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Legalese From A to Z - FindLaw

Say what? That may have been your reaction the first time you tried to decipher a legal document, state code section, or correspondence making use of legalese, the specialized language used by lawyers, judges, lawmakers, and others in the legal field.

Each week, our series Legalese From A to Z takes on some of the more important bits of legalese, one letter of the alphabet at a time. This week, we take on five legal terms that start with the letter "S":

Legalese From A to Z - FindLaw

Res judicata. Reciprocal negative easement. Rule against perpetuities. What do these terms have in common, beyond being words you most likely haven't heard in casual conversation lately? They're are all examples of legalese, the specialized language of law used by lawyers, judges and those in the legal field.

Each week, as part of our continuing series Legalese From A to Z, we work through some of the important bits of legalese, letter by letter. In this week's Legalese from A to Z , we take on five (more) legal terms that start with the letter "R":

  • Rape shield law. A rape shield law prevents or limits the use of an alleged rape victim's prior sexual history as evidence during a trial. For example, Nevada's rape shield law prohibits the introduction of "previous sexual conduct of the victim of the crime to challenge the victim's credibility as a witness" in a criminal sexual assault or statutory rape trial, unless the victim opens the door by testifying about her sexual conduct first.

North Carolina has been host to colonists, pirates, rebels, and tobacco farmers, so you may guess that the state also has a rich legal history.

You may only be visiting North Carolina for some good BBQ or planning to put down roots in Raleigh-Durham, but either way, you need to know the laws of the land.

While in the Tar Heel State, be sure to know these 10 laws:

Legalese From A to Z - FindLaw

Query: What is legalese? If you answered "the language used by lawyers, judges, bloggers, and others who work in the in the legal profession," you've likely been following along with our weekly series Legalese From A to Z.

Each week, we're taking a quick look at quality bits of legalese such as query (definition: a formally phrased question). In this week's Legalese from A to Z, we take on five legal terms that begin with the letter "Q":

  • Quantum meruit. In disputes over compensation for services or goods provided without a contractual agreement, quantum meruit is a legal doctrine that acts as an implied contract, allowing recovery by a plaintiff for the reasonable value of those goods or services.
Legalese From A to Z - FindLaw

For those who don't spend every day speaking, reading, and writing it, legalese -- the specialized language of lawyers, judges, and those in the legal field -- can seem hard to decipher.

But we're here to help. Each week, our series Legalese From A to Z breaks down some interesting (not to mention useful) legal words or phrases, working through the alphabet letter by letter. This week, we're taking a closer look at five legal terms that start with the letter "P":

  • P.O.D account. P.O.D. is short for payable on death, a type of account that is payable to a designated beneficiary upon the account holder's death. It is one of the few ways to transfer the property of a person who has died outside of the probate process.

Georgia is home to Turner Field, Coca-Cola, and boiled peanuts. But the Empire State of the South also boasts a unique set of laws that governs everyday life in the state.

So whether you're settling down in Marietta or posting up in a penthouse suite next to your famous neighbor T.I., you need to at least get a handle on these 10 Georgia laws:

Legalese From A to Z - FindLaw

If you've ever tried to decipher a section of your state's code or make sense of a legal document, you've likely encountered legalese, the specialized language of lawyers, judges, and those in the legal field.

Each week, as part of a continuing series Legalese From A to Z, we're taking a closer look at noteworthy bits of legalese. Today, we take on five legal terms that start with the letter "O":

  • Objection. Anyone who's been to court, or at least watched a courtroom drama on TV, has likely heard a lawyer yell "objection!" Although rarely as dramatic as on TV, objections are made at trial for the purpose of opposing the admission of evidence or the method of questioning by opposing counsel. The judge can then sustain the objection -- in which case the opposing counsel must rephrase his question or address the issue regarding the admissibility of his evidence -- or overrule the objection, in which case the evidence is admitted or the witness allowed to answer.
Legalese From A to Z - FindLaw

For the last several months, our series Legalese From A to Z has been walking you through the sometimes wacky, sometimes confusing world of legalese , the specialized language of law used by those in the legal field.

Letter by letter, we've been examining some important, interesting, or noteworthy bits of legalese. This week, we take a look at five legal terms that start with the letter "N":

  • Next of kin. You may have heard the phrase "next of kin" in situations where a person has died without a will and that person's property will pass according to the laws of intestacy. But who is considered next of kin? Under the laws of most states, the next of kin is a spouse or domestic partner. If there is not a spouse or domestic partner, then the next of kin will usually be a person's children. If there are no children, the next of kin will typically be the first of any of the following blood relatives who are surviving: parents, then siblings, then grandparents, then aunts and uncles, and so forth. Depending on the laws in your state, relatives beyond a certain degree of remoteness may no longer be considered kin.

Pennsylvania was one of the original 13 colonies, and if you're in the Keystone State, you should be familiar with its rich history of laws.

While learning about the life of the Founding Fathers is a great way to enjoy the history of Pennsylvania, you may also want to focus on the present laws that will have a slightly more pressing effect.

Get ready for an updated page of Poor Richard's Almanac, with 10 laws you should know if you're in present-day Pennsylvania:

Today is the federally recognized Columbus Day holiday, celebrating the voyage of Christopher Columbus and his "discovery" of the New World.

But in some cities -- including Seattle and Minneapolis -- Columbus Day has been replaced, or at least joined, by a new holiday known as Indigenous People's Day, reports Smithsonian. The holiday is aimed at celebrating the culture and traditions of the people who already inhabited the Americas when Europeans began colonizing the Western Hemisphere following Columbus' storied journey.

What's behind this new holiday, and what does it mean for the future of Columbus Day?