is a legal
governing a particular kind of activity. A rule or body of
rules of conduct
and essential to or
. The branch of philosophy
concerned with the law and the
to make the
they do. The learned
by graduate study in a law school and that is
for the judicial system
. A generalization that describes
recurring facts or events in nature
are supposed to be a collection of
that the Compliance
of laws is
like policemen and the
. But not all laws are just
and not all Laws are Followed
equally by everyone. So
we have of work to do. We can no longer
shared responsibilities to just a few people
, especially when people of
authority can be easily corrupted
"Everyone is Equal in the Eyes of the Law"
"Everyone is Innocent until Proven Guilty"
are inherent by
universally cognizable through human reason. Historically, natural law
refers to the use of reason to analyze both
human nature to deduce
binding rules of Moral Behavior
The law of nature
, being determined by nature, is universal.
Justice Under Law
is based upon
jurisprudence, and has historical antecedents
dating back to ancient Greece. The Fourteenth Amendment is a guarantee to
equal protection of the law.
Equal Justice Under Law
is an organization dedicated to achieving equality in our
by challenging wealth-based discrimination. We believe everyone should be
treated equally, regardless of
. Unfortunately, our society
currently operates two systems of justice
: one for the
for everyone else. Justice
is a certain entitlement to immunity
granted by the state or
to a restricted group, either by birth or on a
conditional basis. "Pay-to-Stay City Jails
Article 1 Section 8
: To make all Laws which shall be necessary and
proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers, and all other
Powers vested by this Constitution
in the Government of the United States, or in any Department or Officer
thereof.Every Law can be Debated
but it doesn't mean you will have the chance to
Presumption of Innocence
states the burden of Proof
is on the one who
declares, not on one who denies.
states that the burden of proving the defendant's
, and they must establish that
fact beyond a reasonable doubt
. In civil cases, the
has the burden of proving his case by a preponderance of the
Rules of Engagement Habeas Corpus
before the Law
is the principle under which all people are subject to
the same laws of justice (due
). Everyone must be treated equally under the law regardless of
their race, gender, national origin, color, ethnicity, religion,
disability, or other characteristics, without privilege,
Legal Advice HelpLegal
- Courtroom Terminology
refers as concepts of legal legitimacy actions, whereby those principles
and rules for governing human beings' conduct which are most universal in
their acceptability, their applicability, translation, and philosophical
basis, are therefore considered to be most legitimate.
is the science, study, and theory of law. It includes principles
behind law that make the law. Scholars of jurisprudence, also known as
jurists or legal theorists (including legal philosophers and social
theorists of law), hope to obtain a deeper understanding of the nature of
law, of legal reasoning, legal systems, and of legal institutions. Reasoning
Every Law Not Based on WISDOM is a Menace to the State
Conflict of Laws
concerns relations across different legal
jurisdictions between persons, and sometimes also companies, corporations
, which is a legal construct through which the law allows
a group of natural persons to act as if they were a single person for
certain purposes. The most common purposes are lawsuits
property ownership, and contracts
known as private international law
is the invalidation of a U.S. state law that
conflicts with federal law.
denotes the "mere semblance of legal right", the "pretense or
appearance of" right; hence, an action done under color of law colors
(adjusts) the law to the circumstance, yet said apparently legal action
contravenes the law. Under color of authority is a legal phrase used in
the US indicating that a person is claiming or implying the acts he or she
is committing are related to and legitimized by his or her role
agent of governmental power, especially if the acts are unlawful.
common form of argument and is an informal
based on giving the
impression of refuting an opponent's argument, while actually refuting an
argument that was not advanced by that opponent.
is a fact assumed or created by courts which is then
used in order to apply a legal rule. Typically, a legal fiction allows the
court to ignore a fact that would prevent it from exercising its
, by simply assuming that the fact
implies that strict adherence to the letter of the law
has prevented the spirit of the law from being enforced. Any portion of
the law that interferes with the outcome desired by the user of the term.
is a traditional
style of legal writing that is part of this specialized discourse of
lawyers, used to confuse people who don't understand the words correctly, so that they can be
easily manipulated. Legal
refers to the type of English used in legal writing
differs from ordinary language in vocabulary, morphology, syntax, and
semantics, as well as other linguistic features.
is skewed and could easily
is a type of language that is used in a particular context and may not be
well understood outside of it.
Alan Siegel: Simplify Legal Jargon
interactive text)Legal Abuse
refers to the actual claims and defenses whose validity is tested through
the procedures of procedural law, is different from procedural law.
comprises the rules by which a court hears and determines what happens in
civil, lawsuit, criminal or administrative proceedings. The rules are
designed to ensure a fair and consistent application of due process (in
the U.S.) or fundamental justice (in other common law countries) to all
cases that come before a court.
and Legal Rights
are two types of rights. Legal rights are those
bestowed onto a person by a given legal system (i.e., rights that can be
modified, repealed, and restrained by human laws).
are those that are not
dependent on the laws or customs of any particular culture or government,
and therefore universal and inalienable (i.e., rights that cannot be
repealed or restrained by human laws).
is a person (in legal meaning. i.e., one who has its
own legal personality) that is an individual
being, as opposed to a
legal person, which may be a private (i.e., business entity or
non-governmental organization) or public (i.e., government) organization.
Possession is Nine-Tenths of the Law
means to be capable of holding legal rights and
obligations within a certain legal system, such as entering into
, suing, and being Sued
personality is a prerequisite to legal capacity, the ability of any legal
person to amend (enter into, transfer, etc.) rights and obligations. In
international law, consequently, legal personality is a prerequisite for
an international organization to be able to sign international treaties in
its own name. Personhood
is conforming to, permitted by, or
recognized by law or rules. Allowed or permitted by law; not contrary to
When something's legal, or the rules allow it, you can call it
is when a person who acts
in a legal manner or with legal authority. A person whose status is
protected by law.
of natural and juridical persons, and legal persons in
general, determines whether they may make binding amendments to their
rights, duties and obligations, such as getting married or merging,
entering into contracts
, making gifts, or writing a
Civil Law (common law)
is relating to
and quasi-contracts is part of the civil law. The law of
property is embraced by civil law. Civil law can, like criminal law, be
which is the set of laws that governs how members of a
society are to behave, and
which comprises the rules by which a court
determines what happens in civil lawsuit, criminal or administrative
proceedings. The rules are designed to ensure a fair and consistent
application of due process (in the U.S.) or fundamental justice (in other
common law countries) to all cases that come before a court.
is that part of a civil law legal system which is part of the jus commune
that involves relationships between individuals, such as the law of
contracts or torts, which is a civil wrong that unfairly causes someone
else to suffer loss or harm
resulting in legal liability for the person who commits the tortious act,
called a tortfeasor.
are human-made laws that oblige or specify an
action. It also describes the establishment of
for an individual or group. Etymologically, the name
derives from the verb to posit.
breach the peace
2: Cause no-one else any harm;
3: Cause no-one
else any loss;
4: Not use mischief in your promises and
involves the violation of a Right
is the body of law that sets out the rules and
standards that courts follow when adjudicating civil lawsuits (as opposed
to procedures in criminal law matters).These rules govern how a lawsuit or
case may be commenced, what kind of service of process (if any) is
required, the types of pleadings or statements of case, motions or
applications, and orders allowed in civil cases, the timing and manner of
depositions and discovery or disclosure, the conduct of trials, the
process for judgment, various available remedies, and how the courts
and clerks must function.
regulates social conduct and proscribes whatever is
, or otherwise endangering to the property, health,
safety, and moral welfare of people.
or Justice System
is the system of practices and institutions of governments directed at
upholding social control, deterring and mitigating
, or sanctioning those who
violate laws with criminal penalties
and rehabilitation efforts
. Those accused of crime have some protections
against abuse of investigatory and prosecution powers
is written law set down by a body of legislature or by a
singular legislator (in the case of an absolute monarchy). This is as
opposed to oral or customary law; or regulatory law promulgated by the
executive or common law of the judiciary. Statutes may originate with
national, state legislatures or local municipalities.
in law is the established pattern of behavior that can be
objectively verified within a particular social
is characterized by case law developed by judges, courts, and
similar tribunals, when giving decisions in individual cases that have
precedential effect on future cases.
is a principle or rule established in a previous legal case
that is either binding on or persuasive for a court or other tribunal when
deciding subsequent cases with similar issues or facts.
usually means law put into effect by formal declaration
by an executive branch agency under a delegation from a legislature.
is the management of complex systems according
to a set of rules and trends.
is a public authority or government agency
responsible for exercising autonomous authority over some
human activity in a regulatory or supervisory capacity. An independent
regulatory agency is a regulatory agency that is independent from other
branches or arms of the government.
means conforming to a rule, such as a specification, policy, standard or
law. Regulatory compliance
describes the goal that organizations aspire to
achieve in their efforts to ensure that they are aware of and take steps
to comply with relevant laws and regulations.
is when regulatory agencies or governments may issue waivers to exempt
companies from certain regulations, or to protect then from crimes they
Primary and Secondary Legislation
are two forms of law, created
respectively by the legislative and executive branches of government.
is a formal written enactment of a legislative authority that
governs a state, city or country. Typically, statutes command or prohibit
something, or declare policy. Statutes are rules made by legislative
bodies and distinguished from common law, which is decided by courts, and
regulations issued by government agencies. Statute law is written by a
government's legislative body and signed into law by its executive.
is an instrument that records a fact or something that has
been said, done, or agreed. Acts generally take the form of legal
instruments of writing that have probative value and
are usually accepted as self-authenticating demonstrative evidence in
court proceedings, though with the precarious status of notaries public
and their acts under common law, this is not always so. Common types of
acts are legislative, judicial, and notarial acts.
Act of Congress
is a statute enacted by the United States Congress. It can either be a
Public Law, relating to the general public, or a Private Law, relating to
specific institutions or individuals.
Administrative Procedure Act
is a statute that governs the way in which administrative agencies of the
federal government of the United States may propose and establish
is the body of law that governs the activities of
administrative agencies of
involves the suspension of ordinary law.
responsibility of governance. Instead of police officers, you would see
soldiers. The rights of citizens are usually limited during martial law.
It is usually imposed temporarily when the government or civilian
authorities fail to function effectively (e.g., maintain order and
security, or provide essential services).
is an absolute ruler unrestrained by law or constitution, or one who has
usurped legitimate sovereignty.
is a term denoting a government that exercises
power arbitrarily through the power of the police force. Sometimes
characterized by the overbearing presence of the civil authorities
is a rule of law usually issued by a head of state (such as the president
of a republic or a monarch), according to certain procedures (usually
established in a constitution). It has the force of law.
is a statement issued by a president on a
matter of public policy. They are generally defined as, "The act of
causing some state matters to be published or made generally known. A
written or printed document in which are contained such matters, issued by
proper authority; as the president's proclamation, the governor's, the
mayor's proclamation."In the United States, the President's proclamation
does not have the force of law, unless authorized by Congress.
have the full force of law when they take authority
from a legislative power which grants its power directly to the Executive
by the Constitution, or are made pursuant to Acts of Congress that
explicitly delegate to the President some degree of discretionary power
(delegated legislation). Corruption
is a type of legislation that
complete system of laws or a particular area of law as it existed at the
time the code was enacted, by a process of codification. Though the
process and motivations for codification are similar in different common
law and civil law systems, their usage is different.
is the process of collecting and restating the law
of a jurisdiction
in certain areas, usually by
subject, forming a legal code or code of law, i.e. a
of law. Codification is
the defining feature of civil law jurisdictions.
law which has been promulgated (or "enacted") by a
governing body or the process of making it. Before an item of legislation
becomes law it may be known as a bill, and may be broadly referred to as
"legislation", while it remains under consideration to distinguish it from
other business. Legislation can have many purposes: to regulate, to
authorize, to outlaw, to provide (funds), to sanction, to grant, to
declare or to restrict. It may be contrasted with a non-legislative act
which is adopted by an executive or administrative body under the
authority of a legislative act or for implementing a legislative act.
person who writes and passes laws, especially someone who is a member of a
are usually politicians
and are often elected
by the people of
Nat. Conference of
is proposed legislation under consideration by a
Bill does not
become a Law
until it is passed by the
legislature and, in most cases, approved by the executive. Once a bill has
been enacted into law, it is called an Act or a statute.
3,000 bills a year are introduced and only 300 pass
(we need to hire
more people, and
what does pass mean?) Another sad fact that
many bills are attacked
in our government.
is a legislative measure that requires approval by
the Senate and the House and is presented to the president for his
approval or disapproval. Generally, there is no legal difference between a
joint resolution and a bill. Both must be passed, in exactly the same
form, by both chambers of Congress, and then must — with one exception —
be presented to the President and signed by him/her (or, re-passed in
override of a presidential veto; or, remain unsigned for ten days while
Congress is in session) to become a law. Only joint resolutions may be
used to propose amendments to the United States Constitution and these do
not require the approval of the President. Laws enacted by virtue of a
joint resolution are not distinguished from laws enacted by a bill, except
that they are designated as resolutions as opposed to acts (see for
example War Powers Resolution).
Law of the United States
comprises many levels of codified and
uncodified forms of law, of which the most important is the United States
Constitution, the foundation of the federal government of the United
States. The Constitution sets out
the boundaries of federal law
, which consists of acts of Congress,
treaties ratified by the Senate, regulations promulgated by the executive
branch, and case law originating from the federal judiciary. The United
States Code is the official compilation and codification of general and
permanent federal statutory law.
Advice and Consent
in enacting formulae of bills and in other legal or
constitutional contexts. It may describe two situations, either where a
weak executive branch of a government enacts something previously approved
of by the legislative branch or where the legislative branch concurs and
approves something previously enacted by a strong executive branch.
List of Enacting Clauses
is a short phrase that introduces the main
provisions of a law enacted by a legislature. It usually declares the
source from which the law claims to derive its authority. In many
countries, an enacting formula is not considered necessary and is simply
Coming into Force
refers to the process by which legislation,
regulations, treaties and other legal instruments come to have legal
force and effect. The term is closely related to the date of this
is the removal
or reversal of a law. There are two basic types of repeal, a repeal with
re-enactment (or replacement) of the repealed law, or a repeal without
is a delay or suspension of an activity or a law. In a legal context, it
may refer to the temporary suspension of a law to allow a legal challenge
to be carried out.
is used to modify another motion. An amendment could
itself be amended.Amend
is to improve,
, change or correct a law or regulation.
is a statement that is added to or revises or improves a
proposal or document.
refers to the modification of the
constitution of a nation or state.
List of Amendments to the United States Constitution
is the official way to confirm something, usually by
vote. It is the formal validation of a proposed law. The approval from the
legislative branch required to validate government agreements. is a
principal's approval of an act of its agent where the agent lacked
authority to legally bind the principal.
Ratification defines the international act whereby a state
its consent to be bound to a treaty if the parties intended to show their
consent by such an act.
Congressional Review Act
is an expedited legislative process to
overrule a regulation. Once a rule is thus repealed, the CRA
prohibits the reissuing of the rule in substantially the same form or the
issuing of a new rule that is substantially the same, "unless the reissued
or new rule is specifically authorized by a law enacted after the date of
the joint resolution disapproving the original rule" (5 U.S. Code §
801(b)(2)). Congress has a window of time lasting 60 legislative days
(i.e., days that the U.S.
Congress is actually in session, rather than
calendar days) to disapprove of any given rule; otherwise the rule will go
into effect at the end of this period. It allows lawmakers to overturn any
regulation imposed during the final six months of the previous
administration, with a simple majority vote in each chamber of Congress.
is to Cancel Officially.
Annulled is to Declare Invalid. Overturned, Reversed or Overruled is to
makes a previous legal judgment legally void. A
vacated judgment is usually the result of the judgment of an appellate
court, which overturns, reverses, or sets aside the judgment of a lower
court. An appellate court may also vacate its own decisions. A trial court
may have the power under certain circumstances, usually involving fraud or
lack of jurisdiction over the parties to a case, to vacate its own
judgments. A vacated judgment may free the parties to civil litigation to
re-litigate the issues subject to the vacated judgment.
is a deliberate system of principles to guide decisions and achieve
rational outcomes. A policy is a statement of intent, and is implemented
as a procedure or protocol. Policy differs from rules or law. While law
can compel or prohibit behaviors (e.g. a law requiring the payment of
taxes on income), policy merely guides actions toward those that are most
likely to achieve a desired outcome. policy is a course or principle of
action adopted or proposed by a government, party, business, or
is the principled guide to action taken by the
administrative executive branches of the state with regard to a class of
issues, in a manner consistent with law and institutional
. Not a Law, only by
is the combination of policy analysis and program
evaluation. It "involves systematically studying the nature, causes, and
effects of alternative public policies, with particular emphasis on
determining the policies that will achieve given goals." Policy Studies
also examines the conflicts and conflict resolution that arise from the
making of policies in civil society, the private sector, or more commonly,
in the public sector (e.g. government).
Forces and Committees
are setup to bring expertise to the
policymaking process, so why not always bring expertise to the
considers specified matters and reports back to the full
committee. Subcommittees are formed by most committees to share specific
tasks within the jurisdiction of the full committee. Subcommittees are
responsible to, and work within the guidelines established by, their
parent committees. In particular, standing committees usually create
subcommittees with legislative jurisdiction to consider and report bills.
They may assign their subcommittees such specific tasks as the initial
consideration of measures and oversight of laws and programs in the
subcommittees’ areas. Service on subcommittees enables members to develop
expertise in specialized fields. Subcommittees diffuse the legislative
process. For the most part, they are independent, autonomous units with
written jurisdictions, and, pursuant to longstanding practice, most bills
are referred by a full committee to them.
is the education of individuals who intend
to become legal professionals in Business law, Human resource and Labour
laws, Property laws, Family laws, Human Rights
& Legal awareness, Taxation
law and many more.
Sociology of Law
studies disciplines of law and
is a rule or law established by an organization or community to regulate
itself, as allowed or provided for by some higher authority. The higher
authority, generally a legislature or some other government body,
establishes the degree of control that the by-laws may exercise. By-laws
may be established by entities such as a business corporation, a
neighborhood association, or depending on the jurisdiction, a
is a law usually found in a code of laws for a
political division smaller than a state or nation, i.e., a local
government such as a municipality, county, parish, prefecture, etc.
