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Glossary of Legal Terms

Home A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Select the first letter of the word from the list above to jump to appropriate section of the glossary.

- Q -


Quash To vacate or void a summons, subpoena, etc.

Quasi-contract An obligation created by the law in the absence of an agreement or contract; not based upon the intentions or expressions of the parties.

Quasi-criminal action A classification of actions such as violation of a city ordinance that is not also violation of a criminal statute, which are wrongs against the public punishable through fines but are not usually indictable offences.

Quiet title action A court proceeding to remove a cloud on the title to real property.

Quitclaim deed A deed without warranty of title which passes whatever title the grantor has to another.

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 - R -


Real property Land, buildings, and whatever is attached or affixed to the land. Generally synonymous with the words "real estate."

Reasonable doubt An accused person is entitled to acquittal if, in the minds of the jury, his or her guilt has not been proved beyond a "reasonable doubt;" that state of minds of jurors in which they cannot say they feel an abiding conviction as to the truth of the charge.

Reasonable person A phrase used to denote a hypothetical person who exercises qualities of attention, knowledge; intelligence, and judgment that society requires of its members for the protection of their own interest and the interests of others. Thus, the test of negligence is based on either a failure to do something that a reasonable person, guided by considerations that ordinarily regulate conduct, would do, or on the doing of something that a reasonable and prudent (wise) person would not do.

Rebut Evidence disproving other evidence previously given or re-establishing the credibility of challenged evidence. (See rejoinder.)

Recognizance An obligation entered into before a court whereby the recognisor acknowledges that he will do a specific act required by law.

Record All the documents and evidence plus transcripts of oral proceedings in a case.

Recuse The process by which a judge is disqualified from hearing a case, on his or her own motion or upon the objection of either party.

Re-direct examination Opportunity to present rebuttal evidence after one's evidence has been subjected to cross-examination.

Redress To set right; to remedy; to compensate; to remove the causes of a grievance.

Referee A person to whom the court refers a pending case to take testimony, hear the parties, and report back to the court. A referee is an officer with judicial powers who serves as an arm of the court.

Rehearing Another hearing of a civil or criminal case by the same court in which the case was originally heard.

Registered mark Trademark with the words "Registered in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office" or the letter "R" enclosed within a circle.

Rejoinder Opportunity for the side that opened the case to offer limited response to evidence presented during the rebuttal by the opposing side. (See rebut.)

Remand To send a dispute back to the court where it was originally heard. Usually it is an appellate court that remands a case for proceedings in the trial court consistent with the appellate court's ruling.

Remedy Legal or judicial means by which a right or privilege is enforced or the violation of a right or privilege is prevented, redressed, or compensated.

Remittitur The reduction by a judge of the damages awarded by a jury.

Removal The transfer of a state case to federal court for trial; in civil cases, because the parties are from different states; in criminal and some civil cases, because there is a significant possibility that there could not be a fair trial in state court.

Replacement volumes Volumes which replace books and their pocket parts when the pocket parts cause the books to become too bulky.

Replevin An action for the recovery of a possession that has been wrongfully taken.

Reply The response by a party to charges raised in a pleading by the other party.

Reporters Books which contain court decisions.

Request for admission Also, Request to Admit. Written statements of facts concerning a case which are submitted to an adverse party and which that party must admit or deny; a discovery device.

Request for production of documents - A direction or command served upon another party for production of specified documents for review with respect to a suit; a discovery devise.

Request to admit See, Request for Admission.

Rescission The unmaking or undoing of a contract; repeal.

Research A careful hunting for facts or truth about a subject; inquiry; investigation.

Resolution The formal adoption of a motion.

Respondent The person against whom an appeal is taken. (See petitioner.)

Rest A party is said to "rest" or "rest its case" when it has presented all the evidence it intends to offer.

Restatement A publication which tells what the law is in a particular field, as compiled from statutes and decisions.

Restitution Act of restoring anything to its rightful owner; the act of restoring someone to an economic position he enjoyed before he suffered a loss.

Retainer Act of the client in employing the attorney or counsel, and also denotes the fee which the client pays when he or she retains the attorney to act for them.

Return A report to a judge by police on the implementation of an arrest or search warrant. Also, a report to a judge in reply to a subpoena, civil or criminal.

Reverse An action of a higher court in setting aside or revoking a lower court decision.

Reversible error A procedural error during a trial or hearing sufficiently harmful to justify reversing the judgment of a lower court.

Revocable trust A trust that the grantor may change or revoke.

Revoke To cancel or nullify a legal document.

Right of way The right of a party to pass over the land of another.

Robinson-Patman Act An amendment to the Clayton Act which deals with price discrimination.

Robbery Felonious taking of another's property, from his or her person or immediate presence and against his or her will, by means of force or fear. (See larceny.)

Rules Established standards, guides, or regulations set up by authority.

Rules of evidence Standards governing whether evidence in a civil or criminal case is admissible.

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