legal theory

offensive collateral estoppel

Definition from Nolo’s Plain-English Law DictionaryA doctrine asserted by a plaintiff (the person in the offensive position) that prevents a defendant from relitigating an issue that was previously decided against that defendant in a case with a different...

per se

Definition from Nolo’s Plain-English Law DictionaryLatin for "by itself," meaning inherently. Thus, a published writing which falsely accuses another of being a convicted felon is libel per se, without further explanation of the meaning of the statement....

Persuasive authority

Statements that are relevant to a legal dispute, but not binding on the court.

See Mandatory authority (contrast).

Positive law

Legal rules enacted by people in a political community. Positive law includes constitutions, statutes, and regulations.

See Moral law and Natural law.

posse comitatus

Definition from Nolo’s Plain-English Law Dictionary(pah-see kom-i-tah-tuhs) Latin for "power of the county." The power of the sheriff to call upon any able-bodied citizens to help keep the peace or apprehend a criminal.

Definition provided by Nolo’s...

rhadamanthine

Definition from Nolo’s Plain-English Law Dictionary(rad a man</> then) Strict and inflexible in the application of the law; sometimes used to describe a judge.

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

rights

Definition from Nolo’s Plain-English Law Dictionary1) Plural of right. 2) Slang for the information which must be given by law enforcement officers to a person who is under arrest or otherwise not free to leave. (See also: Miranda warnings)

Definition...

Self-Authenticating Documents

Under Rule 902(a) of the Federal Rules of Evidence, an exception exists for a select group of documents where no authentication is required in order for the document to be admissible as evidence. Self-authenticating documents in which authenticity is...

sine qua non

Definition from Nolo’s Plain-English Law DictionaryLatin for "without which it could not be," an indispensable action or condition. Example: if Charlie had not left the keys in the ignition, his ten-year-old son could not have started the car and backed...

smoking gun

Definition from Nolo’s Plain-English Law DictionarySlang for evidence that decisively proves a cause.

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

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