2000 Important Legal Terms you must Know Part-II

2000 Important Legal Terms you must Know

Legal terms have a distinct quality because they are precise, and precision is essential to understand the actual meaning of terms in the legal field. A legal principle may or may not apply to a given factual situation on the sole criterion of the words in which it is stated. For instance, in law, the term ‘dishonest’ has an entirely different meaning from ‘fraudulent’. Similarly, causing death ‘knowingly’ has a different meaning than causing death ‘intentionally’ and there is a different prescribed punishment for both under the law.

In this article, we have prepared Part II of 500 important legal terms[1] which commonly occur in layman’s language, and everyone should know about to avoid misunderstanding the concept. Many use legal terms without precision and sometimes without understanding, and thereby there is a need to know the exact meaning of as many legal terms as possible.

The article attempts to provide the readers with the important legal terms that occur necessarily in layman’s language. The list is prepared with the objective that they will help the students and readers not only for an Entrance Test but also for their stay in law colleges and beyond. The list is prepared in alphabetical order [from letter F to I] and includes all the required legal terms one needs to understand. You will master any legal term questions with reasonable certainty once you are familiar with these terms.

Important Legal Terms you must Know

A-E – Legal Terms


  1. Fabricate: To invent; to create; to make up a story or manufacture an object, usually intending to deceive.
  2. Fabricated evidence: Evidence created after the fact to disguise the truth.
  3. Face value: The value of a check, bond, note, insurance policy, or other negotiable instrument as stated on the instrument itself.
  4. Facilitate: To assist; to make something possible or easier to accomplish; to make it easier for someone to commit a crime.
  5. Facsimile: An exact copy of something, usually a document.
  6. Fact: Something that is true; a thing that has happened or a situation that exists.
  7. Fact finder: The person or group of persons whose job are to determine the facts in a case; also called the trier of fact.
  8. Factor: Something that influences an outcome
  9. Factual: Truthful; describing actual events or circumstances.
  10. Faculties: Physical and mental capabilities; the ability to do something.
  11. Failure of consideration: A condition that occurs when a contract’s consideration becomes worthless or no longer exists.
  12. Failure of issue: The condition of producing no children to inherit one’s estate; dying childless.
  13. Failure of justice: Miscarriage of justice; a loss of rights or lack of reparation due to the absence of an adequate legal remedy.
  14. Failure of proof: Inability to prove a side of a case.
  15. Failure to state a claim (upon which relief may be granted): A plaintiff’s failure to define and support a cause of action sufficient to support a case in court, resulting in dismissal of the case
  16. Fair: Impartial and just; according to stated rules and standards.
  17. Fair comment: A defense in libel cases, used especially by the news media, that the published statements in question were meant to state facts that the writer or speaker believed were true.
  18. fair hearing: An administrative hearing authorized in a case where a normal judicial proceeding would not satisfy the requirements of due process, such as a case in which no judicial remedy is available or in which the plaintiff would have to suffer much more harm to be eligible for one.
  19. Fair use: The legal use of copyrighted materials without the owner’s consent or payment of royalties; whether a use is a fair use or an infringement of copyright depends on factors such as who is using the material, the amount used, and whether or not the user acknowledges the copyright owner
  20. False arrest: Unlawfully arresting or detaining someone without legal authority or the detainee’s consent.
  21. False imprisonment: The tort of detaining someone intentionally and without justification.
  22. False representation: Intentionally misleading someone either by lying or by failing to disclose a fact when the fact should have been disclosed.
  23. False statement: A statement made by someone who knows it is false or who makes it recklessly without honestly believing it to be true, intending it to deceive.
  24. False swearing: When a person swears that something is true and he or she knows that it is not; also called a false oath.
  25. Family allowance: Money allocated to a surviving spouse and/or children to support them while the deceased spouse’s estate goes through the probate process;
  26. Fatal: Deadly; causing death; causing something to fail completely.
  27. Fatal error: An error at trial that hurts one party’s case so badly as to be grounds for a new trial.
  28. Fatal injury: An injury that causes death to its victim.
  29. Fault: Blame; responsibility for a bad result; a wrongful act or mistake; negligence; breach of duty.
  30. Featherbedding: A practice by employees of increasing or maintaining the number of workers required to perform a task or the time allotted to do a specific job in an effort to protect job security, especially against the threat of technology
  31. Federal: Relating to the central government of a union of states
  32. Federal common law: A body of case law composed of decisions made by federal courts, used in a very narrow range of cases
  33. Federal courts: The courts of the United States, created by the Constitution or by acts of Congress and having jurisdiction created by statute, including federal district courts, federal courts of appeal, and the Supreme Court of the United States
  34. Federalism: The federal system of government, including a division of power between a central government and individual states, in which states handle local affairs and the central government handles matters that affect the entire nation.
  35. Federalist: Someone who supports federalism
  36. Federation: A union of states that share a central government but also govern themselves independently
  37. Felony: A serious crime; most felonies are defined by statute, and often include those that are punishable by death or by more than one year of imprisonment
  38. Fetus: An unborn mammal; an unborn human child after the first eight weeks of gestation.
  39. Feudalism: A social, economic, and governmental system common in medieval Europe, under which nobles gave land to vassals who fought for them, and peasants farmed the land and gave much of their produce to their lords, who in return gave them protection.
  40. Fiat: An arbitrary and authoritative command; a decree.
  41. Fiduciary: Involving trust, confidence, and good faith; describes the relationship of a trustee to a beneficiary or a guardian to a ward.
  42. Fiduciary capacity: The condition of acting, transacting business, or handling money on behalf of someone else.
  43. Fiduciary duty: The duty of a person or institution entrusted with someone else’s property to act in that person’s best interest while putting aside personal interests; the highest duty imposed by law.
  44. File: The documents that comprise a case, including pleadings, motions, briefs, affidavits, and other papers: To deposit a document with the court or other proper authority so that it becomes part of the official record.
  45. Filibuster: An excessively long speech intended to obstruct debate and voting on a piece of legislature, especially in the Senate
  46. Filing: A document that has been filed as part of a lawsuit.
  47. Final decision: A decision by the court that ends a dispute between parties and settles their respective rights, preventing further litigation of the matter unless it is reversed or set aside; also called a final judgment.
  48. Financial institution: A business that deals in money, such as a bank or trust company, a thrift institution, a currency exchange, a securities trading company, a credit card company, an insurance company, etc
  49. Financial intermediary: A person or company that brings together borrowers and lenders and specializes in transactions that change money from one form to another.
  50. Financial statement: A report of the financial condition of a person or institution, including a balance sheet, an income statement, and charges.
  51. Finding: A court’s or jury’s conclusion about a matter of law or fact.
  52. Finding of fact: A court’s or agency’s determinations about the facts of a case after hearing testimony, examining evidence, and deliberating.
