Glossary beginning with A

Click one of the letters above to go to the page of all terms beginning with that letter.
Acquit
To be found not guilty of a crime by a judge or jury

Synonyms: exonerate

Actionable
Enough evidence to file a lawsuit
Actual damages
Money awarded to replace damages the plaintiff suffered
Administrative hearing
Similar to trial but held in front of a judge who works for a government agency
Administrative order
A decision made by a government agency
Adoption
When an adult becomes a child's legal parent
Adult
Any person 18 years old or over
Adultery
Sexual relations between a married person and someone who is not their spouse
Affidavit
A notarized written statement signed by a person under oath
Affidavit of service
A written statement signed under oath which describes where, when, and how a person received court documents
Affirmative defense
The introduction of new facts in a case to defend against a lawsuit instead of just denying what the other person says
Agreed order
An agreement between two sides in a lawsuit that says what both sides will do
Alias
A name, such as a nickname, that is used by someone but is not their legal name
Allegation
A claim that has not been proven or disproved
Allocation of parental responsibilities
When a court splits up parenting time, decision-making responsibility, and child support between parents (formerly called "custody")
Allot
To divide property between everyone who is entitled to it

Synonyms: allocate

Amended complaint
Changes made by the plaintiff to the original complaint to correct facts, add new claims, or make other modifications
Annulment
A legal action that says a marriage was never legally valid
Appeal
(noun) A request to review an official decision or change a final ruling (verb) To request a review of an official decision or a change of a final ruling
appearance

An appearance is a form a defendant files to let the judge know they want to participate in the case.

Appearance
A form that lets the plaintiff and the court know the defendant is participating in the case
Appellant
Someone who wants to change a previous court decision
Appraisal
An expert's opinion of what something is worth
Arbitration
When parties present their case to a third person instead of going to court

Synonyms: mediation adjudication

Arresting authority
The law enforcement agency that arrested someone, like the police or FBI
Assets
Anything a person owns that has monetary value
At-will employment
A kind of employment in which an empoloyee can quit or be fired at any time, except for certain legally protected reasons
Attorney's fees
Money paid to a lawyer for their work
Audit
When records are looked over to make sure they are correct