CISL San Diego students often take field trips* around SD in order to experience real-life English practice. A common activity is for students to attend a court hearing at the San Diego County Courthouse, which is located just a few streets from CISL in Downtown San Diego.

The Courthouse provides an opportunity to learn many new words, like judge, jury, attorney, and prosecutor. (Don’t know these words? Look them up, or use the app to search for their definitions!) The police and court systems have also given the English language many expressions that we use outside of the court system. How many of these do you know?

*field trips = education-based trips outside of the classroom


Expressions Related to the Law

Beyond a reasonable doubt

  • Without any doubt that something is true; there is no other logical explanation.
    • The DNA evidence proved beyond a reasonable doubt that he committed the crime. 

Cease and desist

  • An order to stop doing something.
    • The company sent a cease and desist letter to the other company who was copying their logo. 

Come clean

  • To admit something; to confess.
    • The boy came clean and told his mom that he broke her vase. 

Crack down on  (something)

  • To focus police energy on something.
    • Since the police cracked down on crime, the area has been much safer.  (something)

Disorderly conduct

  • Acting disruptive.
    • He was given a ticket for disorderly conduct because he was yelling late at night. 

Hung jury

  • A jury that cannot decide (by voting) on a “guilty” or “not guilty” verdict.
    • He was not declared guilty because there was a hung jury

Have you visited the SD Courthouse with your CISL class? Tell us about your experience in the comments!