The list of attorneys who are both available and qualified to serve as court-appointed counsel for criminal defendants who cannot afford their own counsel. Objection to dischargeability A trustee’s or creditor’s objection to the debtor being released from personal liability for certain dischargeable debts.
A legal dictionary provides definitions of words and phrases that have made their way into modern legal practice and may differ from what can be found in a general dictionary. Legal dictionaries may also provide references to relevant primary law and secondary sources which can help you with your research—especially when tackling an area of law that may be new and unfamiliar. Legal dictionaries are trustworthy sources used to look up unfamiliar terminology that you encounter while conducting legal research or in your law school courses. The most commonly used legal dictionary in the United States is Black’s Law Dictionary, but there are a number of other titles available. The maximum amount a person participating in a business can lose or be charged in case of claims against the company or its bankruptcy. A stockholder in a corporation can only lose his/her investment, and a limited partner can only lose his/her investment, but a general partner can be responsible for all the debts of the partnership.
Defendant In a civil case, the person or organization against whom the plaintiff brings suit; in a criminal case, the person accused of the crime. Declaratory judgment A judge’s statement about someone’s rights. For example, a plaintiff may seek a declaratory judgment that a particular statute, as written, violates some constitutional right. Creditor A person to whom or business to which the debtor owes money or that claims to be owed money by the debtor. Claim A creditor’s assertion of a right to payment from a debtor or the debtor’s property. Akin to common law, which springs from tradition and judicial decisions.
Considered one of the most valuable reference tools available to the legal community, Black’s Law Dictionary, Pocket Edition provides more than 21,000 clear, concise, and precise definitions for more than 15,000 terms. This is the essential companion to the full 11th edition of Black’s, containing all the commonly used terms from that edition. As a standalone tool, this pocket edition includes a dictionary guide and the complete U.S.
Writ A written court order directing a person to take, or refrain from taking, a certain act. Unliquidated claim A claim for which a specific value has not been determined. Undersecured claim A debt secured by property that is worth less than the amount of the debt. Transfer Any mode or means by which a debtor disposes of or parts with his/her property. Temporary restraining order Akin to a preliminary injunction, it is a judge’s short-term order forbidding certain actions until a full hearing can be conducted.
The Supreme Court eventually stepped in and ended legal segregation in the landmark 1954 decision, Brown v. Board Legal Dictionary of Education. A bankruptcy that requires assets be liquidated in exchange for the cancellation of debt.
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Print copies of Black’s are located on dictionary stands on the fourth and fifth floors. Property of the estate All legal or equitable interests of the debtor in property as of the commencement of the case. Peremptory challenge A district court may grant each side in a civil or criminal trial the right to exclude a certain number of prospective jurors without cause or giving a reason. Per curiam Latin, meaning “for the court.” In appellate courts, often refers to an unsigned opinion. No-asset case A Chapter 7 case in which there are no assets available to satisfy any portion of the creditors’ unsecured claims. Liquidation The sale of a debtor’s property with the proceeds to be used for the benefit of creditors. Lawsuit A legal action started by a plaintiff against a defendant based on a complaint that the defendant failed to perform a legal duty which resulted in harm to the plaintiff.
Alternative dispute resolution A procedure for settling a dispute outside the courtroom. Most forms of ADR are not binding, and involve referral of the case to a neutral party such as an arbitrator or mediator.
She won the court case, but she had to pay an enormous amount in legal fees. Find plain-English definitions for legal terms by browsing Nolo’s Plain-English Law Dictionary. You can also purchase Nolo’s Plain-English Law Dictionary as a downloadable eBook or as a paperback. DisclaimerAll content on this website, including dictionary, thesaurus, literature, geography, and other reference data is for informational purposes only. This information should not be considered complete, up to date, and is not intended to be used in place of a visit, consultation, or advice of a legal, medical, or any other professional. For the definition of a legal term, enter a word or phrase below. The basic entities that comprise the international legal system.
The most popular legal definitions:
If all the judges do not agree, the formal decision will be based upon the view of the majority, and one member of the majority will write the opinion. The judges who did not agree with the majority may write separately in dissenting or concurring opinions to present their views. A dissenting opinion disagrees with the majority opinion because of the reasoning and/or the principles of law the majority used to decide the case. A concurring opinion agrees with the decision of the majority opinion, but offers https://personal-accounting.org/ further comment or clarification or even an entirely different reason for reaching the same result. Only the majority opinion can serve as binding precedent in future cases. The Bankruptcy Code contains certain provisions designed to reduce the time a small business debtor is in bankruptcy. Federal public defender organization As provided for in the Criminal Justice Act, an organization established within a federal judicial circuit to represent criminal defendants who cannot afford an adequate defense.
