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Terms in this set (72)
The process of bringing, maintaining, and defending a lawsuit.
What is the prelitigation process?
3) pretrial motions
4) settlement conference
The paperwork that is filed with the court to initiate and respond to a lawsuit.
What are the major pleadings?
The party who files a complaint.
The document a plaintiff files with the court and serves on the defendant to initiate a lawsuit. Contains the names of the parties to the lawsuit, alleges the ultimate facts and laws violated, and contains a "prayer for relief" (a remedy to be awarded by the court). Basis of the lawsuit.
A court order that directs the defendant to appear in court and answer the complaint.
The party who files an answer.
The service of process
The process of serving a summons on a defendant to obtain personal jurisdiction over him or her.
The defendant's written response to a plaintiff's complaint that is filed with the court and served on the plaintiff. Admit or deny the allegations in the complaint.
A judgement that is entered against a defendant if he does not answer a plaintiff's complaint. Establishes defendant's liability. Plaintiff then has only to prove damages.
Defenses that are asserted in a defendant's answer to allegations contained in a plaintiff's complaint .
A document filed by the defendant against the plaintiff to seek damages or some other remedy. Filed if the defendant believes they have been injured by the plaintiff. This is filed with the answer. This act is suing the plaintiff.
A document filed by the original plaintiff to answer the defendant's cross-complaint.
The act of others to join as parties to an existing lawsuit.
The act of a court to combine two or more separate lawsuits into one lawsuit.
A lawsuit where a group of plaintiffs with common claims collectively bring a lawsuit against a defendant. Must be certified meaning that the legal and factual claims of all the parties are common.
Statute of limitiations
A statute that establishes the period during which a plaintiff must bring a lawsuit against a plaintiff (1-4 years)
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. Allows for 1) prevention of surprises, 2) preparation of parties for trial, 3) preservation of evidence, 4) saving court time, 5) and promoting settlement of the cases.
What are the major forms of discovery?
3) production of documents
4) physical or mental examination
Oral testimony given by a party or witness prior to trial. The testimony is given under oath and is transcribed.
Written questions submitted by one party to another party. The questions must be answered in writing within a stipulated time.
Production of documents
A request by one party to another party to produce all documents relevant to the case prior to the trial.
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 part of a lawsuit prior to trial.
Motion for judgement on the pleadings
A motion that 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 judgement
A motion that 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. There would be no trial.
Settlement conference (pretrial hearing)
A hearing before a trial in order to facilitate the settlement of a case. Most cases are settled here instead of going to trial.
A tiral decided by a jury. Both parties can agree to to waive they right to a jury.
Trier of fact
The jury in a jury trial. This is the judge when there is not a jury trial.
Documents submitted by the parties' attorneys to the judge that contain legal support for their side of the case.
What are the stages of a trial?
1) jury selection
2) opening statements
3) the plaintiff's case
4) the defendant's case
5) rebuttal and rejoinder
6) closing arguments
7) jury instructions, deliberation, and verdict
"To speak the truth". The process whereby the judge and attorneys ask prospective jurors questions to determine whether thy would be biased in their decisions.
The act of being sworn in as a juror to hear a case. Occurs after the lawyers and judge have selected a jury.
A process in which jurors are separated from family and others during deliberation.
Statements made by each party's attorney to the jury at the beginning of the trial. Usually a summary of the facts/legal issues at play and why they believe their client's position is valid. No evidence is given.
Burden of proof
A burden a plaintiff bears to persuade the trier of fact of the merits of his or her case.
The case presented by the plaintiff, who bears the burden of proof and therefore proceeds before the defendant in calling and examining witnesses and introducing evidence supporting his or her case.
Examination of the plaintiff's witness by the plaintiff.
Examination of the plaintiff's witness by the defendant and examination of the defendant's witnesses by the plaintiff.
Examination of the plaintiff's witness by the plaintiff after the defendant has examined the plaintiff's witnesses on cross-examination.
The part of the trial that occurs after the plaintiff has put on his case, when the defendant calls and examines witnesses and introduces evidence supporting his or her case. The case must 1) rebut the plaintiff's evidence, 2) prove any affirmative defenses, and 3) prove any allegations contained in the defendants cross-complaint.
A process whereby after the defendant's attorney has finished calling witnesses, the plaintiff's attorney can call additional witnesses and put forth evidence to rebut the defendant's case.
A process whereby a defendant's attorney can call additional witness and introduce other evidence to counter the plaintiff's rebuttal.
Statements made by each party's attorney to the jury at the close of trial. This is after the presentation of evidence. Convincing the jury.
Jury instructions (charges)
Instructions that the judge gives to the jury that inform the jurors of the law to be applied in the case.
A process whereby a jury retires to the jury room to consider the evidence.
A decision reached by a jury.
The official decision of the court.
Judgement notwithstanding the verdit
A judgement issued by a judge that overturns the verdict of the jury if the judge finds bias or misconduct.
An action of a judge that reduces the amount of monetary damages awarded by the jury where the judge finds that the jury was biased, emotional, or inflamed in awarding damages.
A memorandum issued by a trial court that sets forth the reasons for the judgement.
Information about a trial such as the trial transcript, evidence introduced at trial, and the court's written memorandum.
Electronic court (E-court)
A court that either mandates of permits the electronic filing or pleadings, briefs, and other documents related to a lawsuit. Also called a virtual warehouse.
Electronic filing (E-filing)
The electronic filing of pleadings, briefs, and other documents with the court.
The act of asking an appellate court to overturn a decision after the trial court's final judgement has been entered.
Notice of appeal
A document filed by a party within a prescribed time after judgement is entered to appeal the decision of a court. Usually within 60-90 days.
The appealing party in an appeal.
The responding party in an appeal.
Error of law
Error regarding law decisions made by a court during trial. An appellate court will reverse decision of the lower court if this is found to be true.
Finding of fact
A decision regarding the facts of a case made by a jury, or if there is no jury, then by the judge. An appellate court will not reverse this.
Alternative dispute resolution (ADR) (Nonjudicial dispute resolution)
Methods or resolving disputes other than litigation.
What are the forms of ADR?
6) judicial referee
A procedure whereby the parties to a dispute engage in discussions and bargaining to try to reach a voluntary settlement of their dispute. Easiest form of ADR. Before or after lawsuit.
An agreement that is voluntarily entered into by the parties to a dispute that settles the dispute. Submitted to the court and the case is dismissed.
A form of ADR in which 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.
An agreement entered into by parties to a dispute where there is no arbitration agreement to have their dispute arbitrated. This is if there is no arbitration clause.
A form of alternative dispute resolution in which the parties use a mediator to propose a settlement of their dispute. Award or decision is not made by the mediator but they assist the parties in reaching a settlement.
Electronic dispute resolution
The use of online alternative dispute resolution services to resolve a dispute.
The arbitration of a dispute using online arbitration services.
The mediation of a dispute using online mediation services.
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