A legal dispute brought into court for a hearing or trial.
The first pleading in a civil case stating facts and demanding relief.
The legal grounds on which a party to a lawsuit relies to get a verdict against an opponent.
The plaintiff and defendant in the case - also called the "litigants."
After all the evidence of a lawsuit is heard on both sides, the lawyers tell the jury what they think the evidence proves and why they think their side should win. This is an "argument" or "summing up." It is not evidence.
An answer to the complaint, in which the defendant claims to be entitled to damages or other relief from the plaintiff.
All the documents filed by the parties before the trial to establish what issues must be decided by the jury.
The lawyer concludes the evidence to be introduced at that stage of the trial.
Questions which a lawyer asks their own clients or witnesses called.
The document informing the defendant of the crime charged.
The judge's ruling that a lawyer's objection is well taken under the rules for conducting the trial. The judge's ruling, so far as you are concerned, is final and may not be questioned.
If a party to a lawsuit or a witness cannot be in court because of illness or other inability, that person's testimony may be written using a question-and-answer form. This testimony is then read at the trial. Attorneys for both sides are present when a deposition is taken. It may also be used to deny or contradict a witness' testimony or for the purpose of refreshing a witness' recollection.
Before introducing any evidence in the case, a lawyer tells the jury what the case is about and what evidence is expected to be brought in to prove that side of the case. It is not evidence.
A pleading filed with the court before the trial by the defendant in a civil case to answer or deny the plaintiff's claims.
Questions which a lawyer asks the opposing party or witness to test whether the person is telling the truth.
A disputed question of fact which you must decide.
The discussions of the jury which occur after the judge has instructed you to retire to the jury room and consider your verdict.
Articles such as objects, pictures, books, letters and documents which are given to the jury to take to the jury room while deliberating.
After all the evidence is in, and the lawyers have made their arguments, the judge outlines the question to be decided and states the issues you must decide. The judge outlines the rules of law which must guide your deliberations and control your verdict. These are the judge's "charge" or "instructions" to the jury. A judge may, and sometimes must, instruct the jury on some point of law while the trial is in process.
All prospective jurors from which the trial jury is chosen.
The official word-for-word copy of the proceedings, taken in shorthand, stenotype, or audio-transcription by an official court reporter. Often the judge or the lawyers state that something is - or is not - "for the record" or "in the record."