Are you a lawyer in real life … or do you just play one on TV? Are you a struggling law student, or are you just a habitual offender looking for an edge at your next felony hearing? The legal world is a labyrinth of Latin and old-school language. Do you think you really know your laws from your sanctions? Take our law terms quiz now and find out!
The justice system is less of a science and more of an art – those who know the lingo and the craft are much more likely to succeed in court than those who struggle to master fundamental legal concepts. If you have a grasp on terms like “natural law” and “common law,” perhaps you’re much more likely to win that court case – or better yet – avoid legal entanglements altogether. Do you know the difference between various categories of law in the United States?
Some terms are quite literally in another language. Unless you’re adept in Latin or experienced in law, it’s unlikely that you’ll know what “prima facie” or “mens rea” mean during a tense court hearing. But if you want to graduate from law school, you’re definitely going to need at least a few Latin terms in your vocabulary.
It’s time for you to file a motion in our online legal quiz. Maybe your due diligence will help you fake your way through law school. Or perhaps you’ll be indicted as a legal fraud of the worst kind. Take our legal terms quiz now!
A contract is an agreement between two parties in which both sides agree to do (or not do) something. But of course, people break contracts all the time, often with severe repercussions.
Impartiality is imperative to fair legal proceedings. Judges who have prejudices may make terrible decisions that harm innocent peoples' lives.
Witnesses are fair game for both sides during a trial. When the opposing attorney performs a cross examination, he or she is questioning a witness from the opposing side.
Often, one party is unsatisfied with a judge's ruling. They may file an appeal in hopes of a higher court overturning that decision. In some situations the appeals process may drag on for years.
Natural justice refers to the idea that everyone should be treated fairly during a legal case. Sadly, that concept doesn't always play out in the real world.
A "precedent" is established by previous court cases. Some unique situations are unprecedented, meaning the judge and jury are in uncharted waters and hoping to find a fair resolution.
The plaintiff is the party that files a lawsuit. Well-organized plaintiffs create clear and concise cases that make it easy for a judge to rule in their favor.
In a deposition, lawyers record sworn statements from a plaintiff or defendant. Those statements may then be used during a subsequent trial.
Felonies are the most serious crimes in America. Convicted felons often wind up in prison and have some of their rights stripped.
A defendant is someone who's accused of wrongdoing. In America, defendants are innocent until provent guilty, unless they're poor, in which case they're simply guilty.
A brief is the document that a lawyer writes to make his argument to the court. Some lawyers write low-quality briefs, and their cases suffer as a result.
Laws are sets of rules that apply to communities large and small. Without laws, people run around tripping each other, and then pointing and laughing, for no particular reason.
A statute is a written law. Statutes guide all sorts of regulations and law enforcement standards.
An affidavit is a written statement made under oath. If you lie on an affidavit, you're really asking for trouble.
If you so something wrong from a legal or moral perspective, you're guilty of malfeasance. Depending on the situation, your malfeasance may result in serious penalties.
A conviction is a judgment of guilt against a defendant. Following a conviction, defendants face penalties or sentencing.
Civil law deals with all of the issues that criminal law doesn't cover. In many situations, cases that fail in the realm of criminal law wind up as civil cases, where plaintiffs have new hope of finding justice.
A title proves ownership of a particular object, such as a car or boat. If you take a loan out for a car, the bank holds the title until you finish paying the full amount.
In America, the rule of law is supposed to apply to everyone. In other words, no one is above the law. Unless you're rich or politically connected, then the rules change.
A tort refers to damages -- intentional or accidental -- caused to another party. Tort law is a major field of law in the United States.
In the discovery phase of a trial, lawyers poke through piles of evidence. It's the information that they use to build their cases.
A provisional remedy is a temporary court order meant to stop a further damage to a plaintiff as legal proceedings continue. A restraining order, then, is meant to safeguard a person until an arrangement is created to stop an offender who annoys or threatens someone.
A cause of action is any wrongdoing that causes a plaintiff to file a lawsuit. A breach of contract is one example of cause of action.
There are multiple types of bankruptcy, and Chapter 13 is one such category. It's often called the "wage-earner" bankruptcy plan.
In a prima facie case, the facts seem startlingly clear -- so clear that they immediately prove the case. But in some situations, a prima facie case may ultimately be more complicated than at first glance.
Injunctions are meant to stop one party from taking some action. A temporary injuction, for example, may stop one party from further harming another until a permanent injuction is in place.
In general, misdemeanor crimes are less serious than felonies, and their penalties are less serious, too. But that's only if you get caught! So, go right ahead, no one will ever find out.
A case docket describes the history of a case, briefly summarizing (in chronological order) all court proceedings.
Defendants often file demurrers with a judge in hopes of having the lawsuit dismissed. A demurrer essentially states that there's no real basis for a lawsuit.
At the end of a court case, a judge or jury will deliver a verdict. The verdict may absolve a defendant … or perhaps put her in prison for life.