Proficiency in legal terminology is an important part of being a good legal transcriptionist
Proficiency in Legal Terminology is an Important Part of Being a
Good Legal Transcriptionist
Legal terminology can be complex and proficiency in the same is a must for a good
Law firms need the transcription of audio recordings of hearings, depositions and
interrogations all important during case preparation and trial. These recorded
conversations and their transcripts play an important role in civil and criminal trials
and provide the proof or evidence that is necessary to establish a defendant’s
guilt/innocence. To provide accurate legal transcription, the transcriptionist should be
familiar with the latest legal terminologies, court systems and legal procedures.
Here are certain terms a legal transcriptionist must be familiar with.
• Arbitration- A way of alternative dispute resolution in which the disputing
parties agree to conform to the decision of an arbitrator.
• Assignment- The transfer of legal rights, from one person to another.
• Bankruptcy- A process governed by federal law to assist people, when they
find it difficult to pay their bills.
• Bifurcation- Dividing a trial into two parts: a liability phase and a penalty
• Certiorari - The order or writ of a higher court to a lower court asking it to
send all relevant documents in a case to it so that the higher court can review
the decision and proceedings in the lower court.
• Deed- A written legal document that describes a piece of property and
specifies its boundaries.
• Defamation- It refers to the act of making false statements about another
person that damages his/her reputation. When the statement is printed or
broadcast via media it is libel and, if only oral, it is slander.
• Deposition- A legal process wherein a witness testifies under oath, before
• Escrow - The deed of a property is said to be in escrow (in pending), until the
real estate transaction is completed.
• Foreclosure- This term is used when the lender takes possession of the
property to sell it when a borrower cannot repay a loan
• Immunity - Exemption from a legal duty or penalty.
• Implied warranty- A guarantee imposed by law in a sale.
• Intestate- To die without a will.
• Plaintiff- The person who initiates a lawsuit.
• Pro se- An individual who represents himself in court, without the assistance
of a lawyer.
• Quash- Declare invalid or nullify.
• Slander- Defamatory oral statements / gestures
• Subpoena - An order that requires a person to appear in court or produce
The above listed are some of the commonly used legal terms, while there are many
more complex ones. Reputable legal transcription companies provide appropriate
training for their transcribers, making them eligible to meet the client required
accuracy standards and turnaround times.