A false statement, usually made orally, which defames another person. Unlike libel, damages from slander are not presumed and must be proven by the party suing. See, e.g. TXO Production Corp. v. Alliance Resources, 509 U.S. 443 (1993).

SLAPP suit


Stands for Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation. Lawsuit filed strategically by a corporation against a group or activist opposing certain action taken by the corporation, usually in the realm of an environmental protest. Typical...

small claims court

Definition from Nolo’s Plain-English Law DictionaryA state court that resolves disputes involving relatively small amounts of money -- usually between $2,000 and $10,000, depending on the state. Adversaries usually appear without lawyers -- in fact, some...

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.

So ordered

A term used in case law and written at the end of a case or order of a court indicating or emphasizing that the preceding case or order is in fact ordered by the court.


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

Solicitor General

Definition from Nolo’s Plain-English Law DictionaryThe chief trial attorney in the U.S. Department of Justice, who is responsible for arguing cases before the Supreme Court. The Solicitor General is the second-highest ranking attorney in the Department of...

solitary confinement

Definition from Nolo’s Plain-English Law DictionaryThe placement of a prisoner in a cell away from other prisoners, usually as a form of internal discipline, but occasionally to protect the convict from other prisoners or to prevent the prisoner from...

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...