- Compensation recovered in the courts by a person who has suffered loss,
detriment or injury to his/her person, property or rights, through the
unlawful act or negligence of another.
novo - "Anew." A trial de novo is a completely new trial held in a
higher or appellate court as if the original trial had never taken place.
judgment - A judgment that declares the rights of the parties on a
question of law.
- Decision or order of the court. A final decree completes the suit; an
interlocutory decree is a provisional or preliminary decree which is not
- A failure of a party to respond in a timely manner to a pleading; a failure
to appear for trial.
- 1 (criminal) Person charged with a crime. 2. (civil) Person against whom
a civil action is brought.
attorney - The attorney who represents the defendant.
- Sworn testimony taken and recorded in an authorized place outside of
the courtroom, according to the rules of the court.
examination - The questioning of a witness by the party who produced
- A pretrial proceeding where a party to an action may be informed about
(or "discover") the facts known by other parties or witnesses.
with prejudice - Dismissal of a case by a judge which bars the losing
losing party from raising the issue again in another lawsuit.
without prejudice - The losing party is permitted to sue again with
the same cause of action.
- 1. Determination of a charge; termination of any legal action;
2. A sentence of a juvenile offender.
- The disagreement of one or more judges of a court with the decision of
- Book containing entries of all proceedings in a court.
process - Constitutional guarantee that an accused person receive a
fair and impartial trial.
banc "On the bench." All judges of a court sitting together to hear
- To require a person to perform, or abstain or desist from some act.
- Any form of proof legally presented at a trial through witnesses, records,
- A formal objection of an action of the court, during the trial of a case,
in refusing a request or overruling an objection; implying that the party
excepting does not acquiesce in the decision of the court and will seek
to obtain its reversal.
- Paper, document or other object received by the court as evidence during
a trial or hearing.
evidence - Testimony given by those qualified to speak with authority
regarding scientific, technical or professional matters.
- A proceeding where facts relevant to deciding a controversy
Preponderance-- Evidence sufficient to create in the minds of the triers
of fact the belief that the party which bears the burden of proof has established
- A crime of grave nature than a misdemeanor.
- A sum of money imposed upon a convicted person as punishment for a criminal
- 1. The complete court record of a case. 2. "To file" a paper is
to give it to the court clerk for inclusion in the case record. 3. A folder
in a law office (of a case, a client, business records, etc.)
- An intentional perversion of truth; deceitful practice or device resorted
to with intent to deprive another of property or other right or in some
manner do him/her injury.
jurisdiction - Refers to courts that have no limit on the types of
criminal and civil cases they may hear. Superior courts are courts of general
Jury - A body of persons sworn to inquire into crime and, if appropriate,
bring accusations (indictments) against the suspected criminals.
ad litem - A person appointed by a court to manage the interests of
a minor or incompetent person whose property is involved in litigation.
An in-court proceeding before a judge, generally open to the public.
- Evidence based on what the witness has heard someone else say, rather
than what the witness has personally experienced or observed.
Jury - A jury whose members cannot agree on a verdict.
question - A combination of facts and circumstances, assumed or proved,
stated in such a form as to constitute a coherent state of facts upon which
the opinion of an expert can be asked by way of evidence in a trial.
- Freedom from duty or penalty.
of a witness - An attack on the credibility of a witness by the testimony
of other witnesses.
- That which, under the established rules of evidence, cannot be admitted
Writ or order by a court prohibiting a specific action from being carried
out by a person or group.
consent - A person's agreement to allow something to happen (such as
surgery) that is based on a full disclosure of facts needed to make the
- 1. Hurt or harm 2. Violate the legal rights of another person.
- Direction given by a judge regarding the applicable law in a given case.
- Written questions developed by one party's attorney for the opposing
party. Interrogatories must be answered under oath within a specific period
Proceeding in a suit where a third person is allowed, with the court's
permission, to join the suit as a party.
- An elected or appointed public official with authority to hear and decide
cases in a court of law.
Final determination by a court of the rights and claims of the parties
in an action.
pro tem - Temporary judge.
Authority of a court to exercise judicial power.
- The science of law.
- Member of a jury.
- Specific number of people (usually 6 or 12), selected as prescribed by
law to render a decision (verdict) in a trial.