In answering a complaint, a defendant can state he acted in self defense, statute of limitations, etc
The defendant's written response to a plaintiff's complaint that is filed with the court and served on the plaintiff.
The act of asking an appellate court to overturn a decision after the trial court's final judgment has been entered.
A form of ADR in which the parties choose an impartial third party to hear and decide the dispute.
A clause in a contract that requires disputes arising out of the contract to be submitted to arbitration.
Conclusion of presentation of evidence each party's try to convince jury of their side.
A document a plaintiff files with the court and serves on the defendant to initiate a lawsuit.
A form of ADR in which the parties use a third party to help them resolve their dispute. Usually when parties don't want to face each other.
A document filed by the defendant against the plaintiff to seek damages or some other remedy.
After plaintiffs attorney questions, the defendant's attorney can question the witness.
Proceeds after the plaintiff has concluded his case. Must 1 Rebut the plaintiff's evidence 2. prove any affirmative defenses asserted by defendant 3. prove any allegations contained in the defendant's cross-complaint.
Oral testimony given by a party or witness prior to trial. The testimony is given under oath and is transcribed.
A legal process during which each party engages in various activities to discover facts of the case from the other party and witnesses prior to trial.
Error of law
An appellate court will reverse a lower court decision if it finds an error of law in the record.
A neutral third party that investigates a dispute, gather evidence, prepare reports, etc. Not authorized to make a decision or award.
Federal arbitration act FAA
Enacted in 1925. A federal statute that provides for the enforcement of most arbitration agreements.
In a civil case, either party can appeal the trial court's decision once a final judgment is entered. Criminal case only the defendant can appeal.
Finding of fact
An appellate court will not reverse a finding of fact unless such finding is unsupported by the evidence or is contradicted by the evidence.
Written questions submitted by one party to another party. The questions must be answered in writing within a time limit.
After a jury has rendered its verdict, the judge enters a judgment to the successful party based on the verdict.This is the official decision of the court.
Judgment notwithstanding the verdict j.n.o.v.
The court may overturn the verdict if it finds bias or jury misconduct.
If parties agree, court appointed to conduct a private trial and render a judgment. Decisions stand as judgments of the court.
Jury instructions (charges)
Instructions given by the judge to the jury that inform them of the law to be applied in the case.
A form of ADR in which the parties use a mediator to propose a settlement of their dispute.
Voluntary private proceeding, lawyers present to representatives of both sides. Then they can settle.
Motion for judgment on the pleadings
A motion which alleges that if all the facts presented in the pleadings are taken as true, the party making the motion would win the lawsuit when the proper law is applied to these asserted facts.
Motion for summary judgment
A motion which asserts that there are no factual disputes to be decided by the jury and that the judge can apply the proper law to the undisputed facts and decide the case without a jury. These motions are supported by affidavits, documents, and deposition testimony.
Notice of appeal
Must be filed within a prescribed time after judgment is entered(usually 60-90 days)
Physical or mental examination
A court ordered examination of a party to a lawsuit before trial to determine the extent of the alleged injuries.
A motion a party can make to try to dispose of all or party of a lawsuit prior to trial.
Production of documents
A request by one party to another party to produce all documents relevant to the case prior to the trial.
When defendant finishes calling witnesses the plaintiff can call witnesses and put forth evidence to rebut the defendant's case.
Judge may reduce amount of monetary damage awarded by jury if he finds jury to be bias, emotional, or inflamed.
An agreement that is voluntarily entered into by the parties to a dispute that settles it.
Settlement conference (pretrial hearing)
A hearing before a trial in order to facilitate the settlement of a case.
Statute of limitations
A statute that establishes the period during which a plaintiff must bring a lawsuit against a defendant.
Uniform arbitration act
Promotes the arbitration of disputes at the state level. About half states have adopted it.
The process whereby prospective jurors are asked questions by the judge and attorneys to determine whether they would be biased in their decisions.