An historical document from England that helped establish common law and statutes -- in other words, it is a founding document of the law as we know it today. When King John reluctantly signed it in 1215, it was essentially a document for the nobility; however it became the basis of modern individual rights.
Legal rules found in texts. This term is most often used in a derogatory way to refer to old rules that no longer reflect the way the law actually works.
(jus natch-ray-lee) Latin for "natural law." This is a system of legal principles ostensibly derived from universal divine truths.
1) To discredit, for example, to show that a witness is not believable -- perhaps because the witness made statements that are inconsistent with present testimony, or has a reputation for not being a truthful person. 2) The process of charging a public official, such as the U.S. president or a federal judge, with a crime or misconduct, which results in a trial by the senate to determine whether the official should be removed from office.
The first time an attorney appears in court on behalf of a client; after making a general appearance, the attorney is then responsible for all future appearances in court unless officially relieved by court order or substitution of another attorney.
In a legal context, a lawsuit, motion, or appeal that lacks any basis and is intended to harass, delay, or embarrass the opposition. This can result in a successful claim by the other party for the costs of defense, including attorney's fees. Judges are reluctant to find an action frivolous, based on the desire not to discourage people from using the courts to resolve disputes.
An antiquated term for any interest in real estate that is of indeterminate length. It's distinguished from an interest that has a definite ending date, such as a lease. A life estate is an example of a freehold.