Glossary of legal terms (2023)

To transfer a case before the Court to another date or time.

A written statement of facts, confirmed by oath or affirmation, which can be used to support an application or can be tendered by a party to proceedings as evidence in Court. Affidavits are often "filed" in the registry.

Alternative procedure agreement
A type of Indigenous land use agreement.

An application to a higher court to review a decision of a lower court or tribunal. For example, an appeal from a decision of a Federal Circuit and Family Court judge may be made to the Federal Court, and a decision of a single judge of the Federal Court may be the subject of an appeal to the Full Court of the Federal Court.

Appeal books
All documents that the Court needs to consider which are relevant to an appeal. A Registrar decides what documents should be included at an appointment to settle the index to the appeal papers, attended by the solicitors for the parties.

A person who appeals against a decision of a court.

Appellate jurisdiction
The power given to a court to hear appeals in certain matters.

The individual, organisation or corporation who/which applies to the Court to start legal proceedings against another person or persons. Also knownas 'plaintiff' in admiralty and corporations matters and in some other courts.

The document that starts most proceedings in the Federal Court.Also used as a broad term for what the applicant is doing here: he or she is "making an application".

Application for extension of time
If an application or a notice of appeal has not been filed and served within the time specified by the Federal Court Rules, then the Court or a Judge, if satisfied there are special reasons for the delay, may at any time give leave to file and serve the application or the notice of appeal.

Application for leave
"Leave" is permission to do something. For example, if a person has left it too late to appeal (they are over the time set by the law), it may be possible for that person to ask the Court for permission to appeal anyway. This would be by an application for leave to appeal.

Bill of costs
Usually, when a party loses a case, they will be ordered to pay the successful party's legal costs. To have the amount of these costs quantified, the successful party drafts a "bill of costs", which sets out the work done by the solicitor. See also 'costs' and 'taxation'.

Cause of action
A technical term used in the Federal Court's electronic case management system to classify proceedings commenced with the Court. There are sixteen main causes of action and five supplementary causes of action. These classifications are different from the way in which the Court organises and manages its work, which is done through nine National Practice Areas (NPAs). See alsoNational Practice Areas.

Compensation application
An application made by Indigenous Australians seeking compensation for loss or impairment of their native title.

(Video) Legal Terms and Terminology

Consent orders
The Federal Court Rules allows the parties to consent to the making of an order filed in the Registry. If the Judge agrees to the order, the order may be made in chambers, without the parties needing to attend court.

This term is used for the legal fees and expenses of a party to a matter in the Court. On the determination of a case, the Court has the discretion to order that the costs of one party be paid by another party. It usually awards costs in favour of the successful party.

Court book

A collection of documents with an index, containing the latest copy of all pleadings and all documents which the parties want to rely upon.
See also Digital Court Book

Creditor's petition
A document in which the creditor applies to the Court to make a person who owes them money bankrupt.

Cross appeal
An application by a respondent in an appeal also seeking a review of the lower court or tribunal decision and made in response to the appeal. A cross appeal is not required if the respondent is simply seeking that the decision of the lower court or tribunal be upheld.

Cross claim
A claim made in a proceeding by one party against a co-party, such as the first respondent (or defendant) against the second respondent (ordefendant). However, if the claim in the proceeding is by one party against an opposing party, such as the respondent (or defendant) against the applicant (plaintiff), it is called a counter claim. A cross claim has to be closely connected to what is in dispute in the original claim or a counter claim.

Debtor's petition
A document filed with the Insolvency and Trustee Service of Australia, wherein the person who cannot pay his/her debts (the debtor) can apply to be made bankrupt without a Court hearing.

A document filed by a respondent in answer or response to a statement of claim setting out why the applicant's claims should not succeed.
See alsoStatement of claim

Digital court book
A court book in which the documents are stored and managed electronically. In the hearing, digital court books are displayed using software that allows them to be indexed, searched, filtered, referenced and managed. See also Court book

Orders made by the Court or a judge in relation to the conduct of a proceeding. Before the trial or hearing of a matter a judge may give directions so that the parties involved will be properly ready. The directions usually set down a list of steps to be taken by the parties and the deadline for those steps. The steps usually involve filing of material and defining the issues that require a decision by the Court.

