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Law Vocabulary

term meaning
attorney n. 1 a person who acts for or represents another in business or legal matters 2US lawyer
An attorney will be appointed to represent you in court.
barristerUK n. a lawyer who pleads before a superior court
In the UK barristers still wear wigs in court, don't they?
brief n. 1UK instructions to a barrister - also v. 2US written statement of facts
My first brief was to defend a young man accused of stealing a bicycle.
case n. statement of the facts in a trial, esp. the argument of one side
The prosecutor built a really strong case and the defendant was found guilty.
contract n. a formal agreement, usually in writing, between two or more parties
Before signing the contract, get a lawyer to check it for you.
court of law n. the place where law cases are heard and decided; court - courtroom n.
There's a special court of law for corruption and bribery cases.
defendant n. person or organization facing a criminal charge or other legal proceeding - defend v.
After being found not guilty, the defendant hugged his defence lawyer.
evidence n. information presented to a court to prove or support a point in question
Have the police got any forensic evidence like fingerprints, hair or DNA?
guilty adj. responsible for wrong; culpable - guilt n. not guilty adj.
Do you think the jury will find the defendant guilty?
judge n. official with authority to hear and decide cases in a court of law - also v.
Everyone stood when the judge entered the courtroom.
jury n. a group of people chosen to hear the evidence of a case and give a decision
After deliberating for two days, the jury still hadn't reached a verdict.
lawsuit n. a trial at court between two private parties
Many parents brought class-action lawsuits against the company for selling dangerous toys.
lawyer n. a person trained in law and who advises or represents others
After his neighbour refused to keep his dogs quiet, Jim asked a lawyer about taking legal action.
plead v. 1 to defend a law case 2 to declare oneself to be guilty or not guilty - plea n.
If you plead not guilty, your case will be heard in court.
prosecutor n. 1 a lawyer, often a public official, who can file charges and try to prove a defendant's guilt in court - prosecute v.
The prosecutor has charged the former Prime Minister with several corruption-related offences.
sentence n. 1 decision of a court, esp. as to the punishment 2 the punishment - also v.
Our nephew is serving a three-year prison sentence for robbery.
solicitor n. 1UK lawyer advising clients and briefing barristers 2US law officer for a city etc
Can you recommend a good solicitor for drawing up a will?
sue v. to start legal action against someone in a court of law - lawsuit n.
Tanya's family sued the hospital for negligence after she'd been given the wrong medicine.
sum up v. to summarise and review the evidence of a case - summing up n.
It took the prosecutor quite a while to sum up the case against the defendant.
trial n. a formal examination of a case in a court of law - to try v.
Anyone can sit in the court's public gallery and watch a trial.
verdict n. the formal decision or finding of a judge or jury
After hearing the jury's verdict, the defendant's relatives cried and hugged one another.
without prejudice without detriment or damage to a legal right or claim
You can plead guilty to one charge without prejudice to any other charges you're facing.