Dictionary of Law
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
Founded: 185
preponderance of the evidence :: n. the greater weight of the evidence required in ... what subjective. See also: evidence
tainted evidence :: n. in a criminal trial, information which has been ... e search and seizure search warrant
incontrovertible evidence :: n. evidence introduced to prove a fact in a trial ... erson is not the parent of a child.
incompetent evidence :: n. testimony, documents or things which one side a ... ns. See also: incompetent objection
parol evidence rule :: n. if there is evidence in writing (such as a sign ... or contradict the written document.
clear and convincing evidence :: n. evidence that proves a matter by the "preponder ... See also: beyond a reasonable doubt
evidence :: n. every type of proof legally presented at trial ... material object objection relevant
suppression of evidence :: n. 1) a judge's determination not to allow evidenc ... the prosecutor. See also: evidence
direct evidence :: n. real, tangible or clear evidence of a fact, hap ... o: circumstantial evidence evidence
insufficient evidence :: n. a finding (decision) by a trial judge or an app ... l court. See also: evidence finding
demonstrative evidence :: n. actual objects, pictures, models and other devi ... the trial judge. See also: evidence
corroborating evidence :: n. evidence which strengthens, adds to, or confirm ... confirms already existing evidence.
documentary evidence :: n. any document (paper) which is presented and all ... evancy. See also: document evidence
turn states' evidence :: v. for a person accused of a crime to decide to gi ... recommendation of a light sentence.
circumstantial evidence :: n. evidence in a trial which is not directly from ... circumstantial. See also: evidence
weight of evidence :: n. the strength, value and believability of eviden ... dence preponderance of the evidence
admission of evidence :: n. a judge's acceptance of evidence in a trial. Se ... ence in a trial. See also: evidence
admissible evidence :: n. evidence which the trial judge finds is useful ... olving violence. See also: evidence
best evidence rule :: n. the legal doctrine that an original piece of ev ... ence in a trial. See also: evidence
after-discovered evidence :: n. evidence found by a losing party after a trial ... also: evidence writ of coram nobis
renewal :: n. keeping an existing arrangement in force for an ... ction which evidences the new term.
remote :: adj., adv. extremely far off or slight. Evidence m ... ee also: immaterial proximate cause
proffer :: v. to offer evidence in a trial. ... v. to offer evidence in a trial.
process :: n. in law, the legal means by which a person is re ... service of process subpena summons
rental value :: n. the amount which would be paid for rental of si ... alimony to be paid. See also: rent
rebuttal :: n. evidence introduced to counter, disprove or con ... tion, or responsive legal argument.
probative value :: n. evidence which is sufficiently useful to prove ... prior actions. See also: probative
proof :: n. confirmation of a fact by evidence. In a trial, ... doubt preponderance of the evidence
property damage :: n. injury to real or personal property through ano ... l value. See also: damages property
rehearing :: n. conducting a hearing again based on the motion ... the judge or agency was just wrong.
public record :: n. any information, minutes, files, accounts or ot ... l judgment are both public records.
relevant :: adj. having some reasonable connection with, and i ... nt." See also: irrelevant objection
record :: 1) v. (ree-cored) to put a document into the offic ... eeding race to the courthouse trial
prove :: v. to present evidence and/or logic that makes a f ... t or criminal case. See also: proof
reasonable doubt :: n. not being sure of a criminal defendant's guilt ... also: preponderance of the evidence
referee :: n. a person to whom a judge refers a case to take ... on such findings. See also: master
prime suspect :: n. the one person law enforcement officers believe ... in trial. See also: Miranda warning
opening statement :: n. the explanation by the attorneys for both sides ... rgument. See also: closing argument
overrule :: v. 1) to reject an attorney's objection to a quest ... : appellate court objection sustain
overt act :: n. in criminal law, an action which might be innoc ... terrorist bombing of that building.
parol :: adj. oral. See also: parol evidence rule ... oral. See also: parol evidence rule
open court :: n. the conduct of judicial proceedings (trials, he ... which are usually held in chambers.
on the merits :: adj. referring to a judgment, decision or ruling o ... s if this mistake had not occurred.
objection :: n. a lawyer's protest about the legal propriety of ... ng question object overrule sustain
obstruction of justice :: n. an attempt to interfere with the administration ... n arrest. Such activity is a crime.