  53. Finding of law: A court’s determination of how to apply law to the facts of a case.
  54. Fine: Money that a person must pay as a penalty for a crime or wrongful act: To punish someone by making him or her pay a fine.
  55. Fingerprint: The unique pattern of lines and whorls on the tip of a finger, used to identify individuals.
  56. Fire: To end or terminate someone’s employment.
  57. Firearm: A gun; a device that uses an explosive substance to propel a projectile from a barrel.
  58. Firewall: A device or program that limits access to a computer network.
  59. First-degree murder: Killing someone deliberately and intentionally, having planned it beforehand, with extreme cruelty, or while committing another felony.
  60. Fiscal: Concerning financial matters, particularly matters of government finance and the public treasury.
  61. Fiscal year: A twelve-month period used by a business as a tax and accounting period; the accounting year.
  62. Fixed assets: The property that a business uses in its daily operations and will not convert into cash, such as equipment.
  63. Fixed capital: The money permanently invested in a company.
  64. Fixed income: Regular income that does not fluctuate over time; income from a retirement benefit or annuity.
  65. Flee: To run away, usually to escape danger.
  66. Flim-flam: A type of fraud or confidence game performed by two perpetrators, one of whom persuades the victim to give money to the other as part of a get-rich-quick scheme, whereupon both perpetrators disappear with the money.
  67. Float: The time between when a check is deposited and when the money it represents is deducted from the writer’s account.
  68. Floating: Not settled; fluctuating.
  69. Floating capital: Capital kept to meet current expenses, often kept in the form of current assets.
  70. Floating debt: Short-term debt held by a business or government.
  71. Floating interest rate: A variable interest rate that changes based on the money market.
  72. Forbear: To resist an impulse to do something; to refrain from doing something.
  73. Force: To make someone do something against his or her will.
  74. Force, deadly: Force likely to cause death or serious bodily injury.
  75. Force, unlawful: The use of force against someone who has not consented to its use
  76. Force majeure: Superior strength; unforeseeable and unavoidable circumstances outside the control of a party to a contract that render him or her incapable of carrying out contractual duties.
  77. Forcible: Done by force, compulsion, or violence.
  78. Forcible detainer: (1) Using force to hold someone in custody. (2) A statutory remedy allowing someone who owns property to take possession of it from someone who refuses to relinquish it
  79. Foreclose: To end someone’s right to a property; to take possession of mortgaged property as a result of the property owner’s failure to make payments
  80. Foreign Corporation: A corporation that does business in one state but is incorporated in another.
  81. Foreign court: A court in another country or state.
  82. Foreign national: A person who is in one country but who is a legal permanent resident of another.
  83. Foreman: (1) A juror who leads jury proceedings and speaks to the court on the entire jury’s behalf. (2) A worker in a leadership position over his or her coworkers.
  84. Forensics: The application of scientific tests and techniques to the investigation of crimes.
  85. Foresee: To predict; to know in advance what is likely to occur in a given situation.
  86. Foreseeable risk: The risk that a person of ordinary intelligence and prudence should reasonably expect to occur.
  87. Forfeit: To lose the right to something as a punishment; to be forced to give something up.
  88. Forfeiture: The taking of property without compensation, usually as a punishment for breaking the law.
  89. Forge: To make a copy or imitation of something intending to pass it off as the genuine article.
  90. Fornication: Sexual relations between two unmarried people, or by an unmarried person (who commits fornication) and a married person (who commits adultery)
  91. Forthwith: Right away; immediately; at the first opportunity
  92. Fortuitous: Happening by chance rather than design.
  93. Forum: A court or tribunal; a place where people can try to get a judicial or administrative remedy for some wrong.
  94. Forum non conveniens: An inconvenient court; a court’s discretionary power to refuse to hear a case that is within its jurisdiction if it would be more convenient for the parties or better serve the interests of justice for it to be heard elsewhere.
  95. Forum shopping: An attempt by a litigant to have the case tried in a specific jurisdiction that appears likely to rule in his or her favor.
  96. Franchise: (1) The right to vote. (2) A privilege granted by the government or a company to a person or company, allowing it to engage in a specific activity not permitted to most citizens; a license from the owner of a trademark to sell products under that name, under which the franchisee agrees to follow certain rules and the franchisor promises assistance through advertising and other services. (3) A business owned by a franchisee
  97. Fraternal: Brotherly; having common interests.
  98. Fraud: Intentional misrepresentation of the truth done to cause someone else to rely on that misrepresentation and be deceived into surrendering a legal right or otherwise being injured.
  99. Fraud, actual: A misrepresentation done specifically to cheat someone; also called fraud in fact.
  100. Fraud, constructive: An act or omission that might not be intended to deceive, but does anyway; also called fraud in law.
  101. Fraud, extrinsic: Fraud that prevents a party from knowing about and therefore defending or pursuing all legal rights available to him or her.
  102. Fraud, intrinsic: Fraudulent information, such as perjury, that is considered by the court in reaching a judgment.
  103. Fraudulent misrepresentation: A false statement about a material fact made by a speaker who knows it is false but intends the hearer to believe it and rely on it, and that injures the hearer if he or she does rely on it.
  104. Freeze-out: A process in which a close corporation tries to force minority shareholders to sell their stock on terms favorable to the majority shareholders by preventing the minority shareholders from getting any profit from their investment.
  105. Freight: (1) Goods transported by a carrier such as a truck, train, aircraft, or ship. (2) The cost of transporting goods by a carrier: To transport goods by a carrier.
  106. Fringe benefit: A benefit that supplements an employee’s pay, such as health insurance, profit-sharing plans, or recreational facilities.
  107. Frisk: A quick physical search of a person to feel for concealed weapons done by running hands over the body over clothing.
  108. Frivolous: Unimportant; not serious; lacking in substance; presenting no legitimate legal question.
  109. Fugitive: Someone who flees or hides in an attempt to evade capture.


  1. Gag order: (1) An order issued by a judge prohibiting participants in a lawsuit from discussing the case publicly in order to protect the litigants’ right to an impartial trial; gag orders may not usually be imposed on the press. (2) An order to restrain or silence a disruptive defendant in a criminal trial.
  2. Gain: Profit; growth of wealth, property, or value.
  3. Gamble: To bet; to play games of chance for money.
  4. Garnish: To seize someone’s money, property, or wages to settle a debt or claim.
  5. Garnishment: A court order that takes the property or money that a third party owes to a debtor (typically wages owed to the debtor by an employer) and gives it to a plaintiff creditor.
