Karr Law Firm

By Brittany Karr

The vocabulary of the law firm

Knowing these definitions will help you prepare for your case and have you ready for anything. Also, knowing this can help you have a better understanding during the time of your case.

Defendant

The defendant is defined as the person or entity accused of a crime in criminal prosecution or a person or entity against whom some type of civil relief is being sought in a civil case.

Plaintiff

A plaintiff is someone who brings a case against another in a court of law.

Complaint

Any legal document that sets out the facts and legal reasons that the plaintiffs believe are sufficient to support a claim against the parties against whom the claim is brought. Another definition of this word is defined as a formal statement naming the plaintiff and the defendant and it describes the lawsuit.

Summons

This is a legal document issues by the court (a judicial summons) or by an administrative agency of government (an administrative summons) for various purposes.

Pleading

The action of making an emotional appeal to someone.

Pretrial Conference

This is conducted for the parties of a case to meet prior to trial. The conference is held before the trial judge or a magistrate and it may be held prior to trial in both civil and criminal cases.

Mediation

Mediation is defined as an intervention in a dispute in order to resolve it.

Arbitration

The use of an arbitrator to settle a dispute.

Trial

Is a formal examination of evidence before the judge and usually before the jury as well. This is where guilt or innocence is proven and decided.

Preponderance of evidence

Defined as the greater weight of evidence that the trier can use to decide in favor of one side or the other.

Verdict

A decision on a disputed issue in a civil or criminal case or inquest.

Appeal

This is an urgent request, typically to the public for the case to go to a higher court to try and reverse the decision of a lower court on their case.