Marie Law Firm

Civil Law

  • A plaintiff is a person or party that fills a lawsuit.
  • The defendant is the person being sued or charged with a crime by the plaintiff.
  • A complaint is a formal notice that a lawsuit is being brought.
  • A summons is a notice directing someone to appear in court to answer a complaint or a charge.
  • The pleading is the complaint and the answer combined in a civil case.
  • A pretrial conference is a meeting of the parties to a case conducted prior to trail.
  • Mediation is the situation in which a third party helps the plaintiff and the defendant reach an agreement.
  • Arbitration is the situation in which a third party listens to the plaintiff and the defendant, reviews that case and makes a final decision that is binding for both parties.
  • A trial is a formal examination of evidence before a judge, and typically before a jury.
  • The preponderance of evidence is a standard proof that must be met by a plaintiff if he or she is to win a civil action.
  • The verdict is the decision made in a case by a judge or jury.
  • The Appeal is if the losing party believes something went wrong in the case, they can ask for a review from a higher court.