The verdict in a criminal trial in which the defendant is
found not guilty.
An alternative name for statutory law. When introduced
into the first house of the legislature, a piece of proposed legislation is
known as a bill. When passed to the next house, it may then be referred to as
an act. After enactment, the terms law and act may be used interchangeably. An
act has the same legislative force as a joint resolution but is technically
distinguishable, being of a different form and introduced with the words "be it enacted" instead of "be it resolved."
The formal legal
demand of one's rights from another person brought in court.
The formal pronouncing or recording of a judgment or decree by a
A governmental authority, other than a legislature or court,
which issues rules and regulations or adjudicates disputes arising under its
statutes and regulations. Administrative agencies usually act under authority
delegated by the legislature.
Law that affects private parties, promulgated by governmental
agencies other than courts or legislative bodies. These administrative agencies
derive their power from legislative enactments and are subject to judicial
Current pamphlets containing the most recently reported
opinions of a court or the courts of several jurisdictions. The volume and page
numbers usually are the same as in the subsequently bound volumes of the
series, which cover several numbers of the advance sheets.
An opinion rendered by a court at the request of the
government or an interested party that indicates how the court would rule on a
matter should adversary litigation develop. An advisory opinion is thus an
interpretation of the law without binding effect. The international court of
justice and some state courts will render advisory opinions; the supreme court
of the united states will not.
A written statement or declaration of facts sworn to by
the maker, taken before a person officially permitted by law to administer
ALWD citation manual
A manual of legal citation form prepared by the
association of legal writing directors.
The process of resolving disputes through such means as mediation
or arbitration rather than through litigation.
Means, literally, friend of the court. A party with
strong interest in or views on the subject matter of the dispute will petition
the court for permission to file a brief, ostensibly on behalf of a party but
actually to suggest a rationale consistent with its own views.
(1) statutory: brief summaries of the law and facts of
cases interpreting statutes passed by congress or state legislatures that are
included in codes; or (2) textual: expository essays of varying length on
significant legal topics chosen from selected cases published with the essays.
The pleading filed by the defendant in response to
The briefs and transcripts of records on appeal filed by
attorneys with courts in connection with litigation.
The party who requests that a higher court review the
actions of a lower court. Compare with appellee.
The party against whom an appeal is taken (usually, but
not always, the winner in the lower court). It should be noted that a party's
status as appellant or appellee bears no relation to his or her status as
plaintiff or defendant in the lower court.
The hearing and settlement of a dispute between opposing
parties by a third party. This decision is often binding by prior agreement of
An unlawful, intentional show of force or an attempt to
do physical harm to another person. Assault can constitute the basis of a civil
or criminal action. See also battery.
Assault and battery
Attorney general opinion
An opinion issued by the government's chief counsel at
the request of some governmental body interpreting the law for the requesting
agency in the same manner as a private attorney would for his or her client.
The opinion is not binding on the court but is usually accorded some degree of
That which can bind or influence a court. Case law,
legislation, constitutions, administrative regulations, and writings about the
law are all legal authority. See primary authority; mandatory authority;