ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

The Legal Information Institute can help you find out what is being hidden in that small print for free

Updated on September 13, 2010

The Legal Information Institute can help you find out what is being hidden from you in that contract for free

If you are comparing one company with another or if an attorney who doesn’t have your best interest at heart is snowing you, it would be helpful for you to be able to quickly wade through their sticky morass of legalese.

Compared to the average person, I have a small leg-up because I used to be a court reporter and legal clerk.

Even though I haven’t done any real legal work for many years, I still remember a lot of the legal jargon and can read a contract well enough to uncover many of the little ugly secrets that the banks, insurance companies and other businesses may be trying to hide.

Several times over the years I have refused to sign a contract unless the language is changed, particularly the language that says something like, I will automatically pay for my own prosecution, if something should go wrong. Guess what? I usually don’t have to. I will line it out and initial and date the change.

Most of the time I get my exception to the wording. If not, I take my business somewhere else; and, I have.

Even though a lot of things have changed, it still is good to have some of that knowledge tucked away in some -- sometimes hard-to-reach -- recesses of my brain.

Even though I can grasp a lot of legal information, I would have a hard time trying to explain the difference between a civil criminal liability and a purely civil liability to someone with no legal background.

Take something a simple as a tort for example:

Torts can be civil wrongs even when not recognized by criminal law as grounds for a lawsuit. These wrongs result in an injury or harm constituting the basis for a claim by the injured party.

OJ Simpson would be an example.

For one reason or another, OJ wasn’t found guilty in a criminal proceeding, but he was forced by a tort court to pay for some of the harm that resulted from his actions, that hurt other people.

Cornell University Law School is coming to our rescue with their Legal Information Institute – LII

The Legal Information Institute states on their website:

“We are a not-for-profit group that believes everyone should be able to read and understand the laws that govern them, without cost. We carry out this vision by:

· Publishing law online, for free.

· Creating materials that help people understand law.

· Exploring new technologies that make it easier for people to find the law.”

My advice would be to familiarize your self with the way the site works and to bookmark it in a conspicuous place so that it will be easy to find it when that time comes; and it will.

Legal Information Institute also has a presence on Facebook at:


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • katiem2 profile image


      8 years ago from I'm outta here

      Ewwww very interesting and helpful legal facts, Thanks fopr the free legal information. I feel more confident all ready, bookmarking this and rating it UP! :)

    • DiamondRN profile imageAUTHOR

      Bob Diamond RPh 

      8 years ago from Charlotte, NC USA

      A lot of companies are now asking you to agree to arbitration ahead of time, instead of going to court, if something should go wrong, Pamela.

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 

      8 years ago from Sunny Florida

      This hub is full of good information and I marked the website. I didn't know that remarks about my prosecution were even in legal documents. Thanks, rated up!

    • drpastorcarlotta profile image

      Pastor Dr. Carlotta Boles 

      8 years ago from BREAKOUT MINISTRIES, INC. KC

      IM First!!! This Hub is very, very, informational and I voted useful!!!!! Keep on writing my friend and God Bless YOU!!!!!!!


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)