Legal phrasal verbs

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A-Z Legal Phrasal Verbs

Adapted from Oxford Phrasal Verbs Dictionary for learners of English

Absolve from: declare sb free from sth. 1. Having been absolved by the court from all responsibility in the death of the pedestrian, the man went to the nearest put and got drunk by way of celebration. 2. After a trial lasting for three weeks and ending in the conviction of all the accused, the jurywere absolve from further service for the rest of their lives.

Accuse of: say sb is guilty of sth. 1. Fred’s teacher accused him of cheating in the exam. 2. I’ve been accused of many things in my life, but never of cowardice.

Acquit of: find sb not guilty of sth. 1. After a trial lasting several days the jury acquitted Stephens of the charge of murder. 2. The accused was acquitted ofmanslaughter but found guilty of dangerous driving.

Appeal to/against: ask a higher body to reconsider a judgment. (to) Supreme Court; House of Lords; (against) verdict; sentence. 1. She was sentenced to three years’ imprisonment but intends to appeal against the judgment. 2. The union is now appealing against the sequestration of its assets.

Appear for: represent sb in a court, at an inquiryetc. 1. Mr Peebles appeared for the defense in a case brought by the the Crown against two alleged terrorists. 2. Residents have invited a local solicitor to appear for them in the inquiry into the siting of a new airport near the village.

Arbitrate between: seek an agreement which is acceptable to two contending persons etc. 1. An experienced industrial lawyer has been asked to arbitrate betweenthe contending parties. 2. There is no statutory body whose duty it is to arbitrate between there workers and their employees.

Bail out: free sb until trial by paying a cash guarantee. An anonymous well-wisher bailed the prisoners out.

Be in collusion (with): have made a secret agreement with sb, contrary to law, for some purpose. The solicitor warned his client that he would not obtain adivorce if he was found to be in collusion with his wife.

Be on trial: be being tried in a court of law. Let me remind the accused that he is on trial for his life.

Be out of order: not be allowed by a court of law as a proper statement; not be allowed by the rules of debate laid down for meetings. The judge ruled that the prosecution was out of order in introducing details of the accused’sprivate life.

Be within one’s rights (to do sth): have legal or moral support for sth one wishes to do. You’re perfectly within your rights to demand a choice of schools for the child.

Bring in a verdict: give, return, a verdict on an accused person. The jury brought in a verdict that Christine had died from falling of a cliff, but there was no evidence to show how she had come to fall ofthe cliff.

Bring to trial: try sb in a court of law. 1. I sent the bomb which killed the postman. If brought to trial I should plead insanity. 2. Before we can bring our man to trial, we must catch him in the act.

Bring up: make somebody appear for trial. They were brought up for causing a disturbance and obstructing the police.

Charge (with): allege that sb is guilty of sth. 1. The policecharged him with driving a car while under the influence of alcohol. 2. The offence with which she is charged carries a heavy penalty. = accuse of

Cheat out of: prevent sb from having sth by unfair or illegal means. The children were cheated out of their inheritance by a dishonest lawyer.

Come on: be considered by a court. They have been waiting all morning for their case to come on.Come up: come to be considered by a court; appear in court. The paper announced the cases that were to come up at the assizes the following day.

Condemn to: award to sb the punishment of sth. The two were found guilty of armed robbery, and condemned to four years’ imprisonment.

Convict of: find or declare sb guilty or sth. 1. The woman was convicted of murdering her elderly father, despite...
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