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Glossary

1. ABSENTEE - A person who has disappeared or whose whereabouts are unknown.


2. ACCUSED - A person or company charged with a crime; the defendant in a criminal trial.
3. ACQUITTAL A jury verdict that a criminal defendant is not guilty, or the finding of a judge
that the evidence is insufficient to support a conviction.
4. ACT - A law passed by the provincial or federal legislature. Acts are also referred to as
statutes'.
5. ACTION - A legal proceeding in a civil case.
6. ADMISSIBLE A term used to describe evidence that may be considered by a jury or judge in
civil and criminal cases.
7. AFFIDAVIT - A written statement or declaration of facts that are sworn or affirmed to be true.
8. AFFIRMATION - A solemn declaration made by a person to tell the truth. Lying in an
affirmation is perjury, a criminal offence.
9. AGGRAVATED DAMAGES - Damages designed to compensate a plaintiff for suffering
intangible damages such as humiliation and distress, as a result of the defendant's actions.
10. ANSWER - A response to an allegation or an application.
11. APPEAL - A request made to a higher court, tribunal or authority for the review of a decision.
12. APPELLANT - The party bringing an appeal.
13. APPLICANT - A person who makes or starts an application.
14. APPLICATION 1. The commencement of a proceeding in a court by way of filing the appropriate court
form.
2. A request made to the court.
15. ARBITRATOR - A neutral third party, selected by the parties to a dispute, who makes a
decision on an issue in dispute.
16. ARRAIGNMENT - The initial step in a criminal proceeding to confirm the identity of the
accused, formally read the charges, and ask how the accused pleads.
17. ARREARS - Money that is owed to a party under a court order or agreement, but has not been
paid.
18. ARREST - The taking or keeping of a person in custody by legal authority, usually in response
to a criminal charge.
19. ATTORNEY 1. A term for a lawyer,
2. A person who has been appointed under a power of attorney by a capable grantor to
act on their behalf. An Attorney can be for either property issues, or personal care
issues, or both.
20. ATTORNEY GENERAL - The principal law officer of "the Crown"; the Minister of the
provincial or federal government responsible for the administration of justice.
21. BAIL - A commonly used term for a Recognizance of Bail. When a person is not released by
the arresting officer, the person must be taken before a judicial officer to determine whether the
person should remain in custody pending trial. The term "bail" is often used to refer to the
money paid as security for the person showing up the next time he or she is required to appear
in court.
22. BENCH TRIAL A trial without a jury, in which the judge serves as the fact-finder.
23. BENEFICIARY - A person designated to receive something as a result of a legal document,
such as a will or insurance policy.

24. BEYOND A REASONABLE DOUBT - This is the standard of proof used in criminal matters.
This higher standard of proof reflects the potentially serious consequences (loss of liberty) in
criminal cases.
25. BINDING 1. Mandatory
2. When applied to a court decision or order, required to be followed in cases with
similar circumstances.
26. BOND - An obligation or a promise given to a court. A bond includes a recognizance.
27. BREACH - A violation or infraction of a law or obligation.
28. BRIBERY The corrupt payment, receipt, or solicitation of a private favor for official action.
29. BRIEF/LEGAL BRIEF - A written statement summarizing the arguments of a case. It
contains factual and legal arguments, as well as references to any legislation or cases that are
being relied on to support those arguments.
30. BURGLARY - A person is guilty of burglary if;
1. He enters any building or part of a building as a trespasser and with intent to commit any
offence; or
2. Having entered any building or part of a building as a trespasser he steals or attempts to
steal anything in the building or that part of it or inflicts or attempts to inflict on any person
therein any grievous bodily harm.
31. CAPITAL OFFENSE A crime punishable by death.
32. CASE - A matter brought before the court for a decision. It includes criminal charges,
applications, motions, enforcements and appeals.
33. CIRCUMSTANTIAL EVIDENCE - Evidence that may allow a judge or jury to deduce a
certain fact from other facts that have been proven. In some cases, there can be some evidence
that cannot be proven directly as with an eyewitness, yet, that evidence may be essential to
prove a case.
34. CITATION - The calling on a person who is not a party to an action or proceedings to appear
before the court.
35. CIVIL LAW - The law of civil or private rights, as distinct from criminal law. A system of
private legal rights based on Roman law and usually expressed in a Code.
36. CLAIM - The assertion of a legal right.
37. CLANDESTINE - Something that is purposely kept from the view or knowledge of others
either in violation of the law or to conduct or conceal some illegal purpose.
38. COMPETENCE - A basic ability to do something. Competence determines such things as
whether an individual can give evidence, stand trial, bring an action, make decisions with
regard to property or personal care, or consent to something.
39. COMPLAINANT - A person who brings a legal complaint against another; may include the
victim of an alleged criminal offence.
40. CONFESSION - A statement made by a person suspected or charged with a crime, that he (or
she) did, in fact, commit that crime.
41. CONSENT 1. Agreement or permission that is given voluntarily by a competent person, either
orally or in writing.
2. Sometimes refers to the written form of an agreement.
42. CONFISCATION - To seize (private property) for the public treasury, especially as a penalti
for wrongdoing.
43. CONSENSUS - A result achieved through negotiation whereby a hybrid solution is arrived at
between parties to an issue, dispute or disagreement, comprising typically of concessions made

