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Legal Terms Vocabulary Help

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Updated on Sep 8, 2011

Legal Terms

      abrogate        
      (verb)
      to abolish by authoritative action
      During the U.S. Civil War, the North fought the South and wanted the American government to _____slavery.
      adjudicate        
      (verb)
      to act as a judge, to settle judicially
      "You are not going to _____ this case. I am," the judge said to the attorney.
      affidavit        
      (noun)
      a sworn statement in writing made under oath
      He was not asked to testify; instead, the attorney asked him to sign a written _____ that described what he knew about the case.
      appellate        
      (adj.)
      having the power to review the judgment of another court
      When a case is appealed, it is tried in an _____ court.
      bequest        
      (noun)
      the act of bequeathing, the act of leaving someone something in a will, something that is bequeathed
      When my grandmother died, she gave me her house as a _____
      contraband        
      (noun)
      illegal or prohibited exporting or importing of goods
      Cuban cigars are _____ in this country; it is against the law to import them into the United States.
      deposition        
      (noun)
      testimony under oath, taken down in writing
      In his _____, he said that he saw a gun, but under cross-examination in court, he said that he didn't remember seeing a gun.
      exhume        
      (verb)
      to remove from a grave; to bring back from neglect or obscurity
      When archeologists excavate ancient tombs, they frequently _____ the remains of the people who are buried there.
      extradite        
      (verb)
      to surrender an alleged criminal to the state or country in which he or she can be tried
      After ten years of hiding, he was _____ (ed) to the United States to stand trial for murder.
      intestate        
      (adj.)
      one who dies without a will
      My grandfather died _____, so we didn't know who in the family should inherit his house.
      ipso facto        
      (adverb)
      by the very fact or act, an inevitable act
      In bankruptcy, an _____ provision is a provision that automatically comes into play when a company files for bankruptcy.
      jurisprudence        
      (noun)
      a system of laws, the science or philosophy of the law
      In law school, people study _____
      larceny        
      (noun)
      the unlawful taking of someone else's property with the intention of not giving it back
      He was accused of _____ when he was found driving the stolen car.
      lien        
      (noun)
      a charge against real or personal property for the satisfaction of a debt or duty originally arising from the law
      Before the bank would lend me the money, I had to prove that there were no previous _____ (s) on my property.
      litigious        
      (adj.)
      contentious situation, prone to litigation
      When my landlord did not give us our security deposit back after we moved out, it turned into a_____ situation.
      malfeasance        
      (noun)
      wrongdoing or misconduct especially by a public official
      When a government official embezzles money, it is an act of _____
      perjury        
      (noun)
      lying or intentionally omitting information under oath
      When she lied under oath, she committed _____
      plagiarism        
      (noun)
      the act of passing off someone else's work as your own
      In college, you can be expelled if you commit _____
      sanction        
      (noun)
      authoritative permission or approval that makes a course of action valid, a law or decree
      (verb)
      to give permission or approval, to encourage or tolerate by indicating approval
      The ruling was a _____; it made it clear that the court approved of the defendant's behavior.
      When the judge gave his ruling, he turned to the defendant and said, "I find you guilty as charged.
      This court does not _____ your behavior."
      tort        
      (noun)
      wrongdoing for which damages can be claimed; an unintentional violation of someone's rights, which can result in civil action but not criminal proceedings
      A _____ is an unintentional violation of another person's rights.

TIP

When signing a contract of any kind, it's important to know what you're agreeing to, so get to know these words and then read carefully before signing.

Practice exercises for this study guide can be found at: Legal Terms Vocabulary Practice

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