The Layperson’s Glossary of Legal Terms (Cont.)

Understanding these common legal terms may be beneficial for you or someone you know if involvement in any legal matter becomes a reality.

1. Acknowledgement – a signature by an attorney or clerk verifying the contents of the document are true.
2. Action – alternate name for “case” or “lawsuit.”
3. Adjudication – a judge’s decision or sentence
4. Affirmation – if a person decides not to take an oath for religious or other reasons, he or she will affirm or declare truth under penalty of perjury.
5. Charge – an accusation of someone of an unlawful act.
6. Certify – to testify in writing
7. Claim – a written statement of the particular relief desired
8. Docket – a list or calendar of cases to be heard in court within a set period of time.
9. Expert witness – a person allowed to testify in a trial because of expertise in a particular field that is relevant to the case.
10. Finding – a jury or court’s decision
11. Negligence – failure to exercise reasonable care. This failure results in damage or injury to another individual.
12. Order – a court or judge’s written statement to do or refrain from doing certain acts– generally to pay money to another party.
13. Pain and suffering – physical and emotional stress resulting from injury.
14. Personal injury – injury to an individual’s body, mind, and emotions. This excludes property.
15. Statute – a written law
16. Wrongful death – a death caused by negligence or willful misconduct of another individual.


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