Court basics you need to know
By: Erin Thomas
Defendant- an individual, company, or institution sued or accused in a court of law.
Complaint- a statement that a situation is unsatisfactory or unacceptable.
Summons- an order to appear before a judge or magistrate, or the writ containing it.
Pleadings- a formal statement of the cause of an action or defense.
Pretrial Conference- A proceeding held before an official trial, to clarify points of law and facts.
Mediation- intervention in a dispute in order to resolve it.
Arbitration- The settling of disputes between two parties by an impartial third party.
Trial- a formal examination of evidence before a judge, and typically before a jury, in order to decide guilt in a case of criminal or civil proceedings.
Preponderance of evidence- the greater weight of the evidence required in a civil lawsuit for the trier of fact to decide in favor of one side or the other.
Verdict- a decision on a disputed issue in a civil or criminal case or an inquest.
Appeal- make a serious or urgent request, typically to the public.