Learning Some Words Used in The Courtroom

Not everyone understands the language being used in courtrooms. That’s why it would be best to have a brief learning encounter with words commonly used by lawyers and judges.

Do you swear to tell the truth and nothing but the truth? Yes? Good.

Let the court proceedings begin…

Here we are in the intellectual world of the judge, the jury, and the lawyers. For a brief moment, we would be a willing (or unwilling) audience to their use of words that boggle the minds of most people.

Why this topic? Well, I think it would really benefit most of us if we would have a bird’s eye-view of the conversational world of our dear fellowmen who are seekers of justice.

Since it is quite obvious to many that there are terms only understood by those who are in this line of profession, I guess it would be a great eye-opener for the others (like us) who want to gain more knowledge about the courtroom phraseology.

Look at this way. At least, if we enter the doors, and listen to the court trial proceedings, we won’t look like we would rather stare at the wall, feeling like a complete fool, and wishing we had a courtroom dictionary with us.

So, please be seated, read the following commonly used words, and be the judge of what you utter or hear.

Adjourn – This may be a favorite of those who are going to be boiled in their own waters. This means to cease proceedings until a later period.

Contempt – You may also hear this said as “held in contempt of court.” This refers to disobedience to the authority of a court or a legislative body.

Custodial investigation – When you hear this term, this simply means the questioning initiated by a law enforcement officer after a person has been taken into consideration or otherwise deprived of his freedom of action in any way.

Jurat – According to the dictionary, jurat refers to a person under oath.

Jurisdiction – This word means the legal power or right or administering justice.

Jurist – A jurist is a writer on legal subjects or a student of law.

Jurisprudence – The word, jurisprudence, refers to the science or philosophy of law.

Overrule – To overrule is to control by superior power or authority. It also means to set aside or to reject.

Pari delicto – This means equal fault or guilt.

Plaintiff – You probably heard this often. This term means one who brings a suit against another in a court of law.

Power of Attorney – A legal document that gives rights to another individual to act on your behalf in financial and legal matters.

Probable cause – When this is used, this refers to the facts and circumstances antecedent to the issuance of a warrant.

Restraining Order – A legal document issued by the court to retrain (keep away) one individual from another.

Search warrant – This term has been mentioned in TV shows, movies, and in real life courtrooms. This refers to a written document signed by the judge in behalf of the Republic ordering the sheriff to search for objects of the crime which are believed to be in the place to be searched.

Solution indebiti – Now, don’t get yourself confused on this one. This actually refers to the juridical relation which arises whenever a person unduly delivers a thing through mistake to another who has no right to demand it.

Sustain – When you hear this term, bear in mind that this means to support or to establish by evidence.

Testimony – A testimony is a statement under oath or affirmation. It also refers to proof or evidence.

Witness – This means a thing or person serving as testimony or proof.

This may seem like a lot to remember. But, if you really would like to appear knowledgeable during proceedings, understanding the meanings of these commonly-used terms in the courtroom would prove to be very helpful to you – especially if you would like to write a story which would revolve around a specific case for your main character to solve.

Leave a Comment