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LegalEnglish

w o r k s h o p

Meaning of Vocabulary
Vocabulary on Litigation

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Acquit
Pronounce not guilty of criminal charges.

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Adjourn
Close at the end of a session.

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Adverse Judgement Decision against the party that you and your attorney represent.

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Affidavit
Written declaration made under oath.

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Allegation
The statement in a pleading made by a party to a civil action setting forth what he or she expects to prove.

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Appeal of Right
The appeal of a case that an appellate court must hear; it has no discretion on whether to take the appeal.

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Bail
The release of arrested or imprisoned persons when security (cash or property) is given or pledged to ensure their appearance at a specified date and place.

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Bench Conference
Discussion between the judge and the attorneys held at the bench so that the jury can't hear what's being discussed. It usually involves the admissibility of evidence.

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Bias
A partiality that prevents objective consideration of an issue or situation.

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Brief of a Case
A summary of the main components of a single court opinion, including the key facts, the issues , the holdings, the reasonings etc.

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Burden of Proof
The duty of proving a disputed charge with evidence.

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Citations
An order to appear in court to answer a charge.

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Closing Argument
An argument made after the plaintiff and defendant have rested their cases. Closing arguments are made prior to the jury charges.

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Counterclaim
A claim filed in opposition to another claim in a legal action.

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Cross Examination
The interrogation of a witness by the opposing party.

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Defense
An allegation of fact (or legal theory) offered to offset or defeat a claim or demand.

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Deponent
A person who testifies or gives a deposition.

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Direct Examination
The initial questioning of a witness by the party that called the witness.

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Evidence
Anything that could be offered up to prove or disprove an alleged fact.

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Expert Witness
A person who has knowledge not normally possessed by the average person concerning the topic that he is to testify about.

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Holding
Court's answer to a legal issue in a case.

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