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Glossary of General Legal Terms

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Define "Adhesion Contract"
Standardized contract form offered for goods or services - take it or leave it - no realistic opportunity to bargain.
Define Affirmative Defenses
A defense which assumes claim to be true but asserts a legal defense to it.
Define Certiorari (Writ of Certiorari)
Writ issued by an appellate court directing a lower court to deliver the record in a case for review. US Supreme court uses certiorari to review most of the cases it decides to hear.
Define Demurrer
A pleading stating that although the facts alleged in a complaint may be true, they are insufficient for the plaintiff to state a claim for relief.
Define Jurisprudence
Judicial precedents considered collectively
Define Mandamus
A writ issued by a superior court to compel a lower court or a government officer to perform mandatory or purely ministerial duties correctly.
Per Curiam Opinion
An opinion handed down by an appellate court wihtout identifying the individual judge who wrote the opinion.
Stare Decisis
"To stand by things decided."
Sua Sponte
In Latin, of one's own accord. Voluntarily. Without prompting or suggestion. On its (usually the court's) own motion.
Tort
A civil wrong, other than breach of contract, for which a remedy may be obtained, usually in the form of damages. A breach of duty that the law imposes on persons who stand in a particular relation to one another.

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