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    Free Legal Dictionary – User Supplied Legal Definitions

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Ehline Law Firm has brought this free Ehline Online Legal Dictionary to help consumers and lawyers understand general legal definitions as they are commonly understood in the California legal community. Your experts at the Ehline law firm have gained recognition as being among the best. Our reputation stands on its own. This dictionary is just one of the reasons why. Please read on in our free, easy-to-access document.


Michael P. Ehline, Esq's injury attorney legal dictionary, most used terms.Abatement: to remove, diminish, or reduce

Abrogate: violate, cancel out, destroy, revoke, void out

Abscond: used when vanishing away to travel covertly in secret. Hence, out of the court’s jurisdiction to improperly leave steal property and run away

Abstention: when one court won’t exercise jurisdiction and instead defers to a different court. Therefore, taking under submission pending what is determined by the lower court

Abuse of Discretion: legal standard applied by courts of appeal to review whether or not agencies’ discretion. Most noteworthy, the trial court, administrative agencies, and other entities exceeded the power the trial court had when it ruled

Abuse of Process: the improper use of the legal process for an improper purpose

Acceleration: to quicken, speed up, to hasten

Accord: legal word for an agreement between two or more parties

Accrue: to build up, or to accumulate, collect up, come into being. Such as a legal right or cause of action coming into existence as a court-enforceable legal right of claim

Action (At Law): a legal right whereby one party prosecutes another for a wrong

Actionable: giving rise to a cause of action

Actionable Tort: the failure to perform a legal duty created by statute or common law. Hence, owed by one party to another which such failure results in injury.

Acts of God: forces of nature that are impossible to predict

Actual Damages: losses that are proven to have incurred as a result of the wrongful act of another

Ad Damnum: (lat.) the number of damages normally demanded in the context of a lawsuit

Additur: an increase by the court in the number of damages awarded by the jury

Adjourn: to suspend; to delay a court proceeding through recess

Adjudication: a determination of the controversy and a pronouncement of a judgment based on the evidence presented

Ad Litem: (lat.) for the lawsuit

Admiralty and Maritime Jurisdiction: jurisdiction over actions related to events occurring on navigable waters

Admission: a voluntary acknowledgment that certain facts do exist or are true

Alienation of Affections: a tort-based upon willful, malicious, or intentional interference of a marriage relation by a third party

Alter Ego: (lat.) the other-self. Under this legal doctrine, the law will disregard the personal liability an individual has due to the existence of a corporate entity. Will regard an act as the act of the individual rather than solely the act of the corporation.

American Bar Association (A.B.A.): a national organization of lawyers and law students

Amicus Curiae: (lat.) a friend of the court

Annotation: citing a particular case of the statute

Annuity: a contract that provides for the payment of a fixed sum, usually over some time. Furthermore, often utilized to fund a structured settlement

Annul: to make void, do away with (Think a marriage annulment. Sort of like a thing that was not a meeting of the minds and thus, invalid.)

Answer: the court papers filed on behalf of the defendant in response to the plaintiff’s complaint



Bailiff: a court attendant

Barrister: in England, one of two classes of legal practitioners; an English trial lawyer

Battery: an intentional or unlawful application of force to the person of another; an unlawful touching

Bench Trial: a trial in which the court determines the facts without a jury; trial by judge

Best Evidence Rule: the rule of law of evidence requiring the original writing, recording, or photograph

The burden of Proof: the burden that rests with each party to the litigation to convince the jury in a jury trial or the judge in a bench trial of that party’s case



Casualty Loss: a loss of property due to fire, storm, or other casualties

Cause of Action: the existence of particular facts and law that create a right sufficient to merit judicial action

Cautionary Instruction: judge’s charge to a jury telling them not to allow any outside matter to influence their verdict

Caveat: (lat.) warning or caution

Cease and Desist Order: a court order prohibiting the person or entity to which is directed from undertaking or continuing a particular activity or course of conduct.

