- K -
Key number system - A research aid developed by West Publishing
Company which classifies digests of cases in to various law topics and
subtopics which are given paragraph numbers called "Key Numbers."
Each key number for a given topic helps the researcher quickly find all
references to the legal matter being researched.
- L -
Lapsed gift - A gift made in a will to a person who has died
prior to the will-makers death.
Larceny - Obtaining property by fraud or deceit.
Law - The combination of those rules and principles of conduct
promulgated by legislative authority, derived from court decisions and
established by local custom.
Law Blank - A printed legal form available for preparing documents.
Law Clerk - In the United States, usually a law school student
employed by a law firm to do research and other tasks. In the courts, a
lawyer (or law school student) employed to do legal research.
Lawsuit - An action or proceeding in a civil court; term used
for a suit or action between two private parties in a court of law.
Leading question - A question that suggests the answer desired
of the witness. A party generally may not ask one's own witness leading
questions. Leading questions may be asked only of hostile witnesses and
Legal aid - Professional legal services available usually to
persons or organizations unable to afford such services.
Legal process - A formal paper that is legally valid; something
issuing from the court, usually a command such as a writ or mandate.
Legal texts - Books that cover specific areas of the law, usually
dealing with a single topic.
Legislation - The act of giving or enacting laws; the power to
make laws via legislation in contrast to court-made laws.
Legitimate - That which is legal, lawful, recognized by law or
according to law.
Leniency - Recommendation for a sentence less than the maximum
Letters of Administration - Legal document issued by a court
that shows an administrator's legal right to take control of assets in
the deceased person's name.
Letters Testamentary - Legal document issued by a court that
shows an executor's legal right to take control of assets in the deceased
Liable - Legally responsible.
Libel - Published defamation which tends to injure a person's
Licensing boards - State agencies created to regulate the issuance
of licenses, i.e., to contractors, cosmetologists, realtors, etc.
Lien - An encumbrance or legal burden upon property.
Limine - (See "in limine" in Foreign Words Glossary).
Limited Jurisdiction - Refers to courts that are limited in the
types of criminal and civil cases they may hear. For example, traffic violations
generally are heard by limited jurisdiction courts.
Litigant - A party to a lawsuit.
Litigation - A lawsuit; a legal action, including all proceedings
Living trust - A trust set up and in effect during the lifetime
of the grantor. (Also called inter vivos trust.)
Loose-leaf services -Loose-leaf replacement pages provided by
a publisher in areas of the law where changes occur at a rapid rate.