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Plaintiff: A person or party filing a lawsuit

Defendant: Someone being charged with a crime

Complaint: A formal notice that a lawsuit is being brought

Summons: A notice directing someone to appear in court to answer a complaint

Pleadings: The complaint and the answer combined in a civil case

Pretrial Conference: A conference held before the trial begins

Mediation: Situation in which a third party helps reach an agreement

Arbitration: Situation in which a third party listens to each side, reviews the case, and makes a final decision that is binding for both parties

Trial: A formal examination of evidence before a judge

Prepondenerance of Evidence: The greater weight of the evidence required in a civil lawsuit for the judge to decide in favor of one side or the other.

Verdict: Decision in a case made by a judge or jury

Appeal: If the losing party believes something went wrong in the case, they can ask for a review from a higher case