Code of Ordinances
is an authoritative
is an area of commercial law dealing with a set of
, quasi-contractual and non-contractual fiduciary relationships
that involve a person, called the agent, that is authorized to act on
behalf of another (called the principal) to create legal relations with a
third party. Succinctly, it may be referred to as the equal relationship
between a principal and an agent whereby the principal, expressly or
implicitly, authorizes the agent to work under his or her control and on
his or her behalf. The agent is, thus, required to negotiate on behalf of
the principal or bring him or her and third parties into contractual
relationship. This branch of law separates and regulates the relationships
between: Agents and principals (internal relationship), known as the
principal-agent relationship; Agents and the third parties with whom they
deal on their principals' behalf (external relationship); and principals
and the third parties when the agents deal.
also known as business law or corporate law, is the
body of law that applies to the rights, relations, and conduct of persons
and businesses engaged in commerce, merchandising, trade, and sales. It is
often considered to be a branch of civil law and deals with issues of both
private law and public law. Commercial law includes within its compass
such titles as principal and agent; carriage by land and sea; merchant
shipping; guarantee; marine, fire, life, and accident insurance; bills of
exchange and partnership. It can also be understood to regulate corporate
, hiring practices, and the manufacture and sales of consumer
goods. Many countries have adopted civil codes that contain comprehensive
statements of their commercial law.
Outline of Commercial Law
Principal (commercial law)
is a person, legal or natural, who
authorizes an agent to act to create one or more legal relationships with
a third party. This branch of law is called agency and relies on the
common law proposition. Preemption
is the judicial principle asserting the supremacy of federal law over
state law on the same subject. Only Justifiable
Laws of course
. When state law and federal law conflict, federal
law displaces, or preempts, state law, due to the Supremacy Clause of the
Constitution. U.S. Const. art. VI., § 2. Preemption applies regardless of
whether the conflicting laws come from legislatures, courts,
administrative agencies, or constitutions. For example, the Voting Rights
Act, an act of Congress, preempts state constitutions, and FDA regulations
may preempt state court judgments in cases involving prescription drugs.
of the United States Constitution (Article VI, Clause 2) establishes that
the Constitution, federal laws made pursuant to it, and treaties made
under its authority, constitute the supreme law of the land. Congress has
preempted state regulation in many areas. In some cases, such as medical
devices, Congress preempted all state regulation. In others, such as
labels on prescription drugs, Congress allowed federal regulatory agencies
to set national minimum standards, but did not preempt state regulations
imposing more stringent standards than those imposed by federal
regulators. Where rules or regulations do not clearly state whether or not
preemption should apply, the Supreme Court tries to follow lawmakers’
intent, and prefers interpretations that avoid preempting state laws.
is the rule of law that if the federal government through
Congress has enacted legislation on a subject matter it shall be
controlling over state laws and/or preclude the state from enacting laws
on the same subject if Congress has specifically stated it has "occupied
the field." A doctrine based on the Supremacy Clause of the U.S.
Constitution that holds that certain matters are of such a national, as
opposed to local, character that federal laws preempt or take precedence
over state laws. As such, a state may not pass a law inconsistent with the
federal law. A doctrine of state law that holds that a state law displaces
a local law or regulation that is in the same field and is in conflict or
inconsistent with the state law. Article VI, Section 2, of the U.S.
Constitution provides that the "… Constitution, and the Laws of the United
States … shall be the supreme Law of the Land." This Supremacy Clause has
come to mean that the national government, in exercising any of the powers
enumerated in the Constitution, must prevail over any conflicting or
inconsistent state exercise of power. The federal preemption doctrine is a
judicial response to the conflict between federal and state legislation.
When it is clearly established that a federal law preempts a state law,
the state law must be declared invalid. A state law may be struck down
even when it does not explicitly conflict with federal law, if a court
finds that Congress has legitimately occupied the field with federal
legislation. Questions in this area require careful Balancing of important
state and federal interests. Problems arise when Congress fails to make
its purpose explicit, which is often the case. The court must then draw
inferences based on the presumed objectives of federal law and the
supposed impact of related State Action. The federal right to regulate
interstate commerce under the Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution has
resulted in federal preemption of state labor laws. Likewise, the Supreme
Court, in Burbank v. Lockheed Air Terminal, 411 U.S. 624, 93 S. Ct. 1854,
36 L. Ed. 2d 547 (1973), declared that state and local laws that interfere
with comprehensive federal environmental laws and regulations are invalid.
In California v. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 495 U.S. 490, 110
S. Ct. 2024, 109 L. Ed. 2d 474 (1990), the Supreme Court held that state
regulations imposing minimum flow rates on rivers used to generate
hydroelectric power were preempted by the Federal Power Act (16 U.S.C.A. §
791 et seq. ). In Mississippi Power and Light Company v.
Mississippi ex rel. Moore, 487 U.S. 354, 108 S. Ct. 2428, 101 L. Ed. 2d
322 (1988), the Court held that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's
regulations preempted a state's authority to set electric power rates.
At the state level, preemption occurs when a state statute conflicts with
a local ordinance on the same subject matter. Preemption within the states
varies with individual state constitutions, provisions for the powers of
political subdivisions, and the decisions of state courts. For example, if
a state legislature enacts Gun Control legislation and the intent of the
legislation is to occupy the field of gun control, then a municipality is
preempted from enacting its own gun control ordinance. The issue of
preemption has dominated litigation over the right of states to require
insurance companies and Health Maintenance Organizations (HMOs) to accept
"any willing [healthcare] provider" rather than to force consumers to stay
within the health providers' exclusive networks. HMOs and insurance
companies have argued that the 1974 federal Employee Retirement Income
Security Act (ERISA) preempted these state laws. ERISA is an extremely
complex and technical set of provisions that seek to protect employee
benefit programs, which include Pension plans and healthcare plans.
Healthcare providers have pointed to the comprehensive nature of ERISA
as demonstrating the intent of Congress to maintain a uniform national
system. Therefore, they argued, state laws must be preempted to affect
this purpose. The Supreme Court rejected the ERISA preemption argument in
two cases involving Health Insurance. In Moran v. Rush Prudential HMO,
Inc., 536 U.S. 355, 122 S. Ct. 2151, 153 L. Ed. 2d 375 (2002), the Supreme
Court in a 5–4 decision upheld an Illinois law that required HMOs to
provide independent review of disputes between the primary care physician
and the HMO. In Kentucky Association of Health Plans, Inc. v. Miller, 538
U.S. 329, 123 S. Ct. 1471, 155 L. Ed. 2d 468 (2003), the Court tackled the
"any willing provider rule." In a unanimous decision the Court held that
Kentucky laws were not preempted by ERISA. The Court concluded that the
laws did not deal with employee benefit plans as defined by ERISA but
instead were insurance regulations. This was an important distinction
because state insurance regulations are not preempted by ERISA.
is the set of rules generally regarded and accepted as binding in
relations between states and between nations. It serves as a framework for
the practice of stable and organized international relations.
International law differs from state-based legal systems in that it is
primarily applicable to countries rather than to private citizens.
Customary International Law
are those aspects of international law
that study the principle of custom.
Distinguish International Law from Municipal Law
(International Case Law Database)
International Court of Justice
is the primary judicial
branch of the United Nations (UN). Seated in the Peace Palace in The
Hague, Netherlands, the court settles legal disputes submitted to it by
states and provides advisory opinions on legal questions submitted to it
by duly authorized international branches, agencies, and the UN General
International Court of Justice
International Criminal Court
Criminal Court (ICC)
rights, laws, policies, research.
Incorporation of International Law
Legal Systems National List
is a distinct body of law that governs
maritime questions and offenses. It is a body of both domestic law
governing maritime activities, and private
governing the relationships between private entities
that operate vessels on the oceans. It deals with matters including marine
commerce, marine navigation, marine salvaging, shipping, sailors, and the
transportation of passengers and goods by sea. Admiralty law also covers
many commercial activities, although land based or occurring wholly on
land, that are maritime in character.
United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea
defines the rights and
responsibilities of nations with respect to their use of the world's
oceans, establishing guidelines for businesses, the environment, and the
management of marine natural resources.
Mandate (international law)
is a binding obligation issued from an
inter-governmental organization (e.g. the United Nations) to a country
which is bound to follow the instructions of the organization.
is a document giving an official
instruction or command.
is the national, domestic, or internal law of a
sovereign state defined in opposition to international law. Municipal law
includes many levels of law: not only national law but also law at the
state, provincial, territorial, regional or local levels. While the state
may regard these as distinct categories of law, international law is
largely uninterested in this distinction and treats them all as
one. Similarly, international law makes no distinction
between the ordinary law of the state and its constitutional law.
Harmonisation of Law
is the process of creating common
standards across the internal market.
principal's approval of an act of its agent where the agent lacked
authority to legally bind the principal. Ratification defines the
international act whereby a state indicates its consent to be bound to a
treaty if the parties intended to show their consent by such an act. In
the case of bilateral treaties, ratification is usually accomplished by
exchanging the requisite instruments, while in the case of multilateral
treaties the usual procedure is for the depositary to collect the
ratifications of all states, keeping all parties informed of the
situation. The institution of ratification grants states the necessary
time-frame to seek the required approval for the treaty on the domestic
level and to enact the necessary legislation to give domestic effect to
that treaty. The term applies to private contract law, international
treaties, and constitutions in federations such as the United States and
Canada. The term is also used in parliamentary procedure in deliberative
is a legal doctrine by which the sovereign or state cannot
commit a legal wrong
and is immune from civil suit or criminal
prosecution. It is a principle of international law which exempts a
sovereign state from the jurisdiction of foreign national courts.
Sovereign immunity is based on the concept of sovereignty in the sense
that a sovereign may not be subjected without its approval to the
jurisdiction of another sovereign. As Lord Atkin observed, The courts of a
country will not impede a foreign sovereign, that is, they will not by
their process make him against his will a party to legal proceedings
whether the proceedings involve process against his person or seek to
recover from him specific property or damages. The law of sovereign
immunity connotes that a state, unless it chooses to waive its immunity,
is immune to the jurisdiction of foreign courts and the enforcement of
court orders. It also precludes the assertion of jurisdiction by the
national courts of a foreign country over a sovereign or state, without
the latter’s consent. There are two forms of sovereign immunity: immunity
from suit (also known as immunity from jurisdiction or adjudication).
Immunity from enforcement. Immunity from suit means a state is immune from
the jurisdiction of another state in its courts. Immunity from enforcement
means that even if a state successfully brings another state to court and
wins in the case, the judgment cannot be enforced. However, sovereign
immunity of a state entity may be waived. A state entity may waive its
immunity by: Prior written agreement. Instituting proceedings without
claiming immunity. Submitting to jurisdiction as a defendant in a suit.
Intervening in or taking any steps in any suit (other than for the purpose
of claiming immunity).In constitutional monarchies the sovereign is the
historical origin of the authority which creates the courts. Thus the
courts had no power to compel the sovereign to be bound by the courts, as
they were created by the sovereign for the protection of his or her
subjects. This principle is commonly expressed by the popular
rex non potest peccare, meaning "the king can do no wrong", oh
yes he can. Sue the Government
Immunity From Prosecution
is a legal status wherein an individual or
entity can not be held liable for a violation of the law to facilitate
societal aims that outweigh the value of imposing liability in such cases.
Such legal immunity may be from criminal prosecution or from civil
liability (being subject of lawsuit) or both. The most notable forms of
legal immunity are diplomatic immunity, judicial immunity, and witness
immunity. One author has described legal immunity as "the obverse of a
is a means for a State to take
diplomatic and other action against another State on behalf of its
national whose rights and interests have been injured by the other State.
Diplomatic protection, which has been confirmed in different cases of the
Permanent Court of International Justice
and the International Court
of Justice, is a discretionary right of a State and may take any form that
is not prohibited by international law. It can include consular action,
negotiations with the other State, political and economic pressure,
judicial or arbitral proceedings or other forms of peaceful dispute
is a form of monarchy in which the sovereign
exercises their authorities in accordance with a written or unwritten
constitution. Constitutional monarchy differs from absolute monarchy (in
which a monarch holds absolute power), in that constitutional monarchs are
bound to exercise their powers and authorities within the limits
prescribed within an established legal framework. Constitutional
monarchies range from countries such as Morocco, where the constitution
grants substantial discretionary powers to the sovereign, to countries
such as Sweden or Denmark where the monarch retains very few formal
encompasses national and international law governing activities in
. International lawyers have been
unable to agree on a uniform definition of the term "outer space",
although most lawyers agree that outer space generally begins at the
lowest altitude above sea level at which objects can orbit the Earth,
approximately 100 km (62 mi) (the Kármán line).
Birth Aboard Aircraft and Ships
is one with a long history in public
international law. The law on the subject is complex, because various
states apply differing principles of nationality, namely jus soli and jus
sanguinis, to varying degrees and with varying qualifications. All
aircraft have the nationality of the state in which they are registered,
and may not have multiple nationalities. The law of the aircraft's
nationality is applicable on the aircraft. However, nationality laws of
any country already apply everywhere, since it is for each country to
determine who are its nationals. So this convention has no effect on
nationality laws. The convention does not say that a birth on a country's
aircraft is to be treated as a birth in that country for the purposes of
nationality. a birth on a ship or aircraft in international waters or
airspace shall be treated as a birth in the country of the ship or
aircraft's registration. However, the convention applies only to births
where the child would otherwise be stateless. Since in most cases a child
would be covered by one or more countries' jus sanguinis at birth (getting
the same citizenship as its parents), this convention rarely comes into
play. In addition, there are still very few member states that are party
to the 1961 convention. A person’s passport may say “holder born on an
aeroplane.” Citizen of the World? UN Baby?
is the right to exercise power
given by the State
(in the form of government, judges, police officers, etc.). (it's not a right or to be accepted, it's a responsibility
to protect human rights). Prosecutor
is being forced submission to control by others. The act of conquering.
is the right and acceptance
of an authority.
is an intergovernmental organization facilitating
international police cooperation. Focuses primarily on public safety and
battling terrorism, crimes against humanity,
, organized crime,
piracy, illicit traffic in works of art, illicit drug production, drug
trafficking, weapons smuggling, human trafficking, money laundering, child
pornography, white-collar crime, computer crime, intellectual property
crime, and corruption
- Intelligence Agency
- Not So Intelligent Agencies
is any system by which some members of
society act in an organized manner to enforce the law by discovering,
deterring, rehabilitating, or punishing
who violate the rules and norms governing that society.
is a warranted law employee of a police
force. Lowest police rank. Some police officers are plain-clothed in order
to be in disguise
(Special Weapons And Tactics) is a term for law enforcement units which
use specialized or military equipment
tactics in the United States.
is usually a detective or investigator for a state,
county, municipal, federal, or tribal government who primarily serve in
investigatory roles. Not all agents are federal law enforcement officers,
and hold either arrest authority or the right to conduct minor
is an official in a county who is responsible for keeping the
peace and enforcing the law. Unlike most officials in law enforcement in
the United States, sheriffs are usually elected, although many states
(such as California) have state laws requiring that a person possess
certain law enforcement qualifications before being able to run for the
office. Elected sheriffs are accountable directly to the constitution of
their state, the United States Constitution, statutes, and the citizens of
is a term used in several official titles in various branches of society.
As marshals became trusted members of the courts of Medieval Europe, the
title grew in reputation. During the last few centuries, it has been used
for elevated offices, such as in military rank and civilian law
Secretary of Defense
We need less
The Red Tape
is the blood of
We need to
the laws that are
We make rules and laws for our protection and for our safety. We
also use rules and laws to protect everyone's freedom
learn, love and prosper. We need to have agreements to make
things fair for everyone. So making rules or laws that everyone
can agree on is extremely important. But unanimous agreement on
rules and laws never happens, why? Is it
or the lack
of knowledge on the writers of the rules and laws, or is it the
ignorance or the lack of knowledge from the people who must obey
and follow the rules and laws? And when some people are not
following the same rules and laws that others obey, then this
type of corruption
creates serious problems. When people break
the laws, or if ignorant rules or laws are made, then we have to
find out why? We need to educate ourselves on how to update and
improve the rules that govern our lives and our way of living.
But a persons way of life cannot include making others suffer or
include murdering people
, because that is not a way of life,
that is a way of death. People don't have to suffer and die just
for you to live a normal life, but here we are. This is why we
need to improve education and create more intelligent
regulations that can't be manipulated using
money or power
is a rule pertaining to the structure or behavior internal
to a business.
is a rule that is part of school discipline.
is a rule that defines how a sport is played.
is a rule that defines how a game is played.
rule or element of a moral code for guiding choices in human behavior.
, or monastic rule, the document giving the way of life to be
led by the members of the varying religious orders in the Catholic Church
and other Christian groups which follow a monastic way of life.
is a kind of sentence or a reason to act, feel or
Rule of thumb
is a principle with broad application that is not intended
to be strictly accurate or reliable for every situation.
is an assumed rule of human behavior that is not voiced or
is governance by a military body.
is a collection of precepts that guides the life of monks or
nuns in a religious order.
by the federal government of the United States, a
mandated by Congress, but written or expanded upon by the executive branch.
Rule of inference
or transformation rule, a term in logic for a function
which takes premises and returns a conclusion.
, a term in
describing explicit or implicit rules
used within society or by a group (i.e. social norms).
Rule of Law
legal principle that law should govern a nation, as opposed to being
governed by arbitrary decisions of individual government officials. It
primarily refers to the influence and authority of law within society,
particularly as a constraint upon behaviour, including
refers to a particular set or
of linked social structures
institutions, relations, customs, values and practices, which conserve,
maintain and enforce certain patterns of relating and behaving. A stable
state of society in which the existing social order is accepted and
by its members.
is the collection of rules imposed by authority. The
branch of philosophy
with the law and the principles that lead courts to make the decisions
they do. Principles
behind law that make the law.
Freedom of Speech
Legal Help Resources - Law Knowledge - Courtroom Terminology
Use this knowledge at your own
, some situations are unique, so there is never a
guarantee on the outcome or what kind of people you will have to deal
with. Knowledge is power, but criminals are still extremely dangerous
because some people don't always play by the
rules, even people of authority,
so try to avoid causing
offense, and avoid revealing private information.
"We are not a country of laws anymore. We are a country where laws are
creatively interpreted, usually in favor of the rich and powerful, while
justice system." The
people in the justice system are paid by taxes collected from its
citizens, so why don't they protect the rights of people who pay their
salaries. The Right Side of the Law
is where our public servants should be, protecting
and not violating human
rights. Why waste all that time, energy, resources, money, people and
potential just to abuse people. That's
. You have nothing to gain and everything to lose.
because it's just pure
. This is one of the
reasons why we have laws and human rights in the first place, so that
people don't believe that they're above the law. Of course education and
training needs to improve, just knowing the law doesn't imply that a
person fully understands the law, or human rights. It's really difficult
to find a good lawyer, a good judge
, a good doctor, a good dentist or any good
professional, that's because ignorance has infected all levels of society,
mostly from our inadequate
along with our
dysfunction mass media
that fuels ignorance as well as
ignorance to flourish
and continue. The world is now filled with rabies infected hyena's that
will attack innocent people in the name of money. The cure is knowledge
and the vaccine is Basic Knowledge 101.