  6. General bequest: A bequest to be paid out of the general assets of an estate rather than a particular thing or money.
  7. General election: An election taking place in an entire state to elect offices that come open regularly.
  8. General exception: An objection to a pleading for lack of substance.
  9. General jurisdiction: Jurisdiction covering all types of cases that can be brought before a court.
  10. General Law: A law that affects all people of a state or class.
  11. General reputation: The character of a witness as portrayed by testimony of people who know him or her.
  12. General welfare: The health, peace, safety, and morality of the citizenry
  13. Generic: General, not specific; covering a whole class of things.
  14. Generic drug laws: Laws that allow pharmacists to substitute generic drugs for equivalent brand-name drugs in order to save consumers money.
  15. Generic mark: A name of an item that is so general and commonly used as to lack the distinctiveness necessary to make it eligible for trademark protection.
  16. Genital mutilation: The practice of modifying genital organs by cutting off portions of them; usually done to young girls.
  17. genocide: The practice of killing a race or ethnic group; systematic eradication of an ethnic or national group by murder, forced birth control, removal of children from the group, and a general program of persecution.
  18. Geopolitical: Having to do with the combined effects of geography and politics.
  19. Gerrymander: To manipulate boundaries in dividing a state or territory into political divisions in order to secure an advantage for a certain party in elections.
  20. Gift: Something given to someone else willingly and without expectation of payment; a voluntary and intentional giving of property by a competent donor that is delivered to and accepted by the recipient without exchange of consideration.
  21. Gift, absolute: A gift given while the donor is still alive; also called a gift inter vivos.
  22. Gift in contemplation of death: A gift that is promised to someone by a donor who expects to die soon that will take effect if the donor does die as expected, but for which the donor retains the title while he or she is still living, and that becomes invalid if the donor recovers and does not die of the illness that he or she suffered from when the gift was made; also called a gift causa mortis.
  23. Going concern: A company or enterprise currently conducting its ordinary business.
  24. Going concern value: The value of a firm that is currently conducting business, which includes goodwill and other aspects that make it more valuable than its mere assets.
  25. Good cause: A good reason for doing or not doing something; a reason for one’s behavior that is substantial enough to constitute a legal excuse, determined by the context of an individual case.
  26. Good faith: Sincerity, honesty, lack of deceit; a sincere intention to do what is promised.
  27. Good Samaritan: Someone who voluntarily aids a person who is in imminent danger or has been injured without expectation of compensation; a good Samaritan is not held liable for injury to the victim unless he or she fails to use reasonable care and the victim is injured further by the efforts at assistance.
  28. Good title: A title to property that is valid and can be sold without worry; a title free from doubts, encumbrances, and defects, and that is not the subject of litigation; also called merchantable title. Synonymous with clear title, marketable title.
  29. Goods: Personal property, chattels; all property that is not land or buildings, including animals and crops and all other movable items.
  30. Goodwill: An intangible business asset composed of a good reputation with customers, suppliers, and the community at large, good employee morale, the ability to attract customers and clients, good management, and other positive aspects that are difficult to value monetarily but that contribute to the success of a business.
  31. Govern: To control and regulate the affairs of an organization, institution, nation, state, or group of people.
  32. Government: The body that controls, influences, and regulates the affairs of a nation, state, or community.
  33. Governmental act: An act done by the government or its agents that uses legislative, judicial, or administrative powers for the public good.
  34. Governmental immunity: A doctrine limiting the federal government’s power to tax states and the states’ power to tax the federal government.
  35. Governor: The elected executive leader of a state.
  36. Grace period: A period between an official due date and the time when an actual penalty will be imposed for failure to pay or perform; in insurance, the time between the due date of a premium and the time when insurance will actually be cut off if payment is not made.
  37. Graded offense: A crime that has different degrees and penalties depending on level of guilt; e.g. murder can come in first, second, or third degree.
  38. Graft: Corrupt practices used by public officials to unlawfully take public money; money obtained by corruption.
  39. Grand jury: A group of people who are selected to investigate an alleged crime and indict suspected criminals.
  40. Grant: To give; to bestow something on someone; to agree (to a request): (1) A legal conveyance of property. (2) A sum of money given by the government or an organization for a particular purpose.
  41. Gratis: Free; without charge.
  42. Gratuitous: (1) Done for free; given without expectation of payment. (2) Unjustified; done without good reason.
  43. Gratuitous promise: A promise made without consideration, making it unenforceable as a legal contract.
  44. Gratuity: Money or other property given freely, usually in return for some service or favor.
  45. Gravamen: The essence or most serious part of a complaint, cause of action, charge, etc.
  46. Gray market: An unofficial trade in something, especially of unissued shares of stock, controlled or scarce goods, or goods manufactured abroad that use Indian trademarks without permission of the trademark holders.
  47. grievance: A complaint; an allegation that someone has committed some injury or injustice that deserves recompense
  48. Gross: All income from all sources.
  49. Gross national product: The total value of goods and services produced by a country in one year plus net income from foreign exports and investments.
  50. Guarantee: (1) A promise or formal statement that specific conditions are the case or will be met. (2) A person who receives a guarantee.
  51. guardian: A person who looks after the legal and financial affairs or takes care of someone who is unable to look after his or her own because of age or disability
  52. Guardian by election: A guardian chosen by a child who lacks parents.
  53. Guardian, testamentary: A guardian appointed by the will of a child’s father or mother.
  54. Guilty plea: A voluntary admission of having committed a crime made to a court by a criminal defendant, punishable in the same way as a guilty verdict after trial.


  1. Habeas corpus: You have the body; a writ that institutes a court proceeding to determine whether a criminal defendant has been lawfully imprisoned, or to test the constitutionality of a conviction; also used in cases of child custody and deportation.
  2. Habitual: Customary, usual, regular
  3. Habitual offender: A person who regularly commits crimes; also called a habitual criminal.
  4. Hack: To break into a closed computer network by using software or clever programming
  5. Hale: To drag forcibly; to summon forcefully into court.
  6. Halfway house: A temporary residence for people who have left an institution, such as a prison or mental hospital, to help them readjust to life in society.
  7. Hanging: A form of capital punishment in which the convicted person has a rope placed around his or her neck and is then hung until dead.
  8. Harass: (1) to pressure, intimidate, or attack repeatedly; to annoy; to insult or abuse verbally. (2) To bring a criminal prosecution against someone without a reasonable expectation of conviction
  9. Harassment, hostile environment: Harassment that is determined by a pattern of sexual behavior by supervisors or fellow employees that creates an environment that the victim finds intolerable.
  10. Harassment, quid pro quo: Sexual harassment in which a superior demands sexual favors from an employee as a condition of his or her continued employment, threatening to fire the employee if the demands are not met.
  11. Harassment, sexual: Employment discrimination that involves sexual demands and acts, which can involve perpetrators and victims of either sex.
  12. Harbor: (1) a protected body of water for anchoring ships. (2) A safe place; a refuge.
  13. Hard case: A legal case in which the judicial decision accommodates the extreme hardship faced by one party by deviating from strict legal principles.