by all parties, and to which all parties then subscribe unanimously as an acceptable resolution to
the issue or disagreement.
44. CONSPIRACY - An agreement between two or more persons to commit a criminal act. Those
forming the conspiracy are called conspirators.
45. CONSTITUTION - The basic law or laws of a nation or a state that sets out how that state will
be organised by deciding the powers and authorities of government between different political
units, and by stating and the basic principles of society.
46. CONTEST - To oppose, resist, disagree.
47. CONTRACT - An oral or written agreement between parties in which the parties make mutual
promises to each other. The parties must be at least 18 years of age, and be mentally capable of
entering into such an agreement.
48. CONVICTION - The formal decision of a criminal trial that finds the accused guilty. It is the
ultimate goal of the prosecution and the result resisted by the defence. Once convicted, an
accused may then be sentenced.
49. COSTS - A money award made by a court or tribunal for expenses in bringing or defending a
legal proceeding or a step in a proceeding. Costs may also be ordered against a party, in favor
of the other, for failing to follow the court's directions or instructions before or during a step in
the case.
50. COUNT - A criminal charge in an information or indictment.
51. COURT - A place where justice is administered.
52. COUNTERFEITING The forging, copying, or imitating of something (usually money)
without a right to do so and with the purpose of deceiving or defrauding.
53. CRIME - An action or omission which constitutes an offence and is punishable by law. An
activity considered to be evil, shameful, or wrong.
54. CRIMINAL RECORD - Documentation of criminal conviction(s) imposed on a person.
55. CUSTODY - The care and control of a thing or a person. The keeping in detention of a
defendant before trial, as in a remand in custody, or in prison after sentence.
56. CYBERCRIME Crimes committed electronically.
57. DAMAGES - Money claimed by, or ordered to be paid to, a person as compensation for loss or
injuries.
58. DEBTOR - A person who owes money, goods or services to another, the latter being referred to
as the creditor.
59. DECLARATION - An order of the court that declares the law to require or prohibit certain
conduct or that named persons have rights specified in the declaration.
60. DEFENCE - A defendant or accused person's reason(s) why a plaintiff or a prosecutor does not
have a valid case. The counsel for the defendant in a lawsuit.
61. DEFENDANT
1. The person defending an action in a civil case, the person being sued.
2. The person defending an action in a criminal case, the person accused of having committed
a crime.
62. DEPENDANT - A person who relies on another for support. A person whom another has an
obligation to support.
63. DEPONENT - A person making a statement under oath or affirmation, often in an affidavit.
64. DEPOSITION - An affidavit or statement made under oath or affirmation.
65. DISCHARGE - A release from obligation when a legal duty has ended. In the criminal context,
this is also used as an alternative sentencing option for an accused who has been found guilty.
The result of a discharge is that the offender has no criminal record of a finding of guilt.
66. DISCLOSURE - Making information and documents known and available to a party in a
proceeding. There are disclosure requirements placed on parties by law or court rules. Court

records can also be disclosed to the public, subject to statutory provisions, common law rules or
judicial direction restricting access to the records.
67. DISMISSAL - A judicial officer's decision to terminate an action, claim, or charges.
68. DISSOLUTION - The act of ending, terminating or winding-up a company or state of affairs.
69. DIVORCE - The legal ending of a marriage by a court order.
70. DOMESTIC VIOLENCE - Any or all of the many different forms of abuse and mistreatment
that people may experience in their intimate domestic relationships.
71. DOMICILE - The permanent residence of a person; a place to which, even if he or she were
temporary absence, they intend to return. In law, it is said that a person may have many
residences but only one domicile.
72. DURESS - Someone being forced to do something through physical threats or psychological or
emotional pressure.
73. ELECTION - The making of a legal choice.
74. EMANCIPATION - Term used to describe the act of freeing a person who was under the legal
authority of another (such as a child before the age of majority) from that control.
75. EMBEZZLE - The illegal transfer of money or property that, although possessed legally by the
embezzler, is diverted to the embezzler personally by his or her fraudulent action.
76. ENDORSE - To sign a legal document or formally approve something.
77. ENDORSEMENT - The written decision of a judge.
78. ENFORCEMENT - Where one party takes measures under the law or with permission of the
court to compel the other party to obey a court order.
79. ENGROSS - To prepare a final copy of a deed or contract with all the formal clauses included,
prior to its execution (i.e. signing) by the parties.
80. ENTRAPMENT - The inducement, by law enforcement officers or their agents, of another
person to commit a crime for the purposes of bringing charges for the commission of that
artificially provoked crime.
81. ESTATE - The property that a person owns or has a legal interest in. Often used to describe the
property after the person's death.
82. ESTOPPEL - A rule of law that when person A, by act or words, gives person B reason to
believe a certain set of facts upon which person B takes action, person A cannot later, to his (or
her) benefit, deny those facts or say that his (or her) earlier act was improper.
83. EUTHANASIA - The putting to death, by painless method, of a terminally ill or severely
debilitated person through the omission (intentionally withholding a life-saving medical
procedure, also known as "passive euthanasia") or commission of an act ("active euthanasia').
Euthanasia is murder.
84. EVIDENCE - Statements, information, and things that are used to prove or disprove an alleged
fact. Proof of fact(s) presented at a trial.
85. EXAMINATION - The questioning of a witness under oath or affirmation.
86. EXCULPATE - Something that excuses or justifies a wrong action.
87. EXECUTION - A process by which orders of the court are enforced.
88. EXECUTOR - A person specifically appointed by a testator to administer the will ensuring
that final wishes are respected (i.e. that the will is properly "executed"). An executor is a
personal representative. A female is an executrix.
89. EXHIBIT - A document or object shown to the court as evidence in a trial. They are each given
a number or letter by the court clerk as they are introduced for future reference during the trial.
90. EXPERT - A person who has developed skill and knowledge on a subject and is accepted by a
court as being able to form opinions on evidence presented to assist the judge.
91. EXTORTION Obtaining money or property by threat to a victims property or loved ones,
intimidation, or false claim of a right.

