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Legalese From A to Z - FindLaw

It's time for another installment of Legalese From A to Z, explaining the plain-English meanings of some common (and some uncommon) legal terms that non-lawyers may find confusing.

What is legalese? It's the specialized language of the legal profession -- words typically used only in legal documents and in court. Here are five legalese terms you may not know that begin with the letter "I":

Moving to the Golden State? Just visiting? Or maybe you've been a California native all your life.

California has a rich legal history, and because of it, the state has a unique set of laws. So before you decide to join the Raider Nation and grab some In-N-Out on the way to the beach, check out these 10 laws you'll want to know if you're in California:

Legalese From A to Z - FindLaw

You're probably familiar with terms like heir and hit-and-run, but what about some lesser-known examples of legalese?

In today's installment of Legalese From A to Z, we once again turn to FindLaw's Legal Dictionary to help explain the plain-English meanings behind five more legal terms you may not know. Here are a few highlights you'll find listed under the letter "H":

  • Half blood. A half blood is the legal name for persons with only one parent in common, commonly called half brothers or half sisters. References to half blood relatives and their descendants are typically found is the context of state intestacy codes, which control the distribution of estates for those who die without a will or those whose wills fail.
Legalese From A to Z - FindLaw

Welcome back to Legalese From A to Z, our series highlighting the meanings behind legal terms that may not be familiar to non-lawyers.

Legalese describes the specialized language of the legal profession -- in other words, things only lawyers would say. With the help of FindLaw's Legal Dictionary, let's take a closer look at five of these terms that begin with the letter "G":

Legalese From A to Z - FindLaw

Some seemingly complicated legal issues are actually fairly straightforward, once you know the lingo.

Known as legalese, the specialized language used by lawyers, judges, and government officials can often make it difficult for laypeople to understand legal proceedings or correspondence.

That's why we're going through the legal dictionary letter by letter as part of our new series, Legalese From A to Z. This week, we look at legal terms beginning with the letter "F":

Legalese From A to Z - FindLaw

The ability to understand legalese, the specialized language used by lawyers, judges, and others in the legal field, is essential to understanding and resolving legal issues.

In our continuing series Legalese From A to Z, we examine the meaning and purpose behind some important bits of legalese. Today, let's look at five legal terms that begin with the letter "E":

Legalese From A to Z - FindLaw

Legalese might sound like something you'd order at an Italian restaurant, but the word actually describes the specialized language used by lawyers, judges, and maybe even you if you're ever faced with a legal situation.

As one might imagine, there are certainly quite a few obscure legal terms that still find their way into the everyday legal discourse. Our new series Legalese From A to Z is here to help key you in on some of our favorites.

This week, we take a look at some important and lesser known legal words and phrases beginning with the letter "D":

Legalese From A to Z - FindLaw

Even for those of us who went to law school, legalese can be confusing. That's where FindLaw's Legalese From A to Z series comes into play.

This week, we explain in plain English five legal terms that begin with "C." While you may be familiar with some common terms like contract and civil case, here are a few other "C" words that only lawyers would use, that you may not be familiar with:

  • Causa mortis. Causa mortis is Latin for "in contemplation of death." In the context of gifts of personal property, a gift causa mortis -- a gift made in contemplation of death -- is a gift made while the giver is still alive but near death, and with the intent that the gift will take effect when the giver is dead. If the giver subsequently survives, then the gift is revoked.
Legalese From A to Z - FindLaw

Welcome to the second installment of our new Sunday blog series, Legalese From A to Z.

As part of this continuing series, we'll be taking a closer look at legal terminology that may be unfamiliar to non-lawyers. We started last week with the letter "A," so today we take on five legal terms that begin with the letter "B":

Legalese From A to Z - FindLaw

Do you speak legalese? No, it's not a foreign language (though it may seem foreign at times). Rather, legalese describes the specialized language of the legal profession -- i.e., words only lawyers would use.

Welcome to Legalese From A to Z, a new FindLaw series highlighting the meanings behind some legal terms that may not be familiar to non-lawyers. To kick off the series, we're starting -- where else? -- with five words that begin with the letter "A":

  • Acceleration clause. An acceleration clause is a clause in a loan agreement accelerating the date by which payment in full is due under certain circumstances. For example, an acceleration clause in a mortgage agreement can be triggered -- meaning payment of the remaining balance of the loan will be due -- if the home is sold, title to the property is changed, the loan is refinanced, or if the borrower defaults on the loan.