  14. Hardship: Suffering, privation, difficulty, oppression.
  15. Harmless error: An error made by an appellate court during a trial that is usually trivial or academic, does not prejudice the rights of the party affected by it, and does not necessitate the reversal of the judgment.
  16. Headnote: A short summary of a case and its legal holdings placed at the beginning of the case report
  17. Healthcare: The prevention and treatment of diseases and injuries by medical professionals and institutions.
  18. Health plan: A health insurance plan; a benefits plan that provides medical care through a predetermined network of doctors, clinics, and hospitals
  19. Hearing: A legal proceeding, usually less formal than a trial, in which the parties to a case are given an opportunity to present evidence and testimony to a judge or other official who determines the facts and makes a decision based on the evidence presented.
  20. Hearing, final: The last stage in a lawsuit, in which the case is determined on its merits.
  21. Hearing, preliminary: An initial hearing in a criminal case in which a magistrate or judge decides whether there is sufficient evidence to justify detaining a person accused of a crime.
  22. Hearing de novo: A hearing in which a matter that has already gone through trial is presented again as if for the first time, starting over from the beginning.
  23. Hearsay: A report made by a witness of something that another person said or communicated nonverbally, usually not admissible as evidence.
  24. Heat of passion: The mental and emotional state caused by sudden anger, hatred, terror, or extreme excitement that provokes someone to commit a crime.
  25. Hedge: To protect an investment by making a compensatory or counterbalancing transaction.
  26. Hedge fund: A mutual fund or partnership of investors that uses hedging techniques such as arbitrage, futures contracts, and selling short in an attempt to maximize profits.
  27. Heir: A person legally entitled to inherit an estate if its owner dies without a will.
  28. Heir, collateral: An heir who is not directly descended from a decedent but instead related collaterally, such as a cousin, niece, or nephew.
  29. Heir, lineal: An heir descended directly from the decedent, such as a child or grandchild.
  30. Heir apparent: A person who has a legal right to inherit an estate if he or she outlives its owner, and whose right to the property cannot be defeated.
  31. Heirloom: A valuable object that is passed down through generations of a family.
  32. Heir presumptive: A person who would inherit a property if the owner were to die immediately, but whose right could be defeated if a nearer heir is born first.
  33. Hereditary: Transmittable through or based on inheritance.
  34. Heretofore: Before the present time.
  35. Hereunder: Within or further on in the document.
  36. Hidden: Concealed from view.
  37. Hidden asset: An asset recorded on a company’s books at much less than its market value.
  38. Hidden defect: A defect in an object or property that is not immediately apparent on inspection and for which a buyer has the right to revoke an acceptance to purchase.
  39. Hidden tax: A tax built into the price of an item, usually incurred at some point in manufacturing or distribution.
  40. Hijack: To commandeer a vehicle such as an airplane, bus, or ship, while in transit, in order to take it to a different destination, to steal its cargo, or to take hostages.
  41. Hire: To give someone a job; to take someone on as an employee: A person who has been given a job.
  42. Hit and run: Describes an automobile accident in which the driver of one of the vehicles involved immediately leaves the scene without identifying himself or herself or providing statutorily required information to the police or other drivers and passengers.
  43. Hoard: To acquire and keep goods or money beyond what is needed, often done in times of scarcity.
  44. Holder: A person with legal possession of a document of title, promissory note, check, or other instrument, and who is entitled to receive payment on it.
  45. Holder in due course: A bona fide purchaser who acquires an instrument in good faith, for value, and without notice of any claim against the instrument.
  46. Holding company: A company that exists solely to own the stock of or manage the affairs of another company.
  47. Holding period: The period of time an asset must be held before its sale or exchange will result in a capital gain or loss.
  48. Holograph: A will written by hand by a testator, signed by the testator, and not witnessed; also called a holographic will.
  49. Home equity loan: A loan in which a lender gives money to a borrower in exchange for a lien on the borrower’s house, using the borrower’s equity in his or her house as collateral.
  50. Homicide: The killing of one human being by another.
  51. Homicide, excusable: The killing of a person by accident or in self-defense.
  52. Homicide, justifiable: The intentional killing of a person without evil intent in circumstances that make the killing necessary, such as self-defense or the execution of a criminal sentenced to death.
  53. Homicide, negligent: The killing of a person through the killer’s negligence.
  54. Honor: To accept a check, note, credit card, or other form of payment: A title of courtesy given to a judge, as in the phrase “Your Honor” or the adjective “Honorable.”
  55. Honorable discharge: A declaration by the government that a soldier is leaving military service with a good record.
  56. Honorarium: A payment of money or a valuable item rendered to a professional in exchange for a service for which a fee is traditionally or legally not paid; a gift given instead of pay as consideration for services.
  57. Honorary: Conferred as an honor or reward without the usual requirements or responsibilities.
  58. Hornbook: A short treatise that summarizes the fundamental principles of a branch of law; a primer.
  59. Hornbook law: General principles of law that are widely known and not questioned
  60. Hostage: A person held by a criminal or an enemy who threatens to kill or harm the hostage if demands are not met or promises are broken.
  61. Hostile: Antagonistic; acting like an enemy.
  62. Hostile possession: Occupying and claiming ownership of a property without permission of the owner.
  63. Hostile witness: A witness who is so obviously antagonistic to the party who has called him or her that the party is allowed to cross-examine him or her as if he or she had been called by the opposing party
  64. Humanitarian: Working to promote the welfare and preserve the dignity of human beings.
  65. Human resources: The management of personnel and issues surrounding employees, such as hiring, firing, pay, discipline, and benefits.
  66. Human rights: The basic rights to which all humans are generally considered to be entitled, which can include life, liberty, freedom of speech, freedom of religion, due process, equal rights, and dignity
  67. Hypnosis: A state of consciousness in which the subject loses the power to control his or her actions and becomes very sensitive to suggestion.
  68. Hypothecate: To pledge money or property for a particular purpose, often as security for a debt.
  69. Hypothesis: A supposition; a proposed explanation for an occurrence based on available evidence, serving as the beginning of further exploration of the question.
  70. Hypothetical: Based on assumptions but not necessarily true.
  71. Hypothetical question: A question in which the questioner asks someone to offer an opinion based on the assumption that certain conditions are true


  1. ibid/Ibidem: In the same place; used to cite a source that has already been cited in full in the preceding footnote.
  2. Ignorance: The state of being unaware of something; lack of knowledge: ignorant.
  3. Illegal: Forbidden by law or not according to law; unlawful.
  4. Illegal immigrant: A foreign national present in a country without legal permission to be there.
  5. Illegally obtained evidence: Evidence acquired by violating a person’s constitutional protection against illegal searches and seizures; evidence obtained without a warrant or probable cause.