offer of proof :: n. an explanation made by an attorney to a judge d ... rial irrelevant objection testimony
paternity suit :: n. a lawsuit, usually by a mother, to prove that a ... d to a prompt and quiet settlement.
plain view doctrine :: n. the rule that a law enforcement officer may mak ... : search and seizure search warrant
prior(s) :: n. slang for a criminal defendant's previous recor ... es for the third felony conviction.
probable cause :: n. sufficient reason based upon known facts to bel ... of Rights search search and seizure
probative :: adj. in evidence law, tending to prove something. ... so: probative facts probative value
renunciation :: n. 1) giving up a right, such as a right of inheri ... renunciation is factually too late.
prima facie :: : (pry-mah fay-shah) adj. Latin for "at first look ... t" case. See also: prima facie case
preliminary hearing :: n. in criminal law, a hearing to determine if a pe ... nment charge Grand Jury information
presentment :: n. 1) making a demand for payment of a promissory ... ee also: Grand Jury promissory note
presumption :: n. a rule of law which permits a court to assume a ... resumption at all, but a certainty.
probative facts :: n. evidence which tends to prove something which i ... See also: probative probative value
roadside test :: n. a preliminary test law enforcement officers use ... g while intoxicated Miranda warning
temporary insanity :: n. in a criminal prosecution, a defense by the acc ... diminished capacity insanity intent
testify :: v. to give oral evidence under oath in answer to q ... deposition evidence testimony trial
testimony :: n. oral evidence given under oath by a witness in ... tion evidence testify trial witness
title :: n. 1) ownership of real property or personal prope ... ink slip real property title search
survivorship :: n. the right to receive full title or ownership du ... onvenience. See also: joint tenancy
summary adjudication of issues :: n. a court order ruling that certain factual issue ... is made. See also: summary judgment
stop and frisk :: n. a law enforcement officer's search for a weapon ... h search and seizure search warrant
submitted :: n. the conclusion of all evidence and argument in ... , no further argument is permitted.
subpena duces tecum :: : (suh-pea-nah dooh-chess-take-uhm or dooh-kess-ta ... ng a court order. See also: witness
trial :: n. the examination of facts and law presided over ... at a hearing held at a later time.
true bill :: n. the written decision of a Grand Jury (signed by ... to the court. See also: indictment
whiplash :: n. a common neck and/or back injury suffered in au ... r damages due to negligent driving.
witness :: 1) n. a person who testifies under oath in a trial ... lso: deposition evidence trial will
work product :: n. the writings, notes, memoranda, reports on conv ... ies to be employed by the attorney.
warrant :: 1) n. an order (writ) of a court which directs a l ... e search and seizure search warrant
verdict :: n. the decision of a jury after a trial, which mus ... nt quotient verdict special verdict
ultimate fact :: n. in a trial, a conclusion of fact which is logic ... is not evidence. See also: evidence
undue influence :: n. the amount of pressure which one uses to force ... ounder. See also: will will contest
unreasonable search and seizure :: n. search of an individual or his/her premises (in ... e probable cause search and seizure
spontaneous exclamation :: n. a sudden statement caused by the speaker having ... et hit the girl." See also: hearsay
special damages :: n. damages claimed and/or awarded in a lawsuit whi ... . See also: damages general damages
rights :: n. 1) plural of right, which is the collection of ... evidence. See also: Miranda warning
non-suit :: n. a ruling by the judge in a lawsuit either when ... the defendant. See also: dismissal
scintilla :: n. Latin for "spark." Scintilla is commonly used i ... ark) upon which to base a judgment.
search :: v. 1) to examine another's premises (including a v ... e search and seizure search warrant
right of way :: n. 1) a pathway or road with a specific descriptio ... s easement egress floating easement
reversal :: n. the decision of a court of appeal ruling that t ... e of damages is ordered to dismiss.
res ipsa loquitur :: (rayz ip-sah loh-quit-her) n. Latin for "the thing ... plex doctrine. See also: negligence
retrial :: n. a new trial granted upon the motion of the losi ... al or reversed by an appeals court.
retroactive :: adj. referring to a court's decision or a statute ... ospective." See also: ex post facto
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
sequester :: v. to keep separate or apart. In so-called "high-p ... of others. See also: sequestration
shifting the burden of proof :: n. the result of the plaintiff in a lawsuit meetin ... o: burden of proof prima facie case
speaking demurrer :: n. an attempt to introduce evidence during a heari ... the operation." See also: demurrer
self-serving :: adj. referring to a question asked of a party to a ... ng declaration. See also: objection
self-incrimination :: n. making statements or producing evidence which t ... nda warning rights taking the Fifth
securities :: n. generic term for shares of stock, bonds and deb ... ee also: bond debenture share stock
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
reprieve :: n. a temporary delay in imposition of the death pe ... commutation of sentence or pardon.
moral certainty :: n. in a criminal trial, the reasonable belief (but ... : beyond a reasonable doubt verdict
District Attorney (D.A.) :: n. an elected official of a county or a designated ... dent and serve at his/her pleasure.
