Legal Opinion Law and Legal Definition

Legal opinion in the broad sense refers to a written statement by a court, judicial officer, or legal expert as to the legality or illegality of an action, condition, or intent.

It can be a written document in which an attorney provides his or her understanding of the law as applied to assumed facts. The attorney may be a private attorney or attorney representing the state or other governmental entity. Private attorneys frequently render legal opinions on the ownership of real estate or minerals, insurance coverage, and corporate transactions.

It also refers to a statement of a bond counsel that a municipal bond issue is legal under the laws and restrictions of the issuing jurisdiction, and which indicates whether interest on the bonds is exempt from federal income taxes. A legal opinion is generally necessary to bring an issue to market.

Explanation by a judge or group of judges of a decision rendered by the court is also termed legal opinion.