92. FACTUM - A document in a court case in which a party sets out a concise argument, stating
the facts and laws relied on.
93. FEES
1. A charge for services.
2. Court fees payable in various proceedings as set out by regulation.
94. FELONY - A serious crime.
95. FIDUCIARY - A person who has a legal obligation to act in good faith for the benefit of
another person, for example a trustee. Describes the nature of the duty that such a person owes
to the beneficiary.
96. FORENSIC EVIDENCE - Evidence collected and studied through the use of sciences and
other specialized knowledge, such as, biology, chemistry, medicine, physics, computer science,
psychiatry and psychology. Forensic experts examine various things, including: a person's
mental condition, documents, substances, chemicals, tissue traces, or impressions left at a crime
scene.
97. FORGERY The act of fraudulently making a false document or altering a real one to be used
as if genuine.
98. FRAUD - Deceitful conduct designed to manipulate another person to give something of value
by (1) lying, (2) by repeating something that is or ought to have been known by the fraudulent
party as false or suspect or (3) by concealing a fact from the other party which may have saved
that party from being cheated. The existence of fraud will cause a court to void a contract and
can give rise to criminal liability.
99. FUGITIVE - One who runs away to avoid arrest, prosecution or imprisonment. Many
extradition laws also call the suspect a "fugitive" although, in that context, it does not
necessarily mean that the suspect was trying to hide in the country from which extradition is
being sought.
100. GAINSAY - To declare false; deny. To oppose, to contradict.
101. GAVEL - A wooden mallet used by a judge to bring proceedings to a start or to an end or to
command attention in his or her court.
102. GUARANTOR - A person who pledges collateral for the contract of another, but separately,
as part of an independent contract with the obligee of the original contract.
103. GUARDIAN - An individual who, by legal appointment or by the effect of a written law, is
given custody of both the property and the person of one who is unable to manage their own
affairs, such as a child or mentally disabled person.
104. GUILLOTINE 1. A device developed in France to inflict the death penalty through
decapitation by the dropping of a weighted and sharp metal blade onto the restrained neck of a
convict. 2. A procedure used to speed up the passage of legislation. The time allotted to a
committee is allocated by the government, at the specified time the guillotine falls and votes are
immediately taken.
105. GUILTY
1. A verdict convicting an accused person of the crime he or she is charged with.
2. An accused person's plea when he or she does not contest the offence he or she is charged
with.
106. HARASSMENT - Unsolicited words or conduct which tend to annoy, alarm or abuse
another person.
107. HEARING - Generic label to describe a proceeding.
108. HEARSAY - Any evidence that is offered by a witness of which they do not have direct
knowledge but, rather, their testimony is based on what others have said to them.
109. HEREDITAMENTS - Inheritable rights in land.

