Law is one of humanity's most magnificent creations. The idea that human beings can agree upon a set of rules which govern their conduct and apply to all equally is the bedrock of modern democratic civilization. As Samuel Johnson said, the law is "the last result of human wisdom acting upon human experience for the benefit of the public." Unfortunately, legal language is rarely understood by anyone but lawyers. There's nothing new about this. In 1748, Montesquieu wrote that "the language of the laws should be simple." More than two thousand years ago, the Greek playwright Aeschylus warned that "wrong must not win on technicalities."
Today, legal language is even more complex, while the need to understand it is greater than ever. Even a house closing involves agreements, acknowledgements, and warranties in legal jargon worthy of a merger between two major corporations. The law touches everyone. We all will deal with some form of legal document and legal proceeding: a purchase agreement, an employment contract, an auto loan, or perhaps most importantly, a will. The law has also become increasingly popular as a form of mass entertainment. Legal thrillers are best sellers; legal TV shows fill the airwaves; live coverage of major trials spotlights attorneys and judges sparring under rules and in language we long to understand.
This dictionary demystifies legal language. Every definition is written simply and clearly and put in a real-life context. Easy-to-access definitions are followed by further explanations, examples, pronunciation guides and references to related terms. The People's Law Dictionary includes terms you may be familiar with, terms you thought you knew but really didn't, and terms you've never heard of but need to know. Browsing through it, you'll learn a wealth of fascinating facts and important information about the law, the principles behind it, and how they apply to and affect your everyday life.A handy reference even for attorneys, paralegals, legal secretaries, and law students, this self-contained, single volume of legal definitions and information will provide practical guidance for everyday transactions.