|A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
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Admissible evidence Evidence that is relevant to the case and which the court will allow to be presented.
Admit A possible response of the defendant to the complaint which accepts the facts of the averment are true.
Affirm The appellate court agrees with the outcome of trial and can find no reversible error can be found and the decision of the trial court stands.
Affirmative defense Those legal theories asserted by the defendant which bar the plaintiff’s claim.
Age of Majority The age at which an individual is recognized as an adult, usually 18.
Agent(s) A party who agrees to act on behalf of another.
Alternate jurors Jurors selected to hear the case with the rest of the jury but participate in rendering a decision only where a juror is unable to complete service.
Alternative dispute resolution The use of methods other than the judicial system to resolve legal disputes.
American Arbitration Association A private nonprofit organization providing lists of potential arbitrators for the parties to select from and a set of rules for conducting the private arbitration.
Analytical skills Skill which allows one to follow a step-by-step process to solve a problem.
Annotation monitor Monitor which allows a witness to easily make on-screen annotations with the touch of a finger.
Answer Document by which the defendant responds to the allegations contained in the plaintiff’s complaint.
Appealable error An error made at trial that causes harm or prejudice to a litigant.
Appellant The party who asserts error occurred at trial by filing an appeal for review of the trial proceedings.
Appellate courts Courts which review the record from the trial court to determine if the trial judge made an error in applying the procedural or substantive law.
Appellee The party who must respond to the appeal, usually the verdict winner at trial.
Arbitration The most well- known ADR method which submits a dispute to a third-party for binding or non-binding resolution after a hearing in which each side presents evidence and argument of counsel.
Associates Non-owner lawyers, usually salaried employees of the law firm.
Assumption of risk An affirmative defense which states plaintiff knew the risks involved with a particular activity and voluntarily proceeded with that activity.
Attached A restriction by the trial court that prohibits an attorney from accepting another trial for the same time.
Attorney work product Material prepared for litigation by the attorney.
Attorney-client privilege Rule of evidence that protects the client from the attorney being required to reveal the confidential information.
Authorization for distribution A written statement granting permission to accept a sum of money and distribute it in accordance with a schedule of distribution.
Automatic stay In bankruptcy, a requirement that creditors cease all efforts to collect the debts owed them once a bankruptcy petition has been filed.
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Bates production numbering A Bates production number is a tracking number assigned to each page of each document in the production set.
Best evidence rule Court preference for original writings, recordings or photographs.
Bookmarks Netscape term for saved URL’s.
Burden of proof The level of proof required to establish an entitlement to recovery.
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Caption Includes the identity of the parties, the court, and the court identifying information.
Case in chief The portion of the trial where one side presents all its evidence to the jury through direct and cross examination.
Case law Law created by written decisions issued by the judicial branch; decisions resolve the dispute before the court and serve as precedent or guidance for similar future disputes.
Case management system Software for organizing the parts of a case in a central repository that can be shared by all members of the legal team.
Cases Issues that a client has presented to a legal team to handle and resolve.
Causation The link between the injury suffered by the plaintiff and the action or inaction of the defendant includes causation in fact (actual cause) and proximate cause (legal cause).
Cause of action A wrong that is legally recognized as a basis for compensating one for the harms suffered.
Chain of custody A written record showing the identity of everyone accessing evidence and showing that the evidence was not altered while in possession of the law firm.
Challenge for cause A potential juror may be struck from the jury when his answers to voir dire questions indicate bias.
Citation checking Process by which citation to the record and the law is checked for accuracy.
Civil Cover Sheet A summary page required to be filed in most courts which is utilized by the data entry personnel in the clerk of court’s office; contain basic information on a single sheet including the names and addresses of parties, and trial counsel’s contact information and the types of claims asserted.
Civil Litigation Resolution of legal disputes between parties seeking a remedy for a civil wrong or to enforce a contract.
Claim of privilege The person claiming the privilege—usually the client—has the burden to establish its existence.
Claw back provision A provision contained in the report of counsel’s meet and confer and included in the court’s scheduling order that describes what to do with privileged materials that are disclosed inadvertently through e-discovery. The provision should address return of the materials and waiver of the privilege.
Closing arguments The last opportunity for the attorneys to address the jury, summing up the client’s case and persuading the jury to decide in his client’s favor.
Coding The process of capturing case-relevant information (i.e. author, date authored, date sent, recipient, date opened, etc.) from a document.
Commitment Finishing what one starts out to do or complete.
Common interest privilege To permit a client to share confidential information with the attorney for another who shares a common legal interest.
Communications skills Expressing ideas effectively whether in spoken or written word.
Comparative negligence An affirmative defense which reduces an award to the plaintiff by the percentage his own negligence contributed to his injuries.
Compensatory damages Damages which calculate a monetary value for the actual loss suffered by the plaintiff.