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Wex is a free legal dictionary and encyclopedia sponsored and hosted by the Legal Information Institute at the Cornell Law School. Wex entries are collaboratively created and edited by legal experts. More information about Wex can be found in the Wex FAQ.
Revolutions are difficult and contentious, but each year there are revolts against existing political-legal authority; an aspiration for democratic rule, or greater “rights” for citizens, is a recurring theme in politics and law. Free legal dictionaries are available online, but online access to recent editions of pre-eminent legal dictionaries is typically restricted to subscription legal research databases. The subscription resources marked with a padlock are available to researchers on-site at the Library of Congress. If you are unable to visit the Library, you may be able to access these resources through your local public or academic library. Contains over 40,000 definitions of legal terms based on decisions in courts of last resort. A legal dictionary contains the definitions of legal terms taken from a variety of sources.
Basic Legal Research Guide: Dictionaries
Ex parte A proceeding brought before a court by one party only, without notice to or challenge by the other side. Discovery Procedures used to obtain disclosure of evidence before trial. Debtor A person who has filed a petition for relief under the Bankruptcy Code. De novo Latin, meaning “anew.” A trial de novo is a completely new trial. Appellate review de novo implies no deference to the trial judge’s ruling.
- Exculpatory evidence Evidence indicating that a defendant did not commit the crime.
- We now present the set of typing rules that define the legal terms of the system, but first we introduce some terminology and notation.
- Constitution, and a “legal maxims” section that explains the meanings of certain established principles of law as expressed in Latin (e.g.,Veritas est justitiae mater).
- West Publishing Co.’s Words and Phrases is a multivolume research tool, similar to a legal dictionary in that it includes legal definitions of words.
- The legal framework of the State and of obedience to the law in which industrial society is set threatens to break asunder.
- Unlawful detainer action A lawsuit brought by a landlord against a tenant to evict the tenant from rental property – usually for nonpayment of rent.
Article III judge A federal judge who is appointed for life, during “good behavior,” under Article III of the Constitution. Article III judges are nominated by the President and confirmed by the Senate. Amicus curiae Latin for “friend of the court.” It is advice formally offered to the court in a brief filed by an entity interested in, but not a party to, the case.
About Federal Courts
The trustee’s responsibilities include reviewing the debtor’s petition and schedules, liquidating the property of the estate, and making distributions to creditors. The trustee may also bring actions against creditors or the debtor to recover property of the bankruptcy estate. Chapter 11 A reorganization bankruptcy, usually involving a corporation or partnership. A Chapter 11 debtor usually proposes a plan of reorganization to keep its business alive and pay creditors over time. Individuals or people in business can also seek relief in Chapter 11. Bankruptcy judge A judicial officer of the United States district court who is the court official with decision-making power over federal bankruptcy cases.
Redemption A procedure in a Chapter 7 case whereby a debtor removes a secured creditor’s lien on collateral by paying the creditor the value of the property. Reaffirmation agreement An agreement by a debtor to continue paying a dischargeable debt after the bankruptcy, usually for the purpose of keeping collateral or mortgaged property that would otherwise be subject to repossession. Priority The Bankruptcy Code’s statutory ranking of unsecured claims that determines the order in which unsecured claims will be paid if there is not enough money to pay all unsecured claims in full. Presentence report A report prepared by a court’s probation officer, after a person has been convicted of an offense, summarizing for the court the background information needed to determine the appropriate sentence. Precedent A court decision in an earlier case with facts and legal issues similar to a dispute currently before a court.
The Sentencing Reform Act of 1984 abolished parole in favor of a determinate sentencing system in which the sentence is set by sentencing guidelines. Now, without the option of parole, the term of imprisonment the court imposes is the actual time the person spends in prison. Parole Commission – after the inmate has completed part of his or her sentence in a federal prison.
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. Exclusionary rule Doctrine that says evidence obtained in violation of a criminal defendant’s constitutional or statutory rights is not admissible at trial. Disposable income Income not reasonably necessary for the maintenance or support of the debtor or dependents. If the debtor operates a business, disposable income is defined as those amounts over and above what is necessary for the payment of ordinary operating expenses. Dischargeable debt A debt for which the Bankruptcy Code allows the debtor’s personal liability to be eliminated. Deposition An oral statement made before an officer authorized by law to administer oaths. Such statements are often taken to examine potential witnesses, to obtain discovery, or to be used later in trial.
