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Legal Dictionary - J

Joint and several liability: Legal doctrine by which each party responsible for an injury is liable for the total damage award where the other responsible parties cannot pay.

Judgment: A court’s final ruling in a lawsuit.

Jurisdiction: The court’s authority to hear a case; the geographic area in which a court maintains authority to hear cases.

Jurisprudence: The study of law.

Jury: A group of citizens selected according to law and assigned to try a question of fact or indict a person for an offense.

Jury trial: A trial heard before a judge and a jury, as opposed to a court trial that is heard before a judge alone.

Justice of the peace: A judge who handles minor legal issues such as traffic offenses. A justice of the peace may be an attorney, though some states allow citizens to act as justice of the peace upon passing a test.