Legal Term Glossary

General Legal Terms

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Term Main definition
County Attorney

Attorney elected in each county to prosecute criminal cases on behalf of the public and to represent the county in civil matters.

Court Administrator

Person who assists the presiding judge in managing the court.

Court Commissioner

Person with authority to do the job of a judge in limited cases.

Court of Record

Courts in which all proceedings are permanently recorded according to law. Justice and municipal courts are not courts of record, but they sometimes do keep records of court proceedings.

Court Reporter

A person who records all formal court proceedings in order to be able to produce a transcript of the proceeding.

Courtroom Clerk

The clerk is the person responsible for filing papers and keeping records of what happens in the courthouse.


An act forbidden by law and punishable by fine, probation, imprisonment or death.


A person who died

Synonyms - Deceased

To give a decision.


A failure of the defendant to file the right papers within the time allowed or to appear in court during a scheduled hearing.


The person or entity sued in a civil case or accused in a criminal case.

Delinquent Act

An act committed by a juvenile that if committed by an adult would be a crime.


A relationship in which one depends on another for support in whole or in part.


The formal removal of a person from the United States when they have been found to have violated immigration laws.


A deposition is the testimony of a witness or party to a suit, given before trial, under oath, and recorded, just as if it were given in court.

Directed Verdict

After evidence has been presented and if no issue of fact remains for the jury to determine, the judge must direct a verdict for the party entitled to prevail.


The pretrial process by which one entity becomes aware of the evidence gathered by the other entity.


An agreement to terminate all or part of a lawsuit.


The ending of a marriage by court order.

Synonyms - dissolution of marriage
Domestic Relations

Area of law dealing primarily with family issues such as divorce, child support, custody and visitation.

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