DNA :: n. scientifically, deoxyribonucleic acid, a chromo ... is strongly in favor of admission.
document :: n. a popular generic word among lawyers for any pa ... it. See also: documentary evidence
double jeopardy :: n. placing someone on trial a second time for an o ... that occurred thirty years earlier.
dismiss :: v. the ruling by a judge that all or a portion (on ... nst that party. See also: dismissal
criminal justice :: n. a generic term for the procedure by which crimi ... endered and punishment carried out.
confidential communication :: n. certain written communications which can be kep ... privilege privileged communication
contempt of court :: n. there are essentially two types of contempt: a) ... roduce evidence. See also: sanction
corroborate :: v. to confirm and sometimes add substantiating (re ... l. See also: corroborating evidence
election of remedies :: n. an outmoded requirement that if a plaintiff (pa ... dence has not been fully presented.
enclosure :: (inclosure)n. land bounded by a fence, wall, hedge ... oundaries and cause legal problems.
exhibit :: n. 1) a document or object (including a photograph ... ncorporated into the main document.
expert witness :: n. a person who is a specialist in a subject, ofte ... sitions. See also: expert testimony
extrajudicial :: adj. referring to actions outside the judicial (co ... gnized by the judge during a trial.
extreme cruelty :: n. an archaic requirement to show infliction of ph ... ring the suffering spouse (victim).
exculpatory :: adj. applied to evidence which may justify or excu ... t guilty or has no criminal intent.
exclusionary rule :: n. the rule that evidence secured by illegal means ... e poisonous tree motion to suppress
enjoin :: v. for a court to order that someone either do a s ... so: injunction temporary injunction
examination :: n. 1) the questioning of a witness by an attorney. ... irect examination testimony witness
exception :: n. 1) a formal objection during trial ("We take ex ... cluded. See also: exception in deed
conclusion of fact :: n. in a trial, the final result of an analysis of ... quested. See also: finding judgment
conclusion :: n. 1) in general, the end. 2) in a trial, when all ... onclusion of fact conclusion of law
bad debt :: n. an uncollectible debt. The problem is to determ ... ust no income on which to be taxed.
beyond a reasonable doubt :: adj. part of jury instructions in all criminal tri ... on moral certainty reasonable doubt
bifurcate :: v. the order or ruling of a judge that one issue i ... is necessary. See also: bifurcation
bifurcation :: n. the act of a judge in dividing issues before a ... on the other issue. (See bifurcate
attorney's work product :: n. written materials, charts, notes of conversatio ... ivileged communication work product
appeal :: 1) v. to ask a higher court to reverse the decisio ... ng, as in "he has filed an appeal."
admission of guilt :: n. a statement by someone accused of a crime that ... ssion guilty Miranda warning rights
admit :: v. 1) to state something is true in answering a co ... tted." See also: admission evidence
adverse possession :: n. a means to acquire title to land through obviou ... o: possession prescriptive easement
bond :: n. 1) written evidence of debt issued by a company ... good up to the amount of the bond.
burden of proof :: n. the requirement that the plaintiff (the party b ... ence prima facie weight of evidence
community property :: n. property and profits received by a husband and ... and distribution separate property
commutation :: n. the act of reducing a criminal sentence resulti ... See also: executive clemency pardon
competent :: adj. 1) in general, able to act in the circumstanc ... all bases. See also: evidence will
comment :: n. a statement made by a judge or an attorney duri ... e rung, cannot be unrung," applies.
color of title :: n. the appearance of having title to personal or r ... rty based on this "color of title."
business invitee :: n. a person entering commercial premises for the p ... to the contrary. See also: invitee
closing argument :: n. the final argument by an attorney on behalf of ... . See also: opening statement trial
code :: n. a collection of written laws gathered together, ... utes or laws. See also: law statute
extrinsic fraud :: n. fraudulent acts which keep a person from obtain ... it. See also: fraud intrinsic fraud
fact :: n. an actual thing or happening, which must be pro ... dge if he/she sits without a jury).