  6. Illegitimate: (1) Not authorized by law; illegal. (2) Born to parents not married to one another at the time of conception.
  7. Illicit: Illegal; against rules or custom.
  8. Illusory: Not real; deceptive; having a false appearance.
  9. Illusory promise: A promise with such vague terms that it actually promises nothing because the person making it is allowed to choose whether or not to do the promised act and does not in fact agree to do anything.
  10. Immaterial: Irrelevant; not essential; of no material importance.
  11. Immaterial evidence: Evidence that has no real bearing on the issue in question.
  12. Immigrant: A person who moves to a foreign country to live there.
  13. Immigrate: To move to a foreign country with the intention of living there permanently
  14. Immoral: Against accepted moral standards; dissolute: immorality.
  15. Immoral conduct: Conduct that is willful, flagrant, or shameless, and in disregard of the moral opinions of respectable members of the community.
  16. Immunity: Exemption or protection from something such as prosecution, duty, or penalty.
  17. Immunity, official: Personal immunity given to public officials, protecting them from liability for injury caused by acts they have done as part of their official duty.
  18. Impanel: To list or enroll the jurors who have been selected for a trial.
  19. Impartial: Fair, unbiased; not favoring one side over another.
  20. Impeach: To accuse a public official of misconduct; to question the validity of something, such as a judgment, or the integrity of a witness.
  21. Impeachment: A criminal procedure in which a public official is charged with misconduct.
  22. Impertinent: Not pertinent; irrelevant.
  23. Implication: A conclusion that can be drawn from information but that is not expressly stated; a likely consequence.
  24. Implied: Strongly suggested by circumstances and evidence but not directly stated
  25. Implied authority: Power given to an agent by a principal that is not expressly stated but that can be assumed as a necessary part of the agent’s job.
  26. Implied powers: Powers not expressly stated or enumerated but that can be implied as necessary to do a particular job, sometimes found by the Supreme Court in its interpretation of the Constitution.
  27. Imply: To suggest strongly that something is true without stating it directly.
  28. Import: To bring goods into a country for sale: Goods brought from another country for sale.
  29. Impossibility: A situation that makes it impossible to do something; circumstances that make it impossible to perform a contract, such as the destruction of something necessary to the performance or the death of one of the parties, which relieves a party of his or her duty to perform under the contract.
  30. Impossibility, legal: A condition arising when a law makes it impossible for a person to do a particular act; e.g., a minor cannot make a valid will, so any will made by a minor is invalid because it is a legal impossibility.
  31. Imposter: Someone who pretends to be someone else with the intention of deceiving others, usually to gain some benefit.
  32. Impound: To seize and take legal custody of something, such as a vehicle; to capture animals and shut them in an enclosure.
  33. Impracticable: As inconvenient or difficult as to be essentially impossible.
  34. Imprimatur: Let it be printed; a license to print and publish a book.
  35. Imprison: To put in prison; to keep someone restricted to a place that essentially functions as a prison; to confine; to deprive of liberty.
  36. Improvement: A change that makes something better; an addition or change to buildings or land that goes beyond mere repairs and enhances its value, utility, or attractiveness.
  37. Impute: To attribute; to assign someone responsibility for the act of another person over whom the first person exercises control.
  38. Imputed knowledge: Knowledge that is attributed to a person because he or she had a duty to know it and it was available.
  39. in absentia: In absence; not physically present at an event.
  40. Inadmissible: Not able to be admitted under the rules of evidence.
  41. Inalienable: Not able to be taken away or given up without consent of the possessor.
  42. Inalienable interest: A property interest that cannot be sold or transferred.
  43. Inalienable rights: Rights such as freedom of speech, equal protection of the laws, and due process that cannot be taken away from or given up by anyone without his or her consent.
  44. in camera: In chambers; done in a judge’s private chambers.
  45. Incapacity: Inability to do or understand something; lack of physical, mental, or legal ability to do a particular task.
  46. Incarcerate: To put in jail or prison; to imprison: incarceration.
  47. Incendiary: Able to start a fire: A person or device that starts fires.
  48. Incest: Sexual contact between people who are so closely related to one another by blood that they are prohibited by law from marrying.
  49. in chief: Main; primary; principal.
  50. In chief, case: The initial case presented at trial by the party with the burden of proof, i.e., the party bringing the lawsuit, including testimony and evidence, after which the opposing party has an opportunity to rebut.
  51. Inchoate: Not yet fully developed; incomplete.
  52. Inchoate crime: A crime that could constitute the initial stages of another crime; e.g., assault could be an inchoate form of battery.
  53. Inchoate interest: A potential future interest in property.
  54. Incident: Attached to something in a subordinate way; dependent on something.
  55. Incidental: Accompanying something else, usually in a subordinate way; occurring in connection with something else by chance or as a consequence.
  56. Incidental beneficiary: A person who is indirectly benefited by a contract formed between other people.
  57. Incidental powers: Powers that are a necessary accompaniment to powers expressly granted.
  58. Incident of ownership: Partial or complete ownership or control of a life insurance policy.
  59. Inclosure: A piece of land surrounded by a fence, wall, or other barrier; also called an enclosure.
  60. Income: Money received as compensation for work, through investments, or as profits from a business.
  61. Income, accrued: Income earned but not yet received.
  62. Income, adjusted gross: Gross income minus deductions.
  63. Income, deferred: Income received before it is actually earned.
  64. Income, earned: Income brought in through work or business, as opposed to income from investments.
  65. Income, gross: Total income from all sources.
  66. Income, imputed: Value acquired by a taxpayer through use of his or her own property, or by performing work services for himself or herself, and not included in gross income.
  67. Income, net: A business’s income minus operating expenses and taxes.
  68. Income, unearned: Income received from investments.
  69. Income in respect of a decedent: Income earned by a taxpayer but received by his or her heirs or personal representatives after his or her death.
  70. Income statement: A statement of financial gains and losses over a twelve-month period; also called earnings report, operating statement, profit and loss statement.
  71. Income tax: Tax levied on a person’s income by the federal government and some state governments.
  72. Incompetency: The state of being incompetent.
  73. Inconsistent: (1) Self-contradictory; not staying the same; adopting two or more mutually exclusive viewpoints simultaneously. (2) Not in keeping with one’s own beliefs.
