Useful Legal & Law Idioms, Sayings and Phrases

Legal phrases & idioms! Learn common legal and law idioms, sayings and expressions with meaning, ESL picture and example sentences.

Legal & Law Idioms and Phrases

List of 9 Legal phrases and Idioms

  1. (Caught) Bang to Rights
  2. Above The Law
  3. Act Of Congress
  4. All Rights Reserved
  5. Bail Out
  6. Ball and Chain
  7. Letter of the Law
  8. Open-and-Shut Case
  9. Take the Fifth

Legal & Law Idioms, Sayings and Phrases with Meaning and Examples

(Caught) Bang to Rights

  • Meaning: Caught in an unlawful or immoral act without any mitigating circumstances.
  • Example: The criminal was caught bang to rights, but thanks to a sophisticated defense team he served only a light sentence.

Above The Law

  • Meaning: Exempt from the laws that apply to everyone else.
  • Example: Members of the president’s party often act like they’re above they law. They violate regulations, but they are not punished.

Act Of Congress

  • Meaning: Hard to get, said of authorization
  • Example: It shouldn’t take an act of Congress to get the project approved.

All Rights Reserved

  • Meaning: Said of a published work; all reproduction rights are asserted by the copyright holder
  • Example: All rights reserved by the copyright holders of this website!

Bail Out

  • Meaning: To rescue someone from a bad situation, to shield someone from the consequences of his or her actions
  • Example: I bailed you out this time, but next time you’re going to have to take responsibility for your mistakes.

Ball and Chain

  • Meaning: 1. One’s spouse (derogatory but often affectionate); 2. an ongoing burden
  • Example: I’d love to go to the game with you, but let me check with the ol’ ball and chain – she may have plans for later in the afternoon.

Letter of the Law

  • Meaning: The explicit meaning of a law, as opposed to the “”spirit” of the law, the law’s general intention
  • Example: The judge did not think Sheila was in the wrong, but according to the letter of the law he had to punish her.

Open-and-Shut Case

  • Meaning: A situation, especially a legal proceeding, with a clear, certain outcome
  • Example: The criminal tried to argue that his accomplice was responsible, but he was convicted anyway – it was an open-and-shut case.

Take the Fifth

  • Meaning: Refuse to answer because answering might incriminate or cause problems for you .
  • Example: Did you spend last night partying instead of finishing the assignment? My friend said she saw you at the bar. – I’ll take the fifth.

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Last Updated on July 17, 2019

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