110. HOMICIDE - Category of criminal charges for killing someone, including 1st and 2nd
degree murder, manslaughter, and infanticide.
111. ILLEGAL - Prohibited by law.
112. IMMUNITY - An exemption that a person (individual or corporate) enjoys from the normal
operation of the law such as a legal duty or liability, either criminal or civil.
113. IMPRISONMENT - The act of confining someone in a jail or prison.
114. INCARCERATION - Imprisonment.
115. INDICTMENT - A formal document containing the indictable offences upon which an
accused will be tried. Indictments are used in the Superior Court of Justice.
116. INFANTICIDE - Murder of an infant soon after its birth.
117. INFORMATION - A formal document containing the offences that the accused is charged
with.
118. INJUNCTION - A court order requiring someone to do something or to refrain from doing
something.
119. INSOLVENT - An individual who cannot pay his debts.
120. INTEREST RATE - The percentage that a person owing money must pay to a creditor or
recipient for the period that the money owed is outstanding.
121. INTESTATE - Dying without having made a will.
122. INTESTACY - This happens when someone dies without leaving a will. Their estate is
divided up between their relatives following the rules set by law.
123. JOINT CUSTODY - A child custody decision which means that both parents share joint
legal custody and joint physical custody.
124. JUDGE - The person authorized to determine legal matters in court.
125. JUDGMENT - A judicial decision; the determination of a court; a court's sentence or
decision on the major question in a proceeding.
126. JURISDICTION - The legal authority of a court to hear a particular matter.
127. JURY - A group of people sworn to deliver a verdict after considering evidence delivered to
them concerning the issue.
128. JUSTICE - Fairness. A state of affairs in which conduct or action is both fair and right,
given the circumstances.
129. KIDNAP - It is an offence at common law punishable by fine and imprisonment at the
discretion of the court to kidnap any person. Kidnapping consists of the taking or carrying away
of one person by another by force or fraud without the consent of the person so taken or carried
away and without lawful excuse. Even in the case of a child victim, it is the absence of the
victim's consent which is material, whatever the victim's age may be.
130. KNOW HOW - Technical information having technical significance; not strictly speaking
an intellectual property right.
131. LAW - All the rules of conduct which are in force over a certain territory and which must be
obeyed by all persons on that territory.
132. LAWYER - A person that has been trained in the law and that has been certified to give
legal advice or to represent others in litigation.
133. LEAVE - Permission of the court.
134. LEASE - A special kind of contract between a property owner and a person wanting
temporary enjoyment and use of the property, in exchange for rent paid to the property owner.
Where the property is land, a building, or parts of either, the property owner is called a landlord
and the person that contracts to receive the temporary enjoyment and use is called a tenant.
135. LEGACY - This is a gift left to someone in a will, but not including land.
136. LEGAL AID - Legal advice and services mainly funded by government to assist those who
are financially unable to retain a lawyer privately.

137. LEGISLATION - Written and approved laws. Also known as "Statutes" or "Acts".
138. LEWDNESS Behavior that is deemed morally impure or unacceptable in a sexual sense;
open and public indecency tending to corrupt the morals of the community; gross or wanton
indecency in sexual relations.
139. LIABILITY - Any legal obligation, either due now or at some time in the future. It could be
a debt or a promise to do something.
140. LIBEL - Defamation by writing such as in a newspaper or a letter.
141. LICENCE - A special permission to do something on, or with, somebody else's property
which, were it not for the licence, could be legally prevented or give rise to legal action in tort
or trespass.
142. LIEN - The right to hold the properly of another as security for the performance of an
obligation.
143. LIMITATION PERIOD - The period within which a person who has a right to claim
against another person must start court proceedings to establish that right. The expiry of the
period may be a defence to the claim.
144. LIMITED LIABILITY - Liability limited to contractual obligations or restricted by law.
145. LIQUIDATION - The selling of all the assets of a debtor and the use of the cash proceeds
of the sale to pay off creditors.
146. LITIGATION - Legal proceedings before a court or tribunal.
147. LITIGANT IN PERSON - A person who represents himself and does not have the services
of a lawyer in court.
148. LITIGATION GUARDIAN - In civil cases, a person who commences, continues, or
defends a proceeding on behalf of a party under disability and who has the right to make
decisions for the party under disability in the proceeding.
149. LOCUS DELICTI COMISSI - The place where the tort, offence, or injury has been
committed.
150. MALFEASANCE - Doing something that is illegal.
151. MANDATE A judicial command, order, or precept, written or oral, from a court; a
direction that a court has the authority to give and an individual is bound to obey.
152. MANSLAUGHTER - There are two principle forms of manslaughter, voluntary and
involuntary. The former is where the defendant intends to kill but rather than being convicted
for murder is convicted of the lesser offence because of diminished responsibility, provocation
or suicide pact. Involuntary manslaughter is where the death of the victim occurs because of a
dangerous and unlawful act (formerly called constructive manslaughter) or because death
occurs through the gross negligence of the defendant.
153. MARRIAGE - The state recognised, voluntary and exclusive contract for the lifelong union
of two persons.
154. MATERIAL WITNESS - A person who has significant information to affect the outcome
of a case.
155. MEASURE - Any legislative, judicial or administrative act adopted by a Community
institution or national authority.
156. MEDIATION A settlement of a dispute or controversy by setting up an independent
person between two contending parties in order to aid them in the settlement of their
disagreement.
157. MEDIATOR - A neutral third party who assists parties to resolve issues in dispute.
Mediators do not take sides or make decisions for the parties, nor do they provide legal advice.

