the process by which a court decides on the constitutionality of legislative enactments and actions of the executive branch
the authority of a court to hear and decide a specific case
long arm statute
a state statute that permits a state to obtain personal jurisdiction over nonresident defendants. A defendant must have certain "minimum contacts: with that state for the statute to apply
a state court of limited jurisdiction that conducts proceedings relating to the settlement of a deceased person's estate
a federal court of limited jurisdiction that handles only bankruptcy proceedings, which are governed by federal bankruptcy law
a question that pertains to the U.S. Constitution, acts of Congress, or treaties; provides a basis for federal jurisdiction
Diversity of Citizenship
a basis for federal district court jurisdiction over a lawsuit between citizens of different states, a foreign country and citizens of a state or of different states or citizens of a state and citizens or subjects of a foreign country.
Jurisdiction that exists when two different courts have the power to hear a case.
jurisdiction that exists when a case dcan be heard only in a particular court or type of court
the list of cases entered on a court's calendar and thus scheduled to be heard by the court
the geographic district in which a legal action is tried and from which the jury is selected
standing to sue
the requirement that an individual must have a sufficient stake in a controversy before he or she can bring a lawsuit. The plaintiff must demonstrate that he or she has been either injured or threatened with injury
a controversy that is not hypothetical or academic but real and substantial; a requirement that must be satisfied before a court will hear a case
small claims court
a special court in which parties may litigate small claims (such as $5000 or less). Attorneys are not required in small claims courts and, in some states, are not allowed to represent the parties.
question of fact
in a lawsuit, an issue that involves only disputed facts, and not what the law is on a given point. Questions of fact are decided by the jury in a jury trial (by the judge if there is no jury).
question of law
in a lawsuit, an issue involving the application or interpretation of a law. Only a judge, not a jury, can rule on questions of law
writ of certiorari
a writ form a higher court asking the lower court for the record of a case
rule of four
a rule of the United States Supreme Court under which the Court will not issue a writ of certiorari unless at least four justices approve of the decision to issue the writ
the process of resolving a dispute through the court system
statements made by the plaintiff and the defendant in a lawsuit that detail the facts, charges, and defenses involved in the litigation.
the pleading made by a plaintiff alleging wrongdoing on the part of the defendant; the document that, when filed with a court, initiates a lawsuit
a document informing a defendant that a legal action has been commenced against him or her and that the defendant must appear in court on a certain date to answer the plaintiff's complaint.
a judgment entered by a court against a defendant who has failed to appear in court to answer or defend against the plaintiff's claim
procedurally, a defendant's response to the plaintiff's complaint
a claim made by a defendant in a civil lawsuit against the plaintiff. In effect, the defendant is suing the plaintiff
procedurally, a plaintiff's response to a defendant's answer
motion to dismiss
a pleading in which a defendant asserts that the plaintiff's claim fails to state a cause of action or that there are other grounds on which a suit should be dismissed
motion for judgment
a motion by either party to a lawsuit at the close of the pleadings requesting the court to decide the issue solely on the pleadings without proceeding to trial
motion for summary judgment
a motion requesting the court to enter a judgment without proceeding to trial.
a phase in the litigation process during which the opposing parties may obtain information from each other and from third parties prior to trial
the testimony of a party to a lawsuit or a witness taken under oath before a trial
a series of written questions for which written answers are prepared by a party to a lawsuit, usually with the assistance of the party's attorney, and then sighed under oath
evidence that consists of computer-generated or electronically recorded information, including e-mail, voice mail, spreadsheets, word-processing documents, and other data
French phrase meaning "to speak the truth" refers to process in which the attorneys question prospective jurors to learn about their backgrounds, attitudes, biases, and other characteristics that may affect their ability to serve as impartial jurors
motion for a directed verdict
in a jury tial, a motion for the judge to take the decision out of the hands of the jury and to direct a verdict for the party who filed the motion on the ground that the other party has not produced sufficient evidence to support her or his claim
in litigation, the amount of monetary compensation awarded to a plaintiff in a civil lawsuit as damages
motion for judgment N.O.V.
a motion requesting the court to grant judgment in favor of the party making the motion on the ground that the jury's verdict against him or her was unreasonable and erroneous
motion for a new trial
a motion asserting that the trial was so fundamentally flawed that t anew trial is necessary to prevent a miscarriage of justice
a formal legal document prepared by a party's attorney and submitted to an appellate court when a case is appealed
alternative dispute resolution (ADR)
the resolution of disputes in ways other than those involved in the traditional judicial process
a process in which parties attempt to settle their dispute informally, with or without, attorneys to represent them
a method of settling disputes, outside of court by using the services of a neutral third party, who acts as a communicating agent between the parties and assists them in negotiating a settlement.
the settling of a dispute by submitting it toa disinterested third party who renders a decision that is legally binding
a clause in a contract that provides that, in the event of a dispute, the parties will submit the dispute to arbitration rather that litigate the dispute in court
summary jury trial (SJT)
a method of settling disputes, used in many federal courts, in which a trial is held, but the jury's verdict is not binding.
online dispute resolution (ODR)
the resolution of disputes with the assistance of organizations that offer dispute-resolution services via the Internet
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