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FindLaw Legal Dictionary

The FindLaw Legal Dictionary -- free access to over 8260 definitions of legal terms. Search for a definition or browse our legal glossaries.

[J]

J.
1 judge 2 justice 3 judgment
J.D.
juris doctor
J.P.
justice of the peace
J.S.D.
[New Latin juris scientiae doctor] doctor of juridical science; doctor of the science of law
Ja
judge advocate
Jacket
: a standard insurance policy to which other coverage or exclusions may be attached
Jackson-Denno Hearing
see hearing
Jag
(Judge Advocate General) Senior legal officer and chief legal advisor of the Army, Navy and Air Force.
Jail
: a place of confinement for persons held in lawful custody ;specif : such a place under the jurisdiction of a local government (as a county) for the confinement of persons awaiting trial or those ...
Jailer
: a keeper of a jail
Jailhouse
: jail
Jailhouse Lawyer
: a prison inmate self-taught in the law who tries to gain release through legal maneuvers or who advises fellow inmates on their legal problems
Jane Roe
: a female party to a legal proceeding whose true identity is unknown or whose true name is being withheld compare john doe, richard roe
Java
Java is a computer programming language that is designed for use in the multiple-computer environment of the Internet. It can be used to make single-machine applications or be distributed among many ...
Javascript
Javascript is not the same as Java.  Javascript is a Netscape creation that is easier to learn than Java, but lacks some of the speed and portability of Java.  Java is a computer programming ...
Jaywalk
: to cross a street carelessly or in an illegal manner so as to be endangered by traffic
Jeopardy
1 : exposure to or imminence of death, loss, or injury 2 : the danger of conviction that an accused person is subjected to when on trial for a criminal offense see also double jeopardy NOTE: ...
Jeopardy Assessment
: a special immediate assessment of an alleged tax deficiency levied under federal law when a taxing officer believes that delay may jeopardize collection of the claim
Jetsam
: the part of a ship, its equipment, or its cargo that is cast overboard to lighten the load in time of distress and that sinks or is washed ashore compare flotsam
Jj.
1 judges 2 justices
Jnov
judgment notwithstanding the verdict
Job
jobbed job·bing vi 1 : to do odd or occasional pieces of work for hire 2 : to carry on the business of a middleman or wholesaler vt 1 : to buy and sell (as stock) for profit 2 : to hire or ...
Job Action
: a temporary action (as a slowing of work) by workers on the job that is meant as a protest to force compliance with demands compare strike
Jobber
1 : a wholesaler who operates on a small scale or who sells only to retailers and institutions 2 : a person who works by the job
John
: a prostitute's client
John Doe
: a party to legal proceedings (as a suspect) whose true name is unknown or withheld compare jane roe, richard roe
John Doe Summons
: a summons made out to an unidentified defendant who is referred to in the summons as John Doe
Join
1 : to unite so as to form one unit [ the claims in one action] 2 a : to align oneself with esp. in a legal matter [she ed her husband as plaintiff] b : to cause or order (a person) to become a ...
Joinder
[Anglo-French, from joinder to join, from Old French joindre, from Latin jungere] : the act or an instance of joining: as a : a joining of parties as coplaintiffs or codefendants in a suit ;also : ...
Joinder Of Remedies
see joinder
Joint
1 : common to two or more: as a : involving the combined activity or negligence of two or more [a tort] see also joint tortfeasor compare several b : shared by or affecting two or more as a unit [a ...
Joint Administration
A court-approved mechanism under which two or more cases can be administered together. (Assuming no conflicts of interest, these separate businesses or individuals can pool their resources, hire the ...
Joint Adventure
: joint venture
Joint And Reciprocal Will
: joint and mutual will at will
Joint And Several
: relating or belonging to two or more parties together and separately [joint and several duties of the partners] see also joint and several liability at liability compare in solido, joint, jointly ...
Joint And Survivorship Annuity
: joint-and-survivor annuity at annuity
Joint Annuity
: joint life annuity at annuity
Joint Committee
: a committee made up of members of both houses of a legislature (as for purposes of investigation or oversight) compare conference committee
Joint Custody
see custody
Joint Enterprise
1 : joint venture 2 : an undertaking of two or more parties for a common purpose in which each shares a common interest and an equal right of control (as of a vehicle) NOTE: In regard to a tort ...
Joint Legal Custody
The sharing, by both parents, of the right to make important decisions about a child's welfare.
Joint Liability
see liability
Joint Life And Survivorship Annuity
: joint-and-survivor annuity at annuity
Joint Life Annuity
see annuity
Joint Obligation
see obligation
Joint Petition
One bankruptcy petition filed by a husband and wife together.
Joint Physical Custody
The sharing, by both parents, of the actual physical care and custody of a child.
