Human resources professionals have to deal with legal issues every now and then. An employee could sue the employer, or a former client could sue the business. Here are the top 10 legal terms that are important to know.


1. Counterclaim


If you are sued, you have the option to counter sue. As the defendant, you can file a counterclaim in civil court.


2. Alternative Dispute Resolution


An alternative dispute resolution is a process of settling a legal dispute outside of the courtroom, usually with a mediator. It's recommended to avoid the stress and publicity of a typical court case.


3. Notary Public


A notary public must screen document signers to verify that they are who they say they are, to determine if they are willingly signing the document or if they are doing it under duress, and that the signer is aware of the contents of the document that they are signing. They then witness the signature, oath, and/or affirmation of the signer.


4. Affidavit


When a lawyer wants to present testimony in court, but the witness cannot appear in person, an affidavit is created. It is a sworn statement that is written by the witness. The statement is signed, usually being witnessed by a notary public.


5. Summons


Although you may never receive one, someone you work with may receive a summons. It's a legal notice that orders a person to appear in court. The purpose may be to serve jury duty or provide witness testimony.


6. Damages


Legal damages are forms of compensation that the plaintiff asks from the defendant. Compensatory damages cover the costs of lost wages, property repairs, and medical bills.


7. Claim


A claim is filed to obtain compensation from an individual or company. This is common among insurance policyholders. Filing a claim is done to cover the high costs of an accident or injury.


8. Default


A default occurs when the defendant does not respond to a claim made by the plaintiff or refuses to appear in court. A default judgment is automatically granted when the defendant fails to appear in court.


9. Perjury


Perjury occurs when a witness, plaintiff or defendant lies under oath. Telling the truth under oath is an important responsibility for anyone who appears in court.


10. Deposition


A deposition is a written, oral, or video testimony that is presented in court. This testimony is taken outside of court for medical or privacy reasons.

You may know about a few legal terms already, such as deposition or insurance claim. When working in the human resources department, an employee or third party could file a lawsuit against the company. Be more prepared for any legal matter that comes up.