158. MENTALLY INCAPABLE - When someone cannot understand relevant information or


cannot appreciate what may happen as the result of decisions they make or do not make.
Different levels of capacity are required for different types of decisions and actions.
159. MINOR - A person who is legally underage. In the Republic of Moldova, it is 18 years of
age. In the USA, each state sets an age threshold at which time a person is invested with all
legal rights as an adult. For many new adults, this may mean the right to purchase alcohol and
vote. However, there are many other legal rights that a minor does not have such as, in some
states, the right to own land, to sign a contract or to get married.
160. MINUTES OF SETTLEMENT - Document signed by the parties that sets out the terms of
a settlement arrangement and may be filed with the court in order to obtain a consent order or,
when required, an order approving of the settlement.
161. MISDEMEANOUR - A minor crime, formerly contrasted with a felony.
162. MISREPRESENTATION - A false and material statement which induces a party to enter
into a contract. This is a ground for rescission of the contract.
163. MISTRIAL - A partial or complete trial which is found to be null and void and of no effect
because of some irregularity. The sudden end of trial before it would ordinarily end because of
some reason, which invalidates it. Once a mistrial is declared, the situation is as if the trial had
never occurred. Some common reasons for a mistrial include a deadlocked jury, the death of a
juror or a serious procedural and prejudicial mistake made at the trial that cannot be corrected.
164. MITIGATE - Action taken (usually by a plaintiff) to make something (usually damages)
less severe.
165. MITIOR LEX - Gentler law.
166. MODUS OPERANDI - Method of operation. Used by law enforcement officials to refer to
a criminal's preferred method of committing crime.
167. MOLESTATION The crime of sexual acts with children up to the age of 18, including
touching of private parts, exposure of genitalia, taking of pornographic pictures, rape,
inducement of sexual acts with the molester or with other children, and variations of these acts
by pedophiles. Molestation also applies to incest by a relative with a minor family member, and
any unwanted sexual acts with adults short of rape.
168. MOTION - A process used to make a request to a judge for an order, either before, during,
or after a trial or other proceeding.
169. MOTIVE - The purpose behind an action.
170. MORATORIUM - The temporary suspension of legal action against a person.
171. MURDER - Intentional taking of another person's life, without legal justification or
provocation.
172. NE BIS IN IDEM - A principle in criminal law that a person should not be tried or
punished twice.
173. NEGLIGENCE - The failure to take reasonable care to prevent foreseeable harm to others.
174. NEGOTIATE - To communicate on a matter of disagreement between two parties, with a
view to first listen to the other party's perspective and to then attempt to arrive at a resolution by
consensus. Barristers are often instructed by solicitors to negotiate for a settlement for a client
to avoid court action.
175. NEXT OF KIN - The nearest blood relative of a deceased. The expression has come to
describe those persons most related to a dead person and therefore set to inherit the deceased's
property.
176. NO CONTACT ORDER - An order forbidding a person from contacting named person(s).
177. NOTARY - A person with legal authority to prepare and verify specific legal documents. A
notary need not be a lawyer, and not all lawyers are notaries.

178. NOTICE - Legal notification of something.


179. NULLA POENA SINE LEGE - No punishment except in accordance with the law.
180. NULLITY Something which may be treated as nothing, as if it did not exist or never
happened. This can occur by court ruling or enactment of a statute. The most common example
is a nullity of a marriage by a court judgment.
181. OATH - A religious or solemn affirmation to tell the truth or to take a certain action.
182. OBJECTION - A lawyer's protest about the legal propriety of a question which has been
asked of a witness by the opposing attorney, with the purpose of making the trial judge decide if
the question can be asked. A proper objection must be based on one of the specific reasons for
not allowing a question.
183. OBLIGATION - A moral or legal duty to perform or to not perform some action. A binding,
formal arrangement or an agreement to a liability to pay a specified amount or to do a certain
thing for a person or group of persons.
184. OBLIGE - To legally or morally bind; to obligate. To bind someone by performing a service
for that person.
185. OBLIGEE - The person or entity to whom an obligation is owed, like the one to be paid on
a promissory note.
186. OBSCENE - Exceptionally repugnant to the contemporary standards of decency and
morality within the community; grossly obnoxious to the notions of acceptable behavior.
187. OBSCENITY - According to a Supreme Court decision, material is obscene, and hence not
protected by the free-speech provision of the First Amendment if it has three elements: It must
have prurient appeal, as decided by the average person applying the standards of the
community; it must portray sexual conduct in an offensive way; and it must be lacking in
serious artistic, literary, scientific, or political value.
188. OBSTRUCTION OF JUSTICE - Delaying or impeding the timely and orderly
administration of the legal system in some way, such as by giving false or misleading
information, withholding information from legal authorities, or attempting to influence a
witness or a juror. A criminal act in most jurisdictions.
189. OBVIATE - To anticipate and prevent something from happening; to dispose of something.
To make something no longer necessary.
190. OCCUPANT - One who inhabits or exercises direct control over a certain piece of property
or premises, as distinguished from the one who has ownership of the property, although the
same person(s) may do both.
191. OCCUPATIONAL-HAZARD - A risk peculiar to the specific occupation or place of
employment and that arises in normal work at such a job or workplace . Occupational hazards
include the likelihood of accidental injuries and diseases.
192. ODIUM - Hatred or distaste for, accompanied by contempt or disgust. A condition of
disgrace, usually as the result of some form of vile conduct.
193. OF-RECORD - Matter that appears in official written documents, such as testimony taken
by the court stenographer and filed deeds and mortgages. Documented, as in the attorney of
record or the court of record.
194. OFFENCE - A violation of the law.
195. OFFER - The act of presenting something, such as a bargain, with the understanding that
should the other party agree, that bargain will be complete. An act demonstrating a willingness
to enter into a contract in such a way that a reasonable person would recognize that acceptance
of the terms will conclude in a binding agreement.

