Puck and Gavel's Law Dictionary

Throughout the course of reading this site, you may see legal terms and phrases that you do not understand.  Whenever I use a term or phrase that you may not be familiar with, I will link to this dictionary, which will be updated as I use new terms in my blog posts. The definitions contained herein are short and simple. Many, if not all of these terms have a much longer explanation. However, this will provide you with sufficient information to have a basic understanding of my purpose in discussing them. If in reading a post I use a term that you do not understand and I have not defined it, leave a comment, e-mail me at puckandgavel@gmail.com, or tweet me @puckandgavel and I will help you out.

Civil Law System - A legal system where the primary source of law is the legal code, through which all cases are individually ruled, using case law only for persuasive support, but not binding precedent.

Defamation - a tort that involves a person's reputation being harmed by a false statement being made to a third party. A defamatory statement is a false statement made to a third party that tends to damage the reputation about whom the statement is made. Defamatory statements can be written or spoken.  A written defamatory statement constitutes libel.  An oral defamatory statement constitutes slander.

Defendant - The party against whom a lawsuit is filed.

Common Law System - A legal system through which precedents are established by judges through the adjudication of cases, from which principles are derived and used to determine the outcome of future analogous cases.

Jurisprudence Constante - legal doctrine according to which a long series of previous decisions applying a particular rule of law is very important and may be determinative in subsequent cases, but still is secondary to the code of laws itself.  This doctrine appears in some Civil Law systems.

Libel - a written defamatory statement.

Long-arm Jurisdiction - The standards by which a court can exercise personal jurisdiction over a party who is not a resident of the area that is under the authority of the court. For instance, long-arm jurisdiction is the basis of authority for a New York court to have personal jurisdiction over a party that is from New Jersey.

Personal Jurisdiction - The authority of a court to adjudicate over parties to a lawsuit.

Plaintiff - the party who initiates a lawsuit by filing suit against the defendant(s) demanding damages, performance, and/or court determination of rights

Prima Facie - Latin for "at first look" or "on its face," referring to a lawsuit or criminal prosecution in which the evidence before trial is sufficient to prove the case. If a plaintiff is unable to present a prima facie case, the action will be subject to dismissal before trial.

Slander - a spoken defamatory statement.

Stare Decisis - Latin for "Let the decision stand." It is the policy of courts to abide by or adhere to principles established by decisions in earlier cases.  This policy forms the basis of the Common Law system.

Tort - from French for "wrong," a civil wrong or wrongful act, whether intentional or accidental, from which injury occurs to another.

1 comment:

  1. It is quite difficult to understand whole legal system when you don’t have any academic qualification in this context. This is the post which might help you in this context as it has a visionary experience of every law and its role of conduct in an easier way.