- Know Your Rights
- Abuse of Judicial Discretion
Miranda Rights Warning
is part of a preventive criminal procedure
rule that law enforcement are required to administer to protect an
individual who is in custody and subject to direct questioning or its
functional equivalent from a violation of his or her Fifth Amendment right
against compelled self-incrimination
Plead the 5th
Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution
is part of the
Bill of Rights
and protects a person
from being compelled to be a witness against themselves in a criminal
case. "Pleading the Fifth" is a colloquial term for invoking the right
that allows a witness to decline to answer questions where the answers
might incriminate him, and generally without having to suffer a penalty
for asserting their right. A defendant cannot be compelled to become a
witness at his own trial. If, however, they choose to testify, they are
not entitled to their right, and inferences can be drawn from a refusal to
answer a question during cross-examination. The Amendment requires that
felonies be tried only upon indictment by a grand jury. Federal grand
juries can force people to take the witness stand, but defendants in those
proceedings have Fifth Amendment privileges until they choose to answer
any question. To claim the privilege for failure to answer when being
interviewed by police, the interviewee must have explicitly invoked the
constitutional right when declining to answer questions. The Amendment's
Double Jeopardy Clause provides the right to be tried only once in federal
court for the same offense. The Amendment also has a Due Process Clause
(similar to the one in the 14th Amendment) as well as an implied equal
protection requirement (Bolling v. Sharpe). Finally, the Amendment
requires that the power of eminent domain be coupled with "just
compensation" for those whose property is taken.
Innocent until Proven Guilty
Right to Silence
is the right of the accused or the defendant to refuse to comment or
provide an answer when questioned, either prior to or during legal
proceedings in a court of law. This can be the right to avoid
self-incrimination or the right to remain silent when questioned. The
right usually includes the provision that adverse comments or inferences
cannot be made by the judge
regarding the refusal by a defendant
to answer questions before or during a trial, hearing or any other legal
proceeding. This right constitutes only a small part of the defendant's
rights as a whole. Trick Questions
is a "client's right privilege" to refuse to
disclose and to prevent any other person from disclosing confidential
communications between the client and the attorney
a person can report an unlawful detention or
imprisonment before a court, usually through a prison official.
is a formal legal acknowledgement and agreement made
between opposing parties prior to a pending hearing or trial.
Refuse for Cause without Dishonor
No Contract, No Proof, No Loss,
No Injury, No Victim.
List of wrongful convictions in the United States
primarily is the conviction and punishment of a person for
a crime they did not commit. Injustice Do Not Consent to any
Bill of Rights Amendments 4, 5, 6
You and the Law Tips
Right to a Fair Trial
is that everyone is entitled in full
equality to a fair and public hearing by an independent and impartial
tribunal, in the determination of his rights and obligations and of any
criminal charge against him.Due
is an attorney appointed to represent people who
cannot afford to hire one.
is Legal Representation that means advocating on one's own behalf
before a court, rather than being represented by a lawyer. This may occur
in any court proceeding, whether one is the defendant or plaintiff in
civil cases, and when one is a defendant in criminal cases. Pro se is a
Latin phrase meaning "for oneself" or "on one's own behalf". This status
is sometimes known as propria persona (abbreviated to "pro per"). In San
Diego, for example, the number of divorce filings involving at least one
pro se litigant rose from 46% in 1992 to 77% in 2000. (McCue
Law v. Law
Mandate (criminal law)
as part of a legal process on a person
of a crime
consisting of an obligation to engage in certain conditions or
activities in exchange for suspension or reduction in penalty; such as,
conditions of probation, conditional discharges, or other conditional
sentences. For example, a defendant convicted of driving while intoxicated
or drug possession may be mandated to engage in alcoholism or substance
10 Rules for
Dealing with Police
Never Get Busted
Never Get Busted
If a Cop Stops You Info-Graph
Know the difference between a Driver
and a Traveler
refers to the controlled operation and movement of a motorized
vehicle, such as a car, truck, or bus for commercial
the movement of people between relatively distant geographical locations,
and can involve travel by foot, bicycle, automobile, train, boat,
airplane, or other means.Do Not
is a Robot Lawyer that helps users contest parking tickets in an
easy to use chat-like interface.
is interviewing as commonly employed by law
enforcement officers, military personnel, and intelligence agencies with
the goal of eliciting useful information. Interrogation may involve a
diverse array of techniques, ranging from developing a rapport with the
subject, to outright torture
is the practice of forcing
another party to act in an involuntary manner
by use of intimidation
or some other form of pressure or force.
the speaker is providing information that he believes the
other party is not already aware of, and is frequently associated with an
admission of a moral or legal wrong.
- Remain Silent
Civil Liberties Union
Victims of Crimes
Mistake Criminal Law
while a person has committed the physical element of an offence, because
they were labouring under a mistake of fact, they never formed the
required mens rea, and so will escape liability for offences that require
mens rea. This is unlike a mistake of law, which is not usually a defense;
law enforcement may or may not take for granted that individuals know what
the law is.Mens rea
is the mental element of a crime. It is a necessary element of many
"the act is not culpable unless the mind is guilty".
Mistake of Law
referring to one or more errors that were made by a person in
understanding how the applicable law applied to their past activity that
is under analysis by a court. In jurisdictions that use the term, it is
differentiated from mistake of fact. When a party enters into a contract,
without the knowledge of the law in the country, the
is affected by such mistakes but it is not void. The reason
here is that ignorance of law is not an excuse. However if a party is
induced to enter into a contract by the mistake of law then such a
contract is not valid
Free Legal Answers
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Criminal Find Law
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Laws, Legal Jobs
Legal Services by State
is any fee for services provided where the fee is payable only if there
is a favourable result.
professional work undertaken voluntarily and without payment
work undertaken without charge, especially legal work for a client with a
Probono Legal Services
Contingency Fee Lawyers
How do I Find a Lawyer
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Legal Practice Management Software
Artificially Intelligent Legal Information Research Assistant. Automates
legal advice Automates legal research. Ailira’s advice function works like
a chatbot. Ailira asks a number of questions via text (or speech) like an
interview. That information is collated and can be analysed to provide
advice, and also automatically generate documents.
Car Lemon Help
Laws and Social Justice
Legal Terms Below
Legal Support Worker Job
Institute for Justice
Justice Initiatives Institute
Open Society Justice Initiative
Arbitration & Mediation
National Lawyers Guild
Juvenile & Family Court Judges
America is arresting
14 million people a year
of Criminal Defense Lawyers
There are over 800,000 lawyers in America
, more then 4 times the
amount in the entire world combined. How could we have the most
in the world and have the most Lawlessness? There
must be something wrong with the
if most lawyers are ignorant and corrupt? But of
course it's not the Lawyers
fault, it's our
inadequate education system
What do you get when you cross a Godfather with a Lawyer? An offer you can't understand.
I never sued anyone though I had many reasons to do so. I Believe that a
should only be about stopping a criminal from
victimizing more people, or about stopping a social injustice that
is abusing innocent people. It should never be about
Brazil has 1,240
, more than the rest of the world combined? And they
have turned out some 800,000 lawyers, which means there are more
lawyers per capita in Brazil than in
the U.S. (the key word is
) There are 16,000
judges in Brazil, and many positions are not filled.
Justice System Horror Story in Brazil
In 1997 the family sued for
compensation. It wasn't until 2009, 12 years later, that Melo won
against the hospital's appeal. The
hospital then wrangled over the amount of compensation. The case was
finally settled this year in 2014. So after 17 years of fighting in
the courts over what lawyers say was a clear case of medical
8 year old Brazilian Boy Passes Law School Entrance Exam
Law School Admission Test
is designed to measure skills that are
considered essential for success in law school, like
, and verbal
standardized test administered four times each year at designated testing
centers throughout the world.
"Every Law Not Based on WISDOM is a Menace
to the State"
"Some laws of state aimed at curbing crime are
even more criminal"-
"I did not break the law, the law was already broken before I got here, so one
cannot break what is already been broken. When Laws are use as
weapons, we no longer communicate as humans, a law is to give
reasons and not supposed to deny people their reasons. Laws are
supposed to provide guidance in society, laws should not be used
to attack people. How can a law deny reason?"
U.S. Courts Glossary
Common Legal Terms (Ct)
Black's Law Dictionary
The Law Dictionary.org
is when you are formally
charged but not yet tried for committing a crime; the person who has
been charged may also be called the defendant.
is when a person accused is not guilty
of the crime for which he
has been tried. A judgment of court, based on the decision of either
a jury or a judge.
formally certifies that the accused is free from the charge of an offense,
as far as the criminal law is concerned.
Is it Still on your Record
Appearance of Impropriety
is a phrase referring to a situation which
to a layperson without knowledge of the specific circumstances might seem
to raise ethics questions. For instance, although a person might regularly
and reliably collect money for her employer in her personal wallet and
later give it to her employer, her putting it in her personal wallet may
appear improper and give rise to suspicion, etc. It is common business
practice to avoid even the appearance of
Assistant District Attorney
is an assistant district attorney
works for the elected District Attorney.
An ADA will review and prosecute cases as assigned. ADA's meet with
law enforcement, witnesses, and victims. They generally have
authority to dispose of those cases assigned to them.
is putting off or postponing business or a session of
court until another time or place.
is the judicial decision that ends a criminal proceeding by a judgment of
acquittal, conviction, or dismissal of the case.
is a written statement that the writer swears is true.
are factors that make a crime worse than
most similar crimes. Aggravating factors are often defined by law
and include such things as: victim very old, gang related, done for
hire, especially cruel, defendant does not support his family, or
took advantage of a position of trust.
indicates a sentence that is more
severe than the “presumed” sentence for a given crime. A defendant
may receive more time if the judge finds aggravating factors. If no
aggravating factors are found, the sentence will come from either
the “presumptive” or “mitigated” range.
is something said to be true, but not yet proven to be true; until the trial is over,
the crime may be called the “alleged crime.”
is a formal
somebody (often in a court of law). Statements affirming or denying
certain matters of fact that you are prepared to prove.
is a request by either the defense or the prosecution that a
review the results of a decision on certain motions or in a
completed trial. This can be an appeal from superior court to an
appeals court, or an appeal from district court to superior court
for a trial.
is a hearing and determination of a dispute
by an impartial referee agreed to by both parties The act of
deciding as an arbiter; giving authoritative judgment. Mandatory
binding arbitration is a process by which parties “agree” to
have a third party arbitrator (single arbitrator or a panel),
instead of a jury or judge, resolve a dispute. Arbitrators are
not required to have any legal training and they need not follow
the law. Warning! Warning!
is someone with the power to settle matters at will. Someone chosen
to judge and decide a disputed issue.
is Signing Away Your Right to Sue
Waiving your right to sue. Warning!
is the voluntary relinquishment or surrender of some known right or
is to bring a prisoner before a
judge to ask how he pleads
to the charges against him.
is a written order issued by the District court or magistrate
including a statement of the crime of which the person to be
arrested is accused, and directing that the person be arrested and
held to answer the accusation before a magistrate or other judge.
is a person identified as the attacker.
in certain jurisdictions. The term
has its roots in the verb to "attorn", meaning to transfer one's rights
and obligations to another. Bad Attorney's
is an amount of money set by the
court that allows a person charged with a crime to be released from
custody. The purpose of bail is to insure that the offender will
return to court.
is a uniformed officer who keeps
order in the courtroom.
act of repeated legal actions
for the purpose of
greed or harassment.
Barratry (common law)
is how the judge
referred to as in “the bench;” also where the judge sits during the
is an order issued by a judge
to bring to court an accused person who has been released before
trial and does not return to court when ordered to do so; or a
witness who has failed to appear when ordered to do so.
Beyond a Reasonable Doubt
degree of proof needed for a jury or judge to convict an accused person of
in criminal court, a term meaning
the same thing as “bail;” generally a certificate or evidence of a
is a hearing to determine if the
bond on a defendant is to be forfeited after a defendant fails to
show for court. Forfeited bond money goes to the public schools.
is also Bail Bondsman, a licensed person or
person working for a licensed company, who will post bond for a
defendant upon payment of a fee. The fee is generally fifteen per
cent (15%) of the bond.
is an official police
record of the arrest of a person accused of committing a crime which
identifies the accused, the time and place of arrest, the arresting
authority, and the reason for the arrest.
is a document listing cases for hearing before a court. Calendars may be
for district court, superior court, motions, forfeitures, criminal
docket management, plea, or trials.
is a first-degree murder case in which the jury can impose either a
life sentence or the death penalty. If a person is guilty of
first-degree murder and there are any statutory aggravating factors
then the State has to seek the death penalty.
is the formal accusation filed
by the prosecutor’s office that a specific person has committed a specific
crime; the filing may be called “pressing charges.” Criminal
is a formal accusation made by a governmental authority
asserting that somebody has committed a crime. A charging document,
which contains one or more criminal charges or counts, can take several
forms, including: complaint, information, indictment, citation, traffic
ticket. The charging document is what generally starts a criminal case in
court. But the procedure by which somebody is charged with a crime and
what happens when somebody has been charged varies from country to country
and even, within a country, from state to state. Before a person is
proven guilty, the charge must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt.
by the prosecutor may
happen for several reasons: New, credible witnesses have come forward to
refute the current witnesses' stories. The defense has enough evidence to
sway a jury in their favor. The physical evidence against the accused is
weak. New evidence exonerates the accused. An example of this is DNA
evidence that was not available when the crime occurred. The prosecution's
best evidence has been ruled inadmissible. This can happen if the evidence
was obtained without a valid warrant. The prosecutor may drop more serious
charges in exchange for a guilty plea to lesser charges.
is to raise a formal
in a court of law.
is the act of citing (as of spoken words or written
passages or legal precedents etc.).
is a summons that commands the appearance of a party at a
is a system used by legal professionals to
identify past court case decisions called a
, which are a series of books that contain judicial opinions
from a selection of case law decided by courts. When a particular judicial
opinion is referenced, the law report series in which the opinion is
printed will determine the case citation format.
Clerk of Court
is an officer of a court of justice who has charge of the clerical part of
its business -- who keeps its records and seal, issues process,
enters judgments and orders, gives certified copies from the
records, et cetera.
is the warrant or order
by which a court or magistrate directs an officer to take a person
is a term in civil cases that
signifies a filing of a suit
. In criminal court, the complaint is
the reporting of a crime
is any formal legal document that sets out the
and legal reasons (see:
cause of action) that the filing party or parties (the plaintiff(s))
believes are sufficient
support a claim against the party or parties against whom the claim is
brought (the defendant(s)) that entitles the plaintiff(s) to a remedy
(either money damages or injunctive relief).
something that causes offence, annoyance, trouble or injury. A nuisance can be
either public (also "common") or private.
Contempt of Court
is the offence of being disobedient to or
discourteous towards a court of law and its officers in the form of
behavior that opposes or defies the authority, justice, and dignity of the
court. It manifests itself in willful disregard of or disrespect for the
authority of a court of law, which is often behavior that is illegal
because it does not obey or respect the rules of a law court.
- Freedom of Speech
is when two or more sentences are served at the same time.
Running together; Opposite of consecutive sentence.
is one sentence
beginning at the completion of another. Successive; Succeeding one another
in regular order.
is to make the subject of dispute,
contention, or litigation. Will Contest
is a formal objection raised against the validity of a will, based on the
contention that the will does not reflect the actual intent of the
testator (the party who made the will) or that the will is otherwise
is a postponement of a court
hearing; putting it off until another day.
is a court that hears cases
concerned with the alleged violation of criminal law.
Criminal Justice System
are the government agencies
in charge with
law enforcement, prosecution of alleged violations of the criminal
law, the court hearing of charges against the accused, and the
punishment and supervision of those convicted.
is the law whose violation is considered an offense against
the state and is punishable upon conviction by imprisonment and
other penalties for adult offenders and by action of a juvenile
court for juvenile offenders.
is the examination of a witness by the party opposed to the one who
produced him during a trial or hearing, or upon taking a deposition.
District Attorney (DA)
commonly refers to an
for the community elected by the people in his district to represent the interests of
the general public, including crime victims, in court proceedings
against people accused of committing crimes. Other jurisdictions use
other terms: Prosecutor
, such as U.S. Attorney (a federal
prosecutor), solicitor, or state’s attorney.
is a person who has been formally charged with committing a crime;
the person accused of a crime.
is a person or entity accused of a crime in criminal
prosecution or a person or entity against whom some type of civil relief
is being sought in a civil case. Plaintiff
who represents the defendant in legal proceedings.
are usually not required to speak with defense attorneys except in
court, but may do so if they choose.
is when a defendant enters a guilty plea, receives probation for a certain
amount of time, and gives up the right to trial. The DA dismisses
the case if the probation is completed successfully.
is to testify to or give (evidence) on oath, typically in a written statement.
is the first interrogation or
examination of a witness during trial by the party on whose behalf
he is called.
is the process by which the
provides to a Defense Attorney information gathered during the
investigation of a felony; the ascertainment of that which was
is a decision by the
prosecutor or other judicial officer to end a case for legal or
is the final judicial
decision which ends a criminal proceeding by a judgment of acquittal
or dismissal, or which states the sentence if the accused is
is an official elected by the people of the community in his/her district
to represent the interests of the general public, including crime
victims, in court proceedings against people accused of committing
crimes. Some jurisdictions use other terms: such as prosecutor, U.S.
Attorney (a federal prosecutor), solicitor, or state’s attorney.
District Attorney’s Report
is a report that is prepared by
law enforcement in felony cases to inform the District Attorney what
the facts are in a case. This is also known as a “felony report.”
is where misdemeanor cases are heard
concerning the violation of state statutes.
is putting a person on trial more than once for the same
offense; double jeopardy is forbidden by the U.S. Constitution.
is the administration of justice
according to established rules and principles; based on the
principle that a person cannot be deprived of life or liberty or
property without appropriate legal procedures and safeguards.
Electronic House Arrest
is when defendants
are placed on supervised probation and monitored electronically
twenty-four hours a day. Defendants on this program must remain in
their homes when not at their employment or receiving treatment. A
response team responds to violations twenty-four hours a day.