Complaint Initial pleading filed by the plaintiff designed to give notice to the defendant of the claims against them.
Concurrent jurisdiction Cases where the federal and state court both have subject matter and personal jurisdiction.
Confidentiality Ethical obligation to keep client information confidential (not disclose) founded on the belief that clients should be able to tell their attorneys everything about their case so the attorney can give proper legal advice to the client.
Conflict of interest Situations where the interests or loyalties of the lawyer and client may be or may appear to be adverse or divided.
Connectors Instructions in a search query on how to treat the combinations of words in the query.
Consent judgment Document filed with the court to terminate the lawsuit by entering a judgment against the defendant.
Constitution A document that establishes the conception, character, and organization of a government, the fundamental and organic law.
Consumer debt Debts incurred or are related to personal, family, or household purposes.
Content (application) metadata Information about the contents of a document.
Contingency fee agreement Fee agreement where the lawyer receives a percentage of the amount recovered for the plaintiff.
Continuance Request made to the court to change the date scheduled for trial.
Continuing objection An acknowledgment in the record of the trial that the attorney objects to particular testimony or evidence without having to object each time the witness answers a question. The purpose is to permit the testimony to be presented easily without waiving the error of its admission.
Contract An agreement entered by two parties for valid consideration.
Contributory negligence An affirmative defense which states there is no recovery where the plaintiff’s negligence contributed to his injuries.
Cost benefit analysis Process by which a litigant determines the costs of pursuing litigation and compares that to what is likely to be gained.
Counterclaim Claims the defendant has against the plaintiff.
Courts of record Those courts in which the testimony and evidence presented are recorded and preserved.
Credibility Truthfulness and believability of the testimony given.
Creditor One to whom money is owed.
Cross appeal Where the appellee also asserts error occurred at trial and seeks appellate review of the trial proceedings.
Cross appellant The appellee or respondent who files a cross appeal.
Cross claim Claims that one defendant may have against another defendant.
Cross examination Opportunity of defense (opposing) counsel to question a witness after the direct examination of the witness.
Cultural Sensitivity Awareness of and sensitivity to the reasons for differences in the way people behave based on religious and ethnic background and belief system.
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Damages A calculation, usually financial, of harm suffered by the plaintiff.
Database A collection of similar records.
Date certain Date set by the judge for trial to begin; it cannot be changed.
Debtor One who owes another a sum of money.
De-duping The process of comparing electronic records based on their characteristics and removing duplicate records from the data set.
De-duplication The process of comparing electronic records based on their characteristics and removing duplicate records from the data set.
Default Failure to timely file a response, whether to a motion or an answer.
Default judgment Judgment obtained by the plaintiff against the defendant where the defendant has failed to respond in a timely fashion to the complaint.
Defendant The party who is sued in a lawsuit.
Defense Medical Evaluation Medical examination of the plaintiff performed by physician selected by the defendant.
Deficiency The shortfall between the proceeds received at execution and the judgment amount.
Demonstrative evidence A tangible item that depicts, displays, or demonstrates a fact, such as a photograph or map.
Deny A possible response of the defendant to the complaint which asserts the facts of the averment are not true.
Deposition A form of discovery available to ask questions and obtain oral answers under oath from a witness or party to a lawsuit. Questions and answers are recorded stenographically.
Deposition digest A summary of deposition testimony with reference to the location in the transcript and/or the video foot location.
Diagnosis A determination of the source of a medical complaint.
Direct examination Questions addressed to a witness by the attorney who has called that witness to testify on behalf of his client.
Discovery A phase of the litigation process where the plaintiff and defendant share information relevant to the lawsuit.
Diversity of citizenship A lawsuit permitted in the federal court where the plaintiffs are from states different from the defendants and the amount in controversy exceeds $75,000.
Docket entries Written record maintained in the clerk of court’s office listing documents and things filed with the court.
Dockets A judge’s personal list of pending cases.
Document camera A portable evidence presentation system equipped with a high-resolution camera.
Documentary evidence Writings, recordings, and photographs, which include X-ray films, electronic recordings, or any other data compilation.
Documents Word processing files, scanned images, pleadings, correspondence, or Internet Web pages.
Domestice public documents A type of self-authenticating document, these records are on file with any domestic government office and are admissible evidence, if they bear the seal of the office and the signature attesting to the authenticity.
Dual cassette player For audio playback.
Duty of care Duty of individuals to use reasonable care to avoid causing harm.
Dying declaration An hearsay exception for a deathbed statement.
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E-discovery Discovery of documents created, disseminated, and stored via electronic means.
Electronic courtroom Courtroom equipped with electronic equipment for use in trial presentations.
Electronic filing Filing pleading and other court documents by use of electronic means, such as e-mail.
Electronic repository A secure protected file server to which everyone authorized has access over the internet.
Elements (cause of action) The components of a legal claim that must be established by the burden of proof.
