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Business Law & the Legal Environment (Chapter 3)

Litigation
The process of filing claims in court and ultimately going to trial.
Alternative Dispute Resolution
Any other formal or informal process used to settle disputes without resorting to a trial.
Trial Courts
Determine that facts of a particular dispute and apply to those facts the law given by earlier appellate court decisions.
Jurisdiction
A court’s power to hear a case.
Personal Jurisdiction
The legal authority to require the defendant to stand trial, pay judgments, and the like.
Summons
Served on the defendant. It is the court’s written notice that a lawsuit has been filed against the defendant.
Long-Arm Statute
Law which gives a local state court jurisdiction over an out-of-state company or individual whose actions caused damage locally or to a local resident. The long-arm statute allows him/her to get local court jurisdiction over the defendant.
Appeal Courts
Have the right to review decisions of trial courts.
Appellant
The party filing the appeal.
Appellee
The party opposing the appeal.
Briefs
Written arguments on the case.
Reversed
Nullified.
Affirmed
Permitted to stand.
Federal Question
A case in which the claim is based on the United States Constitution, a federal statute, or a federal treaty.
Diversity Jurisdiction
(1) The plaintiff and defendant are citizens of different states and (2) the amount in dispute exceeds $75,000.
Writ of Certiorari
A petition asking the Supreme Court to hear a case.
Pleadings
The documents that begin a lawsuit, consisting of the complaint, the answer, ans sometimes a reply.
Complaint
A short, plain statement of the facts alleged and the legal claims made.
Default Judgment
A decision that the plaintiff wins without a trial because the defendant failed to answer in time.
Counter-claim
A second lawsuit by the defendant against the plaintiff.
Reply
An answer to a counter-claim.
Class Action
One plaintiff represents the entire group of plaintiffs, including those who are unaware of the lawsuit, or even unaware they were harmed.
Motion
A formal request to the court to take some step or issue an order.
Discovery
The pre-trial opportunity for both parties to learn the strengths and weaknesses of the opponent’s case.
Deponent
The person being questioned.
Motion for a Protective Order
A required that the court limit discovery.
Summary Judgment
A ruling by the court that no trial is necessary because some essential facts are not in dispute.
Voir Dire
The process of selecting a jury.
Challenges for Cause
A claim that a juror has demonstrated probable bias.
Peremptory Challenges
The right to excuse a juror for virtually any reason.
Preponderance of the Evidence
The plaintiff’s burden in a civil lawsuit.
Beyond a Reasonable Doubt
The government’s burden in a criminal prosecution.
Direct Examination
When a lawyer asks questions or her own witness.
Cross- examine
To ask questions of an opposing witness.
Directed Verdict
A ruling that the plaintiff has entirely failed to prove some aspect of her case.
Judgment: Non Obstante Veredicto
A judgment notwithstanding the jury’s verdict.
Precedent
Earlier decisions by the state appellate courts on similar issues.
Affirm
To allow the decision to stand.
Modify
To affirm the outcome but with changes.
Reverse and Remand
To nullify the lower decision and return the case for reconsideration or retrial.
Reverse
To turn the loser into the winner.
Harmless Error
A mistake by the trial judge that was too minor to affect the outcome.
Burden of Proof
Preponderance of the evidence, meaning its version of the facts must be at least slightly more persuasive that the defendant’s.
Verdict
The jury’s decision in a case.
ADR
Is any formal or informal process to settle disputes without a trial.(Mediation, arbitration,…)
Mediation
Mediator assist the parties to negotiate.
Arbitration
The process by which the parties to a dispute submit their differences to the judgment of an impartial person or group appointed by mutual consent or statutory provision.

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