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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?

Legalese From A to Z - FindLaw

If you've ever tried to read a legal document or comb through a state code section, you've likely encountered a few words or phrases that left you scratching your head.

You've just encountered legalese, the native language of the legal world. Understanding legalese can make seemingly difficult legal concepts much easier to understand. To that end, our series Legalese From A to Z breaks down the language of the law one letter at a time. This week, we take a look at five legal terms that start with the letter "M":

  • Mailbox rule. In contract law, the mailbox rule works to make a person's acceptance of another person's offer to enter into a contract effective when sent through the mail or other means agreed to by the parties. The mailbox rule typically comes into effect when the person who made the offer -- known as the offeror -- attempts the revoke the offer before she's received the other person's acceptance, but is prevented in legally doing so due to the offeree's mailing of his acceptance.

The Supreme Court doesn't take pains to make itself more understandable than any other federal court, and it often uses terms that average Americans might not understand.

Although studies have shown that most judges hate legalese, the nation's highest court continues to use many Latin or even English terms that are powerful but not well explained.

Avoid being a Supreme Court rube (or n00b). Get the skinny on these five odd Supreme Court terms:

Legalese From A to Z - FindLaw

There are a quite a few common legal terms that begin with the letter "L": law, lawyer, lawsuit, to name a few obvious ones.

One of the most important but least understood legal "L"-words, however, is legalese, the unique and sometimes difficult-to-decipher language used by lawyers, judges, and others who work in the legal industry.

With our continuing series Legalese From A to Z, we run down some of the more interesting and useful bits of legalese, one letter per week. This week, we take a closer look at some (more) legal terms that start with the letter "L":

Legalese From A to Z - FindLaw

In the event that someone ever uses sticks and stones to break your bones, not only will words never hurt you, they can actually be very helpful in pursuing a lawsuit to recover for your injuries.

Learning the specialized language of the legal system, known as legalese, gives you the ability to understand and use the law to your advantage, either on your own or with the help of an attorney.

To help you get a grasp of this legal language, our series Legalese From A to Z breaks down legalese letter by letter. This week, we look at some legal terms that start with the letter "K":

Legalese From A to Z - FindLaw

To understand how the law applies to your situation, you first need to understand the specialized terms used by lawyers and judges to describe the law.

Known as legalese, these legal words and phrases can often seem obscure or overly complex, but that's why we're here. Our ongoing series Legalese From A to Z breaks down these words, letter by letter. This week, we take a look at some legal terms beginning with the letter "J":

  • Jail. Jails are just like prisons right? Actually there's a big difference between jail and prison. Jails are short-term facilities under the jurisdiction of a local government or a county. Prisons, on the other hand, are facilities run by either the state or federal government where those convicted of more serious crimes go to serve longer sentences, typically of longer than one year.
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":