by Bruce Goodman Learn with flashcards, games, and more — for free. Since legal terminology requires specific definitions and wording, it's important to know the exact meaning of each term, even if they already seem familiar. This legal glossary is a basic guide to common legal terms. A number of Latin terms are used in legal terminology and legal maxims. common law - The legal system that originated in England and is now in use in the United States. ⓘ Legal terminology. A search warrant orders that a specific location be searched for items, which if found, can be used in court as evidence. statute of limitations - A law that sets the time within which parties must take action to enforce their rights. subpoena duces tecum - A command to a witness to produce documents. jury instructions - A judge's explanation to the jury before it begins deliberations of the questions it must answer and the law governing the case. Your Will should be easy for anyone to understand, there is no need for complicated and confusing Will terminology to be used. summary judgment - A decision made on the basis of statements and evidence presented for the record without a trial. RULE, TERM, English practice. probation officers (or pretrial services officers) - Screen applicants for pretrial release and monitor convicted offenders released under court supervision. ALM's Law.com online Real Life Dictionary of the Law. The following terms are just the most popular ones. hearsay - Statements by a witness who did not see or hear the incident in question but learned about it through secondhand information such as another’s statement, a newspaper, or a document. All rights reserved. All our Wills are written as simply as possible, which is the way it should be. Precedent will ordinarily govern the decision of a later similar case, unless a party can show that it was wrongly decided or that it differed in some significant way. Easement - The permission that is provided to someone to access a piece of property in perpetuity, such as for mineral rights. Different terms may have different meanings based on the specific area of law or the context in which they are being used. Legal terminology is full of Latin terms which are used regularly. Although many terms are used in the court and with clients, there is still some general terminology that may be used in non-court settings. A lawyer is in the best position to advise you about your legal rights and responsibilities. Understanding Legal Terminology. Rules Executor - An individual that is responsible for executing a will, or following the wishes of a will and testament. chief judge - The judge who has primary responsibility for the administration of a court. A denial of “cert” by the Supreme Court allows the previous ruling to stand. 2. 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