Circuit Court: one of several courts in a given jurisdiction; a part of a system of courts

Circumstantial Evidence: indirect evidence of a fact; evidence that indirectly y suggests proof of a fact

Citation: a reference to a book or other source of legal authority

Civil Action: a judicial proceeding brought to protect a civil right created by common law or statute

Civil Law: law concerned with non-criminal matters

Liability, Civil: liability for actions seeking enforcement of personal rights

Class Action: a lawsuit brought by a representative member on behalf of a large group of persons or members of the group

Clayton Act: prohibits price-fixing and other types of discrimination

Clean Hands: the doctrine that requires that a person who seeks equitable relief must not himself have committed any impropriety concerning the transaction

Clear and Convincing: standard of proof; evidence greater than a mere preponderance

Common-Law: the system of jurisprudence that is based on judicial precedent. As a result, rather than statutory laws and comprises the most substantial body of law in the United States

Comparative Negligence: the comparing of responsibility between the plaintiff and the defendant or defendants

Complaint: in a civil lawsuit, the first papers filed by the plaintiff setting out the facts on which the claim for relief is based

Compos Mentis: (lat.) mentally competent

The conclusion of Fact: the conclusion reached through the use of facts and reasoning, without resort to rules of law

Conclusion of Law: conclusion reached through application of provisions of law.

Conclusive Evidence: irrefutable evidence

Conflict of Interest: a situation where the tending of one duty leads to disregard of another

Conflict of Laws: applicable law of one state court which differs with the applicable law of another state jurisdiction which also has an interest in the outcome

Consanguinity: the familial relationship of persons united by one or more common ancestors

Consent, Informed: see INFORMED CONSENT.

Consent Judgment: an agreement of the parties which is placed on record with the court having jurisdiction

Consortium: the loss of services of the society of another

Contempt of Court: willful disobedience of a court order or intentional interference with the administration of justice

Contingent Fee: a charge made by an attorney dependent upon the outcome of the case; the amount is usually a percentage of the party’s recovery

Continuance: a postponement

Contribution: a legal right of a party who is responsible to the victim for reimbursement from another person

Contributory Negligence: the negligence of the injured party, which is recognized as conduct that contributed to the loss

Costs: court-recognized expenses of the legal proceedings for which the successful party is entitled to reimbursement from the other party

Criminal Negligence: an act of negligence that is a violation of the law and constitutes a crime



Damages: money compensation awarded to a person who another has injured; see ACTUAL DAMAGES, CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES, LIQUIDATED DAMAGES, NOMINAL DAMAGES, PUNITIVE DAMAGES

Damnum absque Injuria: (lat.) harm without injury

Declaratory Judgment: a review and determination by the court, sometimes with the assistance of a jury. This is of a matter to determine the rights of the parties or express the opinion of the court on a question of law or interpretation

Decree: a decision or order of a court, usually in equity; a final decree disposes of all matters before the court; an interlocutory decree disposes of only part of the lawsuit and often may not be appealed until the conclusion of the entire case

Default Judgment: a judgment entered against a party for that party’s failure to answer or comply as required by procedure laws. Most often occurs when a defendant fails to explain the court papers filed by the plaintiff charging the defendant with wrongdoing

Defense: the defendant’s statement of reasons why he should not be liable to the plaintiff for the allegations made

De Jure: (lat.) by right; lawful

Delayed Discovery Rule: The delayed discovery rule was created to protect negligence claims from the statute of limitations, which could have expired before the plaintiff knew that they had a legal claim. Read More.

Deliberation: the juror’s process of pondering and weighing facts, applying the law, and coming to a verdict

Demand: the amount of money requested by the plaintiff

Demonstrative Evidence: evidence which aids by its ability to demonstrate; object or thing which the trier of fact can view

De Novo: (lat.) from the very beginning; anew

Depose: to give evidence or testimony under oath on the record

Deposition: the taking statements before trial where all parties attorneys are asked to be present for the asking of questions of parties or witnesses while the proceedings are recorded by some approved method

Derogation: to repeal or abolish a law

Directed Verdict: a verdict entered in a jury trial by the judge before the jury is allowed to consider the merits of the case

Discovery: a procedure utilized by the attorneys to the litigation to acquire information in preparation for trial

