Glossary of Legal Terms – U


From “Unconscionability” to “Usury”

An absence of meaningful choice on the part of one of the parties to a contract, and contract terms which are unreasonably favorable to the other party.

Undue influence
Whatever destroys free will and causes a person to do something he would not do if left to himself.

Unfair labor practice
Actions by the employer which interfere with, restrain, coerce, or threaten employees with respect to their rights.

Uniform Commercial Code (U.C.C.)
A uniform law governing commercial transactions. The U.C.C. has been adopted by all states except Louisiana.

Uniform Laws
Annotated Annotated uniform and model acts approved by the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws.

Unilateral contract
An agreement by which one undertakes an express performance without receiving any express promise of performance from the other.

An organization of workers formed for the purpose of collective bargaining.

United States Attorney
A federal district attorney appointed by the President to prosecute for all offenses committed against the United States; to prosecute or defend for the government all civil actions in which it is concerned and perform all duties of the district to which he/she is assigned.

United States Bankruptcy Court
The judicial body which hears matters pertaining to bankruptcy and reorganization.

United States Court of Appeals
Courts which hear appeals from federal district courts, bankruptcy courts, and tax courts.

United States Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces
Court which hears appeals from court marshal decisions.

United States Court of Claims
Court which hears actions against the U.S. Government.

United States Court of Customs & Patent Appeals
Court which hears appeals from all U.S. customs courts.

United States Court of International Trade
Court which hears cases concerning federal tariff laws.

United States District Courts
Courts which try both criminal and civil actions and admiralty cases.

United States Magistrate Judge
Courts given authority by 28 U.S.C. s 636. This court hears all preliminary criminal matters, but does not conduct felony trials, and any pretrial civil matters referred by the district court. If all parties consent, criminal misdemeanor and civil trials can be heard by this court.

United States Marshal’s Service
Agency which serves civil and criminal process in federal courts.

United States Reports
Publication of court decisions of the United States Supreme Court.

United States Supreme Court
The highest court in the land, established by U.S. Constitution.

Unjust enrichment, doctrine of
The principle that one person should not be permitted to unjustly enrich himself at the expense of another, but should be required to make restitution for the property or benefit received.

Unlawful detainer
A detention of real estate without the consent of the owner or other person entitled to its possession.

Unliquidated debt
Remaining not determined; unassessed or unsettled; in dispute as to the proper amount.

Unsecured debts
In bankruptcy, debts such as open accounts at department stores for which the debtor has not pledged collateral to guarantee payment.

Extraction of interest on a loan above the maximum rate permitted by statute.


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