EW at Law

A Simple Guide To Law

Plaintiff

A plaintiff is a person or party filing a lawsuit.

Defendant

An individual or group being sued or charged with a crime.

Complaint

A formal notice that a lawsuit is being brought.

Summons

A notice directing someone to appear in court to answer a complaint or charge.

Pleadings

The complaint and the answer combined in a civil case.

Pretrial Conference

A meeting of the parties to an action and their attorneys held before the court prior to the commencement of actual courtroom proceedings.
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Mediation

Situation in which a third party helps the plaintiff and defendant reach an agreement.

Arbitration

Situation in which a third party listens to the plaintiff and defendant, reviews that case and makes a final decision that is binding for both parties.

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.
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Preponderance of Evidence

A standard of proof that must be met by a plaintiff if he or she is to win a civil action. This preponderance is based on the more convincing evidence and its probable truth or accuracy, and not on the amount of evidence.

Verdict

Decision in a case made by a judge or jury.

Appeal

If the losing party believes something went wrong in the case, they can ask for a review from a higher court.