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10 Legal Terms Everyone Should Know

The legal system is complex and often difficult to understand. Before engaging in any legal matters, it is important to become familiar with the language of the law. The following 10 terms are among the most common legal terms.

1. Civil Law

Civil law is the body of legal rules that governs private rights and remedies. This area of the law deals with disputes between individuals and/or organizations. The types of disputes often involve a breach of contract, torts, and other types of disputes.

2. Tort Law

Tort law is the body of law that deals with wrongs suffered by one party due to the actions of another. Types of torts include negligence, product liability, and intentional torts. The purpose of tort law is not to punish the wrongdoer, but to make the injured party “whole” by compensating them for their losses.

3. Common Law

Common law is the body of law that is based on court decisions rather than statutes. This body of law develops over time, as courts consider previous case law when deciding on new matters. Common law is widely used in our legal system and has been adopted in many areas of the world.

4. Negligence

Negligence is a type of tort that is based on a failure to use reasonable care. In order to prove negligence, a plaintiff must show that the defendant owed them a duty of care, the defendant breached their duty of care, and the breach caused the plaintiff harm.

5. Contract Law

Contract law is the body of law that governs the enforcement of agreements between two or more parties. contracts must be in writing and must be signed by two parties. This body of law allows parties to enforce promises they made when they entered into the contract.

6. Intentional Torts

Intentional torts are wrongs committed against another person or property with the intent to harm. Examples of intentional torts include assault, battery, false imprisonment, trespass, and conversion. In order to prove an intentional tort, the plaintiff must show that the defendant acted with intent to cause harm.

7. Breach of Contract

A breach of contract occurs when one party fails to perform its obligations under the terms of a contract. Examples of a breach of contract include failure to pay a debt, failure to deliver goods, or failure to perform services. A breach of contract can be either a material breach or a non-material breach.

8. Statute of Limitations

The statute of limitations is the period of time within which a lawsuit must be filed. The statute of limitations varies by state and type of claim. It is important to understand the statute of limitations in order to make sure you are able to bring your claim in a timely manner.

9. Res Judicata

Res judicata is the Latin term for “a matter that has been judged”. It is a legal principle that prevents the relitigation of an issue that has already been decided in court. This principle is used to make sure that the same issue is not brought before the courts multiple times.

10. Equitable Relief

Equitable relief is a remedy provided by the court that is designed to restore a party to their original position prior to the dispute. This type of relief is available when the court finds that legal remedies are inadequate. Examples of equitable relief include rescission, restitution, and specific performance.

In conclusion, it is important to become familiar with the language of the law when engaging in legal matters. Understanding these 10 common legal terms is a great start to navigating the legal system.

This article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. Please consult an attorney for advice concerning your specific situation.

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