  74. Incorporate: (1) to combine something into something else as part of one whole. (2) To create a corporation.
  75. Incorporeal: Having no physical or material existence; intangible.
  76. Incorporeal property: Property that exists as a legal right without physical substance, such as a copyright.
  77. Incorrigible: A person who refuses to be reformed; an unmanageable person, especially a juvenile.
  78. Increment: An increase, usually part of a scale of regular increases.
  79. Incriminate: To suggest or charge that someone is guilty of a crime.
  80. Incriminating evidence: Evidence that helps establish the guilt of an accused person.
  81. Inculpate: Accuse; blame.
  82. Inculpatory: Helping to establish guilt or incriminate a criminal defendant.
  83. Incumbent: A person who currently holds a particular office: Necessary; required as part of duty or responsibility.
  84. Indecent: Offensive, vulgar, against modesty or proper behavior, obscene or lewd.
  85. Indecent exposure: Lewdly exposing private parts of the body in a public place.
  86. Indefeasible: Not able to be defeated, annulled, or revoked; usually describes an estate or a right that cannot be revoked.
  87. Indefinite: Vague; not clearly expressed or defined; temporary.
  88. Indemnify: To pay or reimburse someone for a loss or injury; to take on legal responsibility for someone else’s actions; to insure.
  89. Indemnity: Money given as compensation or reimbursement for a loss or injury; security against legal responsibility for one’s own actions; the benefit provided by an insurance policy.
  90. Indemnity against liability: A promise to take on another person’s liability or compensate him or her if and when that liability arises.
  91. Indemnity against loss: Compensation given to a person when he or she suffers a particular loss.
  92. Indenture: (1) A formal agreement conveying real estate from one party to another and binding both parties with obligations. (2) An agreement issuing corporate bonds and debentures, often between a corporation and an indenture trustee, who holds title to the trust property and carries out the terms of the agreement.
  93. Independent contractor: A person who does a job for another person independently, using his or her own methods and is not under the control of the employer in regard to how the work is accomplished.
  94. Independent counsel: A person or group of people appointed to investigate accusations of criminal conduct by a high-level public official.
  95. Index: (1) An alphabetical list of entries or topics in a book or series, including the pages on which they appear. (2) A statistical method of tracking fluctuations in the value of stocks, mortgages, inflation, the economy, etc., over time.
  96. Index fund: A mutual fund that chooses its stocks according to a stock market index number.
  97. Indexing: Tying wages, mortgages, or other financial issues to inflation in order to keep values relatively constant.
  98. Indicia: Indications, signs; circumstances indicating that something is probably true
  99. Indicia of title: A document showing title to a piece of property.
  100. Indict: To formally charge someone with a crime.
  101. Indictable offense: A crime that can be prosecuted by indictment, usually a serious crime.
  102. Indictment: A formal, written accusation presented by a grand jury to the court charging someone with a specified crime.
  103. Indigenous: An ethnic group that was present in a nation before the current population was created by colonization from a foreign nation, which generally maintains a culture, language, and social organization distinct from that of the current surrounding population.
  104. Indigent: A poor or needy person.
  105. Indigent defendant: A criminal defendant who lacks the financial resources to pay for a lawyer to defend him- or herself.
  106. Indignity: In divorce law, abusive or cruel treatment directed at the mind and emotions rather than the body, such as vulgarity, harsh criticism, ridicule, neglect, or abusive language.
  107. Indirect evidence: Evidence that makes a hypothesis appear plausible but does not actually prove it
  108. Indispensable: Necessary; essential.
  109. Indispensable evidence: Evidence that is absolutely necessary to prove a particular fact.
  110. Indispensable party: A party who has such an important interest in a lawsuit that the judgment cannot be issued without his or her presence
  111. Indorse: To endorse; to sign the back of a check or negotiable instrument in order to transfer its payment to someone else.
  112. Indorsement, accommodation: An indorsement made without consideration for the benefit of the person holding the instrument allowing that person to receive credit or a loan on the basis of the indorsement.
  113. Indorsement, blank: An indorsement that does not name a recipient, allowing any bearer to place his or her own name on the instrument and collect the funds it transfers.
  114. Indorsement, restrictive: Words placed on an instrument that limit the circumstances in which it can be paid out, e.g., “for deposit only.”
  115. Indorsement, special: An indorsement that specifies the person to whom the instrument is payable.
  116. Indorser: the person who signs the check or instrument to transfer it to another.
  117. Induce: To cause; to bring about; to influence or persuade.
  118. Inducement: The benefit that persuades a party to enter a contract; the motive that causes someone to commit a crime.
  119. Inebriate: To make intoxicated or drunk.
  120. Ineligible: Not legally allowed to hold a position or conduct an activity; disqualified.
  121. in extremis: At the outermost limits; at the point of death; in extreme difficulty
  122. Infancy: Childhood; minority; the period before which a person reaches legal majority.
  123. Infant: A person below the age of legal majority, or before marriage.
  124. Infer: To deduce or conclude through a process of reasoning based on facts and logic.
  125. Inferior court: A court whose decisions are subject to review by an appellate court
  126. Infirmity: Weakness or disability, especially caused by age or disease; in insurance, a disease or illness that substantially impairs a person’s health, and if revealed will discourage an insurer from issuing that person a life or health insurance policy.
  127. Informal: Unofficial; not drafted or executed in the proper legal form.
  128. Informal contract: A contract that is valid without being executed formally, such as an oral contract.
  129. in forma pauperis: In the form of a pauper; the right given an indigent person to sue without having to pay court fees or costs.
  130. Informal proceeding: (1) A trial or hearing less formal than a regular trial, such as a proceeding in a small claims court. (2) In probate court, a proceeding that admits a will to probate without first providing notice to all interested parties.
  131. Informed consent: Consent given after learning and understanding all relevant facts needed to make an intelligent decision, required in situations where someone is giving up rights, as when being arrested, or in potentially risky situations, such as surgery.
  132. Informer: A person who confidentially gives information about a crime to police officers; also called an informant.
  133. Informer’s privilege: The government’s right to keep the identity of an informer secret from the defendant about whom the informer has provided information.
  134. Infra: Below; used to refer to information further on in a document.
  135. Infraction: Violation of a law, agreement, or duty.
  136. Infringe: To encroach or trespass on something; to violate the terms of a contract, right, or law; to violate a copyright, patent, or trademark by using it without permission or payment to the owner.
  137. Ingress: Entrance; the act of entering or the right of entrance; opposite of egress.
  138. Inherent: Existing as a permanent, essential, and intrinsic part of something.
  139. Inherent defect: A defect built into an object that exists regardless of how it is used.
  140. Inherent powers: Powers and authority that are an intrinsic part of an office or position and that exist without being expressly granted.
  141. Inherent right: A right that a person has simply by virtue of being a person and that is not granted from some outside source.
  142. Inherit: To receive property or money as an heir after the owner’s death; technically refers to receiving property by the rules of descent and distribution when the owner dies without a will, but has also come to mean receiving property through a will.
  143. Inhuman: Cruel, brutal, lacking normal human compassion.
  144. Injunction: A court order prohibiting someone from doing a specified act in order to prevent future injury
  145. Injunction, mandatory: An injunction that requires the defendant to do a particular act instead of prohibiting an act.