Discretion: the exercise of an official prerogative to act in an official capacity

District Court: court having jurisdiction over a territorial district

Due Care: a theory of tort law to explain the standard of care or the legal duty one owes to others; what a reasonable person would do under like circumstances

Duty: obligation owed by a person to another person



Election of Remedies: a choice of possible remedies sanctioned by law for a particular injury or wrong

En Banc: (lat., fr.) by the full court

Enlargement: the allowance of additional time to do a required action under the rules of civil procedure

En Ventre Sa Mere: (lat., fr.) in gestation; in the womb of one’s mother

Equitable: due consideration for what is fair under particular circumstances

Erroneous: about a mistake

Estoppel: precluding from asserting

Exemplar: a replica of the actual item involved

Exhaustion of Remedies: a judicial policy or statutory requirement that specific administrative steps taken before the court considering the controversy

Exhibit: an item of evidence presented to the court for consideration

Ex Parte: an application made by one party to the proceeding without the presence of the opposing party

Expert Witness: a witness having particular knowledge of the subject about which he is called upon to testify; permitted to aid the jury in understanding information outside of their collective knowledge



Fact-Finder: a person or persons that have the responsibility of determining the facts in question

Failure to Prosecute: procedural inability in a matter in litigation expected by the court; a failure to pursue

Federal Courts: the courts of the United States

First Impression: first discussion or consideration of a particular matter

Foreperson of Jury: the jury selected

Forensic: the branch of science that employs scientific technology assisting the determination of facts in the courts of law

Foreseeability: a tort law requires that the consequences of a parties action or inaction could reasonably result in the injury

Forum Non-Conveniens: (lat.) an inconvenient place to proceed



Gag Order: an order by the court restricting comment on, or the release of information about the proceedings

Garnishment: a procedure to take control of a person’s assets or income judicially determined to be owed or belonging to another person. For example, used in both government and civil cases.

Good Cause: significant or legally adequate reason for the doing of some act

Reasonable Faith: a properly intended deed free from an improper motive

Governmental Immunity: a legal precept of the government’s sovereignty rendering it exempt from liability for its acts or failures. Often used by state, federal, and local governments.

Grand Jury: a group of individuals designated by law to determine whether enough evidence exists to merit a charge against the criminally accused. There is no parallel in civil law, although many states require a review and certification before a patient bringing an action against a doctor or other person or entity providing medical services.

Gross Negligence: conduct worse or more serious than a simple departure from reasonable care. However, less than a complete disregard of any concern owed others.

Guardian: one who legally has supervision and responsibility for a person

Guardian ad Litem: Individual protector appointed by a court to oversee the legal rights of an individual incompetent under the law. (Besides: Read more.)

Guilty: the determination by a jury that the accused has committed a crime. However, the term is not relevant to civil law matters.



Harmless Error: error which is not sufficiently prejudicial to require reversal of the previous finding or outcome

Hearsay Rule: a rule of evidence that requires the declarant be subject to cross-examination at the hearing; many exceptions to the rule exist

Hidden Defect: a defect or condition which is not observable by a reasonable inspection; see LATENT DEFECT

Hung Jury: a jury whose members cannot agree in sufficient numbers to reach a verdict. Unanimous in criminal cases, federal civil claims, and three-quarters in some other states civil cases



Immaterial: a rule of evidence that requires that the evidence must have a sufficient relationship to the issue in question

Immunity: a grant of freedom from responsibility

Impact Rule: a requirement of some states tort law. Whereby a physical contact with the person must occur in the order of damages for emotional distress to be recoverable

Impanel: to bring together in the courtroom the people selected to serve as the jury

Impleader: a rule of the procedure whereby a third party enters an existing lawsuit

Implied Consent: a consent drawn from the facts of the surrounding circumstances

Implied Contract: a contract not expressly agreed upon in written terms but one created by the conduct of the parties

Imputed Liability: liability for the acts of another person which arises out of the operation of law

In Absentia: (lat.) in absence

In-Camera: (lat.) in chambers

Indemnity: to wholly or partially responsible for the loss that another has sustained

In Forma Pauperis: (lat.) as would be a pauper. Usually refers to the right granted by the court to allow a party to proceed without the payment of costs due to financial inability.

