Common law: The legal system that originated in England and is now in use in the United States. It is based on judicial decisions rather than legislative action.
Complaint: A written statement by the plaintiff stating the wrongs allegedly committed by the defendant.
Contract: A legal written agreement that becomes binding when signed.
Corporation: A legal entity owned by the holders of shares of stock that have been issued, and that can own, receive, and transfer property, and carry on business in its own name.
Damages: Money paid by defendants to successful plaintiffs in civil cases to compensate the plaintiffs for their injuries.
Deed: The legal instrument used to transfer title in real property from one person to another.
Defendant: In a civil suit, the person complained against; in a criminal case, the person accused of the crime.
Dependent: A person dependent for support upon another.
Deposition: An oral statement made before an officer authorized by law to administer oaths. Such statements are often taken to examine potential witnesses, to obtain discovery, or to be used later in trial.
Devise: To gift property by will.
Dismissal: The dropping of a case by the judge without further consideration or hearing. Source:
Donee: The recipient of a gift.
Equitable: Pertaining to civil suits in "equity" rather than in "law." In English legal history, the courts of "law" could order the payment of damages and could afford no other remedy. See damages. A separate court of "equity" could order someone to do something or to cease to do something. See, e.g., injunction. In American jurisprudence, the federal courts have both legal and equitable power, but the distinction is still an important one. For example, a trial by jury is normally available in "law" cases but not in "equity" cases. Source: U.S. Courts
Escrow: Money given to a third party to be held for payment until certain conditions are met.
Evidence: Information presented in testimony or in documents that is used to persuade the fact finder (judge or jury) to decide the case for one side or the other.
Executor: A male person named in a will to carry out the decedent
Gift: A voluntary transfer or conveyance of property without consideration, or for less than full and adequate consideration based on fair market value.
Guarantor: A party who agrees to be responsible for the payment of another party's debts should that party default. Source: OCC
Heretofore: means any time previous to the day on which the statute containing it takes effect; "hereafter" means the time after the statute containing such word takes effect. See Wisconsin Statutes 990.01
Injunction: An order of the court prohibiting (or compelling) the performance of a specific act to prevent irreparable damage or injury.
Joint committee: Committees including membership from both houses of teh legislature. Joint committees are usually established with narrow jurisdictions and normally lack authority to report legislation.
Land: includes lands, tenements and hereditaments and all rights thereto and interests therein. See Wisconsin Statutes 990.01
Lease: A contract transferring the use of property or occupancy of land, space, structures, or equipment in consideration of a payment (e.g., rent). Source: OCC
Lien: A claim against real or personal property in satisfaction of a debt.
Minor: means a person who has not attained the age of 18 years, except that for purposes of investigating or prosecuting a person who is alleged to have violated a state or federal criminal law or any civil law or municipal ordinance, "minor" does not include a person who has attained the age of 17 years. See Wisconsin Statutes 990.01
Precedent: A court decision in an earlier case with facts and law similar to a dispute currently before a court. Precedent will ordinarily govern the decision of a later similar case, unless a party can show that it was wrongly decided or that it differed in some significant way.
Probable cause: A reasonable ground for belief that the offender violated a specific law.
Probation: A sentencing alternative to imprisonment in which the court releases convicted defendants under supervision as long as certain conditions are observed.
Prosecute: To charge someone with a crime. A prosecutor tries a criminal case on behalf of the government.
Public law: A public bill or joint resolution that has passed both chambers and been enacted into law. Public laws have general applicability nationwide.
Settlement: Parties to a lawsuit resolve their difference without having a trial. Settlements often involve the payment of compensation by one party in satisfaction of the other party's claims.
Statute: A law passed by a legislature.
Subpoena: A command to a witness to appear and give testimony.
Temporary restraining order: Prohibits a person from an action that is likely to cause irreparable harm. This differs from an injunction in that it may be granted immediately, without notice to the opposing party, and without a hearing. It is intended to last only until a hearing can be held.
Testimony: Evidence presented orally by witnesses during trials or before grand juries.