  146. Injunction, permanent: An injunction actively sought by a party to a trial and issued at its conclusion.
  147. Injunction, temporary: An injunction issued as a preliminary preventive measure, pending trial.
  148. Injure: To harm or damage a person or property.
  149. Injury: Harm or damage; damage that comes from the violation of a legal right.
  150. Injury, irreparable: An injury for which damages cannot be assessed accurately, usually addressed by injunction.
  151. Injury, personal: An injury done to someone’s body or personal rights, as opposed to reputation or property.
  152. Injustice: An absence of fairness; an unfair occurrence; a mistake made by a court that results in unfair and unjust treatment.
  153. in kind: Of the same kind, category, or type; used to describe the act of exchanging one thing for another thing of the same or similar type.
  154. in loco parentis: In the place of a parent; describes a situation in which someone (e.g., a teacher or camp counselor) supervising a minor temporarily assumes the legal obligations normally held by a parent or guardian.
  155. Inmate: A person confined to a prison, hospital, or other institution.
  156. Innocent: Not guilty; in good faith; without intention of committing a wrong or knowledge that a wrong is being committed.
  157. Innuendo: A suggestive remark or hint; in a libel action, the part of the pleading in which the plaintiff explains the meaning of the allegedly libelous words.
  158. in perpetuity: Forever; perpetual.
  159. in person: Describes a situation in which a person actually attends a trial, hearing, or other event, and speaks for himself or herself, instead of allowing an attorney or other representative to appear and speak for him or her: in person.
  160. in personam: Against a person; describes actions concerning the personal rights and liability of a person or jurisdiction over a particular person, as opposed to jurisdiction over property.
  161. in personam jurisdiction: The jurisdiction a court holds over an individual defendant, as opposed to jurisdiction over his or her property.
  162. Inquest: A judicial investigation into the facts surrounding a death, conducted by a coroner or medical examiner; a court’s inquiry into the facts surrounding an incident often made by a jury; sometimes called an inquisition.
  163. in re: In the matter of; concerning; in regard to; used to entitle judicial proceedings that do not involve adversaries but instead concern themselves with disposing of some situation, such as the settling of an estate.
  164. in rem: Against a thing; describes actions or proceedings concerning property rather than people, used in cases to determine title to or interests in property within the court’s territorial jurisdiction and that are brought against the property itself, not against the people who own it.
  165. in rem, quasi: Describes proceedings brought against a defendant personally but that concern property, usually claims for money damages such as foreclosures or attachments.
  166. Insanity: Madness or mental illness; the condition of being mentally ill to the point that one’s perceptions and behavior are seriously impaired and one is not responsible for one’s actions.
  167. Insanity defense: A defense to criminal prosecution based on the claim that the defendant cannot be guilty because he or she lacked the ability to behave correctly and the capacity to understand that his or her act was criminal.
  168. Insider: In securities and corporations, someone who has access to information about a business that is not available to the general public, such as corporate directors, officers, and major stockholders; insiders are not allowed to buy and sell stocks in such a way as to take advantage of their privileged position and use it for personal gain.
  169. Insider information: Information about a corporation that is available only to insiders and not revealed to the general public.
  170. Insider trading: The illegal buying and selling of stock based on information available only to insiders.
  171. Insolvent: Financially unable to pay debts.
  172. Inspect: To examine closely, looking for defects and quality, often done to make sure the object meets some official standard; to scrutinize.
  173. Installment: A sum of money that serves as partial payment of a debt, usually as part of a payment plan that divides payment up into several portions spread out over a period of time; partial satisfaction of an obligation.
  174. Instant: Current, present.
  175. Instant case: The case currently under consideration.
  176. Institute: To begin, establish, or inaugurate; to commence legal proceedings.
  177. Institution: (1) The act of starting or establishing something; the act of beginning a legal action. (2) An organization with a professional, charitable, educational, or similar purpose. (3) An organization or place that houses people with special needs, such as mental patients or prisoners.
  178. Instruct: To teach; to provide information about something; to direct or command.
  179. Instructions: Directions given by a judge to a jury, telling them how to apply the law to the facts of the case.
  180. Instrument: A formal written document; a writing that formally expresses some legal agreement, such as a contract, lease, will, deed, or bond.
  181. Insufficient: Inadequate; not meeting needs.
  182. Insufficient evidence: The condition of not having enough evidence to support a claim at trial, determined by the court and resulting in a directed verdict for the defendant.
  183. Insurable: Able to be insured.
  184. Insurable interest: A connection or relationship with a person or thing that is substantial enough to bring a real benefit or advantage to the person who wants to insure it, generally because the person or thing provides him or her with money or some other valuable thing, thus justifying the need or desire for insurance coverage.
  185. Insurance: A contract in which one party, the insurer, agrees to compensate the other party, the insured, for specified losses or damage to property or people in exchange for consideration, usually the payment of a premium.
  186. Insure: To promise to compensate someone for the loss of or damage to someone or something in exchange for payments of money; to assume the risk of loss or damage; to underwrite
  187. Insured: A person covered by an insurance policy.
  188. Insurer: A company or individual that insures people or things; an underwriter.
  189. Insurgent: A person who rises up against the government or authorities.
  190. Insurrection: A violent uprising against the government or authority; a rebellion by citizens against the government.
  191. Intangible: Having no physical presence; difficult to define or grasp
  192. Intangible asset: Property that has no physical substance but that nevertheless exists as a right, such as a patent, copyright, or goodwill; also called intangibles.
  193. Integrate: (1) to combine two or more things into one whole. (2) To desegregate.
  194. Integrated contract: A written contract that contains the entire and final agreement of the parties, and to which oral evidence cannot be admitted.
  195. Intent: Plan, resolve, or intention; desire to bring about a particular result; the state of mind of a person who wants to do a certain act and accomplish a particular result.
  196. Intent, general: In criminal cases, an intention to break a law but not necessarily to cause the specific result that occurred.
  197. Intent, legislative: A legislature’s intended purpose in enacting a piece of legislation.
  198. Intent, specific: In criminal cases, an intention to commit a particular crime.
  199. Intention: A plan, desire, or aim; something that is intended.
  200. Intentional: Deliberate; done consciously and purposely with an awareness of probable consequences; not accidental.
  201. Intentional tort: A tort committed deliberately with an express desire to harm.
  202. Inter alia: Among other things; used to avoid listing all the details of a statute or other document while noting that they exist.
  203. Intercept: To catch or obstruct something on its way to a destination; to use electronic or other devices to obtain the contents of a communication done through some telecommunications device, such as a wiretap.
  204. Interest: (1) A right, claim, or title to something. (2) A share or stake in some undertaking; a personal stake in a matter. (3) Money paid at a specified rate on a regular basis for the use of a loan or to delay the date of repayment of a loan.
