Dictionary of Law
said :: adj. a reference back to a thing that was previous ... automobile in a negligent manner."
sale :: n. transfer of something (and title to it) in retu ... contract forced sale sheriff's sale
salvage :: 1) v. to save goods. 2) n. payment to a person or ... which saves cargo from a shipwreck.
sanction :: n. 1) a financial penalty imposed by a judge on a ... ction." See also: contempt of court
satisfaction :: n. receiving payment or performance of what is due ... n contract satisfaction of judgment
satisfaction of judgment :: n. a document signed by a judgment creditor (the p ... ord. See also: abstract of judgment
satisfaction of mortgage :: n. a document signed by a lender acknowledging tha ... id off the debt. See also: mortgage
save harmless :: v. 1) also called hold harmless, to indemnify (pro ... . See also: hold harmless indemnify
savings and loan :: n. a banking and lending institution, chartered ei ... vings into the home finance market.
scienter :: n. Latin for "having knowledge." In criminal law, ... ents were lies and thus fraudulent.
scintilla :: n. Latin for "spark." Scintilla is commonly used i ... ark) upon which to base a judgment.
scope of employment :: n. actions of an employee which further the busine ... ter and servant respondeat superior
scrivener :: n. a person who writes a document for another, usu ... r practicing law without a license.
seal :: n. a device which creates an impression upon paper ... e "sealed," but that is rare today.
sealed verdict :: n. the decision of a jury when there is a delay in ... reconvenes. See also: jury verdict
sealing of records :: n. trial records and decisions which a judge order ... eep the terms from public scrutiny.
search :: v. 1) to examine another's premises (including a v ... e search and seizure search warrant
search and seizure :: n. examination of a person's premises (residence, ... robable cause search search warrant
search warrant :: n. a written order by a judge which permits a law ... ble cause search search and seizure
second degree murder :: n. a non-premeditated killing, resulting from an a ... t degree murder manslaughter murder
secondary boycott :: n. an organized refusal to purchase the products o ... state laws and, thus, are illegal.
secret rebate :: n. a kickback of money by a business to a "preferr ... h a secret rebate. See also: rebate
secured transaction :: n. any loan or credit in which property is pledged ... d of trust lien mortgage pawn UCC-1
securities :: n. generic term for shares of stock, bonds and deb ... ee also: bond debenture share stock
security deposit :: n. a payment required by a landlord from a tenant ... lso: landlord and tenant lease rent
security interest :: n. generic term for the property rights of a lende ... : deed of trust lien mortgage UCC-1
sedition :: n. the federal crime of advocacy of insurrection a ... e rare. See also: espionage treason
seduction :: n. the use of charm, salesmanship, promises, gifts ... ry breach of promise date rape rape
seisin :: (sees-in) n. an old feudal term for having both po ... perty). See also: fee simple seized
seized :: (seised) n. 1) having ownership, commonly used in ... by force. See also: seisin seizure
seizure :: n. the taking by law enforcement officers of poten ... e search and seizure search warrant
self-dealing :: n. in the stock market, using secret "inside" info ... ederal Securities and Exchange Act.
self-defense :: n. the use of reasonable force to protect oneself ... ndalism. See also: assault homicide
self-executing :: adj. immediately effective without further action, ... party the right to try to collect.
self-help :: n. 1) obtaining relief or enforcing one's rights w ... maximizing of one's opportunities.