The ‘Lectric Law Library’s Free Legal Lexicon – Terms, Definitions & Explanations
The judiciary administers the federal defender program pursuant to the Criminal Justice Act. Exemptions, exempt property Certain property owned by an individual debtor that the Bankruptcy Code or applicable state law permits the debtor to keep from unsecured creditors. The availability and amount of property the debtor may exempt depends on the state the debtor lives in. Chapter 7 The chapter of the Bankruptcy Code providing for “liquidation,” that is, the sale of a debtor’s nonexempt property and the distribution of the proceeds to creditors. In order to be eligible for Chapter 7, the debtor must satisfy a “means test.” The court will evaluate the debtor’s income and expenses to determine if the debtor may proceed under Chapter 7. Chapter 13 trustee A person appointed to administer a Chapter 13 case.
Treatment may include psychiatric, psychological, and sex offense-specific evaluations, inpatient or outpatient counseling, and medication. Liquidated claim A creditor’s claim for a fixed amount of money. Information A formal accusation by a government attorney that the defendant committed a misdemeanor. Inculpatory evidence Evidence indicating that a defendant did commit the crime. Home confinement A special condition the court imposes that requires an individual to remain at home except for certain approved activities such as work and medical appointments. Home confinement may include the use of electronic monitoring equipment – a transmitter attached to the wrist or the ankle – to help ensure that the person stays at home as required. Exculpatory evidence Evidence indicating that a defendant did not commit the crime.
- The former hinges on the possibility of software agents being regarded as legal persons in the eyes of the law.
- Chapter 11 A reorganization bankruptcy, usually involving a corporation or partnership.
- Statement of intention A declaration made by a chapter 7 debtor concerning plans for dealing with consumer debts that are secured by property of the estate.
- Plaintiff A person or business that files a formal complaint with the court.
Statute of limitations The time within which a lawsuit must be filed or a criminal prosecution begun. The deadline can vary, depending on the type of civil case or the crime charged.
Nolo’s Free Dictionary of Law is a browsable source for plain-English definitions for legal terms. Nolo has been a recognized publisher of self-help legal materials since 1971 and make much of their content available for free online. The FindLaw Legal Dictionary provides free access to over 8,200 definitions of legal terms. Many of the entries are sourced from Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary of Law . Legal Dictionary by Farlex gives you free, instant access to more than 14,500 legal terms and over 13,500 audio pronunciations from authoritative sources trusted by attorneys, including West’s Encyclopedia of American Law. The Utah Supreme Court has authorized Rocket Lawyer to provide legal services, including the practice of law, as a nonlawyer-owned company; further information regarding this authorization can be found in our Terms of Service.
- Habeas corpus Latin, meaning “you have the body.” A writ of habeas corpus generally is a judicial order forcing law enforcement authorities to produce a prisoner they are holding, and to justify the prisoner’s continued confinement.
- Fraudulent transfer A transfer of a debtor’s property made with intent to defraud or for which the debtor receives less than the transferred property’s value.
- Settlement Parties to a lawsuit resolve their dispute without having a trial.
- The two most commonly used legal dictionaries are Black’s Law Dictionaryand Ballentine’s Law Dictionary.
- A concurring opinion agrees with the decision of the majority opinion, but offers further comment or clarification or even an entirely different reason for reaching the same result.
Use the links below to find legal definitions based on the first letter, or use the search box. Community-built legal dictionary sponsored and hosted by the Legal Information Institute at the Cornell Law School.
Dismissal with prejudice Court action that prevents an identical lawsuit from being filed later. Judges sometimes use “court” to refer to themselves in the third person, as in “the court has read the briefs.” Contingent claim A claim that may be owed by the debtor under certain circumstances, e.g., where the debtor is a cosigner on another person’s loan and that person fails to pay.
- Legal Dictionary by Farlex gives you free, instant access to more than 14,500 legal terms and over 13,500 audio pronunciations from authoritative sources trusted by attorneys, including West’s Encyclopedia of American Law.
- Clerk of court The court officer who oversees administrative functions, especially managing the flow of cases through the court.
- Discovery Procedures used to obtain disclosure of evidence before trial.
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- Postpetition transfer A transfer of the debtor’s property made after the commencement of the case.
To be more precise, all those in which the legal facts are determined by law practices. The former hinges on the possibility of software agents being regarded as legal persons in the eyes of the law.
Legal Dictionaries and Thesauri
A browsable glossary of commonly used legal terms from the U.S. Resources for free or low cost legal research, providing a great way to get started with research if you don’t have access to paid databases or if you want to get an overview of a topic before using potentially expensive searches.