Traci's Law Firm

Legal Vocabulary

Traci's Law Firm Is Here to Help You With Your Legal Vocabulary

You have to go to court for whatever reason, so naturally your stressed out. Then mix in all the legal lingo and your even more stressed out. That is what Traci's Law Firm is here for. Not only will we be able to help you out legally, but we will also teach you all of the legal lingo.

Plaintiff

Let's start out with an easy one.


The plaintiff is the one who has been harmed in some way (physical or financially) and is seeking compensation. They are the one who makes the complaint.

Defendant

The Defendant is the one being accused of committing a crime in a criminal case or the one that is being sued for compensation in a civil case.

Pleadings

Pleadings are a formal statement of the cause of an action or defense.

Complaint

A complaint is what sets a civil lawsuit into motion. The complaint is made by someone who is trying to get compensation for damages that the Defendant made or caused.

Summons

A Summons is a paper that tells the defendant that they are being sued and what they are being sued for. It gives them a time and a court date to appear in court.

Pretrial Conference

A Pretrial Conference is a meeting of the parties to a case conducted prior to trial.

Mediation

Mediation is the attempt to resolve a dispute or case without going to court. Mediation helps both parties reach an agreement.

Arbitration

Arbitration means the use of an arbitrator to settle a dispute. The arbitrator reviews the case, and makes a decision that is binding for both parties.

Preponderance of Evidence

Preponderance of evidence means that there must be more evidence for than against, or that the winning argument is more probable than not.

Trial

A trial is a legal process when two parties in a dispute present evidence and make arguments on the application of the law in front of a judge or jury.

Verdict

The verdict is a decision on an issue in a civil or criminal case.

Appeal

An Appeal is when the defendant claims that the trial was unfair and wants to take it to the Appeals Court for the decision to be potentially reversed.