196. OFFER OF PROOF - A presenting of evidence for the record, but outside of the presence
of the jury (usually following a judges ruling that such evidence is inadmissible) for purposes
of preserving the evidence on the record for use in an appeal.
197. OFFER TO SETTLE - A written document that is sent by one party to the other setting out
the terms for which that party is willing to settle all or part of the case.
198. OFFICER - A person who holds a position (office) of trust, command, or authority. In
public affairs, the term usually applies to a person who holds a government position and is
authorized to perform certain functions. In corporate law, it is a person appointed or elected by
the companys board of directors. The term usually implies some form of tenure, duration, and
emolument.
199. OFFICIAL - Referring to an act, document or anything sanctioned or authorized by a public
official or public agency. The term can also apply to an organizational act or product which is
authorized by the organization.
200. OFFICIAL MISCONDUCT - Improper and/or illegal acts by a public official which
violate his/her duty to follow the law and act on behalf of the public good.
201. OFFSHORE CORPORATION - Corporation chartered under the laws of a country other
than the Republic of Moldova.
202. OMISSION - Failure to perform an act agreed to, where there is a duty to an individual or
the public to act (including omitting to take care) or where it is required by law.
203. ON DEMAND - In a promissory note, a requirement that the amount due must be paid
when the person to whom the funds are owed demands payment.
204. ON FILE - Having been formally filed with the clerk of the court or the judge, such as a
pleading is "on file".
205. OPEN - Free from legal restrictions. Free from discriminatory restrictions based on race,
religion, etc. Free from effective regulation with respect to drinking, gambling.
206. OPENING STATEMENT - The explanation by the attorneys for both sides at the
beginning of the trial of what will be proved during the trial. Unlike a "closing argument," the
opening statement is supposed to be a factual presentation and not an argument.
207. OPERATIVE - Description of words in a document that bring about the result of
transaction.
208. OPINION - The courts statement of its decision, usually written by a single judge, citing
the facts, points of law, rationale, and decision or verdict.
209. OPTION - The power or right to make a choice.
210. ORAL DEPOSITION - In litigation, a proceeding outside the courtroom in which a party
or witness gives sworn testimony under oath before a court reporter, who then creates a written
document; the written document created as a result of such a proceeding.
211. ORDER - A command, instruction, or direction by the court or by a judge intended to
adjudicate some point or to direct some step in a legal proceeding.
212. ORDINANCE - A local law, usually on the municipality level, that, when fully enacted, has
the same effect and force as a statute within that municipality.
213. ORGANIZED CRIME - A widespread group of professional criminals who rely on illegal
activities as a way of life and whose activities are coordinated and controlled through some
form of centralized syndicate.
214. OUSTER - The wrongful exclusion of a person from property or dispossession of same.
The removing from office of a public or corporate official.
215. OVERRULE - To void the findings of another court; overturn; set aside. As a judge, to
reject or rule against a courtroom objection.
216. OVERT - Unconcealed; open and observable; not secret.

217. OVERT ACT - An open act; an act indicating an intent to commit a crime.
218. OWNER - A proprietor; the one who has legal right to possess, use, and/or convey property
to another.
219. OWNERSHIP - The total body of rights to use and enjoy a property, to pass it on to
someone else as an inheritance, or to convey it by sale. Ownership implies the right to possess
property, regardless of whether or not the owner personally makes constructive use of it.
220. PAIN-AND-SUFFERING - Compensable results, whether physical or mental, from a
wrong either suffered or committed. The loss of the ability to work due to emotional suffering,
mental suffering, or physical pain are all appropriate elements of damage.
221. PAPER HANGER - Slang for a person who criminally writes and cashes "bad" checks on
accounts he/she either does not have or which have no money in them.
222. PARALEGAL - A person not licensed to practice law, who assists a lawyer in a variety of
tasks associated with a law office.
223. PARENTAL LIABILITY - The doctrine that parents are responsible for willful damage
done to anothers person or property by their minor children.
224. PARI DELICTO - Equal fault.
225. PAROL Oral.
226. PAROL EVIDENCE RULE - If there is evidence in writing (such as a signed contract) the
terms of the contract cannot be altered by evidence of oral (parol) agreements purporting to
change, explain or contradict the written document.
227. PAROLE - A conditional release from a criminal sentence that permits the convict to serve
the remainder of his or her term outside the confines of the prison as long as he abides
scrupulously by certain preset conditions.
228. PARTITION - A separator of one space from another; a separation by a court of real estate
owned jointly into two or more separately owned parcels, so that each of the former joint
owners may enjoy having his or her own estate.
229. PARTNERSHIP - A voluntary joining of two or more persons to jointly carry on and profit
from a single business. A partnership is presumed to exist if the persons have agreed to
proportionally share the losses and profits from that enterprise.
230. PARTY - A person taking part in a transaction or contract; a person or entity directly
involved in a lawsuit.
231. PASSION - Characterization of acts done while actor is in state of extreme stress or
explosive anger.
232. PASSIVE CONCEALMENT - The concealment of something by maintaining silence
when one has a duty to speak.
233. PATENT (OF INVENTION) - The granting of a right or authority by the federal
government; the document granting that right or authority; an exclusive right to make, use, or
sell an invention granted to the inventor of a unique device or process for a specified period of
time.
234. PATERNITY - Fatherhood, the relationship of father to a child.
235. PATRONAGE - The giving of protection or support; sponsorship; all of the clients or
customers of a business; clientele; political favors, such as appointing to governmental
positions in exchange for political support.
236. PECULATION - The fraudulent misuse of funds by one to whom they have been entrusted
for purposes for which those funds were not intended, especially the misusers own benefit.
Embezzle-ment, especially when done by a public official.
237. PENAL ACTION - A suit brought to recover a statutory penalty as punishment for an
offense against the public.