Joint Rate
: a single rate charged by two or more carriers to transport a shipment of goods over a route
Joint Resolution
: a resolution passed by both houses of a legislative body that has the force of law when signed by or passed over the veto of the executive compare concurrent resolution
Joint Sponsor
A person who accepts legal responsibility for supporting an immigrant with an I-864 Affidavit of Support along with the sponsor. The joint sponsor must be at least 18 years of age, an American citizen ...
Joint Tenancy
see tenancy
Joint Tenancy (With Rights Of Survivorship)
two or more owners share equal ownership and rights to the property. If a joint owner dies, his or her share of the property passes to the other owners, without probate. In joint tenancy, ownership of ...
Joint Tenant
: one who holds an estate by or in joint tenancy
Joint Tenants
A tenancy with two or more co-owners who take identical interests. Joint tenants have a right of survivorship to the other's share.
Joint Tortfeasor
: any of two or more parties held jointly or severally liable for the same tort see also contribution joint liability at liability
Joint Venture
1 : a cooperative business agreement or partnership between two or more parties that is usually limited to a single enterprise and that involves the sharing of resources, control, profits, and losses ...
Joint Will
see will
Joint-And-Last-Survivor Annuity
: joint-and-survivor annuity at annuity
Joint-Stock Company
see company
Jointly
: in a joint manner ;esp : so as to be or become subject to joint liability
Jones Act
Federal statute passed in 1920 providing that a seaman injured in the course of his employment by the negligence of the owner, master or fellow crew members can recover damages for his injuries. (46 ...
Journalist's Privilege
see privilege
Joyriding
: the unauthorized and esp. reckless taking and driving of another's vehicle for a period of time joy·ride n
Jpeg
A JPEG, pronounced jay-peg, is a one format of electronic graphic image files supported by the Web. JPEG files end with the suffix ".jpg." Other image formats include the Graphic Interchange Format ...
Judge
judged judg·ing [Old French jugier, from Latin judicare, from judic- judex judge, from jus right, law + dicere to decide, say] vt 1 : to hear and decide (as a litigated question) in a court of ...
Judge Advocate
pl: judge advocates 1 : an officer serving under the Judge Advocate General 2 : an officer charged with administering military justice (as by acting as legal counsel or conducting an appellate ...
Judge Advocate General
pl: Judge Advocates General : the senior legal officer and chief legal adviser in the army, navy, or air force
Judge-Made
: created by judges or judicial decision used esp. of law established by due judicial interpretation of statutes
Judgment
also judge·ment [jəj-mənt] n 1 a : a formal decision or determination on a matter or case by a court ;esp : final judgment in this entry compare dictum, disposition, finding, ...
Judgment By Default
see judgment
Judgment Creditor
see creditor
Judgment Debt
see debt
Judgment Debtor
: one who is obligated to pay a debt or damages in accordance with a judgment entered by a court
Judgment In Personam
see judgment
Judgment In Rem
see judgment
Judgment Lien
see lien
Judgment N.O.V.
[Medieval Latin non obstante veredicto] judgment notwithstanding the verdict
Judgment Nisi
see judgment
Judgment Of Acquittal
see judgment
Judgment On The Merits
see judgment
Judgment-Proof
: of or being one (as a judgment debtor) from whom nothing can be recovered because he or she has no property, his or her property is not within the jurisdiction where the judgment was obtained, or ...
Judicatory
pl: -ries [Medieval Latin judicatorium court of law, from judicare to judge] 1 : a court of justice or legal tribunal 2 : a governing body of a religious organization judicatory adj
Judicial
[Latin judicialis, from judicium judgment, from judic- judex judge, from jus right, law + dicere to determine, say] 1 a : of or relating to a judgment, the function of judging, the administration of ...
Judicial Act
: an act deriving from the normal exercise of judicial power within the proper jurisdiction used as a criterion for absolute judicial immunity
Judicial Activism
: the practice in the judiciary of protecting or expanding individual rights through decisions that depart from established precedent or are independent of or in opposition to supposed constitutional ...
Judicial Bond
see bond
Judicial Comity
: comity
Judicial Conference
: a conference of judges and sometimes other concerned individuals (as members of the bar) at which important judicial affairs are reviewed and conducted for the purpose of improving the ...
Judicial Confession
: a confession made in a legal proceeding (as in a trial) [a guilty plea supported by a judicial confession]
Judicial Discretion
: discretion
Judicial Immunity
see immunity
Judicial Lien
see lien
Judicial Mortgage
see mortgage
Judicial Notice
: recognition by the court of a fact that is not reasonably disputable and without the introduction of supporting evidence [took judicial notice that January 1 is a legal holiday] [a motion for ...