self-incrimination :: n. making statements or producing evidence which t ... nda warning rights taking the Fifth
self-serving :: adj. referring to a question asked of a party to a ... ng declaration. See also: objection
sell :: v. to transfer possession and ownership of goods o ... of equivalent value. See also: sale
seller :: n. one who sells goods or other property to a buye ... er (purchaser). See also: sale sell
senior lien :: n. the first security interest (lien or claim) pla ... rtgage race to the courthouse UCC-1
sentence :: 1) n. the punishment given to a person convicted o ... ence restitution suspended sentence
separate property :: n. in community property states (California, Texas ... pouse. See also: community property
separation :: n. married persons living apart, either informally ... gal separation separation agreement
separation agreement :: n. an agreement between two married people who hav ... divorce legal separation separation
sequester :: v. to keep separate or apart. In so-called "high-p ... of others. See also: sequestration
sequestration :: n. the act of a judge issuing an order that a jury ... during trial). See also: sequester
seriatim :: (sear-ee-ah-tim) prep. Latin for "one after anothe ... one in order. See also: ad seriatim
servant :: n. an employee of an employer, technically one who ... ndent contractor master and servant
service :: n. 1) paid work by another person, either by contr ... ersonal services service of process
service by FAX :: n. delivery of legal documents required by statute ... ee also: service service of process
service by mail :: n. mailing legal pleadings to opposing attorneys o ... attorney by mail. See also: service
service by publication :: n. serving a summons or other legal document in a ... perty. See also: service of process
service of process :: n. the delivery of copies of legal documents such ... by publication substituted service
services :: n. work performed for pay. See also: personal serv ... See also: personal services service
servient estate :: n. real property which has an easement or other us ... See also: dominant estate easement
session :: n. 1) a meeting (or "sitting") of a court for a pa ... pring Term" or the "October Term").
set :: v. to schedule, as to "set a case for trial." ... dule, as to "set a case for trial."
set aside :: v. to annul or negate a court order or judgment by ... "set aside" the original dismissal.
setoff :: (offset) n. a claim by a defendant in a lawsuit th ... ee also: affirmative defense offset
setting :: n. the action of a court, clerk or commissioner in ... g a trial or hearing. See also: set
settle :: v. to resolve a lawsuit without a final court judg ... rior to trial. See also: settlement
settlement :: n. the resolution of a lawsuit (or of a legal disp ... ult in settlement. See also: settle
settlor :: n. the person who creates a trust by a written tru ... the trust. See also: trust trustor
severable contract :: n. an agreement which is made up of several separa ... e also: breach of contract contract
several liability :: n. referring to responsibility of one party for th ... n joint and several promissory note
severance :: n. 1) a separating by court order, such as separat ... le a potential claim for discharge.
sex offender :: n. generic term for all persons convicted of crime ... pornography rape sexual harassment
sexual harassment :: n. unwanted sexual approaches (including touching, ... emale employees. See also: nuisance
shall :: v. 1) an imperative command as in "you shall not k ... andatory, depending on the context.
share :: n. 1) a portion of a benefit from a trust, estate, ... n issue of the corporation's stock.
share and share alike :: adj. referring to the equal division of a benefit ... among the three surviving nephews.
shareholder :: n. the owner of one or more shares of stock in a c ... : corporation shareholders' meeting
shareholders' agreement :: n. an employment agreement among the shareholders ... re only three or four shareholders.
shareholders' derivative action :: n. a lawsuit by a corporation's shareholders, theo ... gement. See also: derivative action
shareholders' meeting :: n. a meeting, usually annual, of all shareholders ... ctors corporation proxy shareholder
sharp practice :: n. actions by a lawyer using misleading statements ... e bar association or by the courts.
Shepardize :: n. a method of locating reports of appeals decisio ... m prior case law. See also: reports
sheriff :: n. the top law enforcement officer for a county, u ... ." See also: bailiff sheriff's sale
sheriff's sale :: n. an auction sale of property held by the sheriff ... so: execution forced sale levy writ
shield laws :: n. statutes enacted in some states which declare t ... See also: privileged communication
shifting the burden of proof :: n. the result of the plaintiff in a lawsuit meetin ... o: burden of proof prima facie case
short cause :: n. a lawsuit which is estimated by the parties (us ... l be reset later as a "long cause."
shortening time :: n. an order of the court in response to the motion ... e notice is served within 24 hours.
