Basic Terms of Law

Law is a system of rules that a society or government develops to deal with crime, business agreements, and social relationships. These may be enacted by a collective legislature, resulting in statutes, by the executive through decrees and regulations, or by judges, resulting in case law. The laws are enforced by a variety of institutions including the military, police, courts of justice, and a society’s customs.

Legal terms:

An appeal is a request to have another court review the decision of a lower court or tribunal. Defendants and plaintiffs both have the right to appeal, which is often done because of a lack of proper procedure, an error in law or fact, or new evidence that supports a different result. The person or organization doing the appealing is called the appellant. A court that reviews an appeal is known as an appellate court.

Discovery – The examination, before trial, by lawyers of facts and documents in the possession of their opponents to help prepare for the case. The process is subject to the rules of privilege and confidentiality. A record of all the discovery is called a docket. arraignment – The formal presentation of charges in a criminal case to the defendant.

Jurisdiction – The power of a court to hear and decide a particular case. Federal courts have jurisdiction over the entire United States, while state and local courts have limited jurisdiction within their geographic areas. An individual can choose which type of court to sue in, though some issues are covered by both federal and state courts.

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