Advertisement Upgrade to remove ads

abatement

reduction, termination

abrogation

annulment of a former law by act of a legislative body, by constitutional authority, or by usage

acceptance

in contract law, consent to abide by the terms of an offer; taking or receiving a thing in good faith with the intention of retaining it.

accession

that which increases the size or value of property

accommodation

arrangement made as a favor to another rather than for consideration received

acknowledgment

an admission, affirmation, or declaration

acquittal

release or discharge of an obligation or liability; in criminal law, a finding of not guilty

ademption

satisfaction of a legacy by gift prior to testator's death

adhesion contract

standardized contract form in which a party with little or no bargaining power is forced to accept its terms

adjudication

judgment or decision of a court

adverse possession

acquiring title to real estate by hostile possession rather than by purchase

affidavit

sworn statement in writing taken before a notary public or other authorized office

affirmative defense

allegation of a responsive pleading which, if it can be proved, negates the allegations of the complaint

agreement

meeting of the minds, preliminary to contract formation

allegation

assertion made but not proved

amortization

gradual extinction of a monetary obligation by periodic payments that usually includes interest

amnesty

sovereign forgetfulness of past acts, usually available for a limited time

ancillary

auxiliary, supplemental, subordinate

annotation

remark, note, or commentary intended to illustrate or explain

annul

cancel, make void, destroy

answer

written pleading by which a defendant responds to the plaintiff's complaint

antitrust laws

federal and state laws to prevent restraint of trade, price-fixing, price discrimination, monopolies, or other conduct detrimental to free commerce

appeal

review by a higher court

appraisal

valuation or estimate of property value, made by qualified expert

arbitration

investigation and determination of dispute by neutral decision-maker, decision is binding on the parties

arraignment

in criminal law, hearing at which accused pleads guilty or not guilty

assault

in tort, threat of imminent bodily harm accompanied by apparent ability to carry out the threat; in criminal law, often defined as the tort equivalent of battery

asset

real or personal property owned by an individual, estate, business corporation, or other entity

assignment

transfer of any right, title, or interest to another

attestation

act of witnessing the signing (execution) of a document

assumption of risk

doctrine under which a person cannot recover for injuries received from a dangerous activity to which she voluntarily exposed herself

attachment

pre-judgment seizure of property based upon court order

attest

certify or affirm to be true or genuine

aver

assert, allege, claim

bailment

delivery of personal property to another to be held for a particular person and then returned

beneficiary

one who benefits from the act of another

bequest

gift of personal property by will

breach

failure (without legal justification) to perform when performance was due

brief

written argument of counsel concerning one or more legal issues in a case, sometimes called a memorandum of law

capacity

having legal authority or mental ability; being of sound mind

caption

that part of a pleading which states the name of the court, the name of the parties, the case number assigned, and the name of the pleading

cause of action

facts giving rise to a legal remedy

chattel

personal property

choate

perfected; complete

chose in action

a personal right not yet reduced to judgment

civil code

collection of laws or statutes relating to private rights or remedies

Code Civil

law of the State of Louisiana consisting of a collection of statutes and based upon the Napoleonic Code, distinguished from common law.

code

collection of laws or statutes

codicil

an addition or change to an original will

community property

property owned in common law by husband and wife, each owning an undivided 1/2 interest as a result of their marital status

commutation

substitution of a lesser punishment for a greater one

condemnation

the process of taking private property for public use under the government's right of eminent domain

consideration

the lawful price, motive, cause, impelling influence, or inducement for a contract

contract

agreement between competent parties, supported by consideration, to do or to refrain from doing some lawful act

conversion

wrongful taking of personal property with intent to deprive its owner of it permanently

copyright

a right to reap the financial benefits of literary property

covenant

agreement or promise, often restricting the use of real estate

debenture

bond given as evidence of corporate debt

decree

final order of an equity court

defamation

that which holds one up to contempt or ridicule; that which injures one's reputation

devise

gift of real property by will

discharge

to release, liberate, annul, disencumber, dismiss

duress

unlawful constraint exercised upon a person, forcing her to do an act which she would not have done otherwise

enjoin

to prevent or forbid by injunction

equity

justice administered by principles of fairness, distinguished from strict rules of law

escheat

reversion of property to the state when there are no heirs to inherit the property at a person's death

estop

to stop, bar, prevent

estoppel

doctrine under which a person's acts or failure to act prevents her from seeking legal relief, although she would have been entitled to relief otherwise

eviction

to recover real estate from a tenant by legal process; to force out or remove from real property

evidentiary

constituting evidence or proof, having the quality of evidence

exemptions

immunity from a general burden, tax, or charge; in bankruptcy or in judgment executions, that portion of the debtor's property that cannot be liquidated and applied to her debts

fraud

any artifice used by one person to deceive another

general denial

a pleading in the form of an answer, which denies allegations made by the opposing party but which contains no affirmative defenses

guarantor

one who agrees to undertake the financial obligation of another

guaranty

agreement to undertake the financial obligation of another

guardian

one charged with responsibility to mange the personal matters of another who is incompetent because of age, understanding, or lack of self-control

guardian ad litem

person appointed by the court to look after the interests of a child or incompetent person during the pendency of a litigation