En banc review Term used to describe the entire panel of judges sitting and hearing a case, usually on appeal.
Encryption Technology that allows computer users to put a “lock” around information to prevent discovery by others.
Entry of Appearance An attorney for one of the litigants files papers officially identifying himself as representing the client before the court.
Entry of judgment Taking the verdict announced by the jury and converting it to a legally enforceable judgment.
Equitable remedies Used where no amount of monetary damages can make the injured party whole.
Ethical Obligation A minimum standard of conduct usually within one’s profession.
Events Any appointments, tasks, reminders, or things to do that are scheduled for specific dates.
Evidence Testimony, documents, and tangible things that tend to prove or disprove a fact.
Evidentiary error An error made at trial by the judge with regard to the admission or exclusion of evidence.
Evidentiary Phase Phase of the trial where testimony and evidence are presented to the jury or judge.
Excited utterance A hearsay exception where the statement is made by a declarant after a startling event.
Execution Process whereby the assets of the judgment debtor are collected by the sheriff, sold, and the proceeds used to pay the judgment.
Executive branch One of the three co-equal branches of the government represented by the president and administrative agencies.
Exempt property Property of the judgment debtor that is set aside for his personal use and is not available for execution.
Expert Witness A person qualified by education, training or experience to render an opinion based on a set of facts that are outside the scope of knowledge of the factfinder.
Extension of time to respond Request by the defendant to enlarge the time to respond to the complaint beyond that which is permitted under the rules.
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Fact Pleading Pleadings required to include all relevant facts in support of all claims asserted.
Fact witness A witness who testified about facts based upon his observation or has personal knowledge about the matter before the court.
Fact(s) Actual or alleged events and occurrences.
Factual research Investigating the facts of the clients case.
Favorites Internet Explorer term for saved URL’s.
Federal Arbitration Act A federal statute that provides that arbitration agreements in commercial contracts are valid, irrevocable, and enforceable unless some legal or equitable (fraud, duress) grounds exist to invalidate them.
Federal Rules of Civil Procedure The rules and procedures which control all litigation filed in the federal court system.
Federal Rules of Evidence Enacted 1975, rules which apply to proceedings in all federal courts to determine what evidence will be admissible in court.
Filing fees A fee charged by the court system that must be paid at the time of filing the complaint.
Filtering The process used to scan or search the documents for relevant terms in an attempt to narrow the focus, such as a filter to eliminate documents created before or after a certain date.
Final judgment A judgment entered on the docket, which ends the litigation, effectively putting the litigants out of court.
Firewall Programs designed to limit access to authorized users and applications.
Foreign judgment Any judgment entered in a court other than a particular state’s courts.
Freedom of Information Act A law that was enacted to give the public access to most documents in the possession of federal administrative agencies.
Friendly witness A witness who cooperates with the party who has called him to testify.
Full faith and credit clause A provision in the United States Constitution which requires the individual states to honor the judgments entered in other state and federal courts.
Full service on line providers Those providing a broad range of legal materials including cases, statutes, and regulations.
Full text retrieval A search of every word except “stop words.”
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Garnishment The process where a percentage of the judgment debtor’s wages are remitted to pay the judgment.
General damages Damages related to the injury sustained but can not be calculated with any particular formula or accuracy.
General Denial In some jurisdictions, the word “Denied” alone is insufficient and the averment of the complaint is treated as if it were “Admitted.”
General jurisdiction Power of the court to hear all types of matters so long as the dispute does not fall within the limited jurisdiction of a particular court it is subject to the court’s general jurisdiction.
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Hacking Unauthorized parties gaining access to the computer network.
Harmless error An error made at trial that has no impact on the outcome of the case.
Hearsay An out-of-court statement made by someone (declarant) other than the witness testifying and that statement of the declarant is offered for the truth of its contents.
Hearsay exceptions Hearsay statements that are admissible because they are made under circumstance where they are likely to be true.
Hostile witness A witness who does not cooperate with the party who called him to testify. A reluctant witness who demonstrates some hostility to the case presented or toward the party who called him to testify.
Human relations Soft skills; ability to work successfully with others and handle ones self appropriately in the working environment.
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Impeach (credibility) Questions asked of the witness on cross examination to demonstrate to the jury that the witness is not reliable.
Implied attorney-client relationship Relationship which may result when a prospective client divulges confidential information during a consultation with an attorney for the purpose of retaining the attorney, even if actual employment does not result.
In rem jurisdiction Jurisdiction to hear a case because of jurisdiction over the property of the lawsuit.
Inadmissible evidence Evidence which either the rules or the court determine are not admissible at trial.
Independent Medical Evaluation Term formerly used to describe a defense medical evaluation.
Infrared headphones An assisted listening device for the hearing impaired.
Injunction A court order that prohibits a person from doing a certain act.
Inside corporate counsel Lawyer employed by a corporation to provide legal advice and counsel on corporate matters.