Endorsement of Witnesses
is when all prosecution
Enhanced Intensive Probation
probation with the added requirement of electronic monitoring of the
defendant similar to that used in electronic house arrest.
is clearing or tending to clear from alleged fault
is on one side only, done for one party.
is a person possessing special or
peculiar knowledge acquired from practical experience, training and
education. A woman or a man with a degree, or
pertaining to a particular science specialty
Eye Witness Failures
- Mistaken Identity
is the interrogation
of a witness
called by one's opponent.
is the questioning of a witness by the party
who called him or her, in a trial. Direct examination is usually
performed to elicit evidence in support of facts which will satisfy
a required element of a party's claim or defense.
is a claim of a fact by a party in a pleading,
charge, or defense. Until they can be proved, allegations remain
merely assertions without evidence.
is when there is insufficient supporting
evidence to determine whether an accusation is true or false, it is
described as "unsubstantiated" or "unfounded".
is something that was heard through another person rather than
directly from the person. Something that can not be
is mostly just
Beyond Reasonable Doubt
is evidence that is beyond reasonable
doubt and is the standard of evidence required to validate a
criminal conviction in most adversarial legal systems.
must be proven to the extent that there could
be no "reasonable doubt" in the mind of a "reasonable person" that the
defendant is guilty. There can still be a doubt, but only to the extent
that it would not affect a reasonable person's belief regarding whether or
not the defendant is guilty. Beyond "the shadow of a doubt" is sometimes
used interchangeably with beyond reasonable doubt, but this extends beyond
the latter, to the extent that it may be considered an impossible
standard. The term "reasonable doubt" is therefore used.
Legal Burden of Proof
is the duty of a party in a trial to
produce the evidence that will shift the conclusion away from the
default position to that party's own position.
is the standard by which
to obtain a warrant for the arrest of a suspected criminal. The
standard also applies to personal or property searches.
One way to demonstrate the
invalidity of this argument
form is with a counterexample with true premises but an obviously false
conclusion. For example: If someone owns Fort Knox, then he is rich. Bill
Gates is rich. Therefore, Bill Gates owns Fort Knox. So Owning Fort Knox
is not the only way to be rich. Any number of other ways exist to be rich.
invalidity of certain
is evidence of any kind that suggests something is missing or
that it does not exist. Per the traditional aphorism, "absence of evidence
is not evidence of absence", positive evidence of this kind is distinct
from a lack of evidence or ignorance of that which should have been found
already, had it existed. Fallacy
NIST Experts Urge Caution in Use of Courtroom Evidence Presentation
Arguing that it risks allowing
to creep into
expert testimony and potentially distorts evidence for a jury. An expert’s
judgment often involves complicated
that can give different
depending on which
is making the judgment. As a result, one
expert’s specific LR number can differ substantially from another’s.
is a cognition of mistrust in which a
person doubts the honesty of another person or believes another
person to be guilty of some type of wrongdoing or crime, but without
must be based on "specific and articulable
facts", "taken together with rational inferences
from those facts", and
the suspicion must be associated with the specific individual.
is an example that is used to justify similar occurrences at
a later time. A law established by following earlier judicial decisions. A
system of jurisprudence based on judicial precedents rather than statutory
laws. A subject mentioned earlier (preceding in time).
"Specific Facts that can be expressed
using words with Rational Inferences
from those facts"
is the surrender by one state to another of an
individual accused or convicted of an offense outside its own
territory and within the territorial jurisdiction of the other.
is witnesses, expert
testimony and physical evidence, which is any material object that proves
a fact in issue based on the object's demonstrable physical
- an item or
information manufactured, or altered, to support some agenda, is not
admissible in many courts, including U.S. criminal courts.
- an item or information
which has been moved, or planted at a scene, to seem related to the
accused party, is not admissible in many courts, including U.S. criminal
which has been obtained by illegal means or has been revealed (or traced)
using evidence acquired by illegal search, and/or seizure, is called the
"fruit of the poisonous tree" and is not admissible in many courts,
including U.S. criminal courts.Parallel
construction - tainted evidence
, where the origin of the evidence
is untruthfully represented, preventing discussion of whether it was
legally obtained or not.Suppressed Evidence
- an item or information which a court judge has ruled as "inadmissible"
is forbidden to be presented in a court case. Suppressed evidence might be
excluded because it was found hidden or locked away in areas the accused
could not be proven to know.
(science) - Research
How to Challenge Evidence in Court
not based on facts
is a principle or rule established
in a previous legal case
that is either binding on or persuasive
for a court or other tribunal when
subsequent cases with "similar"
issues or facts
What if a Lawyer
withholds evidence from their client that hurts the client
The Right to Evidence Disclosure
defense is entitled to know about the prosecution’s case before trial.
Someone who’s been formally accused of a crime is normally entitled to
certain kinds of evidence and information. In general, a defendant has a
right to receive this kind of material, called “discovery,” before trial.
But the prosecution’s duty to hand over discovery is usually ongoing—it
doesn’t end merely because a trial has begun.
does, however, require that the prosecution disclose to the defense
exculpatory evidence within its possession or control. “Exculpatory”
generally means evidence that tends to contradict
the defendant’s supposed
guilt or that supports lesser punishment. The evidence doesn’t have to
strongly indicate innocence in the way that an alibi, for example, would.
It’s generally enough that the evidence provides significant aid to the
defendant’s case. So, information that affects the credibility of a
critical prosecution witness—like the fact that the prosecution offered
its witness leniency in exchange for testimony—is among the kinds of
evidence prosecutors have disclose. (Giglio v. United States, 405 U.S. 150
is evidence favorable to the defendant in a criminal trial
that exonerates or tends to exonerate the defendant of guilt. It is the
opposite of inculpatory evidence, which tends to prove guilt. In many
countries, including the United States, police and prosecutors are
required to disclose to the defendant exculpatory evidence they possess
before the defendant enters a plea (guilty or not guilty).
is preventing someone from asserting
fact in court
, or exercising a certain right, or from bringing a
Trier of Fact
is a person, or group of persons, who determines facts
in a legal proceeding, usually a trial
determine a fact is to decide, from the evidence, whether something
existed or some event occurred. Various aspects of a case that are not in
controversy may be the "facts of the case
and are determined by the agreement of the separate parties; the trier of
fact need not decide such issues.Brady Violations
. If the
defense learns about a Brady violation.
is the suppression by the prosecution of evidence favorable to a defendant
who has requested it violates due process. Following Brady, the prosecutor
must disclose evidence or information that would prove the innocence of
the defendant or would enable the defense to more effectively impeach the
credibility of government witnesses. Evidence that would serve to reduce
the defendant's sentence must also be disclosed by the prosecution.
Consists of exculpatory or impeaching information and evidence that is
material to the guilt or innocence or to the punishment of a defendant.
is a pre-trial procedure in a lawsuit in which each
party, through the law of civil procedure, can obtain evidence from the
other party or parties by means of discovery devices such as a request for
answers to interrogatories, request for production of documents, request
for admissions and depositions. Discovery can be obtained from non-parties
using subpoenas. When a discovery request is objected to, the requesting
party may seek the assistance of the court by filing a motion to compel
discovery. Presumption (law)
inference of the truth of a fact from other facts proved or admitted or
judicially noticed.Questions for Your Attorney
What are the procedures for obtaining discovery in my case?
the defense get discovery from a third party (someone or some entity other
than the prosecution)?
When in the proceedings does the prosecution
have to provide discovery?
What happens when evidence that should be
disclosed is lost or destroyed?
Does anything else, like ethics rules
or the state constitution, require that the prosecution disclose more
Are depositions allowed in my jurisdiction?
are available in my jurisdiction if the prosecution violates its discovery
What kind of discovery does the defense have to provide the
Failure to Appear
is when the defendant
does not appear for court, order for arrest is issued. (FTA)
of graver or more atrocious nature than those
designated as misdemeanors
, carrying more potential jail time for an
is one who flees or escapes from some
duty or penalty.
is the state of being
for the commission
of an offense.Guilt (Law)
means that one has committed a violation of criminal law, or performed all
the elements of the offense set out by a criminal statute.
is guilt as an accomplice
in a crime or offense.
is having complicity
, involved with a crime or offense.
apparent need to prove the simultaneous occurrence of both actus reus
("guilty action") and mens rea ("guilty mind"), to constitute a crime;
except in crimes of strict liability. In theory, if the actus reus does
not hold concurrence in point of time with the mens rea then no crime has
is a Jury
composed of eighteen citizens meet in felony cases to
determine whether a crime probably occurred and whether the
defendant probably committed the crime. If twelve of the eighteen
jurors, agree then they return a true bill of indictment. The office
of the District Attorney prepares indictments.
is the civil right to obtain a
writ of habeas corpus as protection against illegal imprisonment.
A writ ordering a prisoner to be brought before a judge.
(law) a legal
issued by a court or judicial officer.
is a jury whose members cannot agree whether the accused is guilty or
is to discredit the truthfulness of a witness.
is a formal written
made by a grand jury after submission by the prosecutor
and filed in
, alleging that a specific person
committed a specific crime. The office of the District Attorney prepares
formal accusation that a person has committed a crime. In
that use the concept of
felonies, the most serious criminal offence is a
; jurisdictions that do not
use the concept of felonies often use that of an indictable offence—an
offence that requires an indictment.
is to show (someone)
to be involved in a crime.
something declared but not yet proven. Probable Cause
is an accused person who has been found by the court to
be too poor to pay for his/her own attorney.
are minor violations of the law that do not rise to the level of
misdemeanor. Driving offense make up the bulk of charges designated
is being free from guilt; Free from
legal fault. This should not be confused with the term “not guilty
is a verdict by a judge
that a person accused
of a crime did not commit it or that there is not enough
prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the accused committed the
Miscarriage of Justice
False Criminal Allegations
- Legal Threat
Abuse of Process
is when defendants are on
supervised probation, have curfews, and see probation officer at
least once a week.
is the gathering of
by law-enforcement officials (and in some cases
prosecutors) for presentation to a grand jury or in a court, to
prove that the accused did commit the crime.
is a confinement facility. Technically, a jail is administered by a local
law-enforcement agency for adults and sometimes juveniles who have
been accused of committing a crime but whose trials are not yet
over, and persons who have been convicted and sentenced to
for one year or less.
is a judicial officer
who has been elected or appointed to preside over a court of
final determination of
the rights and obligations of the parties in a case. This may be in
answer to a motion or trial.
is a group of citizens who decide whether the accused is guilty or not.
They are selected by law and sworn to determine certain facts
listening to testimony in order to reach a decision as to
is a legal body empowered to conduct official proceedings and
investigate potential criminal conduct, and determine whether criminal
charges should be brought. A grand jury may compel the production of
documents and compel sworn testimony of witnesses to appear before it.
Grand jury is separate from the courts, which do not preside over its
is a long and
careful consideration or
discussion. Slow and careful movement or
thought. A process of
thoughtfully weighing options, usually
prior to voting. Deliberation
emphasizes the use of logic and
reason as opposed to
power-struggle, creativity, or dialog.
Group decisions are generally made
after deliberation through a vote or
consensus of those involved.
is a judicial jury that cannot agree upon a verdict
after extended deliberation
and is unable to reach the required unanimity
or supermajority. MistrialJury Instructions
is the process by
which the judge
, the prosecutor, and the defense attorney screen
citizens who have been called to jury duty to determine if they will
hear the evidence and decide guilt or innocence in a particular
occurs in a trial when a jury
acquits a defendant they believe to be guilty of the charges against them.
This may occur when members of the jury disagree with the law
defendant has been charged with breaking, or believe that the law should
not be applied in that particular case. A jury can similarly convict a
defendant on the ground of disagreement with an existing law, even if no
law is broken (although in jurisdictions with double jeopardy rules, a
conviction can be overturned on appeal, but an acquittal cannot). Jury Nullification
is a finding by a trial jury in contradiction
to the jury's belief about
the facts of the case.
is a person
accused of an offense who is too young at the time of the alleged
offense to be subject to criminal court proceedings as an adult and
is therefore handled in the
juvenile justice system
involved in the determination of
and the assignment of rewards
. Justice is
the quality of being just or
is the legal or philosophical theory by which
by a public official authorized to decide questions brought before a
of justice. Ensure observance of laws and
. Justice a concept of moral rightness based on
, rationality, law,
religion, equity and fairness. Due
is the idea of fairness in the processes that
resolve disputes and allocate resources.
is the rule against
and the right to a fair hearing. "no-one should be a judge in his
own cause." "no person can judge a case in which they have an interest".
is the fairness underlying the administration of
justice and its operation.
Department of Justice
Justice just doesn't happen on its own, people need to make justice
is the system of practices and institutions
of governments directed at upholding social control, deterring and
mitigating crime, or sanctioning those who violate laws with criminal
penalties and rehabilitation efforts
. Those accused of crime have some
protections against abuse of investigatory and prosecution powers.
consists of two specific types of interpersonal treatment.
Interpersonal justice, reflects the degree to which people are treated
with politeness, dignity, and respect by authorities or third parties
involved in executing procedures or determining outcomes. And
informational justice, that focuses on the explanations provided to people
that convey information about why procedures were used in a certain way or
why outcomes were distributed in a certain fashion.
A Theory of Justice
which holds that the best
response to a crime is a proportionate punishment, inflicted for its own
sake rather than to serve an extrinsic social purpose, such as deterrence
of the offender.
Retributivists hold that when an offender breaks the law, justice requires
that the criminal suffer in return. They maintain that retribution differs
, in that
retributive justice is only directed at wrongs, has inherent limits, is
not personal, involves no pleasure at the suffering of others and employs
procedural standards. Forgive
- Not Guilty
a theory of justice that considers proportionate
an acceptable response to crime.
is the fair and just relation between the individual
and society. The process of ensuring that individuals fulfill their
societal roles and receive what was their
due from society
. This is
measured by the explicit and tacit terms for the distribution of wealth,
opportunities for personal activity and social privileges.
Obstruction of Justice
refers to the crime of obstructing
prosecutors or other investigating
from accurately determining the severity of a law that has
been broken. Perverting the course of justice. Flawed Testimony.
Contempt of Court
is the offence of being disobedient to or
disrespectful towards a court of law
officers in the form of behavior that opposes or defies the authority,
justice, and dignity of the court. It manifests itself in willful
disregard of or disrespect for the authority of a court of law, which is
often behavior that is illegal because it does not obey or respect the
rules of a law court.
concerns the nature of a socially just allocation of goods in
is the idea of fairness in the processes that
resolve disputes and allocate resources.
One aspect of procedural justice is related to discussions of the
administration of justice and legal proceedings. Procedural justice
concerns the fairness and the
of the processes
are made, and
may be contrasted with distributive justice (fairness in the distribution
of rights or resources), and retributive justice (fairness in the
punishment of wrongs).
A Theory of Justice
is a work of political philosophy and ethics by
John Rawls, in which Rawls attempts to solve the problem of distributive
justice (the socially just distribution of goods in a society) by
utilising a variant of the familiar device of the social contract. The
resultant theory is known as "Justice as Fairness", from which Rawls
derives his two principles of justice: the liberty principle and the
difference principle. First published in 1971, A Theory of Justice was
revised in both 1975 (for the translated editions) and 1999.
Justice as Fairness
is an essay by John Rawls, published in 1985 that
describes his conception of justice. It comprises two main principles of
; the second is subdivided into Fair Equality of
Opportunity and the Difference Principle.
is the practice of being
unjust or unfair. Not fair
; marked by injustice or
of justice. Not
or fair. Fair is being free from
; conforming with established standards or
is incapable of being justified or explained. Without a
basis in reason
. Lacking justification
is the conviction and
of a person
for a crime they did not commit
Perverting the course of Justice
is an offence committed when a person
prevents justice from being served on him/herself or on another party.
is information created or obtained illegally, to
sway the verdict
is when there is insufficient supporting evidence to
determine whether an accusation is true or false, it is described as
" or "unfounded
". Accusations that are determined to be
false based on corroborating evidence
can be divided into three
categories: An allegation that is completely false in that the events that
were alleged did not occur; An allegation that describes events that did
occur, but were perpetrated by an individual who is not accused, and in
which the accused person is innocent. An allegation that is partially true
and partially false, in that it mixes descriptions of events that actually
happened with other events that did not occur.
) instituting and pursuing
(or causing to be instituted or pursued) a legal action (civil or
criminal) that is (2) brought without probable cause and (3) dismissed in
favor of the victim of the malicious prosecution. In some jurisdictions,
the term "malicious prosecution" denotes the wrongful initiation of
criminal proceedings, while the term "malicious use of process" denotes
the wrongful initiation
of civil proceedings.
- Color of
is a person who practices law, as an advocate, barrister,
counselor or solicitor or chartered legal executive. Working as a lawyer
involves the practical application of abstract legal theories and
knowledge to solve specific individualized problems, or to advance the
interests of those who hire lawyers to perform legal services
. The role of
the lawyer varies greatly across legal jurisdictions, and so it can be
treated here in only the most general terms.
is a test
intended to determine
whether a candidate is qualified
practice law in a given jurisdiction
- Bad Lawyers
List of Law Schools in the United States
- Always Negotiate Legal Bills to Avoid Fee Disputes like
overbilling and Bill Padding. Have a Signed Fee Agreement and have the
lawyer list Expenses if you are being charged for expenses.
is an academic degree conferred for studies in law. Such
degrees are generally preparation for legal careers; but while their
curricula may be reviewed by legal authority, they do not themselves
confer a license. A legal license is granted (typically by
) and exercised
locally; while the law degree can have local, international, and
world-wide aspects- e.g., in Britain the Legal Practice Course is required
to become a British solicitor or the Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC)
to become a barrister.
is the education of individuals in the principles,
practices, and theory of law. It may be undertaken for several reasons,
including to provide the knowledge and skills necessary for admission to
legal practice in a particular jurisdiction, to provide a greater breadth
of knowledge to those working in other professions such as politics or
business, to provide current lawyers with advanced training or greater
specialisation, or to update lawyers on recent developments in the law.
or law-maker are persons who
make or amend or repeal laws
State Legislatures full and part time
. While a few big states have
full-time legislatures with higher pay (California pays lawmakers $100,113
a year and Pennsylvania pays $85,339) but in most states, legislators are
paid like it's a part-time job. Lawmakers in Georgia make $17,342 a
year, plus a per diem for lodging and meals when the legislature is in
session and reimbursement for mileage. Serving in the Georgia Legislature
is considered a part-time job but it took much more of Jones' time than
that and she had to hire extra help for her law firm. 30 states pay
$30,000 a year or less to legislators. New Mexico doesn't pay lawmakers at
at all while those in New Hampshire make just $200 per two year term.
is person who can issue warrants when a person is accused of a crime. The are clothed
with power as a public civil officer and have additional duties such
as setting bond, hearing small claims, and accepting payment for
certain infractions and misdemeanors. Judge
are offenses lower than felonies and generally those punishable by fine
or imprisonment otherwise than in penitentiary. These crimes are
generally punishable by no more than 150 days in
is a factor that makes a crime less deserving of
punishment than most similar crimes. Mitigating factors are often
defined by law and include such things as: defendant was very young;
the person was honorably discharged from the armed forces, et
is a verdict by a judge or a jury
that a person accused of a crime did not commit it or that there is
not enough evidence to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the
accused committed the crime.
is freed from any question of guilt. Show to be right by
or proof. Maintain, uphold, or defend. Clear of
accusation, blame, suspicion, or doubt with supporting proof.
is vacating a judgment.
