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BL1.2B Trials (More)

BusLaw1 Trials (Additional Terms)

TermDefinition
adjudicatory hearing Hearing with the purpose of making a judicial ruling. It is sometimes used in juvenile criminal cases as another term for a trial. At such a hearing, the judge determines whether the facts as stated in the petition or warrant are true.
affidavit a written statement confirmed by oath or affirmation, for use as evidence in court.
arrest warrant A written order issued by authority of the state and commanding the seizure of the person named.
bailiff Minor officer of a court serving primarily as a messenger or usher.
civil case Case involving private disputes between persons or organizations.
closing arguments Happens after evidence is presented. The concluding statement of both sides of a case reiterating the important arguments of a court case.
criminal case A court proceeding in which a person who is charged with having committed or omitted an act against the community or state is brought to trial and either found not guilty or guilty and sentenced.
damages Payment recovered in court by a person who has suffered an injury
defendant A person who is accused of a crime
defense attorney A lawyer specializing in the defense of individuals and companies charged with criminal activity.
discovery A pre-trial procedure in a lawsuit in which each party obtains evidence from the other party. Includes request for answers to interrogatories, request for documents, request for admissions and depositions. Can also include non-party subpoenas.
dispositional hearing The sentencing stage of the juvenile proceedings. The purpose is to provide a program of treatment, training, and rehabilitation. It is a hearing held to determine the most appropriate form of custody or treatment for a juvenile
docket A list of legal causes to be tried; the caseload of a court or judge
documentary evidence Any evidence introduced at a trial in the form of documents. Although this term is most widely understood to mean writings on paper (such as an invoice, a contract or a will), the term actually includes any media by which information can be preserved.
evidence Every type of proof legally presented at trial which is intended to convince the judge and/or jury of alleged facts material to the case. Includes oral testimony, documentary evidence, and circumstantial evidence (but does not include hearsay or rumors)
expert witness A person who is permitted to testify at a trial because of special knowledge or proficiency in a particular field that is relevant to the case. Is paid for their time.
fine A sum of money, which is ordered to be paid for the punishment of an offence.
grand jury A panel of citizens that is convened by a court to decide whether it is appropriate for the government indict (proceed with a prosecution against) someone suspected of a crime.
hung jury A trial jury who are unable to reach consensus on a verdict. The judge will declare a mistrial. A new trial from scratch, with a new jury panel, is required. The subsequent trial is not a violation of the constitutional prohibition of Double Jeopardy.
interrogation The questioning of a suspect or witness by law enforcement authorities
lay witness also known simply as a “witness,” is any person who gives testimony in a case, but who is not an expert. This person may be the plaintiff, the defendant, or someone who saw the incident.
litigation An action brought in court to enforce a particular right. The act or process of bringing a lawsuit in and of itself.
mistrial A trial that is rendered invalid through an error in the proceedings. The judge decides that some mistake has been made and the trial must begin again from the start, with a new jury.
opening statements The first occasion that the trier of fact (jury or judge) has to hear from a lawyer in a trial, aside possibly from questioning during voir dire.
petit jury An old-fashioned name for the jury that hears a lawsuit or criminal prosecution in order to return an indictment or not. Derived from the French term meaning "small."
physical evidence any material object that plays some role in the matter that gave rise to the litigation, introduced in a trial, intended to prove a fact in issue based on the object's demonstrable physical characteristics.
plaintiff The party that accuses a person of a crime
pleadings The first stage of a lawsuit in which parties formally submit their claims and defenses. Plaintiff submits a complaint; defendant submits an answer.
probation A punishment given out as part of a sentence which means that instead of jailing a person convicted of a crime, a judge will order that the person reports to an individual regularly and according to a set schedule.
prosecutor The government attorney who presents the case in court against the person accused. AKA: Prosecuting attorney
remedy A legal means of enforcing a right or correcting a wrong
sentence the punishment given to a person convicted of a crime
statutes of limitations The law that specifies the time within which a contract may be legally enforced; Establishes a time limit for suing in a civil case, based on the date when the breach occurred or was discovered
subpoena A formal document that orders a named individual to appear before a duly authorized body at a fixed time to give testimony.
summons A call by an authority to appear, come, or do something; An order or process directing a person, especially a defendant in a case, to appear in court; An order or process directing a person to report to court as a potential juror.
warrant An order (writ) of a court which directs a law enforcement officer to arrest and bring a person before the judge
Created by: C.Westcott