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39 Cards in this Set

  • Front
  • Back
A warning; a note of caution.
Caveat Emptor
"Let the buyer beware." The buyer of a piece of property assumes all responsibility for examining the quality of the item purchased.
Corpus Delicti
"body of the crime." Physical evidence a crime was committed, or the object the crime was directed to.
Habeas Corpus
"You have the body." A court order mandating that an imprisoned person be brought before the court for a hearing to determine whether or not he has been imprisoned with due process.
Ipso Facto
"By the fact itself." Refers to an obvious situation.
De Facto
Latin expression that means "in fact" or "in practice". It is commonly used in contrast to de jure (which means "by law") when referring to matters of law, governance, or technique (such as standards), that are found in the common experience as created or developed without or against a regulation.
Ex Post Facto
From the Latin word for "from something done afterward”. Law that retroactively changes the legal consequences of acts committed or the legal status of facts and relationships that existed prior to the enactment of the law.
Nolo Contendre
"I do not contest." A statement made in court by the defendant in a criminal case which is neither a denial nor an admission of guilt. Someone who pleas "nolo contendere" agrees to accept punishment as if he is guilty of the crime for which he is accused.
Post Hoc
Abbreviation for Latin phrase post hoc ergo propter hoc, which means "after this, therefore because of this." The phrase refers to the illogical conclusion that if one event occurs after another, it must have been caused by that prior event.
Prima Facie
"at first appearance." A prima facie case is one in which from the very beginning of a trial there appears to be sufficient evidence for the plaintiff to win, unless the defense can present evidence which is to the contrary.
Pro Bono
a phrase derived from Latin meaning "for the good". The complete phrase is pro bono publico, "for the public good." It is used to designate legal or other professional work undertaken voluntarily and without payment, as a public service.
Stare Decisis
The concept that court cases are decided based on precedent.
Voir Dire
The preliminary examination made in court of a witness or juror to determine his competency or interest in a matter. Literally, to speak the truth.
A judicial order directing a person to do something.
Giving or pronouncing a judgment or decree. Also the judgment given.
To advise or caution. For example the court may caution or admonish counsel for wrong practices.
a major American non-profit organization with headquarters in New York City, whose stated mission is "to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed to every person in this country by the Constitution and laws of the United States"
Appelate Court
A court that has the power to review the judgment of a lower court.
Bind Over
To hold a person for trial on bond (bail) or in jail. If the judicial official conducting a hearing finds probable cause to believe the accused committed a crime, the official will bind over the accused, normally by setting bail for the accused’s appearance at trial. (This is a state court procedure.)
A written statement submitted by a party in a case that argues why the court should decide the case, or particular issues in a case, in that party's favor.
Change of Venue
Moving a lawsuit or criminal trial to another place for trial.
Class Action
A lawsuit where a single member or smaller group represents the interest of a large group. Typical class actions involve cases where a product or company has negatively affected many people, such as workers who faced increased risk of cancer (mesothelioma) due to asbestos exposure.
Counter Claim
A claim made by the defendant in a civil lawsuit against the plaintiff. In essence, a counter lawsuit within a lawsuit.
Agreement; voluntary acceptance of the wish of another.
Behavior that has been defined by the state or federal government as deserving of punishment, which may involve imprisonment.
Cease and Desist
A legal action prohibiting a person from doing or continuing a particular activity.
An order of the court. A final decree is one that fully and finally disposes of the litigation.
A spoken or written statement that is false and harms another person's reputation. To be considered defamation, the statement must be made about a living person.
Default (judgment)
Failure of the defendant to appear and answer the summons and complaint. Also a ruling against a defendant who does not contest the plaintiff's charges. A default judgment is issued when a defendant does not show up in court.
The process by which the jury determines the verdict in a court case.
A pre-trial interrogation in which a witness in a case answers questions under oath. The testimony delivered during the deposition may be used during the trial.
A monetary payment ordered by the court to compensate a person for suffering or loss due to the actions of the defendant.
Direct Evidence
Proof of facts by witnesses who saw acts done or heard words spoken.
Disbarment (Bar)
Punishment for a lawyer in which the lawyer's right to practice law is revoked.
A pre-trial investigation of a case. Discovery is used largely to gather facts about the case from the opposition.
Dismissal (w/ and w/out prejudice)
The termination of a lawsuit. Without Prejudice: A declaration that no rights or privileges of the party concerned are waived or lost. In a dismissal these words maintain the right to bring a subsequent suit on the same claim. With prejudice: A dismissal "with prejudice" means that the plaintiff is henceforth barred from bringing another lawsuit on the same claim or cause.
A record of court proceedings as well as a schedule of cases to be heard by the court.
A person's permanent home or a permanent address a person intends to return to. A current residence is not necessarily the person's domicile if the residence is only temporary.
Due Process (of Law)
The regular course of administration through the courts of justice, under the protection of the law and the U.S. Constitution, enabling every person to have a fair and impartial trial or hearing. Also the right of all persons to receive the guarantees and safeguards of the law and the judicial process. It includes such constitutional requirements as adequate notice, assistance of counsel, and the rights to remain silent, to a speedy and public trial, to an impartial jury, and to confront and secure witnesses.