Conviction Review Unit
Advising Clients of Arbitration Awards and Vacatur of an Award
Please be aware that Pleading
gives up Certain Rights
Not Guilty Plea
is a formal response by a person accused of committing a specific crime
in which the accused says that the charges are not true and he did
not commit the crime.
is a no-contest plea. Latin for "I do not wish to contend" The defendant neither admits
nor disputes a charge has the same immediate effect as a guilty
plea, and is often offered as a part of a
is a written order to appear
in court at a certain time and place.
an adult who has been convicted of a crime.
is a crime; technically, in some jurisdictions, only the most minor
crimes are called offenses.
is a procedure whereby a party to
a suit says that a particular line of questioning or a particular witness
or a piece of evidence or other matter is improper and should not be
continued and asks the court to rule on its impropriety or illegality. The
act of expressing earnest opposition or protest.
is an outline of anticipated proof. Its purpose is to advise the jury
prior to testimony of the facts relied upon and of issues involved;
and to give the jury a general picture of the facts and the
situations so that the jury will be able to understand the evidence.
Order of Arrest
is an order for the arrest of a defendant
following the filing of charges or failure to appear when required
by the court.
is an individual, qualified by education, training or work
experience, who is employed or retained by a lawyer, law office,
corporation, governmental agency, or other entity and who performs
specifically delegated substantive legal work for which a lawyer is
responsible. A legal assistant
, also called
a paralegal, works either with individual lawyers at a firm or with legal
is the conditional release of a convicted offender from a confinement facility before the end of his
sentence with requirements for the offender’s behavior set and
supervised by a parole agency.
is a state or federal prison.
involving a material fact.
is a person who actually commits a crime
is the promise of an accused person to the
he will return to court when ordered to do so; given in exchange for
release before and during his trial.
is a document filed in juvenile court
alleging that a juvenile should
come under the jurisdiction of the juvenile court for some offense
or asking that the juvenile be transferred to criminal court for
prosecution as an adult. Petitions
is a defendant’s formal answer in court to the charge that he has committed a crime. Some
possible pleas include: guilty, not guilty, no contest, or not
guilty by reason of insanity.
(agreement) is a plea agreed to by a defendant
and the prosecutor; a negotiated plea that may set out exact terms
relating to punishment and disposition of a case.
(PSI) is a report compiled by the Probation Department after plea and
before sentencing to make sentencing recommendations to the judge.
is conditional freedom granted to an offender by
the court after conviction or guilty plea with requirements for the
offender’s behavior set and supervised by the court.
is a hearing before a judge to review the
performance of a defendant while on probation. Hearings are not
generally held unless a probationer has violated some term of their
is an attorney
community elected by the voters of a district to represent the
interests of the general public, including
, in court
proceedings against people accused of committing
jurisdictions use other terms for the prosecutor, such as
(a federal prosecutor), district attorney, or state’s
is the chief legal representative of the prosecution
in countries with either the common law adversarial system, or
the civil law inquisitorial system. The prosecution is the legal
party responsible for presenting the case in a criminal trial
against an individual accused of breaking the law.
is a lawyer from outside the government appointed
by an attorney general or, in the United States, by Congress to
investigate a government official for misconduct while in office. A
reasoning for such an appointment is that the governmental branch or
agency may have political connections
to those it might be asked to investigate. Inherently, this creates a
conflict of interest
and a solution
is to have someone from outside the department lead the investigation.
is an attorney
employed by a
government agency to represent defendants who are unable to hire
is to send back to a lower court. Typically refers to a situation where a Defendant in Superior
Court asks to return a misdemeanor conviction to District Court for
compliance with the judgment of that court.
is an act of correcting an error
or a fault or an evil. Set straight or right. Provide relief for.
, or judicial relief or a judicial remedy, is the means with
which a court of law
, usually in the exercise of
, enforces a right, imposes a penalty, or makes
another court order to impose its will.
given for an
is a state law that allows the prosecutor to request restitution
for the victim’s losses) as part of the sentence of any defendant
who is found guilty of a crime. Reimbursable losses include
out-of-pocket expenses (such as repair costs, medical bills, and
stolen property) which have not previously been covered.
law of gains-based recovery. It is to be contrasted with the law of
compensation, which is the law of loss-based recovery. Obligations to make
restitution and obligations to pay compensation are each a type of legal
response to events in the real world. When a court orders restitution it
orders the defendant to give up his/her gains to the claimant. When a
court orders compensation it orders the defendant to pay the claimant for
his or her loss.
refers to a judgment of the court or an award of an
arbitration tribunal is a binding adjudication of the rights or other
legal relations of the parties which does not provide for or order
enforcement. Where the declaration is made by a court, it is usually
referred to as a declaratory judgment. Less commonly, where declaratory
relief is awarded by an arbitrator
, it is normally
called a declaratory award.Justice
is the fee a defendant pays for an attorney
Rights of the Defendant
are the powers and privileges which are constitutionally guaranteed
to any person
arrested and accused of committing a crime including:
the right to
; the right to an attorney at all stages of the
proceedings; the right to a court-appointed attorney if the
defendant does not have the financial means to hire her/his own
counsel; the right to release on reasonable bail
; the right to a
speedy public trial before a jury or judge; the right to the process
of the court to subpoena and produce witnesses; the right to see,
hear and question the witnesses during the trial; and the right not
to incriminate himself/herself.
is an order in writing, issued by a judge or magistrate, in the name of
the state, directed to a sheriff, or other officer, commanding him
to search a specific house, shop, or other premises, for specific
property related to a crime.
is a decree of
. In law, a
sentence forms the final explicit act of a judge-ruled
, and also the symbolic principal act connected to his
function. The sentence can generally involve a decree of imprisonment, a
fine and/or other punishments against a defendant convicted of a
is an act of the legislature declaring, commanding, or prohibiting something.
Statute of Limitations
are laws passed by legislative bodies in common
law systems to set the maximum time after an event within which legal
proceedings may be initiated. When the period of time specified in a
statute of limitations passes, a claim might no longer be filed, or, if
filed, may be liable to be struck out if the defense to that claim is, or
includes, that it is statute barred as having been filed after the
limitations period. The intention of these laws is to facilitate
resolution within a "reasonable" length of time. What period of time is
considered "reasonable" varies from country to country, and within
countries such as the United States from state to state, and within
countries and states from civil or criminal action to civil or criminal
action. Some countries, and some crimes (depending on the country), have
no statute of limitations whatsoever. In civil law systems, similar
provisions are typically part of their civil or criminal codes and known
collectively as periods of prescription. The cause of action dictates the
statute of limitations, which can be reduced (or extended) to ensure a
fair trial. When a statute of limitations expires in a criminal case, the
courts no longer have jurisdiction. Analysis of a statute of limitations
includes the examination of any associated statute of repose, tolling
provisions, and exclusions.
is a court paper requesting the appearance of a
to be present at a court proceeding.
is a citation requiring a defendant to appear in court to answer a suit to which has been
brought against him.
is a legal document
issued by a court
is a Court
is a person who is believed by criminal justice officials to be one who may have committed a
specific crime, but who has not been arrested or formally charged.
Once arrested a suspect is called a defendant.
are the statements made in court by people who have
or affirmed to
tell the truth
is a form
of evidence that is obtained from a witness who makes a solemn statement
or declaration of fact. Testimony may be oral or written, and it is
usually made by oath or affirmation under penalty of perjury.
is a verbatim writing of what was said in court during a trial, or a paper writing
setting out terms of a plea taken from a defendant. Also a copy of
an original writing or deed. Verbatim
is exactly the same words used by a writer or speaker.
is an examination of issues of fact and law before a judge
and sometimes a
evidence is presented to determine whether or not the accused person
is guilty of committing a specific crime.
Right to a Fair Trial
is an administrative court that hears only traffic matters, usually
uncontested. U.S. Attorney
is a neighborhood, place, or county in which an injury or crime was done; or where a
hearing/trial is held.
is the decision of a judge or jury at the end of a trial
that the accused defendant is
either guilty or not guilty.
Victim Compensation Program
is a program of the state designed to provide compensation to
victims of certain crimes for their damages and expenses. Initial
application for funds is generally made through the office of the
District Attorney through the use victim impact statements.
Victim Impact Statement
is a form provided to allow
crime to provide the court with their comments about the impact the
crime had on them.
Victim Witness Assistant
are employees of the District Attorney's Office that are assigned to provide
information and assistance to the victims of crime. They act as
liaison between the victim and the Assistant District Attorney
assigned to a case.
is the intentional or voluntary relinquishment of a known right.
is a writ from a court
commanding police to perform specified acts based on reasonable adequate
refers to a specific type of authorization, that is,
a writ issued by a competent officer, usually a judge or magistrate, which
permits an otherwise illegal act that would violate individual rights and
affords the person executing the written protection from damages if the
act is performed. According to the U.S. Constitution, the person being
investigated, arrested or having their property seized is given a copy.
or Bench Warrant
is a warrant
authorizing law enforcement officials to apprehend an offender and bring
that person to court.
is a court order that a magistrate, judge or Supreme Court official issues
to authorize law enforcement officers to conduct a search of a person,
location, or vehicle for evidence of a crime
and to confiscate any evidence they find. In most countries a search
warrant cannot be issued in aid of civil process.
is a person who has directly seen an event, such as a crime or who has
other knowledge that is related to a court case; or some thing, such
as a piece of physical evidence.
is someone who has, who claims to have, or is thought, by someone with
authority to compel testimony
, to have knowledge
relevant to an event or other matter of interest. In law a witness is
someone who, either voluntarily or under compulsion, provides testimonial
evidence, either oral or written, of what he or she knows or claims to
know about the matter before some official authorized to take such
testimony. A percipient witness or eyewitness is one who testifies what
they perceived through his or her
hearing, smelling, touching). That
either with the unaided human sense or with the aid of an instrument, e.g:
or stethoscope, or by
other scientific means, e.g: a chemical reagent which changes color in the
presence of a particular substance. A
is one who testifies what someone else said or wrote. In most
court proceedings there are many limitations on when hearsay evidence is
admissible. Such limitations do not apply to grand jury investigations,
many administrative proceedings, and may not apply to declarations used in
support of an arrest or search warrant. Also some types of statements are
not deemed to be hearsay and are not subject to such limitations.
- Expert Witness
Writ of Execution
is a writ to put in force the judgment of decree of a court.
Will - Trust
a person appointed by the court to handle the
estate of someone who
without a will. (administrator of an estate).
is a a negotiator who settles
a person named by the maker of a will or nominated by the testator to
carry out the instructions of the will. Is someone who is responsible for
executing, or following through on, an assigned task or duty. An executor
person or institution appointed by a testator to carry out the terms of
their will. (Executor Office).
of a trust is
the person who creates the trust. It's a person who settles property on
trust law for the benefit of beneficiaries. In some legal systems, a
settlor is also referred to as a trustor
, or occasionally, a grantor or
donor. Where the trust is a testamentary trust, the settlor is usually
referred to as the testator. The settlor may also be the trustee of the
trust (where he declares that he holds his own property on trusts) or a
third party may be the trustee (where he transfers the property to the
trustee on trusts). The settlor does two things. First, the settlor
establishes the legal document that contains the trust's terms. Second,
the settlor then transfers property into the trust, which is also known as
funding the trust.
Revocable trusts and
is the most common example of the settlor having multiple
roles involves revocable trusts. Also known as living trusts, a revocable
trust typically has the settlor also acting as the trustee
of the trust as
well as remaining one of the trust's primary beneficiaries. With a
revocable trust, the settlor usually retains the right to make changes to
any of the trust's terms at any time, including even the ability to
terminate the trust and take back all of its property. Even though the
settlor maintains substantial control in a typical revocable trust
situation, the trust document will clearly state limitations on that
power. For instance, if the settlor becomes unable to manage his or her
own financial affairs, then a successor trustee can take control of the
trust pursuant to its terms. The trust document will often include
provisions that state conditions under which power can pass to a successor
trustee.Irrevocable trusts and settlors
is with an irrevocable trust, the situation is quite different for the
settlor. Most of the time, a settlor will establish an irrevocable trust
for someone else's benefit. In that case, the trustee must follow the
terms of the trust document, and the settlor does not retain the ability
to make changes to the trust after its formation.
is the person for whose benefit the trust is created. The person
for whose use the feoffment was made.
was the deed by which a person was given land in exchange
for a pledge of service.
Foust - Executor, Advocate & Revocate
Power of Attorney
is a written authorization to represent or act on
another's behalf in private affairs, business, or some other legal matter,
sometimes against the wishes of the other. The person authorizing the
other to act is the principal, grantor, or donor (of the power). The one
authorized to act is the agent or, in some common law jurisdictions, the
attorney-in-fact (attorney for short). Formerly, a power referred to an
instrument under seal while a letter was an instrument under hand, but
today both are signed by the grantor, and therefore there is no difference
between the two.
A Representative could sign on someone else's behalf
. It's called
(p.p.) But when the person is deceased or
incapacitated, then you need to have a power of attorney.
You can Revoke your Power
whenever you want, as long as you are mentally
competent. This revocation should be in writing, signed by you in front of
a notary public, and delivered to the attorney-in-fact and any third
parties with whom your agent has been in contact.
is the person you
designate to assist or handle affairs related to your health care
services. This may be someone you designate as a Power of Attorney, a
family member, friend, caregiver, or an advocate you assign to assist with
an exception, appeal or grievance.
is a guardian or a protector is appointed by a judge to manage the
financial affairs and/or daily life of another due to physical or mental
limitations, or old age. The conservator may be only of the "estate"
(financial affairs), but may be also of the "person," wherein he/she takes
charge of overseeing the daily activities, such as health care or living
arrangements of the conservatee
is a person who has the legal authority (and the
corresponding duty) to care for the personal and property interests of
another person, called a ward. Guardians are typically used in three
situations: guardianship for an incapacitated senior (due to old age or
infirmity), guardianship for a minor, and guardianship for developmentally
representative who acts on behalf of other persons or organizations.
is a person who holds a legal or
trust with one or more other parties (person or group of persons).
Typically, a fiduciary prudently takes care of money or other asset for
is a person who has written and executed a last will and testament that is
in effect at the time of his/her death. It is any "person who makes a
Will and Testament
is a legal document by which a person, the
testator, expresses his or her wishes as to how his or her property is to
be distributed at death, and names one or more persons, the executor, to
manage the estate until its final distribution. For the devolution of
property not disposed of by will, see inheritance and intestacy.
relationship whereby property is held by one party for the benefit of
another. A trust is created by a settlor, who transfers property to a
trustee. The trustee holds that property for the trust's beneficiaries.
English Trust Law
concerns the creation and protection of asset funds,
which are usually held by one party for another's benefit.
Constructive Trusts in English Law
are a form of trust created by the
courts primarily where the defendant has dealt with property in an
"unconscionable manner", but also in other circumstances; the property
will be held in "constructive trust" for the harmed party, obliging the
defendant to look after it.
is a natural person or other legal entity who receives
money or other benefits from a benefactor. For example, the beneficiary of
a life insurance policy is the person who receives the payment of the
amount of insurance after the death of the insured.
in the law of contracts
is a person who may have the right to sue on a contract, despite not
having originally been an active party to the contract.
practice of passing on property, titles, debts, rights, and obligations
upon the death of an individual. The rules of inheritance differ between
societies and have changed over time.
refers to any
person who holds property, authority, or a position of trust or
responsibility for the benefit of another. A trustee can also refer to a
person who is allowed to do certain tasks but not able to gain income.
The Trustee Act, 1893
is an office established pursuant to national (and,
where applicable, state or territory) statute, to act as a trustee,
usually where a sum is required to be deposited as security by
legislation, where courts remove another trustee, or for estates where
either no executor is named by will or the testator elects to name the
is the net worth of a person at any point in time alive
or dead. It is the sum of a person's assets – legal rights, interests and
entitlements to property of any kind – less all liabilities at that time.
The issue is of special legal significance on a question of bankruptcy and
death of the person.
Property List Attachment "A"
of an author who has died will consist mainly of the copyright and other
intellectual property rights of published works, including for example
film and translation rights. It may also include original manuscripts of
published work, which potentially have a market value, unpublished work in
a finished state or partially completed work and papers of intrinsic
literary interest such as correspondence or personal diaries and records.
In academia, the German term Nachlass for the legacy of papers is often
used. A literary executor
is a person
granted (by a will) decision-making power in respect of a literary estate.
is the process of handing over (personal) digital
media in the form of digital assets and rights to (human) beneficiaries.
The process includes understanding what digital assets and rights exist
and dealing with them after a person has died. A
is responsible for managing your digital assets
after you die, paying any debts or maintenance fees on behalf of your
digital estate, and making sure that your digital assets are distributed
to the people you want in the way you want.
Uniform Commercial Code-1 is a legal form that a creditor files
to give notice that it has or may have an interest in the personal
property of a debtor (a person who owes a debt to the creditor as
typically specified in the agreement creating the debt). This form is
filed in order to "perfect" a creditor's security interest by giving
public notice that there is a right to take possession of and sell certain
assets for repayment of a specific debt with a certain priority. Such
notices of sale are often found in the local newspapers. Once the form has
been filed, the creditor establishes a relative priority with other
creditors of the debtor. This process is also called "perfecting the
security interest" in the property, and this type of loan is a secured
loan. A financing statement may also be filed in the real estate records
by a lessor of fixtures to establish the priority of the lessor's rights
against a holder of a mortgage or other lien on the real property. The
creditor's rights against the debtor and the lessor's rights against the
lessee are based on the credit documents and the lease, respectively, and
not the financing statement.Grantor
is an individual who conveys or transfers ownership of property. In real
property law, an individual who sells land is known as the grantor.
party (e.g. person, organization, company, or government) that has a claim
on the services of a second party. It is a person or institution to whom
money is owed. The first party, in general, has provided some property or
service to the second party under the assumption (usually enforced by
contract) that the second party will return an equivalent property and
service. The second party is frequently called a debtor or borrower. The
first party is the creditor, which is the lender of property, service or
is a voluntary arrangement between two or more parties that is enforceable
at law as a binding legal agreement. Contract is a branch of the law of
obligations in jurisdictions of the civil law tradition. A contract arises
when the parties agree that there is an agreement. Formation of a contract
generally requires an offer, acceptance, consideration, and a mutual
intent to be bound. Each party to a contract must have capacity to enter
the agreement. Minors, intoxicated persons, and those under a mental
affliction may have insufficient capacity to enter a contract. Some types
of contracts may require formalities, such as a memorialization in
legally enforceable promise - between legally competent parties - to do or
refrain from doing a specified, legal act or acts. In a unilateral
contract, one party pays the other party to perform a certain
is a is a reciprocal
arrangement between two parties where each promises to perform an act in
exchange for the other party's act. Each party is an (a person who is
bound to another) to its own promise, and an obligee (a person to whom
another is obligated
or bound) on the other party's promise.
