legal theory


Solicitation is the inchoate offense of offering money to someone with the specific intent of inducing that person to commit a crime.

sounds in

Definition from Nolo’s Plain-English Law DictionaryReferring to an underlying legal basis or cause of action -- such as a contract or tort (civil wrong) -- in a lawsuit. For example: "Plaintiff's first cause of action against defendant sounds in tort, and...

Sovereign immunity


The sovereign immunity refers to the fact that the government cannot be sued without its consent.


Sovereign immunity was derived from British common law doctrine based on the idea that the King could do no wrong. In the United...


Definition from Nolo’s Plain-English Law DictionarySee: special damages

Definition provided by Nolo’s Plain-English Law Dictionary.

Stare decisis

Stare decisis is Latin for “to stand by things decided.” In short, it is the doctrine of precedent.

Courts cite to stare decisis when an issue has been previously brought to the court and a ruling already issued. According to the Supreme Court,...

strict construction

Definition from Nolo’s Plain-English Law DictionaryInterpreting 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...

Strict scrutiny


Strict scrutiny is a form of judicial review that courts use to determine the constitutionality of certain laws. Strict scrutiny is often used by courts when a plaintiff sues the government for discrimination. To pass strict scrutiny, the...

Sua sponte

Latin for "of one's own accord; voluntarily." Used to indicate that a court has taken notice of an issue on its own motion without prompting or suggestion from either party.

As a general rule, where grounds for dismissal exist, an action is...

Subornation of perjury

At common law, this was a separate offense from perjury. It consisted of procuring or somehow inducing another person to commit perjury.

sui generis

Definition from Nolo’s Plain-English Law Dictionary(soo-ee jen-ris) Latin for of its own kind, and used to describe a form of legal protection that exists outside typical legal protections -- that is, something that is unique or different. In intellectual...