Informed Consent: consent obtained after full disclosure of the facts and risks involved; sometimes an allegation in medical negligence cases

Inherent Defect: a defect that exists and is natural to the item

Injunction: an order of the court that requires a person or entity to refrain from pursuing a particular course of conduct or activity

Injuria Absque Damno: (lat.) wrong or insult without damage; see DAMAGE ABSQUE INJURIA

Injuria Non-Excusat Injuriam: (lat.) one wrong does not justify another injury any damage or injury inflicted upon another

In Limine: (lat.) at the beginning

Loco Parentis, In: (lat.) in the place of the parent

In Personam: (lat.) against the person

In Re: in the matters of

Rem, I’m: (lat.) action against a thing, as opposed to a lawsuit against a person

Instruction: the law as given by the court to the jury before their deliberations which states the applicable law to the issues in the case

Inter Alia: (lat.) among other things

Interim Order: a temporary order

Interlocutory Order: an order or ruling that determines an intermediate issue but does not dispose of the case in chief

Interpleader: a rule of procedure that allows a person who has a thing or money not belonging to him and is not certain to whom it rightfully belongs among several claimants. May give the thing or money to the court to decide who gets the thing or money.

Interrogatories: in civil actions, a pretrial discovery tool in which written questions are sent by one party and are to be answered under oath by the other party

Intervention: a proceeding permitting a person to enter into a lawsuit already in progress

Inter Vivos: (lat.) between the living

Invasion of Privacy: the wrongful intrusion into a person’s private life

Invitee: one who comes upon the land of another by invitation of the owner

Ipsa Dixit: (lat.) he said it himself

Irreparable Injury: a loss for which no remedy at law would be enough, and therefore a court sitting in equity may order a special relief other than money damages

Issue: the item of fact or law in dispute

Issue Preclusion: an issue decided in previous litigation that after that precluded from re-litigation



J. D.: Juris Doctor; the degree that is bestowed after graduation from law school. Furthermore, the degree was formerly designated LL. B.

Joinder: uniting of parties to single case or litigation

Joint and Several: sharing of right or liability between parties individually as well as jointly

Enterprise, Joint: an agreement of two or more parties to take on a particular goal or project

Liability, Joint: a doctrine of liability making all parties who are responsible for a loss to each share full responsibility

Joint Venture: a business undertaking by two or more parties in which profits, losses, and control are shared

Jones Act: a federal law that grants a seaman who suffers an injury to his or her person during employment a right to damages

Judge-Made Law: the law that is decided by judicial interpretation as opposes to legislative enactment and is often termed common law

Judgment: judicial determination of a matter

Judicial Notice: a rule of legal convenience that negates the need for proof of the matter

Jurisdiction: the authority of a court to hear and determine a thing

Jurisdictional Amount: an amount of money in controversy required for a court to have the power to hear and decide a matter

Jurisprudence: the topical area of the science of law and societal order

Jurist: a legal scholar

Juror: an individual empaneled as a member of a jury

Jury: the group of individuals empaneled to decide on the facts involved in the trial

Jury Trial: the determination of a case by a jury, the jury decides the facts, and the court instructs the jury of the law to be applied to the facts

Justiciable: a matter that is capable of being determined by a court of law or equity with or without the aid of a jury



Laches: neglecting to assert a right or claim which taken together with a lapse of time and other circumstances, causes prejudice to an adverse party, thereby operating as a bar in a court of equity

Latent Defect: a defect not discoverable by the exercise of an ordinary inspection, see HIDDEN DEFECT

Law Office Study Program: A few states offered that allow one to become a lawyer with no law school or undergrad.

Law of the Case: a legal principle which states that a determination of law by a higher court is considered as correct during all subsequent hearings in the proceedings unless the question is being heard by a court more elevated than the court that made the ruling

Lay Witness: a witness that is testifying as a witness to a fact or an opinion as opposed to a notice given by an expert about a matter beyond the expected comprehension of the jury

Leave of Court: a request to the court to obtain permission to do something that otherwise would not be permissible.

