The Legal Process

By: Aaron Davis

Need to Know Terms

  • Plaintiff-the plaintiff is the person who is suing the other person. The plaintiff is usually seeking legal remedy to a problem they had with the other person.
  • Defendant-The defendant is the person who answers the lawsuit against him.
  • Complaint-A complaint is the legal document that usually contains the facts and legal reasons behind a case.
  • Summons-a judicial summon is sent to the defendant to inform them that they have been sued and need to attend court.
  • Pleadings-the pleading is a document submitted by the court that states what the claims and defenses are in a case
  • Pretrial Conference-a meeting of the defendant and plaintiff and their attorneys held before the court prior to the commencement of the actual courtroom proceedings.
  • Mediation-a alternate way to settle a court case in which mediator gets the plaintiff and defendant to agree on settling terms.
  • Arbitration-a third party listens to the arguments of the defendant and the plaintiff and makes a final decision that is binding for both parties.
  • Trial-a trial is a formal examination by a judge usually in front of a jury to find the guilt of the defendant.
  • Preponderance of evidence-the person making a claim must have evidence against the defendant.
  • Verdict-the verdict is the legal decision that is made in court by a judge or jury.
  • Appeal-if the losing party believes the verdict was wrong they can file an appeal to a higher court to review the case.