Sunday, December 21, 2008

Legal Glossaries And Dictionaries

With all the financial, legal and political mischief that is occurring in the news I thought that this might be a good time to provide resources to legal terms and expressions.

These are on-line glossaries and dictionaries that can help make sense of some of the legal concepts that will be introduced in the coming year. For those of you of a tactile nature and have access to PCC's Shatford Library the following items are on the shelves:
  • Black's Law Dictionary REF 340.03 B 1-3 1999 This is also available on-line if you have access to Westlaw.
  • A Dictionary of Modern Legal Usage REF 340.03 G 1 1995
  • Real Life Dictionary of the Law REF 340.03 H 2
For our non-library students readers the format is: the name of the book, the type of material, in this case it is a reference (REF) book that cannot be removed from the library, the Dewey Decimal Number and general location in the library.

Many libraries will have at least one or all of these dictionaries in their reference stacks but the Dewey number or Library of Congress number may be different. When in doubt ask at the Reference desk.

Glossaries of Legal Words, Terms and Expressions
  • Lawyer's.com Glossary - You can select the most frequently used terms or enter your word or phrase in the search box. Very handy when you need to know what Fraud in the factum means.
  • Nolo's Law Glossary - What does lex loci mean? What is the exact meaning of the McNaghten Rule? A good resource for accessible meanings to legal terms.
Law Dictionaries

dictionary.law.com
  • Dictionary at Law.com - You can search a term, a definition or choose your favorite legal letter of the alphabet to find your legal meaning or concept.
  • Merriam-Webster's Dictionary of Law at Google Book Search - This is a limited preview version of the dictionary but the section that is available maybe all that you need to locate the legal term of your choice.
  • Duhaime.org - If you need to research Canadian legal terminology this dictionary is maintained by Barrister and Solicitor Lloyd Duhaime. Not only can you search by letter or by the newest additions you can also check out Canadian legal history and Canadian laws.
So when you need to know what habeas corpus really means (provided you don't watch CSI or Law and Order) I hope you will access these legal resources.

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