Lex Loci Delicti: (lat.) the place where the wrong took place

Liability: responsibility or accountability for one’s breach of duty owed to another

Licensee: one of the classes of persons entering upon the lands of another whereby the individual has not been invited upon the area but is tolerated


Liquidated Damages: a sum of money agreed upon by the parties to a contract paid as damages if a breach of the contract

Lis Pendens: (lat.) a pending suit

Long Arm Statues: statutory laws empowering a court to obtain jurisdiction over a nonresident defendant

Lord Campbell’s Act: the English rule that first recognized the right of the family of a decedent to bring an action for damages against the person who was responsible for the death of their family member

Lump-Sum Payment: an amount of money paid in one payment as opposed to a structured settlement which is paid out over some time in several payments



Magistrate: in the federal court system, a person is appointed to serve as a court representative. Often given many responsibilities that the federal judge would otherwise perform.

Malfeasance: the doing of an act in an improper, wrongful, or unlawful manner

Malice: a spiteful state of mind

Malpractice: a failure of a professional to act by the acceptable course of conduct, negligence of a member of a profession in a professional capacity

Maritime Law: the body of law that governs navigation and other activity in navigable waters

Mens Rea: a guilty mind

Misfeasance: the improper performance of a required act

Mistrial: an action taken by a court that terminates a trial in progress

Mitigation of Damages: a duty owed by the party who sustained an injury to his person or property to minimize the loss by acting in a reasonably prudent manner

Money Judgment: a judgment granting to one party the right to receive money from another party

Moot Case: a fictional case and based upon a factor that is not recognizable or  already resolved (aka it no longer exists.)

Motion: a written or oral request to the court order to allow or prohibit some item or to ask the court to take particular action about the litigation

Motion in Limine: a request made by a party requesting the court to prevent the discussion or other presentation of a specific matter to the jury

Municipal Court: a court that hears and determines issues concerning its laws and other matters within its jurisdiction as provided by law



Negligence: failure to exercise that degree of care which an ordinarily prudent person would use under the same or similar circumstances

Negligence Per Se: an act or failure to act that is considered unreasonable conduct as a matter of law without the need to consider surrounding circumstances

Next Friend: a person who acts on behalf of a party who for some reason of incapacity is not able to proceed and has not had a court-appointed guardian appointed to work in a representative capacity

No-Fault Insurance: an insurance scheme wherein every person injured in an automobile accident is compensated irrespective of who was at fault

Nonfeasance: the failure to perform a duty owed to another

Nominal Damages: a minute sum awarded, often only a penny or a dollar

Nonsuit: a judgment ordered by the court against a plaintiff who fails to proceed to trial

Nuisance: the hindrance or interference with the interests of others



On All Fours: an expression used to characterize a case where facts and law are similar to another’s

Demand, On: as soon as requested.

On the Merits: a decision or ruling that deals with the underlying basis of the case rather than a rule of procedure



Parental Liability: a statutory law that obligates parents for certain wrongful acts committed by their children before achieving adulthood

Pecuniary Damage: financial losses incurred

Per Diem: (lat.) course of a day

Personal Injury Attorney: A lawyer practicing tort law (learn more.)

Piercing the Corporate Veil: a legal doctrine that lifts a shareholder’s shield of immunity for wrongful corporate activity under special circumstances

Plaintiff: the party who first initiates litigation

Pleadings: papers required to be filed by each party with the court which alleges the facts, claims, and defenses involved in the case

Prayer: the relief sought by the plaintiff in the lawsuit as stated in his pleading to the court

Precedent: a deviation in a prior case which established a right or reasoning of law that must be followed in the present case

Pre-Emption: a judicial principle which states that certain federal laws apply over specific state laws

A preponderance of the Evidence: the standard of proof in civil cases, more likely than not

Presumption: a rule of law that allows finding one fact from the presentation of another fact shown. An irrefutable presumption requires a finding of the presumed fact