show cause order :: n. an order of the court, also called an order to ... hild. See also: order to show cause
sidebar :: n. 1) physically, an area in front of or next to t ... See also: approach the bench bench
sign :: v. 1) to write one's signature on a document, incl ... language. See also: mark subscribe
silent partner :: n. a non-legal term for an investor who puts money ... partner limited partnership partner
similarly situated :: adj. with the same problems and circumstances, ref ... class action multiplicity of suits
simple trust :: n. a trust which requires that all income be distr ... nd not accumulated. See also: trust
simultaneous death act :: n. a statute in effect in most states which provid ... See also: descent and distribution
sine qua non :: (see-nay kwah nahn) prep. Latin for "without which ... qua non of the injury to Playmate.
situs :: n. Latin for "location," be it where the crime or ... place or where the building stands.
slander :: n. oral defamation, in which someone tells one or ... . See also: defamation fair comment
small claims court :: n. a division of most municipal, city or other low ... od example of a small claims court.
sodomy :: n. anal copulation by a man inserting his penis in ... tiality). See also: bestiality rape
sole proprietorship :: n. a business owned by one person, as distinguishe ... from a partnership or corporation.
solicitation :: n. the crime of encouraging or inducing another to ... xual acts for pay. See also: pander
solicitor :: n. an English attorney who may perform all legal s ... s or barristers. See also: attorney
Solicitor General :: n. the chief trial attorney in the federal Departm ... Attorney General in the Department.
solitary confinement :: n. the placement of a prisoner in a federal or sta ... as "cruel and unusual punishment."
solvency :: n. 1) having sufficient funds or other assets to p ... cy. See also: bankruptcy insolvency
sound mind and memory :: n. having an understanding of one's actions and re ... ee also: competent incompetent will
sounds in :: adj. referring to the underlying legal basis for a ... ause of action sounds in contract."
speaking demurrer :: n. an attempt to introduce evidence during a heari ... the operation." See also: demurrer
special :: adj. referring to a particular purpose, person or ... rator, master, orders and so forth.
special administrator :: n. a person appointed by the court in a probate pr ... or administrator. See also: probate
special appearance :: n. the representation by an attorney of a person i ... anged. See also: general appearance
special circumstances :: n. in criminal cases, particularly homicides, acti ... urant. See also: capital punishment
special damages :: n. damages claimed and/or awarded in a lawsuit whi ... . See also: damages general damages
special master :: n. a person appointed by the court to carry out an ... ting to the judge. See also: master
special prosecutor :: n. an attorney from outside of the government sele ... Robert Bork finally discharged Cox.
special verdict :: n. the jury's decisions or findings of fact with t ... utation. See also: specific finding
specific bequest :: n. the gift in a will of a certain article to a ce ... ce, Sophie." See also: bequest will
specific devise :: n. the gift in a will of a certain piece of real e ... ther, David." See also: devise will
specific finding :: n. a decision on a fact made by a jury in its verd ... so forth. See also: special verdict
specific legacy :: n. a gift in a will of a certain article or proper ... ecific bequest specific devise will
specific performance :: n. the right of a party to a contract to demand th ... artwork. See also: contract prayer
speculative damages :: n. possible financial loss or expenses claimed by ... future customers. See also: damages
speedy trial :: n. in criminal prosecutions, the right of a defend ... hurt by the waiver. See also: trial
spendthrift clause :: n. a provision in a trust or will that states that ... tly to Junior. See also: trust will
spontaneous exclamation :: n. a sudden statement caused by the speaker having ... et hit the girl." See also: hearsay
spot zoning :: n. a provision in a general plan which benefits a ... . See also: grandfathered in zoning
spousal support :: n. payment for support of an ex-spouse (or a spous ... but two. See also: alimony divorce
springing interest :: n. a future right to title to real property create ... lso: future interest interest title
stakeholder :: n. a person having in his/her possession (holding) ... ment or agreement. See also: escrow
standard of care :: n. the watchfulness, attention, caution and pruden ... of care foreseeable risk negligence
standing :: n. the right to file a lawsuit or file a petition ... so: actual controversy jurisdiction
star chamber proceedings :: n. any judicial or quasi-judicial action, trial or ... ate 1960s. See also: kangaroo court
stare decisis :: : (stah-ree duh-sigh-sis) n. Latin for "to stand b ... pellate court lower court precedent
state :: n. 1) the federal or state government and any of i ... d States. 3) a nation's government.