inchoate

unfinished; incomplete

indemnify

to secure against loss or damage

indictment

written accusation issued by a grand jury against a defendant in criminal law

information

written accusation issued by a prosecutor against a defendant in criminal law

injunction

an order issued by a court of equity requiring a person to do or not to do a specific act

insolvent

condition of a person or entity that exists when total liabilities exceed total assets

interlocutory

provisional, interim, not final

judgment

final order of a court of law, based upon a jury verdict or upon findings of fact by the court

jurat

clause of a notary public or authorized officer attesting that a statement or document was sworn by a specific person on a specific date

jurisprudence

science of law; system of law

laches

a doctrine by which equitable relief is denied to one who has waited too long to seek relief

libel

written defamation

lien

a charge, security, or encumbrance on property

liquidated

property or claim that has been converted to its cash equivalent

magistrate

court officer with limited judicial authority; a public officer

malfeasance

evil doing; performance of an act with bad intent

memorandum opinion

very short opinion of a court

merger

absorption of one thing or right into another

metes and bounds

a method of describing real estate, using boundary lines with terminal points and angles

misfeasance

improper performance of an otherwise lawful act

mitigation

duty of parties to minimize damages after an injury is sustained or a breach occurs

mortgage

conditional conveyance of an interest in real estate, usually as security for a debt

motion

application (not a pleading) or request made to a court to obtain an interim ruling or order

motion in limine

application requesting a court to rule in advance that specific, unfairly prejudicial information will not be mentioned during trial

negligence

failure to use the care which a reasonable and prudent person would use in similar circumstances

novation

substitution of a new contract, debt, or obligation for an existing one between the same or different parties

nuncupative

oral; not written

oath

solemn pledge attesting the truth of a statement

offer

a promise; a commitment to do or to refrain from doing some specific act

option

a right supported by consideration to purchase property at an agreed price within a specified time

order

mandate, command, or direction authoritatively given; mandate of the court

ordinance

legislative enactment by a local government such as a county or a city

parol evidence

oral proof of contract terms which are not contained within the written contract document

patent

inventor's right to exclude others from making, using, or selling the invention for 17 years

pecuniary

monetary; relating to money

perjury

false testimony given under oath

pleading

in federal court, complaint, answer to complaint, and reply to cross-claim.

precedent

holding of a case which guides the decisions in future cases involving similar facts and similar legal issues

probable cause

justification to believe that a crime was committed and that the accused is the person who committed it

promissory estoppel

a doctrine which prevents a party to a contract from denying that consideration was given for the contract

promissory note

a written promise to pay a specific sum of money at a future time

proximate cause

the last (negligent) act which leads to injury; legal cause

proxy

an instrument authorizing one to case the votes of another at a corporate meeting

punitive damages

damages awarded over and above the amount of losses, which are awarded as punishment of the wrongdoer

quash

suppress; stop; cease; abate

quiet title action

action to determine clear title to real estate

quitclaim deed

deed without warranty, which passes only that title which the grantor has

release

discharge of one party's obligation to another

replevin

action to recover possession of personal property

rescission

an equitable remedy which invalidates a contract on the basis of mutual mistake, fraud, impossibility, etc.

restitution

restoration of a thing to its rightful owner; a measure of damages according to the defendant's gains rather than the plaintiff's losses

settlor

one who creates a trust; a trustor

slander

spoken defamation

specific performance

equitable remedy in contract law which requires the breaching party to perform according to the specific terms of the contract

stipulation

agreement between parties to a lawsuit concerning matters related to the trial

survey

process by which a tract of land is measured and its contents determined with a map to scale created for it

testimonium clause

the clause of an instrument which begins, "In witness whereof,..."

tort

a civil wrong such as negligence or trespass, as distinguished from a criminal offense

trust account

account where client funds are kept separate from attorney funds

unconscionable

grossly unfair; unscrupulous, terms or conduct which shocks the conscience

usury

the excess over the lawful interest rate

verification

confirmation of accuracy; sworn oath by an authorized person that certain statements are true to the best of his or her knowledge and belief

void

having no legal force or effect

voidable

that which is capable of being declared void but which is valid until such declaration is made

warranty

a promise to defend the truth of a fact

warranty deed

a deed conveying land which guarantees that the title is free of defects to marketability

with prejudice

a declaration (usually in connection with an order of dismissal) which ends the right to further relief; it prevents either party from filing future complaints based on the same claim or cause of action

without prejudice

a declaration (usually in connection with an order of dismissal) which preserves any rights or privileges that a party may have to file a future complaint based upon the same claim or cause of action

writ of execution

order of a court after judgment commanding a court officer to seize property in satisfaction of the judgement

Please allow access to your computer’s microphone to use Voice Recording.

Having trouble? Click here for help.

We can’t access your microphone!

Click the icon above to update your browser permissions above and try again

Example:

Reload the page to try again!

Reload

Press Cmd-0 to reset your zoom

Press Ctrl-0 to reset your zoom

It looks like your browser might be zoomed in or out. Your browser needs to be zoomed to a normal size to record audio.

Please upgrade Flash or install Chrome
to use Voice Recording.

For more help, see our troubleshooting page.

Your microphone is muted

For help fixing this issue, see this FAQ.

Star this term

You can study starred terms together

NEW! Voice Recording

Create Set