Prevailing Party: the winning party in the matter

Prima Facie Case: the existence of some evidence on each required point of a case

Privity: a sufficient relationship between parties to the same rights or property

Product Liability: the principle of statutory and/or common law that holds a manufacturer responsible without regard for negligence if the product is defective

Proffer (of evidence): to present to the record in a trial what evidence a party has on a given point after the court has refused its admission into evidence. So that a reviewing court can know what was excluded at the original proceeding

Pro Hac Vice: (lat.) for this one particular occasion

Pro Se: (lat.) for himself; in law, it refers to a person who represents himself without a lawyer

Punitive Damages: an award of money to punish the wrongdoer and to discourage all from similar wrongdoing



Quantum Meruit: as much as it is worth

Quash: to annul or abandon by judicial decision

Question of Fact: the existence of a controversy as to the facts of a case which the trier of fact must determine. For example, a jury in a jury trial; the judge in a bench trial.



Reasonable Care: the amount of care expected of an ordinarily prudent person under the same or similar circumstances

Rebuttal: evidence disproving other evidence previously given

Reckless Disregard: behavior or demeanor which evidences a lack of concern for consequences

Remand: to send back

Remittitur: (lat.) to reduce, generally, in law, describes a reduction of the jury’s verdict made by the judge.

Removal: the right of a defendant in a civil lawsuit to have a case moved from state court to a federal court within 30 days of the service of the complaint if jurisdiction also exists in the federal court

Rescission: The cancellation of a contract

Res Ipsa Loquitur: (lat.) the thing speaks for itself. In a negligence lawsuit, the plaintiff generally has the burden to prove that the defendant was negligent. The doctrine of res ipsa loquitur is a rule of evidence that has the effect of requiring the defendant to prove that he was not negligent in certain circumstances.

Res Judicata: (lat.) the thing, decided

Respondeat Superior: (lat.) let the superior reply. A legal principle whereby the master is responsible for the acts or omissions of his/her servant

Restitution: to make good the loss for injury or damage

Reversible Error: error in a trial which is significantly sufficient causing the entire trial reversed or a new trial. Hence, granted by a reviewing appellate court

Risk of Non-Persuasion: see BURDEN OF PROOF

Routine Vacatur: a procedure where a defendant settles an unfavorable determination that occurred in the trial court while the case is on appeal and has the appellate court vacate the determination below



Scienter: (lat.) knowledge, prior knowledge

Scintilla: a very minute amount of evidence

Sequester: to separate, in law, refers to the isolation of the jury from the world outside the courtroom so they will not be influenced by events and information not presented in the trial

Seventh Amendment: the amendment to the U.S. Constitution entitles every individual to the right to have his/her civil case heard by a jury if the amount in controversy exceeds twenty dollars

Show Cause Order: a command from the court to appear and explain why something should not be done

Side-Bar: an area of the courtroom where the judge and attorneys can converse outside of the jury’s hearing

Sixth Amendment: the amendment to the U.S. Constitution entitling the accused in a criminal trial the right to a speedy trial by a jury. Furthermore, SEE SEVENTH AMENDMENT for civil matters.

Sovereign Immunity: a doctrine granting immunity to the sovereign unless the sovereign consents to a suit; see GOVERNMENTAL IMMUNITY

Specific Performance: a remedy requiring a person who has breached a contract to perform specifically what was agreed upon and is available only when money damages would not suffice

Standing: the legal right of a person or entity bringing a lawsuit

Stare Decisis: (lat.) to stand by that which was decided; the legal principle that a lower court will follow that which a previous case has already determined

State Bar Association: A state bar association assists and directs specific requirements of the attorneys practicing law in a particular U.S. state or territory. (Source.)

Statute of Limitations: the statutory law establishing the time a plaintiff sues or be forever barred

Stipulation: An agreement by the attorneys on both sides about some aspect of the case

Strict Liability: liability without a showing of negligence

Sub Judice: (lat.) before the court

Subrogation: a right of repayment to a payor if another is found to be responsible for the payee’s loss

Summary Judgment: a finding and entry of judgment by the court after a hearing and review of the claims and the parties’ evidence. Before a trial, the court determines that there is no genuine issue or dispute regarding any material fact available for presentation. In that case, as a matter of law, the evidence is insufficient to allow such a claim to continue and renders judgment in favor of one party.