238. PENAL CODE - The body of penal law as a whole.


239. PENALTIES - Punishment in the form of fines or prison terms imposed on wrongdoers.
Although normally applied in criminal cases, there are some cases of civil misdeeds for which a
penalty may be imposed.
240. PENALTY CLAUSE - A provision in a contract that stipulates an excessive pecuniary
charge against a defaulting party.
241. PENITENTIARY - A penal institution that is intended for long-term confinement of
convicted criminals.
242. PERMISSION - An authorization or license to do something; being allowed.
243. PERJURY - The crime of intentionally lying after being duly sworn (to tell the truth) by a
notary public, court clerk or other official. This false statement may be made in testimony in
court, administrative hearings, depositions, answers to interrogatories, as well as by signing or
acknowledging a written legal document known to contain false information.
244. PETITION - A formal written request for something to be done or not to be done, delivered
to a court or other official body.
245. PIRACY - Robbery, kidnapping, or other criminal activity at sea. Hijacking. Illegal and
unauthorized copying or distributing materials protected under copyright, trademark, or patent
law.
246. PLEAD - To make a plea of guilty or not guilty in court in response to a criminal
charge; to file a pleading; to answer a plaintiffs common law declaration.
247. PLEADINGS - Formal, written declaration in legal form of logical statements setting forth
the facts of the plaintiffs allegations or the defendants responses, and or the reasons why each
party believes that she is in the right.
248. POINT OF LAW - An individual legal issue or proposition at the heart of a case.
249. PRECEDENT - Something that came before, hence preceded the event currently in
question, such as a previously decided case. It may serve as a model for the interpretation of a
law, or disposition as a case.
250. PRESUMPTION OF INNOCENCE - A basic tenet of criminal law that a person is to be
presumed to be innocent until he is proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
251. PRIME SUSPECT - The one person law enforcement officers believe most probably
committed a crime being investigated.
252. PROBATION A procedure following conviction that permits the party found guilty to be
released without doing prison time, subject to conditions that are placed upon him or her by the
court. Violation of any of those conditions can lead to probation being revoked and the person
being remanded to confinement.
253. PROCEDURE - A specific course of action; the machinery by which a suit is carried on;
the mechanics of the legal process; written rules for legal proceedings, whether criminal or
civil, codified in rule books.
254. PROCESS - A summons in writing to compel the appearance or response of a person before
a court; the proceedings in a civil or a criminal case; the procedure by which a disobedient or
recalcitrant defendant is made to plead.
255. PROOF - An establishment by evidence of the truth or falseness of an alleged fact; evidence
upon which a courts judicial ruling is based.
256. PROSECUTION - A pursuing of a lawsuit or a criminal trial; the party pursuing a criminal
prosecution; the carrying out of any activity or plan.
257. PROTECT - To keep safe; to preserve something that already exists, as in protecting trade
and protecting consumers.

258. PUBLIC DEFENDER - An attorney hired by the government for the purpose of defending
anyone who is accused of a crime but who is unable to afford to hire an attorney.
259. RACKETEERING - The federal crime of conspiring to organize to commit crimes,
particularly as a regular business.
260. RANSOM - Money paid to a kidnapper in demand for the release of the person abducted.
Ransom money can also be paid to return a valuable object such as a stolen painting.
261. RAPE - In common law, the felony of a man having illegal sexual intercourse with a woman
other than his wife, by force or with threat of violence and against her will; unlawful sexual act
with an unwilling other, and usually involving threat of violence. To commit the act of forcible
sexual intercourse.
262. RECIDIVIST - One who commits a second (or higher numbered) crime; a repeat offender;
a habitual criminal. Such a person is usually subject to extended confinement under habitual
criminal statutes.
263. RECOGNITION - Acknowledgement that something was authorized to be done. The
acknowledgement of someones or somethings rank or status, especially the diplomatic
recognition of another country.
264. REDEMPTION - The act of redeeming, buying back property by paying off a loan, interest
and any costs of foreclosure.
265. REPEAL - The annullment of an existing law by the enactment of a new law. If the new law
declares the old law to be revoked, the repeal is express.
266. REPORTS - Formal written or vocal presentations of facts; written records of a court
proceeding prepared by the court reporter and filed with the clerk; bound volumes of judicial
decisions by a certain court or group thereof.
267. RESTRAINING ORDER - A restraining order is always temporary, because it is ordered
without a hearing. This distinguishes it from an injunction.
268. RIGHT - What is proper and correct under the law, ethics, and/or moral code; something
owed a person because of a just claim.
269. ROBBERY - The illegal stealing or taking of anothers property from that person or another
by violence or by threat of violence; aggravated larceny. The personal threat of violence and
implicit fear on the part of the victim are essential in order to distinguish robbery from burglary.
270. RULE - An established or prescribed standard for action. An authoritative principal.
Deciding a legal point or question.
271. SANCTION - A penalty imposed for violating accepted social norms. A sanction may be
civil or criminal in nature. Criminal sanctions are either fine, imprisonment, or both.
272. SEAL - In common law, an impression in wax, wafer, or other substance put on a document
and attesting to its authenticity; a similar impression placed over the edge of an envelope, its
unbroken condition indicating that the envelope is unopened, hence its contents are untampered
with. A corporations seal is at times called a common seal.
273. SENTENCE - The pronouncement of punishment by a court following a criminal defendant
having been found guilty of a crime.
274. SEQUESTRATION - The act of a judge issuing an order that a jury or witness be
sequestered (kept apart from outside contacts during trial).
275. SEXUAL ASSAULT - Any sexual contact with another person without the others consent
or when the other lacks the capacity to give legally effective consent. Rape.
276. SOLVENCY - The ability to pay ones debts as they come due or as they mature. Implied is
the ownership of property of adequate value to secure those debts, should the need arise.
277. SETTLEMENT - The resolution of a lawsuit (or of a legal dispute prior to filing a
complaint or petition) without going forward to a final court judgment.