A process by which the parties involved in a legal proceeding must inform each other of documents they have in their possession and which relate to the matters in dispute between the parties.

Docket system
A system by which each case is allocated to a particular judge who will then see the case through to completion. In the Federal Court the system is called the Individual Docket System (IDS).

Duty Judge
The Judge responsible for hearing most urgent matters, including the weekly Bankruptcy List. Judges, by rotation, act as duty Judge.

(Video) Legal Vocabulary Terms That Every Law Student Must Know

Electronic Court File
An electronic court file is a digital version of the Court file including all documents filed with the Court or created by the Court.

Entry of order
Written confirmation of an order made by a Judge. The registrar signs the order and puts a Court seal/or stamp on the document. The order is then "official" and "authenticated".

A document or item produced in court for the purpose of becoming part of the evidence in a proceeding.

Filing of documents
The process of the Court accepting a document or documents lodged by a party to a proceeding.

First instance
A proceeding heard in the Court's original jurisdiction.

Full Court
Three or more judges sitting together to hear a proceeding.

That part of a proceeding where the parties present evidence and submissions to the Court.

A type of order made by a Judge whereby a certain party is ordered to do or not to do something.

Interlocutory application
Interlocutory proceedings are for dealing with a specific issue in a matter – usually between the filing of the application and the giving of the final hearing and decision. An interlocutory application may be for interim relief (such as an injunction) or in relation to a procedural step (such as discovery).

The final order or set of orders made by the Court after a hearing, often accompanied by reasons which set out the facts and law applied in the case. A judgment is said to be 'reserved' when the Court postpones the delivery of the judgment to a later date to allow time to consider the evidence and submissions. A judgment is said to be 'ex tempore' when the Court gives the judgment orally at the hearing or soon after.

The extent of legal authority or power of the Court to apply the law.

Individuals, organisations or companies who/which are the parties to a proceeding before the Court.

An officer of the Federal Court with the power to arrest ships under the Admiralty Act 1988.

Mediation (or Assisted Dispute Resolution)
A process in which an impartial third party (the mediator) assists the parties in an attempt to bring about an agreed settlement or compromise, without requiring a decision of the Court.

(Video) Legal words for interpreters - criminal law

National Court Framework
The National Court Framework is a number of reforms to the Court's case management approach.

National Practice Areas
Subject matter areas in which the Court's work is organised and managed. For a detailed list see the National Practice Areas page.

Native Title determination
A decision by an Australian court or other recognised body that native title does or does not exist. A determination is made either when parties have reached an agreement after mediation (consent determination) or following a trial process (litigated determination).

Native title claimant application/claim
An application made for the legal recognition of native title rights and interests held by Indigenous Australians.

Native title representative body
Representative Aboriginal/Torres Strait Islander Body also known as native title representative bodies are recognised and funded by the Australian Government to provide a variety of functions under the Native Title Act 1993. These functions include assisting and facilitating native title holders to access and exercise their rights under the Act, certifying applications for determinations of native title and area agreements (ILUA), resolving intra- indigenous disputes, agreement-making and ensuring that notices given under the NTA are brought to the attention of the relevant people.

Notice of appeal
This is a document that is filed to start an appeal

Notice of discontinuance
Document filed by an applicant to stop proceedings. A party filing a Notice of Discontinuance will have to pay the costs of the other parties unless other arrangements have been made (usually by consent).

On country
Description applied to activities that take place on the relevant area of land, for example mediation conferences or Federal Court hearings taking place on or near the area covered by a native title application.

Originating application
This is a document that starts the proceedings in the Court. It is generally an application or notice of appeal but, in admiralty proceedings, can be a writ.

Original jurisdiction
The authority or legal power of the Court to hear a case in the first instance.

