Bang to rights
Caught in an unlawful or immoral act without any mitigating circumstances
- Grandma had Billy bang to rights; she caught him with his fingers on the cake.
Above the law
Exempt from the laws that apply to everyone else
- The judge's ruling was based on the simple commonsense tenet that no man is above the law.
Act of Congress
Hard to get, said of authorization
- Only an act of Congress could rectify the situation
All rights reserved
All reproduction rights are asserted by the copyright holder
- All rights reserved; those responsible for unauthorized reproduction will be prosecuted.
To rescue someone from a bad situation
- They will discuss how to bail the economy out of its slump.
Ball and chain
One’s spouse (derogatory but often affectionate)
- I left my ball and chain at home tonight.
Letter of the law
The explicit meaning of a law, as opposed to the “spirit” of the law
- They had stuck to the letter of the law and in my view they should be ashamed.
A situation, especially a legal proceeding, with a clear, certain outcome
- Our lawyer thinks that we have an open-and-shut case.
Take the Fifth
Refuse to answer because answering might incriminate or cause problems for you
- "So, who do you like best, Jenny or Kim?" "Sorry, I take the Fifth on that."