Legal Terminology You Should Be Familiar With

Law terminology

Are you interested in learning law terminology? Law terms are useful to know whether you are going to be in the courtroom, or want to be a more active and educated participant in debates and discussions about modern courtroom decisions. Here are a few legal terms to get you started.

What is an alternative dispute resolution, or ADR? This law terminology refers to a non binding procedure for settling disputes outside of the courtroom. They are often referrred to neutral third parties like arbitrators. This is fairly common for lawsuits and divorce.

What is an automatic stay? This is an injunction that automatically stops collection activities, lawsuits, foreclosures et cetera against a debtor as soon as a bankruptcy petiton is filed.

What is the burden of proof? This is the duty one has to prove a position. If you bring a case against someone, you have the burden of proving the case. If the government brings a criminal case against you, they have the burden of proving your guilt.

What is Chapter 7? This refers to the seventh chapter of the Bankruptcy code, and it refers to liquidation of the property of the debtor in order to distribute the proceeds to creditors. A court decides if Chapter 7 applies to the debtor.

What is hearsay? This is when a witness presents evidence they are not a first person witness to. In other words, usually things they have heard other people say about the crime rather than experienced themselves.

What is jurisprudence? This legal terminology just refers to the study of the structure of the legal system and its laws.

What is nolo contendere? This is law terminology for no contest. It means the individual will plead guilty for the purpose of the sentencing, but not as an admission of guilt in any other context.

What is a plaintiff? A plaintiff is simply the person filing a formal complaint with the court.

What is a precedent? A precedent is an earlier case with similar disputes and legal issues to the case in question. Decisions from earlier cases can be used to establish that in similar cases, the law has been resolved in a certain way.

These are some basic but important law terminology that you should be familiar with.

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