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Lawsuit Examined

Part 1

Law A body of rules of action or conduct prescribed by controlling authority, and having binding legal force.
Complaint A written statement by the plaintiff that explains the facts of the case and why defendant is being sued. Contains a "cause of action."
Cause of Action A basis/reason for a lawsuit... founded on legal grounds.
Answer What defendants file when named in a lawsuit. A written statement of why the defendant is not liable.
Discovery Process Fact finding through the examination of: physical evidence, statements, documents, etc.
Summary Judgement When the court determines that, after looking at all the evidence in the case, there is no dispute as to the facts. A party may file a motion asking the court to order summary judgment on some or all claims in the case.
Voir Dire Process of eliminating jury members.
Criminal Law (plaintiff, burden of proof, and penalty) Plaintiff: the "people" or the "state" Burden of Proof: "beyond a reasonable doubt" Penalty: deprivation of freedom (jail time)
Chief Justice of Supreme Court John Roberts
Civil Law (plaintiff, burden of proof, and penalty) Plaintiff: an individual that as been wronged Burden of Proof: "A preponderance of the evidence" Penalty: Monetary compensation, or an order to do (or refrain from doing) something in cases seeking injunctive relief.
Types of Law 1. Common Law 2. Statutory Law 3. Constitutional Law
Common Law Based on legal custom and precedent.
Statutory Law Based on legislation.
Constitutional Law Laws embodied in the U.S. constitution.
Fundamental Principle of Common Law Precedent or Stare Decisis
Precedent or Stare Decisis Translated: "stand by the decision." A court decision in an earlier case with facts of legal issues similar to those in a case currently before a court.
Why have precedent or stare decisis? 1. Create order in the legal system by allowing the courts to use case precedents as guidance. 2. Predictability: fewer cases to hear, decreased attorney and court costs.
Marshall of Court calls what to start supreme court case? "Oyez, oyez, oyez"
3 basic judicial systems State Court, Federal Court, Administrative Court
State Court System has jurisdiction over cases involving events or activities that occurred within the state. Parties to a lawsuit: reside within state, or conduct significant business within state.
Jurisdiction The court's ability to hear and decide a case based upon subject matter and location.
Typical State Court System State Supreme Court - State Court of Appeals - District Court
Federal Court System Federal Courts have primary jurisdiction over cases involving: the constitution, federal law, disputes between citizens of different states, disputes greater than $75,000.
U.S. Supreme Court Made up of 9 justices (chief justice and 8 associates), appointed by the President for life. Supreme Courts decisions are binding on all courts.
Appeal A request, usually made after a trial, asking another court to decide whether the trial court proceeding was conducted properly.
Appellant The party who appeals a lower court's decision, usually seeking reversal of that decision.
Appellee The party whom an appeal is taken and who seeks to protect the judgement or order of the lower court.
Brief A written statement submitted by the lawyer for each side in a case that explains the legal and factual arguments why the court should decide the case in favor of that lawyer's client.
Case Law The law laid down in the decisions of the courts; the law in cases that have been decided.
Defendant 1. in a civil suit, the person complained against. 2. in a criminal case, the person accused of the crime.
Deposition a frequently used means of obtaining discovery in civil cases, in which the attorney who requested the deposition questions a party, witness, or any person with information about the case, and the person (the deponent) answers under oath.
Expert Witness a person with specialized training and experience about particular subject matter who testifies in a case to offer an opinion on an issue in the case based on his or her specialized knowledge.
Injunction A judge's order that a party take or refrain from taking certain action. An injunction may be preliminary, until the outcome of a case is determined, or permanent.
In Loco Parentis Latin for "in place of a parent."
Interrogatories Form of discovery consisting of written questions to be answered in writing and under oath. Interrogatories are submitted to a party in the case by the party seeking discovery.
Judgment A final order of the court that resolves the case and states the rights and liabilities of the parties.
Prima Facie Latin for "at first look," or "on its face," referring to a lawsuit or criminal prosecution in which the evidence before trial is sufficient to prove the case unless there is substantial contradictory evidence presented at trial.
Remand The act of an appellate court sending a case back to a lower court for further proceedings.
Respondeat Superior Latin for "let the master answer," a key doctrine in the law of agency, which provides that a principal (employer) is responsible for the actions of his/her/its agent (employee) in the course of "course of employment."
Statute A law passed by legislature.
Statute of Limitations A law setting a fixed time period after which a person cannot sue someone for an alleged injury or a government cannot prosecute someone for a crime.
Writ of Certiorari An order by a court to a lower court requiring that the lower court produce the records of a particular case tried so that the reviewing court can inspect the proceedings and determine whether there have been any irregularities.
Legal Research Lexis Nexis
Created by: kil4261