Law terms Essay

Submitted By kpsarnacki
Words: 473
Pages: 2

Adversarial system: U.S.; Contest between two opposing parties
Inquisitional system: Europe; judge questions witnesses and controls the court process, also gathers evidence.
Trier of fact: (judge of jury) determines truth if opposing parties present their arguments/show weakness
Burden of Proof: evidence; requirement to win a point
Beyond a reasonable doubt: level of proof required to convict person of a crime
Preponderance of evidence: civil suit standard of proof
Motion: (pretrial) a formal request that a court make a ruling or take some other action
Common: discovery of evidence (examine), continuance (more time to prepare), change of venue (location), suppress evidence (most important, unlawful evidence)
Conviction: guilty of crime
Acquittal: free from charge
Aggravating factors: increase seriousness of the offense, more severe punishment
Mitigating factors: lessen seriousness of offense, less severe punishment
I-Bond: personal recognizance bonds, you pay nothing, but Sherriff can collect full bail if you don’t come to court
D-Bond: 10% of bail paid and be “out on bond”
Personal Recognizance: defendant must promise to return and must be considered low risk of failing to show up for trial
Arraignment: court session where a defendant is charged and enters a plea. For misdemeanor this is a defendant’s initial appearance where judge sets bond and charge.
Settlement: mutual agreement between 2 sides in a civil lawsuit
Plea bargain: criminal case, negotiations between the prosecutor, defendant and his attorney. If defendant pleads guilty, prosecutor agrees to charge defendant with less serious crime.

Judgment: decision (petit) civil
Verdict: jury’s decision in a trial case
Supreme Court: Antonin Scalia, Anthony Kennedy, Clarence Thomas, Ruth Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer, John Roberts, Samuel Alito, Sonia Sotomayor, Elena Kagan
Petitions for certiorari: “to be informed of” formal app by party to have a lower court decision reviewed by