Civil Case Walkthrough
The S. Lynch Law Firm
Terminology You need to know in a civil court
-A plaintiff is a person that brings a case against someone into court. You would be the plaintiff if you used our law firm to sue someone for an injury on their property.
-A defendant is the person that is being accused of something in court. If someone hurt their self on you property and sued you, you would be the defendant.
-A complaint is the reason for the plaintiff taking the defendant to court. If you take someone to court because you hurt yourself on their property, you hurting yourself is your complaint.
-A summons is an order for you to appear in court. If someone decides to sue you, you will receive a summons to go to court.
-Pleadings is a word for all court documents about a case. A judge would review the pleadings of your case to make a decision.
-A pretrial conference is a meeting of the two parties, plaintiff and defendant, before trial and is watched over by a judge or magistrate. You would have a pretrial conference before a trial to make sure both sides know what the trial is about i.e. charges.
-Mediation is the use of a third party, always neutral, to help reach an agreement between the two parties. A judge in a court is a mediator.
-Arbitration is the appointment of someone or a group to settle a dispute. Two parties in court will agree to let someone make their decision, an arbitrator.
-A trial is the examination of evidence before a judge and usually a jury. A trial is used so that the judge can get the full story and make a decision based on evidence.
-Preponderance of evidence is the idea that some evidence has greater weight than other pieces of evidence, and usually the judge makes his decision of which side he favors on this. A judge would already be in favor of one side based on the given evidence based on which evidence was more accurate and truthful.
-A verdict is the final decision on a trial. If you won a trial the verdict of the defendant would be fault.
-An appeal is the request for the case to be reviewed by a higher court to see whether it was a fair trial. Whoever loses the case will appeal if they think that a higher court well grant a retrial.