Four Corners Rule
is the meaning of a written contract, will, or deed
as represented solely by its textual content.
Be aware of
the text inside the
brackets is optional OR that you should consider whether the text inside
the brackets should be edited. The square brackets (only) will be removed
(thereby confirming the clear intention of the contracting parties to
incorporate the bracketed text into the agreement); OR Both the square
brackets and the text within them are removed (thereby confirming the
clear intention of the contracting parties NOT to incorporate the
bracketed text into the agreement).
is the concept of legal value
in connection with
contracts. It is anything of value promised to another when making a
contract. An agreement made without consideration is void, unless– it is
expressed in writing and registered under the law for the time being in
force for the registration of documents, and is made on account of natural
love and affection between parties standing in a near relation to each
other; or unless it is a promise to compensate, wholly or in part, a
person who has already voluntarily done something for the promisor, or
something which the promisor was legally compellable to do, or unless it
is a promise, made in writing and signed by the person to be charged
therewith, or by his agent generally or specially authorized in that
behalf, to pay wholly or in part a debt of which the creditor might have
enforced payment but for the law for the limitation of suits. It can take
the form of money, physical objects, services, promised actions,
abstinence from a future action, and much more. Consideration to create a
legally enforceable contract entails a bargained for, legal detriment
incurred by the promisee
OR a legal benefit to the promisor. Under the
notion of "pre-existing duties", if either the promisor or the promisee
already had a legal obligation to render such payment, it cannot be seen
as consideration in the legal sense.
Mistake Contract Law
The 'unilateral mistake', the 'mutual mistake' and the 'common
'. The distinction between the 'common mistake' and the 'mutual
mistake' is important. Another breakdown in contract law divides mistakes
into four traditional categories: unilateral mistake, mutual mistake,
mistranscription, and misunderstanding.
is where both the parties enter into an agreement are under
a mistake as to a matter of fact essential to the agreement, the agreement
is void, which means lacking any legal or binding force, Declare invalid.
Termination for “convenience”
are standard clauses in construction contracts seen in both the public and
private works settings, generally allowing one party to terminate a
contract even in the absence of the other party's fault or breach, and
without suffering the usual financial consequences of a breach.
is a unilateral
repudiation by a party of its obligations when a fundamental breach of the
contract by the other party is imminent.
Two Signature Rule
is a control mechanism designed to achieve a high level
of security for especially critical material or operations. Under this
rule all access and actions requires the presence of two authorized people
at all times.
A contract typically does not have to be notarized.
is to approve and express
agreement with a statement or proposal to do something,
, or obligation.
is a person
authorized to perform certain legal formalities, especially to draw up or
certify contracts, deeds, and other documents for use in other
jurisdictions. Notary is a lawyer (though not necessarily so in the United
States) or person with legal training who is licensed by the government to
perform acts in legal affairs, in particular witnessing signatures on
documents. The form that the notarial profession takes varies with local
legal systems. A notary is a person licensed to approve other’s
signatures. Any private contracts for sales of goods or services do not
require a notary signature. In addition, come court papers, such as
petitions and motions do not have to be notarized, mainly because the
person filing the form is the person who drafted it. With a few states as
exceptions, divorce papers do not require a notarized signature either. In
addition, adoption papers, wills, trusts, and medical release forms all
require a notary signature. In general, you will see a box at the bottom
of the document that says, “notary signature” if the document has to be
is a handwritten (and often stylized) depiction of someone's
name, nickname, or even a simple "X" or other mark that a person writes on
documents as a proof of identity and intent. The writer of a signature is
a signatory or signer. Similar to a handwritten signature, a signature
work describes the work as readily identifying its creator. A signature
may be confused with an autograph, which is chiefly an artistic signature.
This can lead to confusion when people have both an autograph and
signature and as such some people in the public eye keep their signatures
private whilst fully publishing their autograph.
is to mark with one's signature; write
one's name (on). Approve and express assent,
, or obligation.
Be engaged by a written agreement.
or e-signature, refers to data in electronic form, which is
logically associated with other data in electronic form and which is used
by the signatory to sign. This type of signature provides the same legal
standing as a handwritten signature as long as it adheres to the
requirements of the specific regulation it was created under.
Standard Form Contract
is a contract between two parties, where the
terms and conditions of the contract are set by one of the parties, and
the other party has little or no ability to negotiate more favorable terms
and is thus placed in a "take it or leave it" position. While these types
of contracts are not illegal per se, there exists a very real possibility
for unconscionability. In addition, in the event of an ambiguity, such
ambiguity will be resolved contra proferentem against the party drafting
the contract language. Sometimes referred to as a contract of adhesion, a
leonine contract, or a take-it-or-leave-it contract.
10 Rules of Commerce
1. You can only control that which you create.
(Create a child)
2. You can not control that which you did not create.
(State has no control over child)
3. All of commerce is based on Title.
(Birth certificate, MSO
4. The only true Title to anything is the MSO. (Geneses 1 verse 1)
When you register anything anywhere you give up Title. (Car, Child, vote)
6. There is no Money/ (there is no Spoon). (Only credit in circulation
Public, and private)
7. There is no involuntary Servitude. (Amistad,
8. First in line is first in time. (Recorded into public record
9. Do not interfere with commerce.
10. Allow nothing to
come between you and your Creator. (Eliminating paganism)
is the voluntary relinquishment or surrender of some known right or
. Key factors that some courts (depending on jurisdiction) may
look at while determining the applicability of a waiver: In some
jurisdictions, one may not prospectively waive
for some or all
. Waivers generally must be made voluntarily and
with the full knowledge (or the ability to know) of the right being
waived. The waiver should be unambiguous and clear to a reasonable person.
In some jurisdictions (not including the United States), it may be
necessary that the parties to the waiver have equal bargaining power. A
waiver may have limited application where one contracts for an "essential
service" such that it may violate public policy for liability to be
waived. A waiver that the courts will not enforce because the purpose of
the agreement is to achieve an illegal end constitutes an illegal
agreement. Non-Waiver Contract specifies that no rights are waived,
particularly if a person's actions may suggest that rights are being
waived. You should still be able to be a
Reservation of Rights
is a statement that one is intentionally
retaining his full legal rights to warn others of those rights. The
notice avoids later claims that one waived legal rights that were held
under a contract, copyright law, or any other applicable law.
is a defense against the
enforcement of a contract or portion of a contract. If a contract is
unfair or oppressive to one party in a way that suggests abuses during its
formation, a court may find it unconscionable and refuse to enforce it. A
contract is most likely to be found unconscionable if both unfair
bargaining and unfair substantive terms are shown. An absence of
meaningful choice by the disadvantaged party is often used to prove unfair
is a doctrine in contract law that describes terms
that are so extremely unjust, or overwhelmingly one-sided in favor of the
party who has the superior bargaining power, that they are contrary to
good conscience. Typically, an unconscionable contract is held to be
unenforceable because no reasonable or informed person would otherwise
agree to it. The perpetrator of the conduct is not allowed to benefit,
because the consideration offered is lacking, or is so obviously
inadequate, that to enforce the contract would be unfair to the party
seeking to escape the contract.Warning:
People will lie and say they were coerced, mostly because they were
advised to do so. This is a type of frivolous act
is an attempt to extort money, which is punishable by law.
Lying under oath and making false claims is also a
. Making Malicious Vexatious Legal Threats is
extremely dangerous. Perjury
Contract Clause Article I of the United States Constitution
: No State
shall enter into any Treaty, Alliance, or Confederation; grant Letters of
Marque and Reprisal; coin Money; emit Bills of Credit; make any Thing but
gold and silver Coin a Tender in Payment of Debts; pass any Bill of
Attainder, ex post facto Law, or Law impairing the Obligation of
Contracts, or grant any Title of Nobility. The Contract Clause prohibits
states from enacting any law that retroactively impairs contract rights.
The Contract Clause applies only to state legislation, not federal
legislation or court decisions.Contract Clause
is a specific provision or section within a written contract. Each clause
in a contract addresses a specific aspect related to the overall subject
matter of the agreement. Contract clauses are aimed at clearly defining
the duties, rights and privileges that each party has under the contract
Breach of Contract
is a legal cause of action in which a binding
agreement or bargained-for exchange is not honored by one or more of the
parties to the contract by non-performance or interference with the other
party's performance. If the party does not fulfill his contractual
promise, or has given information to the other party that he will not
perform his duty as mentioned in the contract or if by his action and
conduct he seems to be unable to perform the contract, he is said to
breach the contract. Breach of contract is a type of civil wrong.
Never Give Up Your Right to Sue
or forced arbitration, is a clause in a contract
that requires the parties to resolve their disputes through an
arbitration process. Although such a clause may or may not specify that
arbitration occur within a specific jurisdiction, it always binds the
parties to a type of resolution outside the courts
and is therefore considered a kind of forum selection clause.
Mandatory arbitration deprives workers and consumers of their rights
By delegating dispute resolution to arbitration, the Court now permits
corporations to write the rules that will govern their relationships with
their workers and customers and
design the procedures used to
interpret and apply those rules when disputes arise. Moreover, the Court
permits corporations to couple mandatory arbitration with a ban on class
actions, thereby preventing consumers or employees from joining together
to challenge systemic corporate wrongdoing. This is a “get out of jail
free” card for all potential
by corporations. These trends are undermining decades
of progress in consumer and labor rights.
To Sue, or not to Sue?
Sue is to initiate legal proceedings against someone; File a
lawsuit to seek a legal remedy
to correct an error
or a fault or an evil.
The biggest reason for people to
sue someone is when you know that the lawsuit will help
stop this person, or persons, from
victimizing other people
this is not about
, this is about correcting a destructive flaw, no
one should have the right to kill people or have the right to cause
suffering of other people. So if someone manipulates or coerces
into an action that is illogical and possibly destructive, then
that's when a lawsuit and justice is necessary. And you can't fight
evil with evil or money with money, you have to fight injustice
with justice, and you want to make sure that not only do the laws
change, but more importantly, that people change, and also that
everything learned in the lawsuit is thoroughly
future generations are not exploited by the same kind of
ignorance that we are currently suffering from today. Of course I'm
more interested in educating people then I am suing people, But if I
feel that a legal action could also be used as a learning platform
and a public classroom with lessons on
, politics, money and human behavior, then a lawsuit
would be even more effective, because it not only attains to end the
abuse, it also attains to make more people aware of this abuse. this way
ignorance doesn't have a place to hide, so ignorance will gradually just
fade away and become less and less of a burden on society. We have known
for some time that Knowledge is our most valuable resource and our most
powerful tool for change, you can almost go as far as saying that Learning
is God, or at the least, that learning is something of great importance.
is a set of facts sufficient to justify a right to sue to
obtain money, property, or the enforcement of a right against another
party. The term also refers to the legal theory upon which a plaintiff
brings suit (such as Breach of Contract
, battery, or false imprisonment).
The legal document which carries a claim is often called a Statement of
Claim in English law, or a Complaint in U.S. federal practice and in many
U.S. states. It can be any communication notifying the party to whom it is
addressed of an alleged fault which resulted in damages, often expressed
in amount of money the receiving party should pay/reimburse. To pursue a
cause of action, a plaintiff pleads or alleges facts in a complaint, the
pleading that initiates a lawsuit. A cause of action generally encompasses
both the legal theory (the legal wrong the plaintiff claims to have
suffered) and the remedy (the relief a court is asked to grant). Often the
facts or circumstances that entitle a person to seek judicial relief may
create multiple causes of action. Although it is fairly straightforward to
file a Statement of Claim in most jurisdictions, if it is not done
properly, then the filing party may lose his case due to simple
technicalities. There are a number of specific causes of action,
including: contract-based actions; statutory causes of action; torts such
as assault, battery, invasion of privacy, fraud, slander, negligence,
intentional infliction of emotional distress; and suits in equity such as
unjust enrichment and quantum meruit
. The points a plaintiff must prove
to win a given type of case are called the "elements" of that cause of
action. For example, for a claim of negligence, the elements are: the
(existence of a) duty, breach (of that duty), proximate cause (by that
breach), and damages. If a complaint does not allege facts sufficient to
support every element of a claim, the court, upon motion by the opposing
party, may dismiss the complaint for failure to state a claim for which
relief can be granted. The defendant to a cause of action must file an
"Answer" to the complaint in which the claims can be admitted or denied
(including denial on the basis of insufficient information in the
complaint to form a response). The answer may also contain counterclaims
in which the "Counterclaim Plaintiff" states its own causes of action.
Finally, the answer may contain affirmative defenses. Most defenses must
be raised at the first possible opportunity either in the answer or by
motion or are deemed waived. A few defenses, in particular a court's lack
of subject matter jurisdiction, need not be pleaded and may be raised at
person who brings an action in a court of law, the party who initiates a
lawsuit (also known as an action) before a court.
in reference to a civil action brought in a court of law in which a
plaintiff, a party who claims to have
as a result of a defendant's actions, demands a legal or
. The defendant is required to respond to the
plaintiff's complaint. If the plaintiff is successful, judgment is in the
plaintiff's favor, and a variety of court orders may be issued to enforce
a right, award damages, or impose a temporary or permanent injunction to
prevent an act or compel an act. A declaratory judgment may be issued to
prevent future legal disputes. Complaint
is the process of taking
is a type of lawsuit where one of the parties is a group of
people who are represented
by a member of that group. allow consumer organizations
to bring claims on behalf of consumers.
is a proceeding that permits a person to enter into
a lawsuit already in progress; admission of person not an original
party to the suit so that person can protect some right or interest that
is allegedly affected by the proceedings. The purpose of intervention is
to prevent unnecessary duplication of lawsuits. And the basic rationale
for intervention is that a judgment in a particular case may affect the
rights of nonparties, who ideally should have the
right to be heard
causes someone else to
suffer loss or harm
legal liability or an action for damages for the wrongdoing from the
person who commits the tortious act, called a tortfeasor. Although crimes
may be torts, the cause of legal action is not necessarily a crime, as the
harm may be due to negligence which does not amount to criminal
negligence. The victim of the harm can recover their loss as damages in a
lawsuit. In order to prevail, the plaintiff in the lawsuit, commonly
referred to as the injured party, must show that the actions or lack of
action was the legally recognizable cause of the harm. The equivalent of
tort in civil law jurisdictions is delict. Justice
is a body of rights, obligations,
and remedies that is applied by courts in civil proceedings to provide
relief for persons who have suffered harm from the wrongful acts of
others. The person who sustains injury or suffers pecuniary damage as the
result of tortious conduct is known as the plaintiff, and the person who
is responsible for inflicting the injury and incurs liability for the
damage is known as the defendant or tortfeasor.
occurs when an insurer pays an
insured for a loss caused by a third party. The insurance company is then
“subrogated” – or steps into the shoes of the insured – to sue that third
party for the loss suffered by the insured.
is a legal doctrine whereby one person is entitled to
enforce the support or the restoring of rights of another for one's own
is legal action which is brought, regardless of its merits,
solely to harass or subdue an adversary. It may take the form of a primary
frivolous lawsuit or may be the repetitive, burdensome, and unwarranted
filing of meritless motions in a matter which is otherwise a meritorious
cause of action. Filing vexatious litigation is considered an abuse of the
judicial process and may result in sanctions against the offender. A
or complaint is one that
has no serious purpose or value.
the use of false liens, frivolous lawsuits, bogus
letters of credit, and other legal documents
lacking sound factual basis
as a method of harassment. Barratry
is any act committed with the intent to obtain a
outcome from an insurance
process. This may occur when a claimant attempts to obtain some benefit or
advantage to which they are not otherwise entitled
or when an insurer knowingly denies some benefit that is due. According to
the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation the most common schemes
include: Premium Diversion, Fee Churning, Asset Diversion, and Workers
Compensation Fraud. The perpetrators in these schemes can be both
insurance company employees and claimants. False insurance claims are
insurance claims filed with the intent to
an insurance provider.
Lying Under Oath
Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation
(SLAPP) is a lawsuit
that is intended to censor, intimidate, and silence critics by burdening
them with the cost of a legal defense until they abandon their criticism
or opposition. Such lawsuits have been made illegal in many jurisdictions
on the grounds that they impede freedom of speech.
is the inhibition or discouragement of the legitimate
exercise of natural
and legal rights
by the threat of legal sanction. The
right that is most often described as being
by a chilling
effect is the US constitutional right to free speech. A chilling effect
may be caused by legal actions such as the passing of a law, the decision
of a court, or the threat of a lawsuit; any legal action that would cause
people to hesitate to exercise a legitimate right (freedom of speech or
otherwise) for fear of legal repercussions. When that fear is brought
about by the threat of a libel lawsuit, it is called libel chill.
statement by a party that it intends to take legal action on another party,
generally accompanied by a demand that the other party take an action demanded
by the first party or refrain from taking or continuing actions objected to by
the demanding party.
and Abuse Crimes)
Investor-State Dispute Settlement
ISDS is an instrument of public
international law that grants an investor the right to use dispute
settlement proceedings against a country's government.
Abuse of Process
a cause of action in tort arising from one party making a malicious and
deliberate misuse or perversion of regularly issued court process (civil or
criminal) not justified by the underlying legal action. It is a common law
intentional tort. It is to be distinguished from malicious prosecution, another
type of tort that involves misuse of the public right of access to the courts.
is a common law intentional tort, while like the tort of abuse
of process, its elements include (1) intentionally (and maliciously) instituting
and pursuing (or causing to be instituted or pursued) a legal action (civil or
criminal) that is (2) brought without probable cause and (3) dismissed in favor
of the victim of the malicious prosecution. In some jurisdictions, the term
"malicious prosecution" denotes the wrongful initiation of criminal proceedings,
while the term "malicious use of process" denotes the wrongful initiation of
- False Evidence
is exploiting a
situation through Fraud or Unconscionable conduct. Conduct that exceeds
established limits (as of authority or
). The gaining of an
unconscionable advantage over another especially by unfair or deceptive
refers to a situation where a person's equitable property
right is dissolved, detached from a piece of property, and reattached to
money that is given by a third party for the property.
I'm wondering when someone will sue the U.S. Government for
? Federal Tort Claims Act
(Suing the Government, and since they are a
, it's legal and
To be a Judge..here come the judge, here
come the judge...