People involved in a court case are generally called parties and include applicants, plaintiffs, appellants, respondents and defendants. Applicants or respondents can be individuals or corporations. There can be more than one applicant or respondent.

Practice Notes
The Court publishes National Practice Notes. Practice Notes are issued by the Chief Justice on advice of the judges of the Court. They are used to provide information to parties and their lawyers involved in proceedings in the Court on particular aspects of the Court's practice and procedure. (Administrative Notices, which were registry-specific practice notices, are no longer used by the Court).

The regular and orderly progression of a lawsuit, including all acts and events between the time of commencement and the judgment.

A registrar is an officer of the Court who assists in the administration of the Court. Registrars can also hear certain types of cases. They are also referred to as Judicial Registrars and District Registrars.

(Video) COMMON LEGAL TERMS: "B" - Legal Glossary -

The Federal Court and Federal Circuit and Family Court Regulations 2012 which set the filing and other fees that must be paid in relation to proceedings in the Federal Court.

A document filed by the applicant in answer or response to a defence. See alsoDefence

Representative proceeding
When a group of applicants have claims against the same person and the claim is the same or similar, then proceedings may be commenced by one or more of those persons under Part IVA of the Federal Court of Australia Act 1976. Representative proceedings are also known as “class actions” or “grouped proceedings”.

Reserved judgment
Judgment is said to be "reserved" when a Judge needs time to consider all the evidence and arguments and postpones the delivery of the judgment after the hearing is concluded, to some later date to be advised by him/her.

The individual, organisation or corporation against whom/which legal proceedings are commenced. Also known as a 'defendant' in admiralty and corporations matters and in some courts. In an appeal it is the party who/ which did not commence the appeal.

Rules made by the judges which set out the procedures for conducting a proceeding. The current rules of the Federal Court are the Federal Court Rules 2011, Federal Court (Corporations) Rules 2000 (for proceedings under the Corporations Act 2001 and, for a debtor other than an individual, Cross-Border Insolvency Act 2008 ), Federal Court (Bankruptcy) Rules 2016 (for proceedings under the Bankruptcy Act 1966 and, for a debtor who is an individual, Cross-Border Insolvency Act 2008) and Federal Court (Criminal Proceedings) Rules 2016.

Self represented litigant
A party to a proceeding who does not have legal representation and who is conducting the proceeding on his or her own behalf.

Setting down fee
A fee that must be paid when a date is set for hearing a matter. It includes the first day's hearing fee and, usually, has to be paid at least 28 days before the hearing.

Statement of claim
In the Federal Court this is one of the documents that may be filed by an applicant when commencing a proceeding in the Court. A Judge or the Court may also direct the applicant to file a statement of claim. A statement of claim sets out the allegations (facts) which are the basis of the case.

A document issued in legal proceedings requiring a person to give evidence or to produce documents to the Court at a certain place and time.

Taxing a bill of costs or taxation of costs is the process by which a registrar checks a bill of costs filed by a party to ensure that the charges are in accordance with the relevant scale of costs in the Rules and allowable as reasonable costs.

Taxation of costs: See Taxation.

A person who holds property on behalf of another. A trustee in bankruptcy is the person who takes the property of a bankrupt for the purposes of distributing the assets for the benefit of the bankrupt's creditors.


What is legal glossary? ›

The Legal Terms Glossary defines over 100 of the most common legal terms in easy-to-understand language. Terms are listed in alphabetical order and can be better accessed by choosing a letter here: A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z.

What is legal jargon examples? ›

Bar - general term referring to a group of attorneys - example: "The Bar of the 26th Judicial District is active in community issues." Bench - term used to refer to judges or the court - example: "Please approach the bench" refers to approaching the judge. Biological Father – the natural father of a child.

What is it called when lawyers argue? ›

Oral arguments are spoken presentations to a judge or appellate court by a lawyer (or parties when representing themselves) of the legal reasons why they should prevail.

What is the difference between answer and reply legal? ›

A Response or Reply to the Opposing Party's Pleadings is your answer to the opposing party's document filed with the Court. A Response is the initial answering document to a motion while a Reply is the Response filed to a Response.