  205. Interest, absolute: An interest in property that cannot be taken from its owner without his or her consent, no matter what happens.
  206. Interest, vested: A present interest in property that the owner is allowed to transfer in the present but might not be allowed to actually possess or enjoy until sometime in the future.
  207. Interested party: A person with a legally recognized private interest in some matter.
  208. Interest rate: The percentage used to calculate interest due on a loan.
  209. Interim: In the meantime; during intervening time; temporary.
  210. Interim financing: A short-term loan held until long-term or permanent financing can be arranged for an enterprise; also called a bridge loan.
  211. Interim order: A temporary order issued to handle a matter until a specified event happens or until a final order is issued.
  212. Interlocutory: Temporary; provisional; issued as a temporary stopgap measure while a lawsuit proceeds.
  213. Interlocutory order: An order issued by the court while a trial is still in process, determining an intermediate issue before coming to a final decision for the entire case.
  214. International agreement: An agreement between two or more nations that creates legal rights or obligations among them; a treaty, convention, or other such agreement between nations.
  215. International Court of Justice: The United Nations’ court, seated at The Hague, Netherlands, that provides advice on questions of law and the writing of treaties and settles legal disputes between nations; its decisions are enforceable by the U.N. Security Council.
  216. International law: The body of law that governs relations between different countries, composed of custom and practice, rules and statutes, international treaties, and other sources.
  217. International trade: Trade in goods or services across national borders.
  218. Internet Protocol: (1) The set of rules governing communication among computers across a computer network or the Internet. (2) Intellectual property.
  219. Interpleader: An action in equity in which two or more parties who each claim property held by a third party submit the claim to a court to settle their rights, brought by the third party who fears that the claimants might pursue him or her to recover the property and does not want to be exposed to liability from several sources; often used by insurers in cases where several parties make conflicting claims on the same matter.
  220. Interpolate: To insert words into a document, thereby changing its meaning.
  221. Interpret: To ascertain or explain the meaning of something, such as a statute, contract, or other document; to explain the meaning of the language of a law or other legal document without venturing into legal intentions and consequences.
  222. Interrogate: To question; to ask questions of someone such as a suspected criminal, often in a close or formal way.
  223. Interrogatories: During discovery before trial, written questions about the case presented by one party to the opposing party that must be answered under oath and returned to the questioning party.
  224. Interstate: Existing in more than one state; carried on in or between two or more states.
  225. Interstate commerce: Trade, transportation of people or property, and all forms of commerce that involve the territory of more than one state.
  226. Interstate compact: An agreement between two or more states on a matter of interest to each of them.
  227. Intervening cause: An independent event that occurs between a wrongful act and an injury and changes the expected course of events so that the result is not the one that would have been predicted, thus relieving the person who committed the original wrongful act of liability for the injury.
  228. Intervene: To come between two things in such a way as to delay, obstruct, or change the course of events.
  229. Intervention: A procedure in which someone who is not originally a party to a lawsuit enters it to defend his or her own interest in the matter.
  230. Inter vivos: Between the living; describes gifts or transfers done from one living person to another.
  231. Intestacy: The condition of dying without a valid will.
  232. Intestate: Without a valid will at the time of death: A person who dies without a valid will.
  233. Intestate succession: Disposition of the property of someone who dies intestate according to the rules of descent and distribution.
  234. In the course of employment: Occurring while an employee is at work or otherwise in his or her employer’s service.
  235. in toto: Totally; completely; as a whole.
  236. Intoxicant: An intoxicating substance.
  237. Intoxication: Drunkenness; a state of losing control of one’s physical or mental faculties due to the consumption of alcohol or another intoxicating substance, which renders one incapable of acting like a reasonable person of ordinary prudence would under the same circumstances.
  238. Intramural: Within the walls; within the confines or boundaries of an organization or institution.
  239. Intrinsic: Inherent; naturally part of something.
  240. Intrinsic evidence: Evidence produced by questioning a witness at trial.
  241. Intrinsic fraud: Fraud that occurs during trial through perjury, forged documents, or hiding or misrepresenting evidence, which affects the outcome of the trial.
  242. Intrinsic value: The inherent value of a thing, which remains constant regardless of place, time, or special features that affect its market value.
  243. Inure: (1) to take effect; to benefit someone; to vest. (2) To accustom someone to something.
  244. Invalid: Not valid; not legally adequate; void.
  245. Invasion of privacy: The wrongful and unwarranted intrusion into or publicizing of someone’s private affairs by another person or the government.
  246. Invention: The process of creating some new thing, especially a device or machine; something invented.
  247. Inventor: A person who invents something.
  248. Inventory: A detailed list of property, such as goods in stock or the complete contents of an estate.
  249. Invest: (1) To spend money on an enterprise in the hope that it will result in a profit; to give time or energy to a cause in the hope that it will generate good results. (2) To bestow on someone an office or a right.
  250. Investee: A company whose shares are bought by an investor.
  251. Investigate: To examine the facts surrounding an incident as part of a formal inquiry into the matter.
  252. Investigatory powers: Powers given to governmental agencies to investigate violations of laws and the possible effects of proposed laws.
  253. Investment: The expenditure of money on an enterprise in the hope of making a profit; assets or securities bought in the hope of earning a profit.
  254. Investor: Someone who buys shares in a company or otherwise invests money.
  255. Invitee: A person who enters another’s property after being invited.
  256. Invoice: A list of goods contained in a shipment along with the price due for them; a bill: To send an invoice to someone for goods or services provided.
  257. Involuntary: Done unwillingly, without choice; accidental or unintentional.
  258. Involuntary confession: A confession made unwillingly and without free choice by someone whose rights against self-incrimination have been violated by threat of violence, coercion, improper promises, etc.
  259. ipso facto: By the very fact itself; through the effect of a fact or act.
  260. Irrelevant: Not applicable to the matter at hand; immaterial.
  261. Irreparable: Impossible to repair.
  262. Irreparable injury: An injury for which no adequate legal remedy exists, usually addressed by an injunction.
  263. Irrevocable: Unable to be withdrawn or revoked.
  264. Issue: (1) A problem or question; a topic for debate. (2) The act of sending something out formally; promulgation. (3) Children; descendants. (4) The act of offering corporate securities for sale: To send out or distribute; to promulgate; to offer something up for sale.
  265. Issue of fact: A disagreement about facts in a legal controversy, i.e., when one party suggests one version of facts and the other disagrees.
  266. Issue of law: A question about the law applicable to a case when the facts of the matter are undisputed.


  1. Hackney Blackwell, Amy. The Essential Law Dictionary. United States, Sphinx Pub., 2008.
  2. Black’s Law Dictionary
  3. Oxford Dictionary of Law

  1. Law Library: Notes and Study Material for LLB, LLM, Judiciary and Entrance Exams
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