Justices are appointed by the president and are subject to confirmation by the
Senate. They serve a life term. There are currently eight Associate
Justices on the
and one Chief Justice of the United
About Federal Judges
- ConfirmationChief Justice of the United States
is appointed by the president and confirmed by the
Senate. The Chief Justice may be “promoted” from the status of
Associate Justice, or may be a new appointment to the Court. He or
she serves a life term just like the other Justices of the
. The Chief Justice also serves as the head of the judicial
branch of the federal government, and acts as the judge in
involving the president and vice president.
presides over court proceedings
, either alone or as a part of a
panel of judges. The powers, functions, method of appointment, discipline,
and training of judges vary widely across different
judge is supposed to conduct the trial impartially and in an
The judge hears all the witnesses
and any other
presented by the
barristers of the case, assesses the credibility and arguments of the
parties, and then issues a ruling on the matter at hand based on his or
her interpretation of the law and his or her own personal judgment. In
some jurisdictions, the judge's powers may be shared with a
inquisitorial systems of criminal investigation, a judge might also be an
examining magistrate. Judgment
judicial officer who hears cases in a lower court
, and typically deals
with more minor or preliminary matters. In other jurisdictions (e.g.,
England and Wales), magistrates may be volunteers without formal legal
training who perform a judicial role with regard to minor matters. Refers
to a civilian officer who administers the law. A magistrate is responsible
for administration over a particular geographic area.
How to Become a Judge
is a legal body that is empowered to conduct official
proceedings to investigate potential criminal conduct and to determine
whether criminal charges should be brought. A grand jury may compel the
production of documents and may compel the sworn testimony of witnesses to
appear before it. A grand jury is separate from the
, which do not preside over its functioning.
Grand Juries in the U.S.
Elected Judges (HBO)
The vast majority of US judges are
elected, forcing many judges to pander to the electorate and accept
campaign money in order to keep their jobs. This seems slightly
Sentencing General Principles
Seven Sentencing Principles
Principles of Sentencing
Evidence Based Practices Sentencing Criminal Offenders
is a set of judges who sit together to hear a
cause of action, most frequently an appeal from a ruling of a trial court
judge. Panels are used in contrast to single-judge appeals, and en banc
hearings, which involves all of the judges of that court. Most national
supreme courts sit as panels.
is the authority appellate courts
have to decide
which appeals they will consider from among the cases submitted to them.
This offers the judiciary a filter on what types of cases are appealed,
because judges have to consider in advance which cases will be accepted.
The appeals court will then be able to decide substantive cases with the
lowest opportunity cost. The opposite of discretionary review is
, in which appellate courts
must consider all appeals submitted.
The rules lead to fair treatment when
decisions are being made, and an honest explanation for how
decisions are made. The rules and procedures are not always fair
consistently for all people and for all situations, I need the real
Judges can be
corrupted. So how do you guarantee fairness, you can't, for now. So be
aware of this fact, the justice system can be corrupt. Most of the time
the Justice system usually works the way it should. But laws that are used
to protect people can also be used to attack people. When the justice
system is corrupted, laws can be manipulated by a
judges and lawyers
. And if you are not prepared for this corruption,
you will become a victim of the justice system. When you have corrupted
and ignorant people in positions of authority
, there are
no human rights
and there are no rights granted by U.S. constitution
. You only have
ignorant scumbags who believe that they are above the law. When you hear
people say that a Judge is hard on certain people, that means that the
Judge is biased and prejudice. Judges should only be
only on the facts. Judges are
not supposed to takes sides, but they do, so be aware. The courts are not
just attacking minorities and people of color, they attack anyone they
don't like, and they do it under the guise of law. These people are an
insult and a disgrace to their profession and to society. A
(unjust)Even Juries of 12 people can be
- Gerrymandering Dissent
is the difference
of one judge's opinion from that of the
is a non-agreement
or opposition to a prevailing idea.
Motion to Set Aside Judgment
is an application to overturn or set
aside a court's judgment, verdict or other final ruling in a case. Such a
motion is proposed by a party who is dissatisfied with the end result of a
case. Motions may be made at any time after entry of judgment, and in some
circumstances years after the case has been closed by the courts.
Generally the motion cannot be based on grounds which were previously
considered when deciding a motion for new trial or on an appeal of the
judgment, thus the motion can only be granted in unusual circumstances,
such as when the judgment was procured by fraud which could not have been
discovered at the time of the trial, or if the court entering the judgment
lacked the jurisdiction to do so.
: A void judgment is a judgment, decree, or order entered by a
court which lacks jurisdiction of the parties or of the subject matter, or
which lacks the inherent power to make or enter the particular order
means of no legal effect. An action, document or transaction
which is void is of no legal effect whatsoever: an absolute nullity — the
law treats it as if it had never existed or happened. The term void ab
initio, which means "to be treated as invalid from the outset
," comes from
adding the Latin phrase ab initio (from the beginning) as a qualifier. For
example, in many jurisdictions where a person signs a contract under
duress, that contract is treated as being void ab initio. Void.
ineffectual; nugatory; having no legal force or binding effect; unable, in
law, to support the purpose for which it was intended.
Abuse of Judicial Discretion
Complaint Form Judicial Review Council
in United States Law
is a procedural device for decision. It is a
request to the judge (or judges) to make a decision about the case. A "motion
" asks the court to decide that a claim, even if true as
stated, is not one for which the law offers a legal remedy.
is the removal of a lawyer from a bar association or the
practice of law, thus revoking his or her law license or admission to
practice law. Disbarment is usually a punishment for unethical or criminal
conduct. Procedures vary depending on the law society. Conduct indicating
that an attorney is not fit to practice law, willfully disregarding the
interests of a client, or engaging in fraud which impedes the
administration of justice. In addition, any lawyer who is convicted of a
felony is automatically disbarred in most jurisdictions, a policy
that, although opposed by the American Bar Association, has been described
as a convicted felon's just deserts. Their law license revoked or
rescinded, usually for unethical
or criminal conduct. Disbarment is quite
rare. Instead, lawyers are usually sanctioned by their own clients through
civil malpractice proceedings, or via fine, censure, suspension, or other
punishments from the disciplinary boards. To be disbarred is considered a
great embarrassment and shame, even if one no longer wishes to pursue a
career in the law.
28 U.S. Code § 176 - Removal from Office
Methods of Judicial Selection Removal of Judges
DCP Ct Bar
Superior Court Operations - External Affairs Division.
is to disqualify oneself (as a
judge) in a particular case.
Don't rely on government agencies
that pretend to fight corruption and crimes that are being committed by
people with authority. These agencies are mostly used to discourage
investigations, which makes people believe that they can't do anything
about criminals in power. But there are other methods to fight corruption
and criminal activity that are unknown to most people. It's doing several
things simultaneously, and doing some things in the correct sequence. It's
a multistep process, that if done right, can create changes, encourage
actions, remove criminals in power, and start a process towards
is a lawyer's failure to render professional services with
the skill, prudence, and diligence that an ordinary and reasonable lawyer
would use under similar circumstances.
is the term for negligence, breach of fiduciary
duty, or breach of contract by an attorney that causes harm to his or
her client. In order to rise to an actionable level of negligence (an
actual breach of a legal duty of care), the injured party must show that
the attorney's acts were not merely the result of poor strategy, but that
they were the result of errors that no reasonably prudent attorney would
make. Four elements of legal malpractice are (i) an attorney-client
relationship, (ii) negligence, (iii) causation, and (iv) financial loss.
To satisfy the third element, legal malpractice requires proof of what
would have happened had the attorney not been negligent; that is, "but
for" the attorney's negligence ("but for" causation). If the same result
would have occurred without negligence by the attorney, no cause of action
will be permitted. "But for" or actual causation can be difficult to
prove. If the malpractice alleged occurred in litigation, the legal
malpractice case may result in a "trial-within-a-trial" which delves into
the facts of the case for which the client originally retained the
refers to abuses associated with both civil and criminal legal
action. Abuse can originate from nearly any part of the legal system,
abuses by law enforcement
attorneys and misconduct from the
judiciary itself. Malfeasance
Abuse of Process
is a cause of action in tort arising from one party making misusing or
perversion of regularly issued court process (civil or criminal) not
justified by the underlying legal action. It is a common
law intentional tort
. It is to be distinguished from malicious prosecution
another type of tort that involves misuse of the public right of access to
the courts. The elements of a valid cause of action for abuse of process
in most common law jurisdictions are as follows: (1) the existence of an
ulterior purpose or motive underlying the use of process, and (2) some act
in the use of the legal process not proper in the regular prosecution of
the proceedings. Abuse of process can be distinguished from malicious
prosecution, in that abuse of process typically does not require proof of
malice, lack of probable cause in procuring issuance of the process, or a
termination favorable to the plaintiff, all of which are essential to a
claim of malicious prosecution. "Process," as used in this context,
includes not only the "service of process," i.e. an official summons or
other notice issued from a court, but means any method used to acquire
jurisdiction over a person or specific property that is issued under the
official seal of a court. Typically, the person who abuses process is
interested only in accomplishing some improper purpose that is collateral
to the proper object of the process and that offends justice, such as an
unjustified arrest or an unfounded criminal prosecution. Subpoenas to
testify, attachments of property, executions on property, garnishments,
and other provisional remedies are among the types of "process" considered
to be capable of abuse.
is unethical or illegal conduct by an attorney.
Attorney Misconduct may include: conflict of interest, over billing,
refusing to represent a client for political or professional motives,
false or misleading statements, hiding evidence, abandoning a client,
failing to disclose all relevant facts, arguing a position while
neglecting to disclose prior law which might counter the argument, and in
some instances having sex with a client.
Bullying in the Legal Profession
is "an illegal act or failing to act, on the
part of a prosecutor, especially an attempt to sway the jury to wrongly
convict a defendant or to impose a harsher than appropriate punishment."
It is similar to selective prosecution. Prosecutors are bound by a sets of
rules which outline fair and dispassionate conduct.
is the "causal relationship between conduct and
result". That is to say that causation provides a means of connecting
conduct with a resulting effect, typically an injury. In criminal law, it
is defined as the actus reus (an action) from which the specific injury or
other effect arose and is combined with mens rea (a state of mind) to
comprise the elements of guilt. Causation is only applicable where a
result has been achieved and therefore is immaterial with regard to
is an indispensable and essential action, condition, or
ingredient. In legal matters, "but-for", "sine qua non", causa sine qua
non, or "cause-in-fact" causation, or conditio sine qua non, is a
circumstance in which a certain act is a material cause of a certain
injury or wrongdoing, without which the injury would not have occurred. It
is established by the "but-for" test: but for the act having occurred, the
injury would not have happened. The defendant's negligent conduct is the
actual cause of the plaintiff's injury if the harm would not have occurred
to the plaintiff "but for" the negligent conduct of the defendant.
What's on My Record?Disposed
remains on your Record
, so it is better to
have your case Dismissed
and have everything on your record be
erased and expunged. You might have to make a motion to the court to order
the destruction of your fingerprints and booking photographs that were
collected at your arrest and are in the possession of the police
leads to unwarranted
prejudice and discrimination.
is a generic legal term
meaning the case or proceeding is completed. Disposition is used in
reference to the way in which the case was resolved. Some examples of the
disposition of a case are: conviction, acquittal, dismissal, etc., not to
be confused with verdict, which is a finding of guilty or not guilty, etc.
is legal term of art and a Latin legal phrase meaning "be unwilling to
pursue", a phrase amounting to "do not prosecute". It is a phrase used in
many common law criminal prosecution contexts to describe a prosecutor's
decision to voluntarily discontinue criminal charges either before trial
or before a verdict is rendered. It contrasts with an involuntary
that the accused is free from the charge of an offense, as far as the
criminal law is concerned.
Involuntary dismissal is the termination of a court case
despite the plaintiff's objection.
Dismissal in Civil Proceedings
is to promote the speedy and
efficient administration of justice by removing from the consideration of
a court any matters that have been unnecessarily delayed to the
disadvantage of the defendant.Dismissal
is a judgment rendered in a lawsuit on its merits
that prevents the plaintiff from bringing the same lawsuit against the
same defendant in the future.Dismissal
is when a plaintiff is not subsequently
barred from suing the same defendant on the same cause of action when a
court grants a dismissal Without Prejudice of his or her case. Such a
dismissal operates to terminate the case. It is not, however, an ultimate
disposition of the controversy on the merits, but rather it is usually
based upon procedural errors that do not substantially harm the
defendant's rights. It effectively treats the matter as if the lawsuit had
never been commenced, but it does not relieve a plaintiff of the duty of
complying with the Statute of Limitations, the time limit within which his
or her action must be commenced. A dismissal without prejudice is granted
in response to a notice of dismissal, stipulations, or a court order.
Motion by a Defendant
is when a
defendant may make a motion to a court to dismiss the Cause of Action if
the plaintiff has failed to appear to prosecute his or her case. A
plaintiff is obligated to prosecute the action with due diligence within a
reasonable time of commencing the action. If the passage of time hurts the
defendant in the preparation of his or her case or if it substantially
affects the defendant's rights, then the defendant may seek a dismissal
with prejudice. A dismissal will not be granted if the failure to
prosecute resulted from unavoidable circumstances, such as the death of
the plaintiff, and there is a delay in the appointment of a Personal
Representative to continue the action. When the parties attempt to
negotiate a settlement of the controversy, consequent delays in reaching
an agreement will not provide a basis for dismissal with prejudice. If,
however, a plaintiff delays prosecution based on the mere possibility of a
settlement without demonstrating concrete efforts to achieve an
agreement, a court may grant a dismissal upon the defendant's motion.
Sua sponte power of court
power to dismiss an action with prejudice if it is vexatious, brought in
bad faith, or when there has been a failure to prosecute it within a
reasonable time. If a plaintiff who has commenced an action fails to
comply with discovery devices, a court, which has issued the order of
compliance, may sua sponte dismiss the case with prejudice.
Notice of Dismissal
is when a plaintiff may
serve a notice of dismissal upon a defendant only if the defendant has not
yet submitted an answer in response to the plaintiff's complaint. A notice
of dismissal preserves the right of the plaintiff to commence a lawsuit at
a later date. While not commonly employed, such a notice is useful when
exigent circumstances—such as the sudden unavailability of
witnesses—warrant the termination of the action. The clerk of the court in
which the lawsuit was commenced must receive a copy of the notice of
dismissal served upon the defendant to adjust the record of the action
once a defendant has served an answer to the plaintiff's complaint, the
plaintiff may obtain a dismissal without prejudice by entering a formal
agreement, a stipulation, with the defendant. The parties agree to the
terms of the dismissal, which must be filed with the court clerk and put
into effect by the action of the clerk. A dismissal agreement is a court
order that enforces the stipulation of the parties. A dismissal by
stipulation is a dismissal without prejudice unless the parties otherwise
agree and record their agreement in the text of the stipulation.
is when a plaintiff may make a
motion to dismiss his or her action without prejudice if the plaintiff
cannot serve a notice of dismissal or obtain a stipulation. A dismissal
will not be granted to a plaintiff, however, if it would prejudice the
rights of any other individual who has a legal interest in the subject
matter of a lawsuit. If a joint tenant fails to agree with his or her
cotenant to dismiss an action against a landlord for breach of the
Warranty of habitability without prejudice, then there will not be a
dismissal.Dismissal in Criminal
A dismissal in a criminal prosecution is a decision
of a court, which has exercised its discretion prior to trial or before a
verdict is reached, that terminates the proceedings against the defendant.
The procedure by which dismissals in state and federal criminal actions
are obtained are governed, respectively, by the state and federal rules of
Criminal Procedure. In criminal prosecutions, delay often prejudices the
defendant's rights because of the greater likelihood that evidence would
be lost or memories or events would not be recalled easily. The
possibility of dismissal ensures the prompt government prosecution of
individuals accused of criminal activity.
The legal effect of a
dismissal in a criminal prosecution is dependent upon the type that is
granted by the court.Dismissal with
bars the government from prosecuting the accused on the
same charge at a later date. The defendant cannot subsequently be
reindicted because of the constitutional guarantee against Double
Jeopardy. A dismissal with prejudice is made in response to a motion to
the court by the defendant or by the court sua sponte.
Motion by a Defendant
may make a motion to
the court to have the charges against him or her—whether embodied in an
indictment, information, or complaint—dismissed with prejudice because the
delay has violated the individual's constitutional right to a Speedy Trial
or there is no sufficient evidence to support the charges. In deciding
whether a delay is unreasonable, the court evaluates the extent of the
delay, the reasons for it, the prejudice to the defendant, and the
defendant's contribution to the delay.Sua
Sponte Power of Court
with jurisdiction to decide criminal matters
can sua sponte dismiss a criminal prosecution with prejudice if the facts
of the case clearly established that an accused has been deprived of his
or her constitutional right to a speedy trial.
Dismissal without Prejudice
reindictment or retrial of a defendant on the same charge at a subsequent
date may be granted by a court acting sua sponte or after the prosecuting
attorney has made a motion to do so. Only nonconstitutional grounds that
do not adversely affect the rights of the defendant, such as the crowding
of court calendars, might be sufficient to warrant the dismissal of a
criminal action without prejudice.
Why do Judges Instruct Jurors?
Judges instruct jurors not to listen to the
radio or watch television
when they are a Juror during a trial.
Why? What's the point? Especially when Judges can't stop a corrupt
lawyer from saying the same things to jurors in court? Even though a
judge can stricken the comments from the record, the judge cannot
erase it from the minds of the jurors, so what's the point? You
would be better off teaching jurors
how not to be manipulated by
misinformation and propaganda? Whether it's from our
, or corrupted lawyers.
Fully Informed Jury Association
are the set of legal rules that jurors ought follow
when deciding a case. Jury
instructions are given to the jury by the jury
instructor, who usually reads them aloud to the jury. They are often the
subject of discussion of the case, how they will decide who is guilty, and
are given by the judge in order to make sure their interests are
represented and nothing prejudicial is said.
Instructions to the Jury
is the crime of unduly attempting to influence the
composition and/or decisions of a jury
course of a trial. In the United States, people have also been charged
with jury tampering for handing out pamphlets and flyers indicating that
jurors have certain rights and obligations, including an obligation to
vote their conscience notwithstanding the instructions they are given by
the judge. The means by which this crime could be perpetrated can include
attempting to discredit potential jurors to ensure they will not be
selected for duty. Once selected, jurors could be bribed or intimidated to
act in a certain manner on duty. It could also involve making unauthorized
contact with them for the purpose of introducing prohibited outside
information and then arguing for a mistrial.
How do you control
Bias in jury
How do you control Racial
in jury selection?
Integrity of the Jury Trial
. In the years
1865 and 1866, all-white juries in Texas heard a total of 500 prosecutions
of white defendants for killing African-Americans. In all 500 cases, the
white defendants were acquitted.
is a legal
phrase that refers to a variety of procedures connected with jury trials.
It originally referred to an oath
taken by jurors to tell the truth.
Eye Witness Memory Flaws
"When you judge another, you do not
define them, you define yourself."
Jury members cannot consult
outside texts or resources , even dictionaries, during deliberation.
The Place: All federal and state courts.