Instruction error An error made at trial by the judge with regard to the instructions given to the jury or the recitation of the instruction.
Interlocutory appeal Appeal from an interlocutory order requires certification of issue and permission.
Interlocutory order Ruling, order, or judgment of the court that affects the rights of the litigants but does not end the litigation.
Interpersonal skills The ability to work well with all types of people.
Interpreter box Routes language translations from an interpreter to the witness/defendant’s headphones or the courtroom’s public address system.
Interrogatories A form of discovery in which written questions are addressed to a party to a lawsuit requiring written answers made under oath.
Interrogatories in aid of execution Interrogatories issued by the judgment creditor to locate assets of the judgment debtor.
IT In larger law offices, corporate legal departments, and government offices, the technical support staff or information technology department.
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Joinder Inclusion in the lawsuit of a third party, not presently a party to the lawsuit, who is or maybe responsible for the harm suffered.
Judgment creditor The party who won at trial and is owed money for damages in the amount of the judgment.
Judgment debtor The party who lost at trial, who now has a judgment entered against him, and owes another person money for damages.
Judgment proof debtor A judgment debtor without insurance, cash, assets, or other means of paying a judgment.
Judicial branch One of the three co-equal branches of the government represented by the court system.
Jurisdiction The authority of the court to hear disputes and impose resolution of the dispute upon the litigants.
Jurisdictional facts Allegations demonstrating the court’s jurisdiction over the persons and subject matter required in a complaint.
Jury charge or instructions Instructions given by the judge to the jury that informs them of the law to be applied in the case.
Jury deliberation The process where the jury meets to discuss and resolve the dispute.
Jury investigation The ability to investigate the jury pool.
Jury pool All individuals called to serve for jury duty before trial begins.
Jury Selection Process by which a group of six or more people is chosen to serve on the jury.
Jury verdict The decision reached by the jury that resolves the dispute.
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Laptop port A connection into which a laptop may be plugged.
Large screen monitor A video monitor conveniently located in the courtroom and large enough for all to see the graphics displayed.
Lawyers Law school graduates who have passed the Bar examination and hold a license to practice law having met the minimum qualifications established by the individual jurisdictions or courts for obtaining a license to practice and represent clients.
Lay witness A person who has personal knowledge about the matter before the court.
Leading Questions Questions which suggest the answer usually calling for a “yes” or “no” response.
Legal issue Points of dispute on which law is applicable and /or how the law should be applied.
Legislative branch One of the three co-equal branches of the government represented by the Congress - House of Representatives and Senate.
Liability Defendant’s legal responsibility for the plaintiff’s damages.
Limited jurisdiction Courts authorized to hear certain types of disputes such as divorce or bankruptcy.
Limited service search providers Those specialize in providing limited access to cases and additional items.
Litigation hold A process whereby a company or individual determines an unresolved dispute may result in litigation and as a result, electronically created and stored documents should not be destroyed or altered.
Long arm statutes A method of obtaining personal jurisdiction over a non resident defendant based on a statute that extends a state’s jurisdiction.
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Managing partner The partner responsible for managing the business operations of the firm such as taking care of the facilities, management, human resources supervision and public relations for the firm.
Mandatory counterclaim Claims that arise from the same event which must be included in the answer to the complaint or the defendant loses the right to bring them.
Matters Refer to any item, case, file, or project that you need to track.
Mediation A method of ADR process in which a neutral third party (mediator) helps the participants reach a negotiated settlement of their differences.
Metadata Information about a particular data set which may describe, for example, how, when, and by whom it was received, created, accessed, and/or modified and how it is formatted.
Minimum contacts A method of obtaining personal jurisdiction over a non resident defendant based on the defendant having contacts within a state’s jurisdiction.
Mini-trial A method of ADR where each side presents its case to a panel comprising the parties’ decision-makers with settlement authority.
Minors Those individuals who have not reached the legal age, or age of majority, usually 18 years old.
Mistrial Trial ended without a verdict being determined and requiring a new trial be conducted.
Mock jury trial Process that allows the legal team to create a mock jury with similar socioeconomic factors as those in the jury pool, present its case and the mock jury returns a verdict and critique.
Monetary remedies A form of damages that assigns a financial value to the harm suffered by the plaintiff.
Moral Obligation An obligation based on one’s own conscience.
Motion Formal request to the court seeking some type of relief during the course of the litigation.
Motion for directed verdict Motion made at the conclusion of a party’s case in chief which states the other has failed to meet its burden of proof.
Motion for judgment as a matter of law A post trial motion that asks the judge to overturn the jury verdict because it is unsupported by the evidence or disregarded the law. (Formerly known as a judgment n.o.v. or judgment notwithstanding the verdict.)
Motion for judgment on the pleadings A motion filed at the conclusion of the pleadings phase of the litigation by either the plaintiff or the defendant to end the lawsuit.
