The process whereby one person sues another person in a court of law to enforce a right or to seek a remedy such as financial compensation
The provision of legal services in states other than the one for which the attorney is licensed
The time spend on a client's case that can be billed to the client.
posting of billing info. by the law office to a secure electronic host site for instant client access
unbundling legal services
The mutually agreed limitation of legal representation to one district step in a legal matter or process that may have numerous steps.
A detailed procedure manual that is a chronological collection of the guidelines, forms, correspondence, checklists, procedures and pertinent law for all steps in the litigation process.
For attorneys, the rules of conduct that govern the practice of law.
Independent professional judgment based on knowledge of the law and given for the benefit of a particular client.
for the public good or welfare (A legal case in which a lawyer would represent his client free of charge if the client is unable to pay for legal representation)
specific dollar amount that must be claimed in an action to meet jurisdictional minimum of a given court
authority vested in a particular court to hear and decide the issues in any particular case.
the geographical location in which the case arises. a court is restricted to decide a case arising within a certain geographical area
Jurisdiction vested in a court because the court has authority over one or more of the persons in the case.
subject matter jurisdiction
authority of a court to decide a particular kind of case
the power to hear and decide most controversies involving legal rights and duties
The jurisdiction of courts that hear a case first, usually in a trial. These are the courts that determine the facts about a case.
exists when a court's authority to hear cases is restricted to certain types of claims, such as tax claims or bankruptcy petitions
Jurisdiction that exists when a case can be heard only in a particular court or type of court.
The power of federal courts already having jurisdiction over a federal claim to hear a state claim and add parties if the claim is based essentially the same facts as the federal claim
when the federal question or diversity jurisdiction exists and the plaintiff chose to sue in state court, the defendant may compel removal of the action to federal court.
two or more courts or systems have jurisdiction
diversity jurisdiction involving foreign states and their citizens or subjects
A question that pertains to the U.S. Constitution, acts of Congress, or treaties.
diversity of citizenship
A basis for federal court jurisdiction over a lawsuit between (1) citizens of different states (2) a foreign country and citizens of a state of of different states, or (3) citizens of a state and citizens or subjects of a foreign country. The amount in controversy must be more than $75,000 before a federal court can take jurisdiction in such cases,
the residence where where you have your permanent home or principal establishment and to where, whenever you are absent, you intend to return
writ of certiorari
A request from a higher court asking a lower court for the record of a case. In essence, the request signals the higher court's willingness to review the case.
the geographical area in which a court with jurisdiction can hear a case. i.e. the county where the defendant resides and the county where the incident happened.
rules that define legal rights and duties
rules for enforcement of legal rights and duties.
the duty and due care that one person owes to another
Legal cause; exists when the connection between an act and an injury is strong enough to justify imposing liability.
a question phrased in such a way as to suggest the desired answer
a fee that is paid only if the case is successfully resolved by litigation or settlement
statute of limitations
a statute prescribing the time period during which legal action can be taken
due process of law
principle in the fifth amendment stating that the government must follow proper constitutional procedures in trials and in other actions it takes against individuals
formal documents that state issues and set out claims and defenses of parties
first pleading - starts a lawsuit. identifies parties and states the cause of action
party bringing the lawsuit; the one doing the suing
the party being sued for an alleged wrong
real party in interest
the one who has the right to sue by law
standing to sue
the requirement that plaintiffs have a serious interest in a case, which depends on whether they have sustained or are likely to sustain a direct and substantial injury from a party or an action of government
requirement of age, competency, etc. for a party to sue
guardian ad litem
person appointed by court to look after the interests of a child or incompetent during the pendency of a litigation
joinder of parties
more than one plaintiff or more than one defendant may be joined in a single suit 1. if their claims arise from the same transaction or occurrence and 2. if their claims present a common question of law or of fact that will apply to all of them.
joining of parties that have the same claim against a third party
a lawsuit brought by a representative member of a large group of people on behalf of all members of the group
cause of action
statement of the claim upon which relief may be granted in an action
A style of pleading that requires you to identify all the facts necessary to allege a valid cause of action.
a method adopted by the federal rules in which the plaintiff simply informs the defendant of the claim and the general basis for it
Compensatory damages awarded for losses, such as pain and suffering, whose monetary value cannot be documented easily
damages that are incurred but do not necessarily follow from a defendant's injuries. i.e. hospital bills, loss of income
(law) compensation in excess of actual damages (a form of punishment awarded in cases of malicious or willful misconduct)
Court order directing a person to refrain from doing something
A court order requiring a person to do something
equitable remedy in contract law which requires the breaching party to perform according to the specific terms of the contract
service of process
The delivery of the complaint and summons to a defendant.
a notice directing someone to appear in court to answer a complaint or a charge
in forma pauperis
A method whereby a poor person can have his or her case heard in federal court without charge
A state statute that permits a state to obtain personal jurisdiction over nonresident defendants. A defendant must have certain "minimum contacts" with that state for the statute to apply.
in rem action
A lawsuit which is directed against property.
service is accomplished by publishing the notice of summons in the legal announcements section of a newspaper
any type of service of process other than actual, personal service such as through mail, waiver, publication or legal representative
A judgment entered by a court against a defendant who has failed to appear in court to answer or defend against the plaintiff's claim
a request to the court for an order granting relief favorable to the moving party
directive from a judge requiring some act or restraint of an act in a lawsuit
memorandum of law
a document (shorter and less formal than a brief) stating the relevant legal authority and how it should be applied to the issues/facts of a case
a document stating the relevant legal authority and how it should be applied to the issues/facts of a case
a written, sworn statement
the person who signs the affidavit
document that disputes the sufficiency of a complaint or other pleading
bill of particulars
a request for the opponent to make an ambiguous pleading more definite and certain
a formal pleading filed in response to the complaint; identifies issues, contains admit/deny statement and defenses to the claim
denials that state facts suggesting a defense, but in fact are NOT really defenses
claim asserted by the defendant against the plaintiff, often included in or with the answer
a claim by one party against a co-party in an action
third-party practice (impleader)
original defendant files a 3rd-party complaint against a person not yet named in the lawsuit, alleging that the 3rd party is liable for all of the damages won against the original defendant