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Legal glossary for court interpreters

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Term Definition
Abstract of title

A chronological summary of all official records and recorded documents affecting the title to a parcel of real property.


The taking and receiving of anything in good faith with the intention of retaining it.

  1. A partner in a crime.
  2. A person who knowingly and voluntarily participates with another in a criminal activity.

The increase or accumulation of land by natural causes, as out of a lake or river.


A formal declaration before an authorized official by the person who executed an instrument that it is his free act and deed; the certificate of the official on such instrument attesting that it was so acknowledged.


A release, absolution, or discharge of an obligation or liability. In criminal law the finding of not guilty.


An increase by a judge in the amount of damages awarded by a jury.

Adjective law

Also, procedural law. That body of law which governs the process of protecting the rights under substantive law.


Giving or pronouncing a judgment or decree. Also the judgment given.

Administrative agencies

Agencies created by the legislative branch of government to administer laws pertaining to specific areas such as taxes, transportation, and labor.

  1. One who administers the estate of a person who dies without a will. 2. A court official.
Admiralty law

Also, maritime law. That body of law relating to ships, shipping, marine commerce and navigation, transportation of persons or property by sea, etc.

Admissible evidence

Evidence that can be legally and properly introduced in a civil or criminal trial.


To advise or caution. For example the court may caution or admonish counsel for wrong practices.

Advance sheets

Paperback pamphlets published by law book publishers weekly or monthly which contain reporter cases, including correct volume number and page number. When there are sufficient cases, they are replaced by a bound volume.

Adversary proceeding

One having opposing parties such as a plaintiff and a defendant. Individual lawsuit(s) brought within a bankruptcy proceeding.

Adverse possession

Method of acquiring real property under certain conditions by possession for a statutory period.


The person who makes and subscribes an affidavit.


A voluntary, written, or printed declaration of facts, confirmed by oath of the party making it before a person with authority to administer the oath.


A solemn and formal declaration that an affidavit is true. This is substituted for an oath in certain cases.

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