What should be included in a glossary of terms? ›

A glossary is an alphabetical list of words, phrases, and abbreviations with their definitions. Glossaries are most appropriate when the words, phrases, and abbreviations used within the content relate to a specific discipline or technology area. A glossary can also provide the pronunciation of a word or phrase.

How is a glossary format? ›

Glossaries may be formatted in a number of ways, but generally terms are listed in alphabetical order with their definitions, and a line space separates each entry. They are generally placed before notes and works-cited lists and may appear as part of an appendix before those items.

What are the 4 types of cases? ›

The new “Four Types of Cases” encompass the following types of cases:
  • They are major, difficult, complex, or sensitive;
  • They involve mass disputes or cause widespread societal concern, which might affect social stability;
Feb 21, 2022

What are some words lawyers use? ›

Appellant: The party appealing a decision or judgment to a higher court. Appellee: The party against whom an appeal is taken. Arbitration: Submitting a case or dispute to designated parties for a decision, instead of using a judge. Arraignment: The first court appearance of a person accused of a crime.

What are some lawyer slang? ›

What Words Do Lawyers Use?
  • Objection.
  • Sustained.
  • Overruled.
  • Withdrawn.
  • Rebuttal.
  • Prima Facie.
  • Plea Bargain.
  • Adjournment.

What is the rule of 4? ›

The “rule of four” is the Supreme Court's practice of granting a petition for review only if there are at least four votes to do so. The rule is an unwritten internal one; it is not dictated by any law or the Constitution.

What do lawyers say at the end their speech? ›

The closing statement is the attorney's final statement to the jury before deliberation begins. The attorney reiterates the important arguments, summarizes what the evidence has and has not shown, and requests jury to consider the evidence and apply the law in his or her client's favor.

What is a corrupt lawyer called? ›

shyster. noununscrupulous lawyer; swindler.

Is an answer part of the pleadings? ›

The pleadings means the documents that start a lawsuit. They include the complaint, answer, and reply.

What is the definition of an answer in a lawsuit? ›

An Answer is the most common way to respond to a lawsuit. The Answer is the defendant's opportunity to admit or deny the specific allegations brought against them in the complaint. Any statements in the complaint that are not denied will be taken as true for the purposes of this case.

What is rule of law question and answer? ›

In general, the rule of law implies that the creation of laws, their enforcement, and the relationships among legal rules are themselves legally regulated, so that no one—including the most highly placed official—is above the law.

Does a glossary of terms need to be referenced? ›

Glossaries and definitions often fall into the category of common knowledge, meaning that they don't necessarily have to be cited. However, it's always better to be safe than sorry when it comes to citing your sources, in order to avoid accidental plagiarism.

How long should a glossary be? ›

Glossary pages should be short: a reader should be able to find the definition he/she is looking for and be able to get back to the article in less than one minute, with a fuller understanding.

What is the purpose of a glossary of terms? ›

If a book includes rare, unfamiliar, specialized, or made up words or terms, the glossary serves as a dictionary for the reader to reference throughout their reading of the book. (Note: this section should only contain definitions for specific terms in the book. It does not function as an ordinary dictionary.)

What does a good glossary look like? ›

The basic format for a glossary is a list of words in alphabetical order, each with a definition that explains what it means. Each definition you write should: Set out the meaning of the term using the simplest language possible. Keep your audience in mind here again so you can tailor the terminology used.

How do you create an effective glossary? ›

5 ways to write an effective glossary
  1. Meet your audiences' needs. The entries in a glossary aren't for you, they're for the reader. ...
  2. Use plain language. ...
  3. Don't use the word in the definition. ...
  4. Include synonyms, antonyms and examples. ...
  5. Provide pronunciation tips.
Feb 21, 2012

What is the best way to create glossary? ›

The simplest way to create a glossary is to type your glossary by hand at the end of your document. Word has no built-in method of creating a glossary automatically, but you can use hyperlinks or the Table of Authorities functionality to create a glossary for one or more documents.

