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Beyond Brown: Pursuing the Promise Image Strip of Linda Brown walking to school, girl taking test at desk, Nettie Hunt and daughter with newspaper headline on steps of Supreme Court, present day children raising hands, children at computers
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GLOSSARIES OF EDUCATION AND LEGAL TERMS

Scroll down through the Glossary of Legal Terms below.
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Education terms and definitions are courtesy of and used by permission of the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD) www.ascd.org



GLOSSARY OF LEGAL TERMS

action
a lawsuit; a court or administrative hearing to enforce or protect one's rights

adjudication
a judicial decision or sentence

affirmed
to agree with and uphold the decision or judgment of a lower court after an appeal

amendment
a change made by correction, addition, or deletion

amicus curiae
a Latin term meaning "Friend of the Court"; a person who is interested in the outcome of a case but who is not a party, whom the court permits to file a brief for the purpose of providing the court with a position it might not otherwise have; for example, in Brown, the Attorneys General of the states involved were not parties to the case but had an interest in its outcome and were asked to submit briefs (plural amici curiae)

appeal
the process by which a higher court is requested by a party to a lawsuit to review the decision of a lower court

appellant
a party who requests a higher court to review the decision of a lower court

appellee
a party against whom a case is appealed from a lower court to a higher court

argument
a statement of fact for or against a point

authority
decision on a point of law, made by a court or administrative agency, which must be taken into account in new cases with similar facts and the same legal problem even though different parties are involved and years may have elapsed

brief
a written statement submitted to a court to persuade it of the correctness of one's position; a brief argues the facts of the case and the applicable law, supported by citations of authority

class action
an action brought by one or several persons on behalf of a class of persons
Constitution
the set of fundamental laws used to govern the U.S.

contravention
to go against; to violate

decision
a judgment formally pronounced by the court

decree
the final order of a court of equity, as opposed to a judgment, which is the final order of a court of law

default
the failure to perform a duty or obligation; failure to appear in court;

defendant
the person against whom an action is brought (also referred to as accused, respondent, and responding litigant)

de jure
a Latin term meaning according to the law

dissent
the point of view expressed by a judge who disagrees with the position taken by the majority of judges in a case

docket
a list of cases to be heard for trial in a court of law

doctrine
a rule of law or a legal principle (Example the Miranda Rule is a doctrine that states you must be read your rights when you are arrested)

Due Process Clause
law administered through the courts of justice that states the law is to be equally applied to everyone and that the basic fundamentals of fairness are not violated

federalism
the distribution of power in a government between a central authority and constituent units

Fifth Amendment
a change to the Constitution that requires the federal government to provide due process of law and to ensure equal protection of the laws to any person within their jurisdiction

Fourteenth Amendment
a change to the Constitution that requires the states to provide due process of law and to ensure equal protection of the laws to any person within their jurisdiction

good faith
fairness and equity; the honest and reasonable belief that one's conduct is proper; the absence of improper motive or of a negligent disregard of the rights of others;

judgment
in a civil action it is the final decision by a court of the rights of the parties; in a criminal prosecution it is the determination of guilt (i.e., a conviction)

judicial notice
refers to a judge's action in finding a fact to be true without requiring either party to prove it to be true; judicial notice substitutes for proof (Example the fact that George Bush is our president)

jurisdiction
the right of a court to decide lawsuits of a certain kind (Example - a juvenile court hears cases with juvenile offenders; federal courts hear federal questions); more specifically, the right of a court to determine a particular case; in other words, the power of the court over the subject matter of, or the property involved in, the case (Example the parties live in Pennington County so Pennington County hears the case)

litigation
a legal action; a lawsuit; also the area of law concerning trial work

motion
an application made to a court for the purpose of obtaining an order or rule directing something to be done in favor of the applicant

opinion
a written statement by a court that accompanies its decision

order
a determination made by a court or administrative agency

per curiam
a Latin term meaning "by the court"; an opinion (usually of an appellate court), in which the judges are all of one view and the legal question is sufficiently clear that a full written opinion is not required and a one- or two-paragraph opinion suffices

per se
a Latin term; by itself; in and of itself

petition for writ of certiorari
a written request to a higher court to review the record of a case from a lower court in order to correct any actions taken in the case which are not in accordance with the law

plaintiff
a person who brings a lawsuit (also referred to as complainant, petitioner, litigant)

regulation
a rule having the force of law, enacted by an administrative agency or governing party

relief
a person's object in bringing a lawsuit; the function or purpose of a remedy

remand
the return of a case by an appellate court to the trial court for further proceedings, for a new trial, or for entry of judgment in accordance with an order of the appellate court

remedy
the way in which a right is enforced and relief is obtained

segregation
the act of separating and isolating one group from another. In Brown segregation occurred in the public school system and whites and African Americans were not allowed to attend the same schools.

statute
a law enacted by a legislature; an act

supra
above mentioned; used in legal writing when the author refers to an authority cited at an earlier point in the work

syllabus
a short summary of the legal basis for the court's decision about a case; usually recorded at the beginning of the report

writ
a written order issued by a court directing the person to whom it is addressed to do a specific act




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