Judicial Power
see power
Judicial Restraint
: a refraining in the judiciary from departure from precedent and the formulation of broad doctrine compare judicial activism
Judicial Review
1 : review 2 : a constitutional doctrine that gives to a court system the power to annul legislative or executive acts which the judges declare to be unconstitutional ;also : the process of using ...
Judicial Sale
see sale
Judicial Separation
: legal separation
Judicial Writ
see writ
Judiciary
pl: -ries 1 a : a system of courts of law b : the judges of these courts 2 : a branch of government in which judicial power is vested compare executive, legislature judiciary adj
Jumbo Loan
or non-conforming loan, is a loan that exceeds Fannie Mae's and Freddie Mac's loan limits. Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae loans are referred to as conforming loans.
Junior
: of lower standing or rank : subordinate [a lienholder]
Junior Lien
see lien
Junk Bond
see bond
Jura
pl of jus
Jural
[Latin jur- jus law] 1 : of or relating to law 2 : of or relating to rights or obligations
Jurat
[short for Latin juratum (est) it has been sworn] : a certification added to an affidavit stating when, before whom, and where the affidavit was made
Juridical
[Latin juridicus, from jur- jus law + dicere to say] 1 : of or relating to the administration of justice or the office of a judge [raises a question regarding trial] 2 : of or relating to law or ...
Juridical Act
in the civil law of Louisiana : an expression of will that is intended to have legal consequences [the concurrence of a spouse is a juridical act "Louisiana Civil Code"]
Juridical Person
in the civil law of Louisiana : an entity (as a partnership or corporation) that is given rights and responsibilities compare natural person NOTE: The rights and responsibilities of a juridical ...
Juris Doctor
often cap J&D [New Latin, doctor of law] : the lowest degree conferred by a law school usually after three years of full-time study or its equivalent compare master of laws, doctor of laws, ...
Jurisconsult
[Latin jurisconsultus, from juris, genitive of jus law, right + consultus, past participle of consulere to consult] : jurist ;esp : one learned in international and public law
Jurisdiction
[Latin jurisdictio, from juris, genitive of jus law + dictio act of saying, from dicere to say] 1 : the power, right, or authority to interpret, apply, and declare the law (as by rendering a ...
Jurisdiction In Personam
see jurisdiction
Jurisdiction In Rem
see jurisdiction
Jurisdictional Amount
: the amount or value that a matter in controversy must exceed in order for the federal courts to have diversity jurisdiction NOTE: The jurisdictional amount is set by statute and is currently ...
Jurisprude
[back-formation (influenced by prude) from jurisprudence] : an individual who makes ostentatious show of learning in jurisprudence and the philosophy of law or who regards legal doctrine with undue ...
Jurisprudence
[Late Latin jurisprudentia knowledge of or skill in law, from Latin juris, genitive of jus right, law + prudentia wisdom, proficiency] 1 a : a system or body of law [in the federal ] ;esp : a body ...
Jurisprudence Constante
[French, uniform jurisprudence] : a doctrine in the civil law of Louisiana: a long series of previous decisions applying a particular rule of law carries great weight and may be determinative in ...
Jurisprudent
[Late Latin jurisprudent- jurisprudens, from Latin juris, genitive of jus right, law + prudent- prudens foreseeing, skilled, prudent] : jurist
Jurist
[Middle French juriste, from Medieval Latin jurista, from Latin jur- jus law] : an individual having a thorough knowledge of law ;esp : judge [the state's top violated the U.S. Constitution when he ...
Juristic
1 : of or relating to a jurist or jurisprudence [ scholarship] [ thought] 2 : of, relating to, or recognized in law [all of these considerations are of little or no significance "Wilson v. Lund, 491 ...
Juristic Person
: juridical person
Juror
: a member of a jury [an alternate ] ;broadly : an individual who is summoned but not yet selected to serve on a jury
Jury
pl: ju·ries [Anglo-French juree, from feminine past participle of Old French jurer to swear, from Latin jurare, from jur- jus law] : a body of individuals sworn to give a decision on some matter ...
Jury Box
1 : the usually enclosed place where the jury sits in a courtroom compare bar, bench, dock, sidebar, stand 2 : a box from which the names of prospective jurors are drawn by chance : jury wheel
Jury Charge
: instruction
Jury Commission
: a body of appointed public officers who maintain a jury list and select the names of prospective jurors usually at random by use of a jury wheel NOTE: Jury commissions may be used in some federal ...
Jury Commissioner
: an individual who is a member of a jury commission ;specif : the head of a jury commission
Jury Duty
: the obligation to serve on a jury ;also : service on a jury called also jury service
Jury Fee
see fee
Jury Instruction
: instruction
Jury Instructions
instructions given by the judge to the jury after all the evidence in a case has been presented, either before or after closing arguments, and before the jury begins deliberations. The instructions ...