What 2 types of cases are heard in courts? ›

How a case moves through the California court system. There are two kinds of court cases: civil and criminal. "Civil" cases are the cases in court that aren't about breaking a criminal law (called a violation of criminal law). There are many different kinds of cases in Civil Court.

What are the 3 basic case types? ›

More specifically, federal courts hear criminal, civil, and bankruptcy cases.

What are the two main types of cases? ›

Civil and Criminal Cases

The law deals with two kinds of cases. Civil cases involve conflicts between people or institutions such as businesses.

How do you say hello to a lawyer? ›

Address an attorney as "Mr." or "Ms." in most contexts. In the salutation for a letter or email, address an attorney the same way you would any other respected professional- using "Mr." or "Ms." followed by their surname. Generally, this is the best way to address an attorney if you've never spoken to them before.

How do you impress a judge in court? ›

6 Tips to Make a Good First Impression in Court
  1. Know the judge.
  2. Be organized with your paperwork.
  3. Dress Appropriately.
  4. Stay calm in front of the jury.
  5. Keep eye contact with the jury.
  6. Don't be late to court.

How do you call a female lawyer? ›

In the United States, you address a woman who is an attorney the same way you would address a man who is an attorney in the same position. The only substantive difference is the courtesy title of “Ms.” or “Mrs.” rather than “Mr.”

What are new lawyers called? ›

Life in Law Firms:

In most law firms, as a new lawyer, you would be called an "associate." After some significant period of time, you would be eligible to become a "partner" in the law firm.

What do lawyers call their clients? ›

An attorney's client will be either plaintiff or defendant depending on whether he/she sues someone or is sued, respectively. This conveys the client's role in the process, though, not their relation to the attorney. Client is the term in the US.

What is the 3% rule? ›

That's partly why today's financial advisors are telling people to plan for a 3% withdrawal rate. This advice follows the idea of "Hope for the best, plan for the worst." Plan your necessary expenses at 3%. If stocks tumble, and you're forced to withdraw 4% to cover your bills, you'll still be safe.

What is the 10 5 3 rule? ›

A warm and sincere greeting: At 10 feet, acknowledge the customer with eye contact and at 5 feet, greet the customer with “Good morning/afternoon/evening” and a smile. Use the customer's name after it's been given whenever the opportunity arises.

What rule does 2 4 6 follow? ›

In the standard 2–4–6 induction task, subjects are instructed to discover the rule generating sequences of three numbers by inventing number triples for which they receive immediate feedback. The rule is “ascending numbers”.

What to say when you don t want to answer a question in court? ›

"I'm sorry but I'm not able to speak to that subject" "Thanks for asking but I'm not able to answer that question" "I'm sorry but that information is proprietary"

What do lawyers say in court when they don't agree? ›

Not that I recall. Objection. Objection to the form, your Honor. Objection, your Honor, leading.

What if a lawyer knows his client is lying? ›

If the client refuses to disclose his misconduct, then the lawyer has a duty to inform the court and/or opposing party of the false evidence or testimony.

What is higher than a lawyer? ›

A principal is an executive-level attorney, equivalent to a chief executive officer, according to employment website Indeed.

What is the person under a lawyer called? ›

Difference between a lawyer and a paralegal

Paralegals may complete many of the same legal tasks that a lawyer does (except those proscribed by law). But paralegals can only do so on behalf of and under the supervision of a licensed attorney.

How do you draft an answer? ›

When drafting an answer, one must: (1) follow the local, state, and federal court rules; (2) research the legal claims in the adversary's complaint; (3) respond to the adversary's factual allegations; and (4) assert affirmative defenses, counterclaims, cross-claims, or third-party claims, if applicable.

Do you answer or Reply to a counterclaim? ›

If a counterclaim is filed, the plaintiff must be given the opportunity to respond by filing a reply.

How do you make a good pleading? ›

A pleading must contain: (a) a caption, setting forth the name of the court, the title of the action, and the docket number if assigned; and (b) the body, setting forth the designation of the pleading, the allegations of the party's claims or defenses, the relief prayed for, and the date of the pleading.

