legal theory

Disjunctive Allegations

Definition from Nolo’s Plain-English Law DictionaryClaims by someone who files a lawsuit that that one thing OR another occurred, and in criminal case that the accused committed one crime or another. Such allegations are not allowed because the defendant...


Definition from Nolo’s Plain-English Law Dictionary(1) In a court setting, a judge may dismiss or throw out all or a portion of a plaintiff's lawsuit without further evidence or testimony upon being persuaded that the plaintiff has not and cannot prove...


Definition from Nolo’s Plain-English Law DictionarySee: dismiss

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

Dispositive Fact

A fact that is decisive when answering a question of law. Sometimes used to refer to facts that resolve a legal dispute altogether (once they are proven with necessary certainty).


At least one party's disagreement with the majority opinion. Thus, an appellate judge who writes an opinion opposing the holding is said to file a dissenting opinion.

Dissenting Opinion

See Dissent.


Definition from Nolo’s Plain-English Law DictionaryTo differentiate the ruling in one case from another even though both may have similarities of fact.

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


A single important rule or a set of rules that is widely followed in a field of law. In general, doctrines are simply rules or principles with such a long history in the law that lawyers and scholars have given them the more prestigious label of "...

Economic Efficiency

An allocation of resources that yields the greatest net benefit (i.e., the most efficient result). Legislators and judges often consider economic efficiency when formulating rules and deciding who should bear more of the costs in a given dispute....

Ejusdem Generis


Ejusdem generis is latin for "of the same kind." When a law lists lists classes of persons or things, this concept is used to clarify such a list.

For example, if a law refers to automobiles, trucks, tractors, motorcycles, and other...