Motion for new trial A post trial motion that asks for a new trial because errors were made during the trial that make the verdict unreliable.
Motion for protective order Motion which asks the court to determine whether certain information must be disclosed in discovery.
Motion for sanctions Where an order compelling a party to cooperate is not complied with, the next step is to request the court impose a penalty against the non-compliant party.
Motion for summary judgment Motion by which a party seeks to end the lawsuit prior to trial.
Motion to compel Motion seeking the opposing party’s cooperation and compliance in responding to discovery requests.
Motion to mold verdict A post trial motion that asks the judge to calculate the amount due on the verdict.
Movable item Documents, photographs, recordings, and similar tangible items.
Movant The party who files a motion.
Mutual release Document signed by both plaintiff and defendant agreeing to release each other from any and all claims arising from the transaction or occurrence that gave rise to the dispute.
Narrative Opportunity Question that encourages an answer giving of a full explanation.
Negligence A cause of action, in which plaintiff claims that another person’s failure to act as a reasonable person would have acted under the same or similar circumstances caused injury for which the plaintiff should be awarded and damages.
Neutral fact finding A method of ADR used in cases that involve areas requiring expertise, the neutral fact finder investigates and issues a report about the matter.
Non hearsay Items are not hearsay because the declarant, while presently not testifying, is available to cross-examine about the statement.
Non-dischargeable debt A debt in bankruptcy that must be paid in full.
Non-evidentiary phase Phase of trial that includes early proceedings, such as jury selection, and concluding events, such as jury deliberation. Non-evidentiary phase that includes everything else that occurs at trial. The Non-evidentiary phase has two components: 1. early proceedings, such as jury selection, and 2. concluding events, such as jury deliberation.
Non-movable item Real property or large goods that are not readily movable but remain at the heart of the lawsuit.
Notice and waiver of service Under the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, a procedure where formal service of process is waived and service by regular mail is acceptable.
Notice of Appeal Document filed with the court of appeals indicating a decision of the trial court is being appealed.
Notice of deposition Notice to all interested parties of the date, time, location, and identification of the individual to be deposed; has power over parties only.
Notice of dismissal Document filed with the court to terminate the lawsuit when no answer to the complaint was filed, signed by the plaintiff only.
Notice Pleading Pleadings required to include sufficient facts to put the parties on notice of the claims asserted against them.
Notice to Plead A document containing the same information as a Summons but often issued in dual languages.
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Objectionable In discovery, items that are not discoverable because the information is protected by privilege, the work product doctrine, trade secrets, or similar rule, or the question might be duplicative or materials answering the questions may have been shared through disclosure, or the questions may be vague, overly broad, or burdensome, or unlikely to lead to admissible evidence.
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Objections The method by which a attorney orally advises the court that evidence being presented is not admissible.
Objective coding Also referred to as a bibliographic indexing. This includes the author, type of document, recipient and date.
On-line collaboration Members of the team use the internet to work collaboratively using on-line software that allow each person to see the documents and in some cases each other, and make on screen notes and comments.
Open Ended Questions Questions that usually do not have a “yes” or “no” answer but call for a short narrative response.
Opening statements The first opportunity for the attorneys to address the jury and describe the nature of the lawsuit.
Oral argument The opportunity for the attorneys to present an oral argument to the panel of appellate judges.
Oral deposition Plaintiff, defendant, their lawyers, the witness, and a court stenographer are together in a conference room. The witness, asked questions by one or both the attorneys, responds spontaneously, and the court stenographer records what is said.
Outsourcing Shipping work out of the office or overseas to save money.
Overruled A judge’s ruling on an objection that the evidence challenged is admissible.
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Paperless office Office where documents are created, stored, received, and sent electronically.
Paralegal A person qualified by education, training, or work experience who is employed or retained by a lawyer, law office, corporation, governmental agency, or other entity who performs specifically delegated substantive legal work for which a lawyer is responsible; equivalent term is legal assistant.
Partners Lawyers who have an ownership interest in the law firm.
PDF Portable Document Format.
Perfect the appeal A term of art used to describe compliance with all the rules of procedure for filing an appeal to be valid.
Perjury Deliberately making a false or misleading statement while under oath and is potentially subject to court sanction, including incarceration.
Permissive appeal An appellant must obtain the permission of the court to file an appeal.
Permissive counterclaim Claims against the plaintiff that don’t arise from the same event but in the interests of justice make sense to include with the defendant’s answer.
Personal jurisdiction Requires the court to have authority over the persons as well as the subject matter of the lawsuit.
Petition for writ of certiorari The document associated with the United States Supreme Court requesting the court accept a particular matter for review.
Petitioner The party who asserts error occurred at trial by filing an appeal for review of the trial proceedings.