What is called an answer? ›

answer, response, reply, rejoinder, retort mean something spoken, written, or done in return.

How do lawyers answer questions? ›

Give the answer in your own words, and if a question can't be truthfully answered with a “yes” or “no” answer, explain the answer. If an attorney demands a “yes” or “no” answer and you can not give one, let the judge know that, and explain that to do so would be misleading to the court or inaccurate.

What is an answer to a complaint called? ›

A counterclaim is a claim you may have against the Plaintiff for actions that are related to same events or facts as those stated in the Complaint. To make a counterclaim, first write in the name of the Plaintiff against whom you are making a claim.

What is the rule of law for dummies? ›

Rule of law is a principle under which all persons, institutions, and entities are accountable to laws that are: Publicly promulgated. Equally enforced. Independently adjudicated. And consistent with international human rights principles.

What is Article 14 rule of law? ›

Article 14 of the Constitution of India provides for equality before the law or equal protection of the laws within the territory of India. It states: "The State shall not deny to any person equality before the law or the equal protection of the laws within the territory of India."

Do laws apply to all short answer? ›

The rule of law means that all laws apply equally to all citizens of the country and no one is above the law. Every citizen of the country has a right to approach the courts in case laws are violated. Similarly, every citizen can also be punished for violating laws.

What is the purpose of a glossary? ›

A glossary is an alphabetical list of words, phrases, and abbreviations with their definitions. Glossaries are most appropriate when the words, phrases, and abbreviations used within the content relate to a specific discipline or technology area. A glossary can also provide the pronunciation of a word or phrase.

What is a glossary in a report? ›

Glossary. A glossary is a list of definitions. You may include a glossary in a technical report if it uses a number of terms with which readers may not be familiar. When including a glossary, note its existence in a footnote in the body of the report.

What is the purpose of the glossary policy? ›

The Glossary is a list of terms and their standard definitions for policies and procedures. Unless separately defined or the context of the document requires otherwise then the following definitions apply to each policy or procedure.

Does a glossary need to be referenced? ›

Glossaries and definitions often fall into the category of common knowledge, meaning that they don't necessarily have to be cited. However, it's always better to be safe than sorry when it comes to citing your sources, in order to avoid accidental plagiarism.

Where should a glossary go in a document? ›

“A glossary is a list of technical terms or abbreviations that may be unfamiliar to some readers. Those terms used more than once should be listed in a glossary, which is usually placed before the bibliography, i.e. towards the end, but can be place at the end of the preliminary pages (if it is a short glossary).

What is the importance of providing a glossary of terms and a reference list? ›

A well-constructed glossary gives clear and simple definitions of terms that communicate the basic and essential meaning in nontechnical language. The goal is to facilitate both understanding on a conceptual level and communication on a linguistic level as well as to create a vocabulary that can be learnt.

How do you create a glossary of terms? ›

To write a glossary, you will first need to identify the terms in your main text that need to be in the glossary. Then, you can create definitions for these terms and make sure the formatting of the glossary is correct so it is polished and easy to read.

Which is an appropriate strategy for using a glossary? ›

Using a class glossary

Introduce a term and discuss what students think it means within the context of the science topic. Possible strategies include students connecting the word to a feature or aspect of the topic, and students using the word in a spoken sentence to explain topic, concept or context.

What are the benefits of a glossary? ›

While especially critical for technical translations and marketing content, a glossary lays the foundation for consistent, high-quality translations of any kind. Ultimately, a glossary not only saves you time and money, it also helps ensure your brand's success across languages and cultures.


1. Basic Legal Terminology
(Talking Business)
2. COMMON LEGAL TERMS: Legal Glossary "A" -
3. Glossary of Legal Terms: Assign, Assignment, Assignee
4. COMMON LEGAL TERMS: "D" - Legal Glossary -
5. COMMON LEGAL TERMS: "C" Legal Glossary -
6. Legal words for interpreters
(Legal Aid NSW)


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