lay a foundation :: v. in evidence, to provide to the judge the qualif ... ce and training. See also: evidence
liability :: n. one of the most significant words in the field ... bility joint tortfeasors negligence
magistrate :: n. 1) a generic term for any judge of a court, or ... ce of the peace preliminary hearing
malicious prosecution :: n. filing a lawsuit with the intention of creating ... vor of the victim. See also: malice
jury tampering :: n. the crime of attempting to influence a jury thr ... e also: jury subornation of perjury
jury stress :: n. a form of mental, emotional, psychological, phy ... do the right thing. See also: jury
joint tenancy :: n. a crucial relationship in the ownership of real ... ty property tenancy in common title
judicial notice :: n. the authority of a judge to accept as facts cer ... elts in the sun. See also: evidence
jurisdiction :: n. the authority given by law to a court to try ca ... Superior Court Supreme Court venue
marked for identification :: adj. documents or objects presented during a trial ... exhibit lay a foundation objection
material :: adj. relevant and significant. In a lawsuit, "mate ... contract is not a material breach.
motion to strike :: n. a request for a judge's order to eliminate all ... be unrung." See also: motion strike
motion to suppress :: n. a motion (usually on behalf of a criminal defen ... eshold." See also: motion in limine
motive :: n. in criminal investigation the probable reason a ... is not necessary to prove a crime.
muniment of title :: n. documentary evidence of title to real property. ... also: deed quiet title action title
motion in limine :: (lim-in-nay) n. Latin for "threshold," a motion ma ... o: in limine Miranda warning motion
motion for dismissal :: (non-suit) n. application by a defendant in a laws ... otion for nonsuit. See also: motion
matter of record :: n. anything, including testimony, evidence, ruling ... cussions not written down or taped.
McNabb-Mallory rule :: n. a federal rule of evidence in criminal trials t ... present. See also: Miranda warning
abuse of discretion :: n. a polite way of saying a trial judge has made s ... partner's realistic ability to pay.
irrelevant :: adj. not important, pertinent, or germane to the m ... ce immaterial incompetent objection
instruction :: n. an explanation of the law governing a case whic ... fore the jury begins deliberations.
harmless error :: n. an error by a judge in the conduct of a trial w ... ar to be harmless." See also: error
hearing :: n. any proceeding before a judge or other magistra ... e hearing preliminary hearing trial
hearsay :: n. 1) second-hand evidence in which the witness is ... t or gossip. See also: hearsay rule
immaterial :: adj. a commonly heard objection to introducing evi ... ons. See also: irrelevant objection
Grand Jury :: n. a jury in each county or federal court district ... arge indictment preliminary hearing
fruit of the poisonous tree :: n. in criminal law, the doctrine that evidence dis ... property. See also: Miranda warning
foreclosure :: n. the system by which a party who has loaned mone ... ced sale mortgage notice of default
four corners of an instrument :: n. the term for studying an entire document to und ... solve an ambiguity in its language.
fraud :: n. the intentional use of deceit, a trick or some ... audulent conveyance intrinsic fraud
impeach :: v. 1) to discredit the testimony of a witness by p ... ve been found guilty by the Senate.
impound :: v. 1) to collect funds, in addition to installment ... cases. See also: forfeit forfeiture
inference :: n. a rule of logic applied to evidence in a trial, ... . See also: circumstantial evidence
information :: n. an accusation or criminal charge brought by the ... Jury indictment preliminary hearing
inspection of documents :: n. the right to examine and copy the opposing part ... evidence subpena duces tecum trial
indictment :: n. a charge of a felony (serious crime) voted by a ... ictable offense preliminary hearing
indictable offense :: n. a crime (offense) for which a Grand Jury rules ... o commit them. See also: indictment
in limine :: (in lim-in-ay) from Latin for "at the threshold," ... otion. See also: motion to suppress
incompetent :: adj. 1) referring to a person who is not able to m ... n incompetency incompetent evidence
indicia :: n. (in-dish-yah) from Latin for "signs," circumsta ... . See also: circumstantial evidence
nolle prosequi :: (no-lay pro-say-kwee) n. Latin for "we shall no lo ... nocent and declared nolle prosequi.