278. STATUS QUO - The situation as it currently exists.


279. STIPULATION - A factual condition or requirement incorporated as a term of a contract;
an agreement between opposing parties as to a procedure, as in a stipulation to extend time to
respond, or a fact, as in a stipulation as to liability.
280. STOLEN PROPERTY - Property obtained by larceny, by stealing, by robbing, by theft;
something unlawfully taken from its rightful owner.
281. SUBPOENA - Under penalty. A writ issued by a court commanding a person to appear, with
penalties that attach for failure to comply.
282. SUICIDE - The voluntary and intentional act of taking ones own life.
283. SUIT - Any proceeding brought by one or more parties against another one or more parties
in a court of law.
284. SUSTAIN - To support or adequately maintain over a long period of time; (in court) to
uphold; to rule in favor of; to corroborate.
285. TARGET - The focus of an investigation, as in grand jury target; in corporate law, the focus
of a takeover bid.
286. TAX - A charge assessed on an individual or on property for the purpose of supporting the
functioning of the government.
287. TRESPASS - An illegal act committed against anothers person or property; especially
entering upon anothers land without the owners permission.
288. TRIAL - A formal judicial examination of issues of law or fact between parties by a court
with jurisdiction in such cases.
289. TRIBUNAL - An officer or body with the authority to pronounce judgment on a matter
based upon the evidence. A court or other judicial body. The bench or seat where the judge sits
while presiding over a hearing or trial.
290. TRUSTEE - Someone who holds title in trust for the benefit of another person and who
owes fiduciary responsibility to that beneficiary. Also used loosely to refer to anyone acting as
guardian or fiduciary with respect to another person.
291. TRUTH - A completely accurate account of the facts; an affirmative defense in a suit for
defamation.
292. ULTIMATUM - The final offer in negotiating an agreement, carrying with it the
implication that if it is not accepted, bargaining will cease.
293. UNAVOIDABLE ACCIDENT - An accident that is not caused by the negligence or other
fault of anyone involved.
294. UNCONSTITUTIONAL - When a statute is found to be unconstitutional, all obligations
arising from it are unlawful, and no person can be held accountable for having failed to live up
to his or her obligations under that statute, nor is the statute enforceable.
295. UNFIT PARENT - A parent with suspect morality, or one who may engage in illegal or
excessively unhealthy habits, such as habitual drinking to the point of inebriation, or use of
illicit drugs.
296. VANDALISM - Deliberate defacing or destruction of property; ignorant defacing of
anything beautiful or treasured, such as a work of art, architecture, or a valued building.
Ignorance or malice is usually inferred.
297. VICE CRIMES - Activities that are made illegal because they offend the moral standards
of the community banning them. Gambling, pornography, and prostitution are the big three of
vice crimes in most states and communities.
298. VIGILANTE - Someone who takes the law into his/her own hands by trying and/or
punishing another person without any legal authority.
299. VOID - Referring to a statute, contract, ruling or anything which is null and of no effect.

300. WARRANT - An order (writ) of a court which directs a law enforcement officer to arrest
and bring a person before the judge, such as a person who is charged with a crime, convicted of
a crime but failed to appear for sentencing, owes a fine or is in contempt of court.
301. WEIGHT OF EVIDENCE - The strength, value and believability of evidence presented on
a factual issue by one side as compared to evidence introduced by the other side.
302. WHITE COLLAR CRIME - A generic term for crimes involving commercial fraud,
cheating consumers, swindles, insider trading on the stock market, embezzlement and other
forms of dishonest business schemes.
303. YOUR HONOR - The proper way to address a judge in court.