Law – A system of rules and principles governing behavior in a society.
Jurisdiction – The authority of a court to hear and decide cases within a particular geographic area or subject matter.
Constitution – A written document that outlines the basic principles and laws of a country or state.
Statute – A law enacted by a legislative body.
Common law – A legal system based on precedent and court decisions rather than statutes.
Civil law – A legal system based on written codes of law.
Criminal law – A branch of law that deals with offenses against society as a whole.
Plaintiff – A person who brings a civil lawsuit.
Defendant – A person against whom a lawsuit is brought.
Trial – A legal proceeding in which evidence is presented to a judge or jury to decide a case.
Jury – A group of citizens who are sworn in to hear evidence and decide the outcome of a case.
Judge – A public official who presides over a court of law and decides the outcome of a case.
Appeal – A request for a higher court to review a decision made by a lower court.
Burden of proof – The responsibility of a party to prove a claim or allegation.
Damages – Money awarded to a party in a civil lawsuit as compensation for a harm or injury suffered.
Liability – The legal responsibility for one’s actions.
Negligence – The failure to exercise reasonable care that results in harm to another person.
Intentional tort – A deliberate act that causes harm to another person.
Strict liability – The legal responsibility for harm or injury caused by a product or activity regardless of fault or intent.
Contract – A legally binding agreement between two or more parties.
Offer – A proposal by one party to enter into a contract with another party.
Acceptance – The agreement of the other party to the terms of an offer.
Consideration – Something of value that is exchanged between the parties to a contract.
Breach – The failure to fulfill a contractual obligation.
Remedies – The legal solutions available to a party when a contract is breached.
Tort – A civil wrong that results in harm or injury to another person.
Fraud – A deliberate deception intended to secure unfair or unlawful gain.
Misrepresentation – A false statement made by one party to induce another party to enter into a contract.
Nuisance – An unreasonable interference with the use or enjoyment of property.
Injunction – A court order that prohibits a party from engaging in certain conduct.
Property – Anything that can be owned or possessed.
Real property – Land and the things permanently attached to it.
Personal property – Property that is not land or permanently attached to land.
Title – Legal ownership of property.
Deed – A legal document that transfers ownership of real property from one party to another.
Mortgage – A loan secured by real property.
Foreclosure – The legal process by which a lender takes possession of real property when the borrower fails to make payments on a mortgage.
Lease – A contract that allows one party to use another party’s property for a specified period of time.
Tenant – A person who leases property from another party.
Landlord – A person who leases property to another party.
Zoning – The regulation of land use by local governments.
Eminent domain – The power of the government to take private property for public use.
Intellectual property – Property rights relating to creations of the mind.
Patent – A legal monopoly granted by the government that gives an inventor exclusive rights to manufacture, use, and sell an invention for a certain period of time.
Trademark – A symbol, word, or phrase that identifies and distinguishes a product or service from others.
Copyright – The exclusive right to reproduce, distribute, and display a work of authorship.
Trade secret – Confidential information that provides a business with a competitive advantage.
Antitrust – Laws that regulate competition and prohibit monopolies and unfair business practices.
Monopoly – A situation in which one company controls a particular market or industry.
Consumer protection – Laws that protect consumers from unfair or deceptive business practices.
Employment law – Laws that regulate the relationship between employers and employees.
Discrimination – Treating a person unfairly because of their race, gender, religion, or other protected characteristic.
Harassment – Behavior that creates a hostile or intimidating work environment.
Workers’ compensation – A system that provides benefits to employees who are injured on the job.
Labor law – Laws that regulate the activities of labor unions and the relationship between unions and employers.
Collective bargaining – The process by which unions negotiate with employers for better wages and working conditions.
Immigration law – Laws that regulate the movement of people across borders.
Naturalization – The process by which a foreign national becomes a citizen of a country.
Asylum – Protection granted to individuals who flee their home country because of persecution or fear of persecution.
Criminal procedure – The rules that govern the investigation, arrest, and prosecution of criminal offenses.
Arrest – The taking of a person into custody for the purpose of charging them with a crime.
Miranda rights – The rights that must be read to a person who is arrested or taken into custody.
Bail – Money or property that is pledged to ensure that a defendant will appear in court.
Plea bargain – An agreement between a defendant and prosecutor in which the defendant pleads guilty in exchange for a reduced sentence.
Sentencing – The process by which a judge imposes a sentence on a defendant who has been convicted of a crime.
Probation – A period of supervision and monitoring that a person serves instead of going to jail.
Parole – Early release from prison with conditions attached.
Civil procedure – The rules that govern the process of resolving civil disputes.
Discovery – The process by which parties in a lawsuit obtain evidence from each other.
Summary judgment – A decision by a judge that disposes of a case without a trial.
Mediation – A process by which parties in a dispute work with a neutral third party to reach a settlement.
Arbitration – A process by which a neutral third party makes a binding decision to resolve a dispute.
Class action – A lawsuit brought by a group of people who have suffered a similar harm.
Bankruptcy – The legal process by which a person or business can eliminate or restructure their debt.
Trust – A legal arrangement in which property is held by one party for the benefit of another.
Wills and estates – Laws that regulate the transfer of property upon death.
Intestate – The state of dying without a will.
Executor – The person named in a will to carry out its provisions.
Probate – The legal process by which a will is validated and the estate is distributed.
Guardianship – The legal responsibility for a minor or incapacitated person.
Power of attorney – A legal document that gives someone else the authority to act on your behalf.
Agency – The legal relationship in which one party (the agent) acts on behalf of another (the principal).
Tort – A civil wrong that causes harm or injury to another person.
Negligence – A failure to exercise reasonable care that results in harm to another person.
Strict liability – Liability for harm caused by a product or activity, regardless of fault or negligence.
Product liability – Liability for harm caused by a defective product.
Personal injury – A legal claim for damages arising from an injury to a person’s body, mind, or emotions.
Wrongful death – A legal claim for damages arising from a person’s death caused by another’s negligence or intentional act.
Insurance – A contract in which one party (the insurer) agrees to compensate another party (the insured) for specified losses.
Contract – A legally binding agreement between two or more parties.
Offer – A proposal to enter into a contract.
Acceptance – Agreement to the terms of an offer.
Consideration – Something of value that is exchanged as part of a contract.
Breach of contract – A failure to perform one’s obligations under a contract.
Remedies – Legal or equitable relief for a breach of contract, such as damages or specific performance.
Agency law – The law governing the relationship between an agent and a principal.
Intellectual property law – The area of law that governs the protection of creative works and inventions.
Jurisdiction – Jurisdiction refers to the power or authority of a court to hear and decide a particular case. It can refer to geographical jurisdiction (i.e. which court has authority over a particular area) or subject matter jurisdiction (i.e. which court has authority over a particular type of case).
Verdict – The decision made by a jury or judge at the end of a trial.
Evidence – Information such as documents, testimony, and exhibits presented in court to establish facts in a case.