Physical and mental examination A form of discovery that permits the physical or mental examination of a party by a qualified expert of the opposing party’s choosing where the physical or mental condition of the party is at issue in the lawsuit.
Physical evidence Any tangible, physical evidence, usually an item directly related to the litigation.
Plaintiff The party who files a lawsuit seeking relief for a harm suffered.
Pleadings Documents filed to commence and respond to a lawsuit.
Post judgment interest Interest calculated on unpaid judgments authorized by state statute and added to the amount due the judgment creditor.
Post trial motions Motions made orally asking the judge to overturn the verdict of the jury.
Post trial relief Action taken by one of the litigants to correct errors made at trial, such as an appeal to a higher court.
Prayer for relief Also known as a Wherefore clause, a paragraph which ends each count of the complaint asking the court for the specific relief the plaintiff seeks.
Pre recorded testimony Testimony of a witness which is recorded in advance of trial that may be used at trial in the event the witness is then unavailable to testify.
Precedent Prior case law that is controlling and used to resolve the present dispute.
Preemptory challenge A potential juror maybe struck from the jury without the attorney stating a reason.
Prejudice In evidence, the probative value must outweigh prejudice, such as misleading or confusing the jury, creating an emotional reaction.
Preliminary value The total of special and general damages.
Preponderance of evidence The burden of proof in most civil litigation cases; where the amount of proof that tips the scales of justice ever so slightly in one direction or another.
Present sense impression An hearsay exception where the statement made describes an event, which the declarant was then perceiving.
Presentation graphic Visual aids used to enhance an oral presentation.
Preserving testimony When a witness is unavailable or unable to testify at trial, the deposition testimony can be presented at trial, so long as both parties to the litigation had the opportunity to pose questions to the witness at the time of the deposition.
Preserving the record The obligation of the attorney to raise objection to mistakes made at trial. The objection gives the trial judge notice of an error he may be about to make or may have already made and the opportunity to correct that error at trial.
Pretrial Memorandum A summary of the case prepared as a guide for the trial judge on what the issues are, the areas of agreement of counsel, and how long the trial will take.
Prior inconsistent statement Prior statement given by a witness that is inconsistent with the testimony given at trial.
Private ADR The use of an ADR method without court involvement such as an arbitration clause contained in a contract.
Privilege A rule of evidence that prohibits certain types of communication from being disclosed at trial. The recognized privileged communications include attorney-client, physician-patient, priest-penitent, and spousal. The privilege may also apply to documents via the work-product or trade secrets doctrine.
Privileged Communication Communication that the person has a right to be kept confidential based on the relationship with the other party such as attorney and client.
Probative value Tendency of the evidence to demonstrate a fact important to the resolution of the case.
Procedural issue Issue which arises from the presentation of the trial, such as those involving the application of the Federal Rules of Evidence.
Procedural laws Laws which relate to how the trial is conducted and are usually based upon Rules of Court and Rules of Evidence.
Production of documents or things A form of discovery in which written requests for documents and things to be made available for inspection are sent to the opposing party. A written response made under oath is required.
Professionalism Conducting oneself in accordance with the expectations of his profession.
Prognosis How the medical complaint will resolve, full recovery, persistent problems, or permanent disability.
Punitive damages Damages designed to punish the defendant for behavior that shocks the conscience of the finder of fact.
Purchase money mortgage Debt created to purchase a home.
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Quashed Appeal Dismissal of an appeal for failure to comply with the rules of procedure.
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Range of Motion Ability to move, for example the arm, through a variety of motions.
Real evidence Testimony which is based on real facts, not some imaginary or hypothetical situation.
Rebuttal Phase of the trial gives the plaintiff the chance to address or respond to information contained in the defendant’s case-in-chief.
Record on appeal The documents forwarded by the clerk of the district court to the circuit court of appeals for review. The record on appeal includes the original documents filed with the court, the trial transcript with exhibits received into evidence, and the docket entries.
Recorded recollection A hearsay exception which permits the witness to use a personal contemporaneously made record in order to refresh their recollection about what happened on a particular day.
Recross examination Permits opposing counsel to again challenge the credibility of the witness but only as to matters questioned on redirect examination.
Redaction The removal of confidential information, or at least that which is claimed to be confidential or material prepared for trial under the work product doctrine.
Redirect examination After cross-examination, counsel who originally called the witness on direct examination may ask the witness additional questions.
Rehabilitate During redirect examination the attorney will ask questions to allow the witness to explain their answers on cross examination.
Release Document signed by plaintiff which releases defendant from all possible claims arising out of a certain contract, accident, or other occurrence in exchange for the payment of a sum of money.
Relevant evidence Evidence which tends to prove the existence of facts important to the resolution of a case.
Reliable evidence Evidence which is trustworthy, for example testimony from a witness who observed the accident is reliable.
Relief from the automatic stay A request of a creditor to proceed with his collection efforts outside the jurisdiction of the bankruptcy court.