Jury List
: a list of individuals qualified to be selected for jury duty NOTE: The jury list is compiled in various ways in different jurisdictions, but it is usually based on a list of registered voters or ...
Jury Nullification
: the acquitting of a defendant by a jury in disregard of the judge's instructions and contrary to the jury's findings of fact NOTE: Jury nullification is most likely to occur when a jury is ...
Jury Pool
: the body of prospective jurors summoned for jury duty
Jury Room
: the room where a jury deliberates
Jury Service
: jury duty
Jury Trial
: a trial in which a jury serves as the trier of fact called also trial by jury see also Article III Article VI and VII Amendments VI and VII to the Constitution in the back matter compare bench ...
Jury Wheel
: a revolving container into which the names of prospective jurors from a jury list are placed and then drawn by chance
Jury-Waived
: of, relating to, or being a trial in which the right to a jury trial has been waived
Juryman
pl: ju·ry·men [-men] : juror
Jurywoman
pl: -wom·en [-wi-mən] : a female juror
Jus
pl: ju·ra [jər-ə, yü-rÄ ] [Latin] 1 : law 2 : a legal principle or right
Jus Accrescendi
[Latin, literally, right of increasing] : a right of accrual ;specif : right of survivorship compare accretion
Jus Ad Rem
[Medieval Latin, right to a thing] : a personal right to possession of property that usually arises from a contractual obligation (as a lease) compare jus in re
Jus Cogens
[New Latin, literally, constraining law] : a principle of international law that is based on values taken to be fundamental to the international community and that cannot be set aside (as by treaty) ...
Jus Disponendi
[Latin, right of disposing] : a right of disposal of property [the stockholder's jus disponendi was destroyed]
Jus Gentium
[Latin, literally, law of nations] : a body of law recognized by nations that is binding and governs their relations with each other : international law called also law of nations NOTE: In Roman ...
Jus In Re
[Medieval Latin, right in a thing] : a right of property ownership that is enforced by an action in rem compare jus ad rem
Jus Privatum
[New Latin, from Latin, private law or right] : a right of private ownership compare jus publicum
Jus Publicum
[New Latin, from Latin, public law or right] : a right of public ownership ;specif : the right of ownership of real property that is held in trust by a government for the public [tidal flats are ...
Jus Sanguinis
[Latin, right of blood] : a rule of law that a child's citizenship is determined by that of his or her parents
Jus Soli
[Latin, right of the soil] : a rule of law that a child's citizenship is determined by his or her place of birth see also Amendment XIV to the Constitution in the back matter
Jus Tertii
[Latin] : a right of a third party (as to property in another's possession) ;also : the right to assert the rights of another in a lawsuit NOTE: In property actions the claims of a third party on ...
Just
[Latin justus lawful, merited, from jus right, law] : conforming to law or to the underlying principles of law: as a : conforming to reason or a standard of correctness [ sanctions cannot be ...
Just Cause
see cause
Just Compensation
: compensation for property taken under eminent domain that places a property owner in the same position as before the property is taken see also eminent domain NOTE: Just compensation is usually the ...
Just Title
see title
Justice
[Old French, from Latin justitia, from justus just] 1 a : the quality of being just, impartial, or fair [it is not the province of the court to decide upon the or injustice…of these laws "Scott ...
Justice Court
: justice of the peace court
Justice Of The Peace
:a local judicial official who is empowered chiefly to administer oaths, perform marriage ceremonies, certify documents, and in some states may have additional judicial powers (as to issue summonses) ...
Justice Of The Peace Court
:a local court of limited jurisdiction usu. over minor civil and criminal actions, small claims, and some felony preliminaries which is presided over by a justice of the peace and which usu. follows ...
Justiciable
: capable of being decided according to legal principles by a court [whether the tax laws unfairly burden the poor is not a issue] ;esp : triable in a court [the claim is not because the plaintiff ...
Justifiable
: capable of being justified [ reliance]
Justifiable Homicide
see homicide
Justification
1 : the act or an instance of justifying 2 : something that justifies ;specif : a legally sufficient reason or cause (as self-defense) for an act that would otherwise be criminal or tortious 3 : ...
Justify
-fied -fy·ing vt 1 : to prove or show to be just, right, or reasonable [does not a denial of bail] 2 : to show to have had a legally sufficient reason or cause [a defendant may not set up his ...
Juvenile
: an individual who is under an age fixed by law (as 18 years) at which he or she would be charged as an adult for a criminal act compare minor
Juvenile Court
: a court that has jurisdiction over juvenile delinquency proceedings or other civil proceedings involving minors or juveniles compare family court
Juvenile Delinquency
: a violation of the law committed by a juvenile that would have been a crime if committed by an adult ;also : antisocial behavior by juveniles that is subject to legal action
Juvenile Delinquent
: a juvenile who commits an act of juvenile delinquency compare status offender, youthful offender
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