Subrogate Parent: one who is not a child’s parent but who stands in the place of the parent

Survival Statute: statutory law creating a right on behalf of the estate of a deceased person to maintain a lawsuit for any cause of action that would have existed had the decedent not died

Syllabus: a summary paragraph usually prepared by the court preceding the body of a reported case which in some jurisdictions is the black-letter law of the jurisdiction



Tort: a civil wrong that causes injury as a result of a breach of a legal duty owed to another

Tort Claims Act: a statutory law enacted by the U.S. Congress and many state legislatures waiving all or some part of the government’s immunity from tort liability

Trial: a proceeding or hearing of evidence in a court having jurisdiction over persons, entities, and subject matter for a determination of all issues between the parties based upon the applicable substantive law

Trial de Novo: a new trial



Ultra hazard Activity: conduct or any activity that involves such a great potential for harm or injury that the person or entity performing such activity will be held strictly liable for the outcome



Vacate: to set aside or to render void

Verdict: the conclusion of the court or jury which becomes the basis for the judgment

Vicarious Liability: the imputation of liability upon one person or entity for the acts or failure to act of another person or entity

Voir Dire: (fr.) to see to speak; in law, it is that portion of the trial where the attorneys ask the potential jurors questions. Or the court asks to determine their qualifications and suitability to sit as jurors in the particular case.

Volenti Non-Fit Injuria: (lat.) a volunteer suffers no wrong; a person who consents to legal wrong has no legal right



Wanton: a heedless disregard for the outcome of one’s actions

Weight of the Evidence: an expression stating an evaluation of the balance of the evidence for each side of the controversy after the conclusion of the controversy

Willful: a knowing disregard for the consequences of one’s actions

Witness: a person sworn at a trial, providing evidence in a case

Work Product: the work done by an attorney in the process of representing a client. Ordinarily privileged and not subject to discovery

Wobbler: Under California law, a “wobbler” is an offense that criminal prosecutors may elect to charge as (1) a misdemeanor or; (2) a felony. But this will depend on whether justice is served under the specific facts of the case and; defendant’s past criminal history.

Wrongful Death Statutes: statutory law that creates a right to bring an action by the personal representative of an estate of the deceased for the wrongful loss of the decedent’s life, also see LORD CAMPBELL’S ACT

Understanding the Terms

These definitions shouldn’t be construed as legal advice. Furthermore, we encourage you to conduct further research. In some cases, retain an attorney if you intend on relying upon any legal definitions provided herein. Because legal definitions can change based upon what courts and lawmakers decide, Ehline expressly disclaims any liability for anyone’s reliance upon the Ehline Online Legal Dictionary. Find more info on other pages of our site. Our number one goal is to make the law understandable for you. Please read below for more info.

This directory is free and is updated from time to time, but our law offices are not an official case reporting service. Always read the CACI Jury Instructions for acceptable California court jargon and legal terminology. In any event, these terms and explanations were helpful in Michael Ehline’s becoming an attorney with no law degree. Read the previous article for more info. Our attorneys are on standby to assist if you have any questions. Contact us today for more info.

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Ehline Online Dictionary Borrowed from Misc, Publicly Available Resources, and Michael Ehline’s Own Terms He Created to Study for the California Bar Exam. All rights reserved. Not intended as specific legal advice. For more info, contact the Ehline Law Firm APLC. A legal guide by Michael Ehline of the Ehline Law Firm. Do not copy without written permission. Not intended to replace legal advice. Always speak to an attorney for more info.

For more info on other cases, please consult our site’s archive. We have hundreds of articles that include these terms. Besides, our site also uses recent case law, further explaining your rights. If you are unsure, contact us today. Contact us 24/7, and we will be in touch. Let our reputation speak for itself. Call or email us for more info. Furthermore, our lawyers are injury experts.

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