The lawyer is giving legal advice..

12 Important Legal Terms Explained

Legal terms are words and phrases commonly used in the legal system to describe actions or processes that affect a person or business. While each field may have its own specialized terminology, there are some common legal terms that everyone should be aware of. Knowing these 12 key legal terms will help you understand the legal system better and enable you to make informed decisions.

‘Breach of Contract’

A breach of contract is a violation of the terms and conditions of an agreement between two or more parties. It occurs when one party fails to fulfill its obligations under the contract. The other party may then be entitled to seek compensation from the breaching party, depending on the circumstances.

‘Estate Planning’

Estate planning is the process of creating a plan for how your assets will be managed and distributed after you pass away. It involves making decisions about how to protect and preserve your wealth during your lifetime, who will manage it upon your death, and who will benefit from it.

‘Criminal Law’

Criminal law is a body of laws that define what constitutes a crime and how an accused person can be punished for committing one. It sets out the punishments for particular crimes and prescribes how those punishments should be enforced.

‘Family Law’

Family law is the body of laws that govern family relationships such as marriage, divorce, child custody and adoption. It deals with issues relating to marriage, parenting rights, child support and visitation rights, child abuse and neglect, adoption and guardianship.

‘Intellectual Property Rights’

Intellectual property rights are legal protections that grant an individual or organization exclusive control over the use of certain creations, inventions and works of art. This includes copyrights, trademarks, patents and trade secrets.


A tort is a civil wrong which can be redressed through an award of damages. Torts are classified as either intentional torts or unintentional torts. Intentional torts include such things as assault, battery and defamation whereas unintentional torts include negligence and trespass to property.


A statute is a written law enacted by a legislative body, such as Congress or a state legislature. Statutes create new laws or amend existing ones and provide the foundation for most of the legal system.


Regulations are a type of rule or law created by an administrative agency. They have the force of law and are used to implement legislation, provide instructions on how laws should be interpreted and enforced, and set out specific requirements that must be met in order to comply with the law.


Liability is a state of being legally responsible for something. It is an essential element in determining fault and liability in tort law, contract law, product liability and the criminal justice system.

‘Power of Attorney’

A power of attorney is a legal document that allows an individual to appoint someone else, known as an agent or attorney-in-fact, to act on their behalf.


An affidavit is a written statement of facts made under oath by an individual who has knowledge of the facts they are swearing to. It is used as evidence in court proceedings, administrative hearings and other legal matters.

‘Jury Trial’

A jury trial is a criminal or civil court proceeding where the facts of the case are decided by a jury, rather than by a judge or other single adjudicator. The jury consists of a group of unbiased individuals who have been selected from the community and sworn to render a verdict based solely on the evidence presented at trial.

By understanding these 12 key legal terms, you will be better equipped to navigate the legal system and make informed decisions involving any legal issues you may face. If you need help interpreting or understanding a particular legal term, always consult a qualified attorney.