Welcome to Critchfield & Associates

We'll assist you with any legal matter.

Getting you prepared for court, here are some terms to know:

Appeal: This is when you appeal to a higher court to reverse the decision made by a lower court (Ex: Making an appeal to the Court of Appeals on a decision made by a District Court)

Arbitration: A fast, relatively simpler way of solving disputes. It's a lot more flexible and less formal than a court.

Complaint: This is a pleading that starts a case in court. It basically starts everything off by a party claiming legal rights against another.

Defendant: This is the person accused of the crime or the person who's supposed to provide relief in a civil case (lawsuit).

Mediation: A voluntary dispute resolution process. It's different from arbitration in the fact that the mediator facilitates the negotiation process rather than deciding in favor of one party or another.

Plaintiff: This is the person who brings a case against another person or party in a court of law.

Pleadings: This is the first stage of court where formal documents state the parties' basic positions.

Preponderance of Evidence: This is basically where the majority of the evidence favors one of the specific parties and is considered their burden of proof where they will win the case.

Pretrial Conference: A conference held before the trial (obviously) that outlines and discusses the proceedings and the issues being determined.

Summons: This is a paper issued by the court to a specific person indicating a complaint has been filed against him/her.

Verdict: This is the decision of the jury concerning the questions submitted during a trial. The court generally accepts it and is final.