Emma's Law Firm
What you need to know
A plaintiff is a person who brings a case against another in a court of law. A defendant is a person who is accused of a crime in criminal prosecution or a person against whom some type of civil relief is being sought in a civil case. Another term that you need to understand is complaint. A complaint initiates a civil law suit by setting forth for the court to claim for relief from damages caused by the defendant. A very important part of court is the summons. The summons is the paper that tells the defendant that he or she is being sued and asserts the power for the court to hear the case. The summons is basically the document that officially starts a lawsuit. Pleading is just asking the court to grant relief. The Pretrial Conference is a meeting of the parties to an action and their attorneys held before the court prior to the commencement of actual courtroom proceedings. Mediation is a settlement of a dispute by setting up an independent person between two contending parties in order to aid them in settling their dispute. The next term you need to understand is arbitration. Arbitration is the submission of a dispute to an unbiased third person designated by the parties to the controversy who agree in advance to comply with the award - a decision to be issued after a hearing at which both parties have an opportunity to be heard. A trial is a judicial examination and determination of facts and legal issues arising between parties to a civil or criminal action. The trial is the legal method of resolving disputes in court. Preponderance of evidence is a standard of proof that must be met by a plaintiff if he or she is to win a civil action, this is a very important piece of your case. A verdict is the formal decision of a jury concerning the questions submitted to it during a trial. The last major term that you need to understand is appeal. The appeal is one of the most important steps in the court system. To appeal a decision, is to apply to a higher court for a reversal of the decision of a lower court.