A series of legal treatises that set out basic U.S. law on a variety of subjects, written and updated by legal scholars and published by the American Law Institutes. While not having the force of statutes or court rulings, the Restatements (as lawyers generally call them) are prestigious and can carry some weight in a legal argument. Topics covered include agency, contracts, property, torts, trusts, and more.
legal education and writing
A legal reference book, usually covering an entire legal subject.
Interpreting a legal provision (usually a constitutional protection) narrowly. Strict constructionists often look only at the literal meaning of the words in question, or at their historical meaning at the time the law was written. Also referred to as "strict interpretation" or "original intent," because a person who follows the doctrine of strict construction of the Constitution tries to ascertain the intent of the framers at the time the document was written by considering what the language they used meant at that time.
A person of great public interest or familiarity, such as a government official, politician, celebrity, business leader, movie star, or sports hero. Incorrect harmful statements published about a public figure cannot be the basis of a lawsuit for defamation unless there is proof that the writer or publisher intentionally defamed the person with malice (hate).
The act of inciting another person to do a particular thing. In a fault divorce, provocation may constitute a defense to the divorce, preventing it from going through. For example, if a wife suing for divorce claims that her husband abandoned her, the husband might defend the suit on the grounds that she provoked the abandonment by driving him out of the house. In criminal law, provocation can be a defense that justifies an acquittal, mitigated sentence, or reduction of conviction to a lesser charge (for instance, from murder to manslaughter).
1) The ordinary process of a lawsuit or criminal prosecution, from the first filing to the final decision. 2) A procedure through which one seeks redress from a court or agency. 3) A filing, hearing, or other step that is part of a larger action. 4) A particular matter that arises and is dealt with in a bankruptcy case.
Temporarily or for the time being. A judge pro tem normally refers to a judge who is sitting temporarily for another judge or to an attorney who has been appointed to serve as a judge as a substitute for a regular judge.
(proh tan-toh) Latin for "for so much" or "to that extent." Often used to refer to partial payment on a claim (for example, the debt is pro tanto discharged).
(proh-rat-ah or proh-ray-tah) From Latin for "in proportion," refers to a share to be received or an amount to be paid based on the fractional share of ownership, responsibility, or time used. For example, a buyer of rental property will pay his or her pro rata share of the property taxes for that portion of the year in which he or she holds title.