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54 terms

intro to law final

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jurisprudence
the study of law and legal philosophy
criminal laws
laws dealing with crimes and their punishments
felonies
a serious criminal offense punishable by a prison sentence of more than one year
misdemeanors
criminal offense, less serious than a felony, punishable by one year or less in prison
civil law
law that doesn't involve criminal matters. also known as tort law. Usually deals with rights of individual groups and businesses
civil action
a noncriminal lawsuit, brought to enforce a right or redress wrong
defendant
the person against whom a claim is made.
plaintiff
in a civil case, the injured party who brings legal action against the alleged wrongdoer
prosecutor
the state or federal government's attorney in a criminal case
beyond a reasonable doubt
the level of proof required to convict a person of a crime.
preponderance of the evidence
standard of proof used in a civil suit; the amount of proof that a party must have to win a case.
limited government
basic principle of our legal system, limits government to powers provided by people
separation of powers
the division of powers among the branches of our government
statutes
written laws enacted by legislatures
checks and balances
the power of each of the branches of the government to limit the power of each other
judicial review
the process by which courts decide if laws are constitutional
federalism
the division of power between the states and federal government
bill of rights
the first ten amendments the the constitution, they guarantee basic rights to citizens
supremacy clause
states that U.S. laws and treaties must be followed, even if even if state and local laws disagree
bills
a draft of a considered law
legislative intent
what the lawmakers wanted the law to mean
public hearings
proceedings that are open to the public
trials
a court proceeding
appeals
taking a case to a higher court for a rehearing
appellate courts
appeals court
precedent
court decision on a legal question that guides future cases with similar questions
treaty
a pact between nations
negotiation
the process of discussing an issue to reach a agreement
settlement
mutual agreement between two sides in a civil case, it settles or ends the dispute
arbitration
a way of ending a dispute without going to trial
mediation
act of settling a dispute between two parties
parties
the people directly concerned with or taking part in any legal matter
adversarial system
judicial system used in the U.S. It allows parties to present evidence to an impartial group or judge
inquisitional system
European form of judicial system where judges help gather evidence and question witnesses
voir dire
latin phrase. lawyers can question jurors to see if they will be impartial
removal for cause
part of jury selection process. after voir dire. it is the process when lawyers can change jurors if they think that they aren't impartial
peremptory challenges
lawyers can remove some jurors without cause
error of law
a mistake made by a judge in legal procedures or rulings during a trial that can allow the case to be appealed
dissenting opinion
in a trial, written opinion of the minority of judges who disagree with the majority
inherent powers
powers that congress is believed to have according to the constitution
delegated power
powers granted to congress in the constitution, also called enumerated or expressed powers
petitions for certiorari
formal application by a party to have a decision by a lower court reviewed by a supreme court
due process of law
the idea that everyone is entitled to a fair trial
retainer
a down payment to a lawyer to hire them
contingency fee
fee paid to an attorney, a percent of the money awarded to the client
disbar
taking away a lawyer's license due to illegal practices
legal malpractice
lawsuit against a lawyer because they didn't follow standards for trials
incarceration
imprisonment by the state
community policing
when the community works works with the police to lower the crime rate.
implied consent
unwritten agreement to submit forms to interrogation or questioning
recidivist
a repeat criminal offender
restitution
restoring something to its owner
state of mind
what you are thinking
motive
the reason a person commits a crime