Legal Terminology Flashcards Preview

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Flashcards in Legal Terminology Deck (55):
1

Negligence per se

conduct treated as negligence without proof

2

slander

because it is spoken, is more difficult to establish

3

contributory negligence

is similar to comparative negligence in that the victim is partly responsible for his/her own injury

4

malice

the intentional doing of a wrongful act, without just cause or excuse, with the intent to inflict injury

5

indictment

a formal, written accusation by a public prosecutor, submitted to a grand jury and charging a crime

6

defendant

in criminal cases, the accused. In civil cases, the one who is sued and who must defend against a claim of wrongdoing brought by another.

7

libel

is written publication that exposes someone to public scorn, hatred, contempt, or ridicule, especially if related to an individual's profession or livelihood.

8

summons

a written instrument notifying a defendant that a lawsuit has commenced against him/her

9

civil law

pertains to a crime - any act the government has deemed to be injurious to the public and actionable in a criminal proceeding

10

battery

is the unlawful touching or application of force to another human being without his/her consent

11

discovery

pretrial devices used by the parties' lawyers to gather information or knowledge about the case

12

res judicata

Latin for a thing decided. Once a court of competent jurisdiction has decided a matter, that decision continues to bind those parties in any future litigation on the same issue.

13

tort-feasor

the person who commits a tort

14

witness

a person who gives sworn testimony in a court proceeding

15

defamation

the communication to a third person of that which is injurious to the reputation or good name of the victim. Oral defamation is slander. Written defamation is libel.

16

appearance

the coming into court of a person on being summoned to do so

17

prosecutor

a public official, either elected or appointed, who conducts cases on behalf of the government against persons accused of crimes

18

injunction

a judicial direction to a party to do or to refrain from doing some act

19

regulations

to implement statutes (laws) passed by legislative bodies, the executive branch of government (the president and the various federal agencies she/he oversees), through these administrative agencies writes regulations

20

code

a compilation of statutes and regulations

21

retainer

a fee paid an attorney in advance for services on a case

22

actionable

conduct giving rise to a cause for legal action

23

adjudication

decision or disposition of a case by the announcement of a judgment or decision by the court or other body

24

tort

a wrong. literally, tort means twisted. A tort exists when (a) a legal duty is owed by a defendant to a plaintiff, (b) that duty is breached, and (c) the plaintiff is harmed as a direct result of the breach of duty

25

affidavit

written statement given under oath before an officer having authority to administer oaths

26

search warrant

a written order from a judge permitting certain law enforcement officers to conduct a search for and seize specified things or persons

27

subpoena duces tecum

a written court order for a person to bring to a judicial proceeding certain objects or documents in his/her possession

28

arraignment

an early step in a criminal proceeding at which the defendant is formally charged with an offense

29

common law

the accumulation of opinion handed down by judges. It is an outgrowth of court decisions over hundreds of years.

30

fraud

intentional deception that results in injury to another

31

res ipsa loquitur

a Latin phrase that literally means the thing speaks for itself.

32

directed verdict

a verdict given by a jury at the direction of a judge

33

damages

money awarded by a court (or jury) to a person who has been wronged by the action of another

34

subpoena

a written order issued by a court to require the appearance of person in court

35

motion

an application to the court asking for an action favorable to one's side

36

stare decisis

a Latin phrase meaning to stand by that which was decided earlier. The doctrine of stare decisis means that once a court has laid down a principle of law as applicable to a certain set of facts, it will adhere to that principle in all future cases in which the facts are substantially the same.

37

statutes

the law under which we live. In the United States they are the acts passed by the federal and state legislatures.

38

accuse

to directly charge a person with committing an offense that is recognized as being against the law

39

aggrieved party

one whose legal rights have been invaded or who has suffered a loss or injury

40

litigants

the parties to a lawsuit, i.e., the plaintiff and defendant

41

counterclaim

a counter demand by a defendant against a plaintiff (accuser), not merely responding to the accuser, but asserting an independent cause of action against the accuser

42

assault

an attempt to inflict bodily harm on another person that creates well-founded fear of imminent peril

43

deposition

a statement given under oath, reduced to writing, and authenticated by a notary public

44

amicus curiae

literally, a friend (amicus) of the court (curiae). An amicus curiae brief is a written document that provides the court with information that might otherwise escape attention.

45

arbitrator

an impartial person chosen by the parties to an argument to decide the issue between them

46

negligence

the failure to exercise the degree of care a reasonable person would exercise under the same circumstances, which results in injury to another

47

consent, informed

consent given after full information regarding the matter has been provided to the person consenting

48

criminal negligence

recklessness or carelessness resulting in injury or death punishable as a crime

49

appeal

the request by a party to a lawsuit for a higher court to review a lower court's decision when she/he believes the lower court committed error

50

acquit

to set a person or corporation free of accusations(s)

51

comparative negligence

in some states one can recover damages even though he/she was negligent him/herself

52

arrest warrant

a written order for the arrest of a person from a judge having authority in that jurisdiction

53

false imprisonment

is another tort occasionally related to assault and battery; it is the confining of another human being within fixed boundaries against his/her will

54

assumption of risk

the principle that a person may not recover for an injury he/she received when he/she voluntarily exposed him/herself to a known danger

55

admission

the acknowledgement of certain facts by a party in a civil or criminal case, does not necessarily constitute a confession of guilt