Remand When the basis of federal jurisdiction is resolved and only state claims remain to be litigated, the federal court must send the matter back to the state trial court. Also, when the appellate court disagrees with the outcome of the trial court but sends the matter back to the trial court for further proceeding in accordance with its opinion, which may include additional proceedings or a new trial to correct the error, in accordance with the appellant court’s decision.
Remote access Access to the law firm’s computer and files from a remote location.
Removal In cases of concurrent jurisdiction, the right of the defendant to have the jurisdiction moved from state to federal court.
Reply Response of a plaintiff (or defendant) against whom a counter (or cross) claim is asserted.
Request for Admission A form of discovery in which written requests are made to the opposing party asking him to admit the truth of certain facts or liability.
Request for production of documents The short hand name for Production of documents and things.
Reserve The amount an insurance carrier sets aside for the case; it must show as a contingent or potential liability on the corporate financial statements.
Resouce (system) metadata The data such as file names, size, and location.
Resourcefulness The ability to meet and handle a situation and find solutions to problems.
Respondent The party who must respond to the appeal, usually the verdict winner at trial.
Rest The party has concluded the presentation of its case in chief.
Restatement of The Law Third, Torts: Product Liability A legal treatise with suggested rules of laws relating to torts.
Reverse The appellate court disagrees with the outcome of the trial and finds reversible error was made and judgment should be overturned and entered in favor of the appellant.
Right to appeal The right of a litigant to have the decision of the trial court reviewed by an appellate court.
Rule 12 Motion to dismiss Certain defenses, namely those that can bring the litigation to a swift conclusion, can be asserted by a motion to dismiss the complaint.
Rules of Civil Procedure A set of rules and procedures in each court which must be followed in all litigation.
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Sanctions Imposed to punish wrongful behavior of litigants and their counsel; can include a monetary fine paid into court, dismissal of a claim, or payment of the reasonable attorney’s fees.
Satisfaction piece A document filed with the clerk of court to mark the judgment paid on the docket.
Schedule of distribution A schedule of distribution listing the proceeds from the sale, the related expenses and the distribution to the creditor and any excess collected returned to the debtor. Also, a written statement which lists a sum of money received and all the distributions that are permitted to be made from the amount received.
Scheduling order Order from the appellate court setting forth the time for filing briefs and oral argument.
Screening Interview Limited first contact with a prospective new client.
Search engines Services for searching the world wide web using words or phrases.
Search queries Specific words used in a computerized search.
Seated Term used to describe a juror who has been selected to serve on the jury.
Self-authenticating Because of the nature of the document or the circumstances under which it is created or stored an original is not required.
Service of process Delivery of the complaint and summons to the defendant as required under the rules of civil procedure.
Settlement brochure A formal statement of the plaintiff’s case presented in brochure form to support the plaintiff’s position in settlement negotiations.
Settlement demand Specific amount plaintiff may demand to settle the case, often the starting point of settlement negotiations.
Settlement negotiations The process whereby the attorneys for the parties calculate, communicate, posture and settle the lawsuit through negotiations.
Settlement offers Specific amount defendant may offer to settle the case.
Settlements Ending the lawsuit by agreement, usually with the exchange of money.
Shepardizing The process of using Shepard’s to update research.
Sidebar conference Conference between the attorneys and the judge at the judge’s bench in hushed voices with the jury in the courtroom.
Smoking gun A document on which the case hinges that may be introduced into evidence.
Soft skills The ability to work successful with others and handle ones self appropriately in the working environment.
Special damages Damages that can be calculated with some level of accuracy.
Specialty application program Specialty programs combine many of the basic functions found in software suites, word processing, database management, spreadsheets and graphic presentations to perform law office case, and litigation management.
Specific performance A remedy that orders the breaching party to perform the acts promised in the contract. Specific performance usually is awarded in cases where the subject matter is unique, such as in contracts involving land, heirlooms, and paintings.
Spoliation of Evidence Destruction of records which may be relevant to ongoing or anticipated litigation, government investigation or audit. Courts differ in their interpretation of the level of intent required before sanctions may be warranted.
Standing The right to bring a lawsuit only where the plaintiff has a stake or interest in the outcome of the case.
Stare decisis Legal principle that prior case law should apply unless there is a substantial change in society necessitating a change in the law.
Statement against interest A hearsay exception that recognizes human nature dictates that persons do not make statements that are harmful to themselves or against their own best interests.
Statute of frauds A state statute that requires certain types of contracts to be in writing.
Statute of Limitations The time frame within which an action must be commenced or the party will lose their right to use the courts to seek redress.
Statutes Enactments by the legislative branch that include provisions to define and regulate the conduct of its citizens, may also regulate the operation of a business or profession.
Stayed Holding off for a particular period of time, as in collection of a judgment is stayed until appeals are dispensed with.