state action :: n. in federal Civil Rights Acts, dating back to 18 ... for damages. See also: civil rights
state of domicile :: n. the state in which a person has his/her permane ... orated. See also: domicile resident
status conference :: n. a pre-trial meeting of attorneys before a judge ... g a trial date. See also: discovery
statute :: n. a federal or state written law enacted by the C ... and proclamations are not statutes.
statute of frauds :: n. law in every state which requires that certain ... ulent title claims. See also: fraud
statute of limitations :: n. a law which sets the maximum period which one c ... ies. See also: demurrer laches toll
statutory offer of settlement :: n. a written offer of a specific sum of money made ... ly awarded to the prevailing party.
statutory rape :: n. sexual intercourse with a female below the lega ... majority minority molestation rape
stay :: n. a court-ordered short-term delay in judicial pr ... r case. See also: stay of execution
stay away order :: n. a court order that a person may not come near a ... also: peace bond restraining order
stay of execution :: n. a court-ordered delay in inflicting the death p ... g the death penalty. See also: stay
stipulation :: n. an agreement, usually on a procedural matter, b ... g, signed and filed with the court.
stock :: 1) n. inventory (goods) of a business meant for sa ... siness. See also: share shareholder
stock certificate :: n. printed document which states the name, incorpo ... . See also: corporation share stock
stock in trade :: n. the inventory of merchandise held for sale. ... ntory of merchandise held for sale.
stock option :: n. the right to purchase stock in the future at a ... hares. See also: option share stock
stockholder :: n. shareholder in a corporation. See also: shareho ... corporation. See also: shareholder
stockholders' derivative action :: n. See also: derivative action shareholders' deriv ... ion shareholders' derivative action
stop and frisk :: n. a law enforcement officer's search for a weapon ... h search and seizure search warrant
straw man :: n. 1) a person to whom title to property or a busi ... a trail will mislead hunting dogs).
street :: n. a roadway in an urban area, owned and maintaine ... A private road cannot be a street.
strict construction :: (narrow construction) n. interpreting the Constitu ... See also: constitution construction
strict liability :: n. automatic responsibility (without having to pro ... bility negligence res ipsa loquitur
strike :: 1) v. to remove a statement from the record of the ... ing the business, factory or store.
structure :: n. anything built by man/woman, from a shed to a h ... m a shed to a highrise or a bridge.
sua sponte :: : (sooh-uh spahn-tay) adj. Latin for "of one's own ... ot have jurisdiction over the case.
subchapter S corporation :: n. the choice by a small corporation to be treated ... ing attorney. See also: corporation
subcontractor :: n. a person or business which has a contract (as a ... ependent contractor mechanic's lien
subject to :: adj. referring to the acquisition of title to real ... : assumption deed of trust mortgage
sublease :: n. the lease to another of all or a portion of pre ... and sublease. See also: lease rent
submitted :: n. the conclusion of all evidence and argument in ... , no further argument is permitted.
subordination :: n. allowing a debt or claim which has priority to ... . See also: subordination agreement
subordination agreement :: n. a written contract in which a lender who has se ... ty records. See also: subordination
subornation of perjury :: n. the crime of encouraging, inducing or assisting ... itness's perjury. See also: perjury
subpena :: (subpoena): (suh-pea-nah) n. an order of the court ... ubpena duces tecum subpoena witness
subpena duces tecum :: : (suh-pea-nah dooh-chess-take-uhm or dooh-kess-ta ... ng a court order. See also: witness
subpoena :: n. the original spelling of subpena, still commonl ... e also: subpena subpena duces tecum
subrogation :: n. assuming the legal rights of a person for whom ... also: negligence subrogee subrogor
subrogee :: n. the person or entity that assumes the legal rig ... aid. See also: subrogation subrogor
subrogor :: n. a person or entity that transfers his/her/its l ... ges. See also: subrogation subrogee
subscribe :: v. 1) to sign at the end of a document. The courts ... r periodical magazine or newspaper.
