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executive order

a rule or regulation issued by the president of the untied states that becomes law without the prior approval of congress

1

checks and balances

the system established by the U.S. constitution that keeps any one branch of government from assuming too much power over the other branches

2

constitutional law

law that derives from federal and state constitutions

3

case law

law established through common law and legal precedent

4

common law

the body of unwritten law developed in England, primarily from judicial decisions based on custom and tradition

5

legal precedents

decisions made by judges in various courts that become rule of law and apply to future cases, even though they were not enacted by legislation

6

statutory law

law passed by the U.S. congress or state legislatures

7

administrative law

enabling statutes enacted to define powers and procedures when an agency is created

8

substantive law

the statutory or written law that defines and regulates legal rights and obligations

9

procedural law

law that defines the rules used to enforce substantive law

10

criminal law

law that involves crimes against the state

11

felony

an offense punishable by death or by imprisonment in a state or federal prison for more than one year

12

misdemeanor

a crime punishable by fine or by imprisonment in a facility other than a prison for less than one year

13

civil law

law that involves wrongful acts against persons

14

tort

c civil wrong committed against a person or property, excluding breach of contract

15

tortfeasor

the person guilty of committing a tort

16

negligence

an unintentional tort alleged when one may have performed or failed to perform an act that a reasonable person would or would not have done in similar circumstances

17

jurisdiction

the power of a court to hear and decide a case before it

18

plaintiff

the person bringing charges in a lawsuit

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prosecution

the government as plaintiff in a criminal case

20

defendant

the person or party against whom charges are brought in a criminal or civil lawsuit

21

contract

a voluntary agreement between two parties in which specific promises are made for a considerations

22

void

without legal force or effect

23

breach of contract

failure of either party to comply with the terms of a legally valid contract

24

mentally incompetent

unable to fully understand all the terms and conditions of a transaction, and therefore unable to enter into a legal contract

25

voidable

able to be set aside or to be revalidated at a later date

26

minor

anyone under the age of majority: 18 years in most states, 21 years in some jurisdictions

27

expressed contract

a written or oral agreement in which all terms are explicitly stated

28

implied contract

an unwritten and unspoken agreement whose terms result from the actions of the parties involved

29

statute of frauds

state legislation governing written contracts