Stipulate to facts Facts presented by both sides to the trier of fact, jury or judge acting as trier of fact, as not contested.
Stipulation Document filed with the court to terminate the lawsuit signed by all parties to the lawsuit.
Stop words Words used too commonly to be used in a search, such as legal and contract.
Strict liability A tort doctrine that makes manufacturers, distributors, wholesalers, retailers, and others in the chain of distribution of a product liable for the damages caused by a defect irrespective of fault.
Subject matter jurisdiction The authority of a court to hear and decide a particular type of dispute.
Subjective coding Identifies keywords within the document or other criteria not related to bibliographic information.
Subpoena A court order compelling a witness to attend and testify, must accompany a Notice of deposition served on a non-party witness.
Subpoena duces tacem A court order compelling a witness to attend, testify and bring with him documents which must accompany a Notice of deposition served on a nonparty witness.
Substantive issue Issue which arises from which law is applicable or how the law is applied to the dispute.
Substantive law Law which relates to the law of the case, such as the law of negligence or contract.
Summons A document which advises the defendant he has been sued, the time within which he must respond, and alerts him that a failure to respond may result in a loss of rights.
Supervising lawyer The member of the legal team to whom all others on the team report and who has the ultimate responsibility for the actions of the legal team.
Support staff Members of the law office providing support functions to the legal team, these include law librarians, legal secretaries, receptionists, information technologists, bookkeepers and mailroom personnel.
Sur rebuttal Phase of trial that allows defense to respond to the evidence presented by the plaintiff during rebuttal.
Sustained A judge’s ruling on an objection that the evidence challenged is not admissible.
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Tangible evidence Physical objects. Physical items that may be presented at trial for the jury to consider.
Testimony evidence Evidence is given by witnesses, who usually appear live in the courtroom to testify.
Third party complaint Follows the same format as the complaint that initiated the lawsuit.
Third party defendant Third party against whom a complaint is prepared, filed, and served along with a summons.
Third party document Documents prepared by a third party in the ordinary course of business that would have been prepared in similar form if there was no litigation.
Third party plaintiff Defendant who intends to file a complaint against a third party.
Third party practice The process and procedure for including or joining a previously undisclosed party to the lawsuit.
TIFF Tagged Image File Format, one of the most widely used formats for storing images. TIFF graphics can be black and white, gray-scaled, or color.
Timekeeping The recording of all time spent performing activities during the work day.
Timeline Chronological listings of the facts of a case.
Torts Civil wrongs, which are not breaches of contract, for which the court can fashion a remedy.
Treatment A course of medical services designed to heal, correct, alleviate or resolve a medical complaint.
Trial brief Document presented to the court setting forth a legal argument to persuade the court to rule in a particular way on a procedural or substantive legal issue.
Trial graphics Visual aids used to enhance a trial presentation.
Trial notebook A summary of the case, usually contained in a tabbed three-ring binder with sections such as pleadings, motions, law, pretrial memo, and witnesses.
Trial presentation program Computer program which organizes and controls documents, depositions, photographs, and other data as exhibits for trial, and displays them as evidence when needed.
Trial Transcript The portion of the trial proceedings which are transcribed for the purposes of the appeal; not necessarily the entire trial.
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Uniform Arbitration Act A uniform act adopted by more than half of the states, similar to the Federal Arbitration Act it describes procedures that must be followed for arbitration to be initiated, how the panel of arbitrators is to be selected, and the procedures for conducting arbitration hearings.
Uniform Enforcement of Foreign Judgments Act A statute that provides a uniform procedure for the enforcement and collection of judgments from other jurisdictions.
Usual stipulations Agreements between the attorneys about how the deposition will be conducted; will vary by jurisdiction.
VCR For video and audio playback.
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Venue When more than one court has subject matter and personal jurisdiction the process of determining which court is to file a lawsuit.
Verdict slip A written document that asks the jury to answer specific questions about its decision.
Verdict unsupported by evidence An error made at trial where the verdict of the jury is not supported by the evidence or the verdict disregards the law as presented in the jury instructions.
Verification Statement attached to the end of a pleading, signed by the client and stating the information contained therein is true.
Videotape deposition A type of oral deposition where testimony is recorded stenographically and videotaped for presentation at trial.
Viruses Programs that attack and destroy computer programs, internal computer operating systems, and occasionally even the hard disk drives of computers.
Visual presentation cart Media center located in the courtroom.
Voir dire Process whereby prospective jurors are asked questions by the judge and attorneys to determine if they would be biased in their decision.
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Wherefore clause Also known as a Prayer for Relief, a paragraph which ends each count of the complaint asking the court for the specific relief the plaintiff seeks.
Withdraw a claim Process by which a party to the lawsuit voluntarily withdraws or terminates one or more of his claims.
Work product doctrine A limited protection for material prepared by the attorney, or those working for the attorney, in anticipation of litigation or for trial.
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