substantial performance :: n. in the law of contracts, fulfillment of the obl ... also: contract specific performance
substantive law :: n. law which establishes principles and creates an ... are conducted. See also: procedure
substitute in :: v. to take over a case from another lawyer, which ... See also: substitution of attorney
substituted service :: n. accomplishing service (delivery) of legal docum ... ee also: service service of process
substitution :: n. putting one person in place of another, in part ... See also: substitution of attorney
substitution of attorney :: n. a document in which the party to a lawsuit stat ... t any time. See also: substitute in
succession :: n. the statutory rules of inheritance of a dead pe ... istribution." See also: inheritance
successive sentences :: n. in criminal law, the imposition of the penalty ... uld be 15 years. See also: sentence
suffering :: n. the pain, hurt, inconvenience, embarrassment an ... njury negligence pain and suffering
sui generis :: (sooh-ee jen-ur-iss) n. Latin for "one of a kind," ... Latin for "one of a kind," unique.
suicide :: n. the intentional killing of oneself. Ironically, ... e manslaughter second degree murder
suit :: n. generic term for any filing of a complaint (or ... "suit in equity." See also: lawsuit
sum certain :: n. a specific amount stated in a contract or negot ... r redecoration of Williams' house."
summary adjudication of issues :: n. a court order ruling that certain factual issue ... is made. See also: summary judgment
summary judgment :: n. a court order ruling that no factual issues rem ... tion summary adjudication of issues
summation :: n. the final argument of an attorney at the close ... 's case. See also: closing argument
summons :: n. a document issued by the court at the time a la ... use service service of process writ
Superior Court :: n. the name used in 16 states for the basic county ... county trial court. See also: court
supersedeas :: (sooh-purr-said-ee-uhs) Latin for "you shall desis ... . See also: appeal court of appeals
superseding cause :: n. the same as an "intervening cause" or "superven ... : intervening cause proximate cause
supplemental :: adj. referring to anything that is added to comple ... emental answer, supplemental claim.
suppression of evidence :: n. 1) a judge's determination not to allow evidenc ... the prosecutor. See also: evidence
supra :: (sooh-prah) Latin for "above," in legal briefs and ... d as Guinn v. United States, supra.
supremacy clause :: n. Article VI, section 2 of the U.S. Constitution, ... f involving a constitutional issue.
Supreme Court :: n. 1) the highest court in the United States, whic ... rt in other states. See also: court
surcharge :: n. an additional charge of money made because it w ... for being late in making a payment.
surety :: n. a guarantor of payment or performance if anothe ... or entity. See also: bond guarantor
surplusage :: n. a term used in analyzing legal documents and pl ... ect and, therefore, can be ignored.
surrebutal :: n. in written or oral legal argument, the response ... h until the judge stops the debate.
surrender :: v. 1) to turn over possession of real property, ei ... lf up to law enforcement officials.
surrogate :: n. 1) a person acting on behalf of another or a su ... or probates, estates and adoptions.
surrogate court :: n. a court in a few states (including New York) wi ... er probates, estates and adoptions.
survivor :: n. a person who outlives another, as in "to my son ... are alive they are both survivors.
survivorship :: n. the right to receive full title or ownership du ... onvenience. See also: joint tenancy
suspended sentence :: n. in criminal law, a penalty applied by a judge t ... may be enforced. See also: sentence
sustain :: v. in trial practice, for a judge to agree that an ... /she will "overrule" the objection.
swear :: v. 1) to declare under oath that one will tell the ... ee also: notary public oath perjury
swindle :: v. to cheat through trick, device, false statement ... orm of theft. See also: fraud theft
syndicate :: n. a joint venture among individuals and/or corpor ... l dissolve. See also: joint venture