Law Firm

Guidance

Plantiff

This is the person that brings the complaint to the court.

Defendant

This is the person who is being accused of or sued.

Complaint

This is the reason that the plaintiff and defendant is in court.

Summons

This is a legal document issued by a court or by an administrative agency of government for various purposes.

Pleadings

This is the beginning stage of a lawsuit in which parties formally submit their claims and defenses.

Pretrial conference

This is a meeting of the parties to a case conducted prior to trial.

Mediation

This is the form of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) in which the parties to a lawsuit meet with a neutral third-party in an effort to settle the case.

Arbitration

This is a legal technique for the resolution of disputes outside the courts, wherein the parties to a dispute refer it to one or more persons by whose decision they agree to be bound.

Trial

This is a coming together of parties to a dispute, to present information in a tribunal, a formal setting with the authority to adjudicate claims or disputes.

Preponderance of Evidence

This is required in a civil case and is contrasted with "beyond a reasonable doubt," which is the more severe test of evidence required to convict in a criminal trial.

Verdict

This is different from a judgment or a judicial decision.

Appeal

This is a legal proceeding by which a case is brought before a higher court for review of the decision of a lower court.