Common Legal Terms and their meanings

When you are involved in a legal case, whether it be against another person or a company, you might start hearing a lot of different legal terms. When you are going through the process, your attorney will of course explain everything to you but knowing a few legal terms and what they mean can be helpful. Here are some common legal terms that you might hear and their meanings:

·         Plaintiff: person who brings a case against another to court.

·         Defendant: an individual or company that is being taken to court.

·         Complaint: formal legal document that lays out all the facts and reasons why the plaintiff is bringing a case against the defendant.

·         Compensatory damages: given in civil court cases where loss has happened because of negligence or unlawful conduct of the other party.

·         Contract: a written or verbal agreement that is enforceable by law.

·         Depose: to testify or give evidence.

·         Malfeasance: illegal or dishonest activity, usually used when referring to a public official or corporation.

·         Punitive damages: damages awarded above and beyond compensatory damages to further punish the defendant to deter from repeating whatever act caused the case to be brought forward against them.

·         Affidavit: a written sworn statement of fact voluntarily made under oath.

·         Statute of limitations: laws passed to set the maximum time after an event when legal proceedings may be start.

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Read: More Common Legal Terms You Should Know

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