Glossary of Introduction to Paralegalism
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- What are the three levels of government?
- 1) Federal
- What are the three branches of government?
- 1) Legislative
- What are the functions of the three branches of government?
- 1) Legislative - Makes Laws
2) Executive - Carries Out Laws
3) Judicial - Interprets Law & Resolves Disputes
- What are the two methods by which statues can be created in many states?
- 1) Referendum - direct vote of the people
2) The Legislature writes the statute.
- Any system of regulations to govern the conduct of the people of a community, society or nation, in response to the need for regularity, consistency and justice based upon collective human experience.
- Common Law
- The traditional unwritten law of England, based on custom and usage, which began to develop over a thousand years before the founding of the United States.
- The authority given by law to a court to try cases and rule on legal matters within a particular geographic area and/or over certain types of legal cases.
- The entire subject of law, the study of law and legal questions.
- A system of government in which power is divided between a central authority and constituent political units.
- Separation of Powers
- The constitutional allocation of the legislative, executive, and judicial powers among the three branches of government, cannot infringe upon each other's constitutionally vested powers.
- Checks and Balances
- System whereby each branch of an organization can limit the powers of the other branches.
- The fundamental, underlying document which establishes the government of a nation or state.
- A law enacted by the legislative branch of a government
- Short for a cause of action, lawsuit, or the right to sue
- Stare Decisis
- Latin for "to stand by a decision," the doctrine that a trial court is bound by appellate court decisions (precedents) on a legal question which is raised in the lower court.
- A prior reported opinion of an appeals court which establishes the legal rule (authority) in the future on the same legal question decided in the prior judgment.
- An officially elected or otherwise selected body of people vested with the responsibility and power to make laws for a political unit, such as a state or nation.
- The system of law courts that administer justice and constitute the judicial branch of government
- Executive Branch of Government
- The branch of the United States government that is responsible for carrying out the laws
- To ask a higher court to reverse the decision of a trial court after final judgment or other legal ruling
- Personal Jurisdiction
- The jurisdiction granted a court over the parties before it that allows it to issue a binding judgment
- In Personam
- from Latin for "directed toward a particular person." In a lawsuit in which the case is against a specific individual, that person must be served with a summons and complaint to give the court jurisdiction to try the case, and the judgment applies to that person and is called an "in personam judgment."
- In Rem
- From Latin "against or about a thing," referring to a lawsuit or other legal action directed toward property, rather than toward a particular person. Thus
- That part of the law that encompasses business, contracts, estates, domestic (family) relations, accidents, negligence and everything related to legal issues, statutes and lawsuits, that is not criminal law
- A popular term for anyone who has committed a crime, whether convicted of the offense or not. More properly it should apply only to those actually convicted of a crime. Repeat offenders are sometimes called habitual criminals.
- Of or relating to the enactment of laws.
- Administrative Law
- The procedures created by administrative agencies (governmental bodies of the city, county, state or federal government) involving rules, regulations, applications, licenses, permits, available information, hearings, appeals and decision-making.
- The name for articles of incorporation in some states, as in a corporate charter.
- A statute enacted by a city or town.
- Rules of Court
- A set of procedural regulations adopted by courts which are mandatory upon parties and their lawyers on matters within the jurisdiction of those courts. Most states have statewide rules of court.
- Executive Order
- A President's or Governor's declaration which has the force of law, usually based on existing statutory powers, and requiring no action by the Congress or state legislature.
- A pact between nations which, if entered into by the United States through its Executive Branch, must be approved by "two-thirds of the Senators present," under Article II, section 2 of the Constitution, to become effective. Presidents sometimes get around the Senate by entering into "Executive Agreements" with leaders of other countries which are a mode of cooperation and not enforceable treaties.
- The explanation of a court's judgment.
- Advisory Opinon
- An opinion stated by a judge or a court upon the request of a legislative body or government agency. An advisory opinion has no force of law but is given as a matter of courtesy
- Judicial Economy
- Refers to the overall efficiency in the operation of the judicial system or the efficiency of a given court.
- Constitutional Rights
- The rights given or reserved to the people by the U.S. Constitution, and in particular, the Bill of Rights (first ten amendments).
- Bill of Rights
- The first ten amendments to the federal Constitution demanded by several states in return for ratifying the Constitution
- Referring to a judge, court or the court system.
- The branch of government charged with putting into effect a country's laws and the administering of its functions.
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