Experienced Trial Attorney  

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Acceptance

The taking and receiving of anything in good faith with the intention of retaining it.

Accomplice

  1. A partner in a crime.
  2. A person who knowingly and voluntarily participates with another in a criminal activity.

Acknowledgment

A formal declaration before an authorized official by the person who executed an instrument that it is his free act and deed; the certificate of the official on such instrument attesting that it was so acknowledged.

Acquittal

A release, absolution, or discharge of an obligation or liability. In criminal law the finding of not guilty.

Action Case

Cause, suit, or controversy disputed or contested before a court of justice.

Additur

An increase by a judge in the amount of damages awarded by a jury.

Adjective law

Also, procedural law. That body of law which governs the process of protecting the rights under substantive law.

Adjudication

Giving or pronouncing a judgment or decree. Also the judgment given.

Administrator

  1. One who administers the estate of a person who dies without a will.
  2. A court official.

Admissible evidence

Evidence that can be legally and properly introduced in a civil or criminal trial.

Admonish

To advise or caution. For example the court may caution or admonish counsel for wrong practices.

Adversary proceeding

One having opposing parties such as a plaintiff and a defendant. Individual lawsuit(s) brought within a bankruptcy proceeding.

Affiant

The person who makes and subscribes an affidavit.

Affidavit

A voluntary, written, or printed declaration of facts, confirmed by oath of the party making it before a person with authority to administer the oath.

Affirmation

A solemn and formal declaration that an affidavit is true. This is substituted for an oath in certain cases.

Affirmative defense

A defense raised in a responsive pleading (answer) relating a new matter as a defense to the complaint; affirmative defenses might include contributory negligence or estopped in civil actions; in criminal cases insanity, duress, or self-defense might be used.

Affirmed

In the practice of appellate courts, the word means that the decision of the trial court is correct.

Agreement

Mutual consent.

Aid and Abet

To actively, knowingly, or intentionally assist another person in the commission or attempted commission of a crime.

Alien

A foreign-born person who has not qualified as a citizen of the country.

Allegation

-A statement of the issues in a written document (a pleading) which a person is prepared to prove in court.

Alteration

Changing or making different.

Alternative dispute resolution

Settling a dispute without a full, formal trial. Methods include mediation, conciliation, arbitration, and settlement, among others.

American Bar Association

A national association of lawyers whose primary purpose is improvement of lawyers and the administration of justice.

Answer

A formal, written statement by the defendant in a lawsuit which answers each allegation contained in the complaint.

Answers to Interrogatories

A formal written statement by a party to a lawsuit which answers each question or interrogatory propounded by the other party. These answers must be acknowledged before a notary public or other person authorized to take acknowledgments.

Appeal

A proceeding brought to a higher court to review a lower court decision.

Appeal Bond

A guaranty by the appealing party insuring that court costs will be paid.

Appearance

The act of coming into court as a party to a suit either in person or through an attorney.

Appellate court

A court having jurisdiction to hear appeals and review a trial court’s procedure.

Appellee

(See respondent) The party against whom an appeal is taken.

Arbitration

The hearing of a dispute by an impartial third person or persons (chosen by the parties), whose award the parties agree to accept.

Arbitrator

A private, disinterested person chosen by the parties in arbitration to hear evidence concerning the dispute and to make an award based on the evidence.

Arraignment

The hearing at which the accused is brought before the court to plead to the criminal charge in the indictment. He may plead “guilty,” “not guilty,” or where permitted “nolo contendere.” (See preliminary hearing.)

Arrest

To take into custody by legal authority.

Assault

Threat to inflict injury with an apparent ability to do so. Also, any intentional display of force that would give the victim reason to fear or expect immediate bodily harm.

Assignment

The transfer to another person of any property, real or personal.

Assumption of risk

A doctrine under which a person may not recover for an injury received when he has voluntarily exposed himself to a known danger.

At issue

The time in a lawsuit when the complaining party has stated their claim and the other side has responded with a denial and the matter is ready to be tried.

Attachment

Taking a person’s property to satisfy a court-ordered debt.

Attorney-at-law

An advocate, counsel, or official agent employed in preparing, managing, and trying cases in the courts.

Attorney-in-fact

A private person (who is not necessarily a lawyer) authorized by another to act in his or her place, either for some particular purpose, as to do a specific act, or for the transaction of business in general, not of legal character. This authority is conferred by an instrument in writing, called a “letter of attorney,” or more commonly “power of attorney.”

Attorney of record

The principal attorney in a lawsuit, who signs all formal documents relating to the suit.