Even if they don’t know the meaning of a word, juries
must confine their knowledge of a
case to what’s presented in court. While
dictionaries might seem like a harmless text, most courts have ruled
that consulting one is in fact misconduct because it could color a
jury’s decision. Take the word “malice.” Merriam-Webster defines it
as “a desire to cause harm to another person,” while jury
instructions have defined it as “that condition of mind that prompts
a person to intentionally inflict damage without just cause, excuse,
If a jury member does
use a dictionary, it doesn’t necessarily mean the case will be
retried; attorneys have to prove that the definition inappropriately
swayed the decision. There have been several cases in which looking
up everything from “assault” to “intent” to “wanton” wasn’t enough
to warrant overturning a jury’s ruling. But judges in other cases
have found that a jury’s use of a dictionary or encyclopedia was
enough reason to do it all over again. In 2007, courts overturned a
Kentucky man’s rape conviction when it was discovered his
looked up the definition of “rape” in the dictionary. Webster and
Oxford don’t require “penetration” for something to be considered
rape. Kentucky law does. (this sounds really stupid).
is a tribunal, often as a government institution, with the authority
to adjudicate legal disputes between parties and carry out the
administration of justice in civil, criminal, and administrative matters
in accordance with the rule of law. In both common law and civil law legal
systems, courts and juries
are the central means for
it is generally understood that all persons have an ability to bring their
claims before a court. Similarly, the rights of those accused of a crime
include the right to present a defense before a court.
of the Court
were the original intermediate level courts of the United States federal
court system. They were established by the Judiciary Act of 1789. They had
trial court jurisdiction over civil suits of diversity jurisdiction and
major federal crimes. They also had appellate jurisdiction over the United
States district courts. The Judiciary Act of 1891 (26 Stat. 826, also
known as the Evarts Act) transferred their appellate jurisdiction to the
newly created United States circuit courts of appeals, which are now known
as the United States courts of appeals. On January 1, 1912, the effective
date of the Judicial Code of 1911, the circuit courts were abolished, with
their remaining trial court jurisdiction transferred to the U.S. district
courts. During the 100 years that the Justices of the Supreme Court "rode
circuit", many justices complained about the effort required. Riding
circuit took a great deal of time (about half of the year) and was both
physically demanding and dangerous. However, "members of Congress held
firm to the belief that circuit riding benefited the justices
populace, and they turned a deaf ear to the corps of justices that desired
to abolish the practice". The Judiciary Act of 1869 established a separate
circuit court (and allowed the hiring of judges
specifically to handle the
cases) but the act required that Supreme Court justices had to ride
circuit once every two years. However, this came to a final end in 1891
when the Circuit Courts of Appeals Act (Evarts Act) was passed. The net
result of riding circuit was that, in many cases which ended up before the
Supreme Court, a member of the Supreme Court had already heard the case
and issued a ruling. In a real sense, the Supreme Court was, in such
cases, acting as an en banc panel; i.e. hearing a case upon which one of
their members had already passed judgment.
or being a circuit rider, is a term in the United States for a
professional who travels a regular circuit of locations to provide
Federal Judiciary of the United States
is one of the three co-equal
branches of the federal
of the United States organized under the United States
Constitution and laws of the federal government. Article III of the
Constitution requires the establishment of a Supreme Court and permits
the Congress to create other federal courts, and place limitations on
their jurisdiction. Article III federal judges are appointed by the
President with the consent of the Senate to serve until they resign, are
impeached and convicted, retire, or die. The federal courts are composed
of three levels of courts. The Supreme Court of the United States is the
court of last resort. It is generally an appellate court that operates
under discretionary review, which means that the Court can choose which
cases to hear, by granting of writs of certiorari. There is generally no
right of appeal to the Supreme Court. In a few situations (like lawsuits
between state governments or some cases between the federal government and
a state) it sits as a court of original jurisdiction. The United States
courts of appeals are the intermediate federal appellate courts. They
operate under a system of mandatory review which means they must hear all
appeals of right from the lower courts. In some cases, Congress has
diverted appellate jurisdiction to specialized courts, such as the Foreign
Intelligence Surveillance Court of Review.
is a court of general competence which typically has unlimited
jurisdiction with regard to civil and criminal legal cases. A superior
court is "superior" relative to a court with limited jurisdiction (see
lower court), which is restricted to civil cases involving monetary
amounts with a specific limit, or criminal cases involving offenses of a
less serious nature. A superior court may hear appeals from lower courts
(see court of appeal). Superior Court is where most felony cases are heard concerning violation of state
is a court of general competence which typically
has unlimited jurisdiction with regard to civil and criminal legal cases.
general jurisdiction is authorized to hear any type of civil or criminal
case that is not committed exclusively to another court. In the United
States, the United States district courts are the trial courts of general
jurisdiction of the federal judiciary; each U.S. state has a state court
system establishing trial courts of general jurisdiction, such as the
Florida Circuit Courts in Florida, the Superior Courts of California in
California, and the New York Supreme Court in New York.
are the costs of handling a case, which, depending on legal rules, may or
may not include the costs of the various parties in a lawsuit in addition
to the costs of the court itself. In the United States, "court costs"
(such as filing fees, copying and postage) are differentiated from
attorney's fees, which are the hourly rates paid to attorneys for their
work in a case. Court costs can reach very high amounts, often far beyond
the actual monetary worth of a case. Cases are known in which one party
won the case, but lost more than the monetary worth in court costs. Court
costs may be 'awarded' to one or both parties in a lawsuit, or they may be
generally, is any person or institution with authority
, adjudicate on, or determine claims or disputes—whether or not it
is called a tribunal in its title.
the legal process by which an arbiter or judge reviews evidence and
argumentation, including legal reasoning set forth by opposing parties or
litigants to come to a decision which determines rights and obligations
between the parties involved. Three types of disputes are resolved through
adjudication: Disputes between private parties, such as individuals or
corporations. Disputes between private parties and public officials.
Disputes between public officials or public bodies.
is a disagreement or
resolution of disputes outside the courts.
handling of a situation.
is arbitration between companies
or individuals in different states, usually by including a provision for
future disputes in a contract. Communication
is a panel of one or more adjudicators which is
convened and sits to resolve a dispute by way of arbitration.
Alternative Dispute Resolution
includes dispute resolution processes
and techniques that act as a means for disagreeing parties to come to an
agreement short of litigation. It is a collective term for the ways that
parties can settle disputes, with (or without) the help of a third party.
is an agreement or settlement that resolves a dispute between two parties
without admission of guilt (in a criminal case) or liability (in a civil
case), and most often refers to such a type of settlement in the United
States. The plaintiff and the defendant ask the court to enter into their
agreement, and the court maintains supervision over the implementation of
the decree in monetary exchanges or restructured interactions between
parties. It is similar to and sometimes referred to as an antitrust
decree, stipulated judgment, settlement agreements, or consent judgment.
Consent decrees are frequently used by federal courts to ensure that
businesses and industries adhere to regulatory laws in areas such as
antitrust law, employment discrimination, and environmental regulation.
dynamic, structured, interactive process where a neutral third party
assists disputing parties in resolving conflict through the use of
specialized communication and negotiation techniques
. All participants in
mediation are encouraged to actively participate in the process. Mediation
is a "party-centered" process in that it is focused primarily upon the
needs, rights, and interests of the parties. The mediator uses a wide
variety of techniques to guide the process in a constructive direction and
to help the parties find their optimal solution. A mediator is
in that s/he manages the interaction between parties and
facilitates open communication. Mediation is also evaluative in that the
mediator analyzes issues and relevant norms ("reality-testing), while
refraining from providing prescriptive advice to the parties (e.g., "You
should do... ."). Mediation, as used in law, is a form of alternative
dispute resolution (ADR), a way of
between two or more
parties with concrete effects. Typically, a third party, the mediator,
assists the parties to negotiate a settlement. Disputants may mediate
disputes in a variety of domains, such as commercial, legal, diplomatic,
workplace, community and family matters. The term "mediation" broadly
refers to any instance in which a third party helps others reach
agreement. More specifically, mediation has a structure, timetable and
dynamics that "ordinary" negotiation lacks. The process is private and
confidential, possibly enforced by law. Participation is typically
voluntary. The mediator acts as a neutral third party and facilitates
rather than directs the process. Mediation is becoming a more peaceful and
internationally accepted solution in order to end conflict. Mediation can
be used to resolve disputes of any magnitude. Mediators use various
techniques to open, or improve, dialogue and empathy between disputants,
aiming to help the parties reach an agreement. Much depends on the
mediator's skill and training. As the practice gained popularity, training
programs, certifications and licensing followed, producing trained,
professional mediators committed to the discipline.
is a person
who engages in mediation.
, defines an object that encapsulates how a set of objects
interact. This pattern is considered to be a behavioral pattern due to the
way it can alter the program's running behavior.
is a legal proceeding in a court; a judicial
contest to determine and enforce legal rights
is the body of rules, ethics,
governing meetings and other operations of legislative bodies,
deliberative assemblies, organizations.
are the general trial courts of the United States
federal court system. They are known as the work horses because they deal
with most of the court cases. Both civil and criminal cases are filed in
the district court, which is a court of law, equity, and admiralty.
is a court that has competence in a
to deal with matters of probate
and the administration of estates. In some jurisdictions, such courts may
be referred to as Orphans' Courts, or courts of ordinary. In some
jurisdictions probate court functions are performed by a chancery court or
another court of equity, or as a part or division of another court.
Courts of Appeals
are the intermediate appellate
courts of the
United States federal court system. A court of appeals decides appeals
from the district courts within its federal judicial circuit, and in some
instances from other designated federal courts and administrative
agencies. Most decisions of a state or federal
trial court (or an agency) are subject to review by an appeals court,
including decisions regarding almost all types of civil cases. Whether the
appeal concerns a judge's order or a final judgment entered by a jury, an
appeals court reviews what happened in proceedings below for any errors of
law. If the court finds an error that contributed to the trial court's
decision, the appeals court will reverse that decision. The lawyers for
the parties submit briefs to the court and may be granted oral argument.
Once an appeals court has made its decision, the opportunity for further
appeals is limited. The number of parties filing appeals has risen
substantially in the last few decades, causing the state and federal court
systems to implement changes in an effort to keep up. The main form of
persuasion on appeal is the written appellate brief, filed by counsel for
each party. With this brief, the party that lost in the trial court will
argue that the trial judge incorrectly applied the law. The party that won
below will argue that the trial court's decision was correct. Both parties
will support their positions with reference to applicable case law and
statutes. An appeal is a more scholarly proceeding than a trial. Whereas
the litigator must be an active strategist in the courtroom, calling
witnesses, cross-examining, and making motions or objections, the
appellate lawyer builds his or her case in the brief, before the appeal is
heard. Appeals often include a short period for oral argument, but the
judges often consume this period with questions for the attorney, prompted
by the brief. Appeals court decisions turn on the record, which
documents what happened in the trial court. The record contains the
pleadings (plaintiff's complaint and defendant's answer), pre-trial
motions, a transcript of what occurred during trial, the exhibits put into
evidence, post-trial motions, and any discussion with the judge that did
not take place "off the record." The success of an appeal therefore
depends on what occurred at trial. If an attorney failed to get critical,
available evidence into the record, or to object to something prejudicial,
the opportunity to do so is lost. The party that loses in a state or
federal appeals court may appeal to the state supreme court, or the U.S.
Supreme Court. (Most states call their highest court "supreme court,"
though Maryland and New York call theirs the Court of Appeals.) Review
in these courts, however, is discretionary with the court. Because these
courts receive many more requests for review than they can handle, they
typically grant review only to cases involving unsettled questions of law.
Also, the U.S. Supreme Court can only review cases that raise some federal
or constitutional issue; cases that concern state law exclusively are
beyond its jurisdiction. At this point, the parties have already had the
case reviewed once, reducing their tendency to see the decisions as biased
or contrary to law. Repeal
- Bad Judges
Consolidated Appeals Process
is an advocacy tool for
humanitarian financing, in which projects managed by the United Nations,
NGOs and other stakeholders come together to approach the donor community
funding international development activities.
appeals court or court of appeals, is any court of law that is empowered to
hear an appeal of a trial court or other lower tribunal. In most
jurisdictions, the court system is divided into at least three levels: the
trial court, which initially hears cases and reviews evidence and
testimony to determine the facts of the case; at least one intermediate
appellate court; and a supreme court (or court of last resort) which
primarily reviews the decisions of the intermediate courts. A
jurisdiction's supreme court is that jurisdiction's highest appellate
court. Appellate courts nationwide can operate by varying rules.
are courts exercising jurisdiction over all maritime
contracts, torts, injuries, and offenses.
is a court from which an appeal
be taken. In relation to an appeal from two courts to another, the lower
courts are the courts whose decision is being reviewed, which may be the
original trial courts or appellate courts lower in rank than the superior
courts which are hearing the appeal.
is a court of higher powers and extensive jurisdiction;
Each state has a supreme court and the
United States has a Supreme Court
that has ultimate (and largely
discretionary) appellate jurisdiction over all federal courts and over
state court cases involving issues of federal law, plus original
jurisdiction over a small range of cases. The Court normally consists of
of the United States and
eight associate justices
who are nominated by the President and
by the Senate. Once appointed, justices have life tenure unless
they resign, retire, or are removed after impeachment
(though no justice
has ever been removed).
The Superior Court only sees 1% of all cases submitted
means we need more Courts....Each year, the Court receives
approximately 9,000–10,000 petitions for
, of which less than 1% (approximately 80–100),
are granted plenary review with oral arguments, and an additional 50
to 60 are disposed of without plenary review.
Small Claims Court
Court of Claims
Judiciary Act of 1925
also known as the Judge's Bill or
Certiorari Act, was an act of the United States Congress that sought
to reduce the workload of the Supreme Court of the United States.
Reduce the workload for 9 people is ok, but when you have
thousands of cases, you need to hire more people. Multiple supreme
courts. Limiting the number of cases for review is reckless and
Supreme Court Case Selections Act
Procedures of the Supreme Court of the United States
is a formal written order seeking judicial review. It
is issued by a superior court, directing an inferior court,
tribunal, or other public authority to send the record of a
proceeding for review.
Court of Equity
is a court that is authorized to apply principles of
equity, as opposed to law, to cases brought before it.
refers to the body of law which was developed in the
English Court of Chancery and which is now administered concurrently with
the common law
is the practical authority granted to a legal body
to administer justice within a defined area of responsibility.
proceeding before a court or other decision-making
body or officer, such
as a government agency or a Parliamentary committee.
is a sequence of steps by which
legal judgments are invoked.
are the proceedings in any civil lawsuit or criminal
prosecution and, particularly, describes the formal notice or writ used by
a court to exercise jurisdiction over a person or property. Such process
is usually "served" upon a party, to compel that party to come to court,
and may take the form of a summons, mandate, subpoena, warrant, or other
written demand issued by a court.Judiciary
also known as the judicial system or court system, is the system of courts
that interprets and applies the law in the name of the state.
is the doctrine under which legislative and
executive actions are subject to review by the judiciary.
occurs when a trial is cancelled
before a verdict has been returned. Jury
is a coming
together of parties to a dispute, to present information (in the form of
evidence) in a tribunal, a formal setting with the authority to adjudicate
claims or disputes. One form of tribunal is a court. The tribunal, which
may occur before a judge, jury, or other designated trier of fact, aims to
achieve a resolution to their dispute.
Trial in Absentia
is a criminal proceeding in a court of law in which
the person who is subject to it is not physically present at those
proceedings. In absentia is Latin for "in the absence". Its meaning varies
by jurisdiction and legal system. Quorum
is a gathering of the minimal number
of an organization to conduct business.
Right to a Fair Trial
Procedural Fairness Practices
Procedural Justice Assessments
formal reading of a criminal charging document in the presence of the
defendant to inform the defendant of the charges against the defendant. In
response to arraignment, the accused is expected to enter a plea.
Acceptable pleas vary among jurisdictions, but they generally include
"guilty", "not guilty", and the peremptory pleas (or pleas in bar) setting
out reasons why a trial cannot proceed. Pleas of "nolo contendere" (no
contest) and the "Alford plea" are allowed in some circumstances.
guilty plea in criminal court.
simply an answer to a claim made by someone in a criminal case under
common law using the adversarial system. Colloquially, a plea has come to
mean the assertion by a defendant at arraignment, or otherwise in response
to a criminal charge, whether that person pleaded guilty,
contest or (in the United States) Alford plea.
is any agreement in a criminal case between the prosecutor and
defendant whereby the defendant agrees to plead guilty to a particular
charge in return for some concession from the prosecutor. This may mean
that the defendant will plead guilty to a less serious charge, or to one
of several charges, in return for the dismissal of other charges; or it
may mean that the defendant will plead guilty to the original criminal
charge in return for a more lenient sentence. A plea bargain allows both
parties to avoid a lengthy criminal trial and may allow criminal
defendants to avoid the risk of conviction at trial on a more serious
charge. For example, in the U.S. legal system, a criminal defendant
charged with a felony theft charge, the conviction of which would require
imprisonment in state prison, may be offered the opportunity to plead
guilty to a misdemeanor theft charge, which may not carry a custodial
"I do not wish to contend." It is also referred to as
a plea of no contest. In criminal trials in certain U.S. jurisdictions, it
is a plea where the defendant neither admits nor disputes a charge,
serving as an alternative to a pleading of guilty or not guilty. A
no-contest plea, while not technically a guilty plea, has the same
immediate effect as a guilty plea, and is often offered as a part of a
plea bargain. In many jurisdictions a plea of nolo contendere is not a
right, and carries various restrictions on its use.Bond
an incentive to fulfill an obligation; it also provides reassurance that
compensation is available if the duty is not fulfilled. A surety usually
is involved, and the bond makes the surety
of the obligated person's behaviour.
is some form of property deposited or pledged to a court to persuade it to
release a suspect from jail, on the understanding that the suspect will
return for trial or forfeit the bail (and possibly be brought up on
charges of the crime of failure to appear). In some cases, bail money may
be returned at the end of the trial, if all court appearances are made,
regardless of whether the person is found guilty or not guilty of the
crime accused. If a bondsman is used and a surety bond has been obtained,
the fee for that bond is the fee for the insurance policy purchased and is
is any person, agency or corporation that will act as a
surety and pledge money or property as bail for the appearance of persons
accused in court.
also known as judicial bonds
or court surety bonds, are often required in court proceedings to ensure
protection from a possible loss. Here are our most common court bonds:
Cost bonds guarantee the payment of costs associated with appealing a
lower court's decision.Plaintiff Bond
ensures damages suffered will be paid if the court rules in favor
of the defendant. There are multiple sub-types of plaintiff bonds, so the
specific type you require may vary. Common types of plaintiff bonds
Attachment bonds, Claim and Delivery bonds, Indemnity to Sheriff bonds,
Injunction bonds, and Replevin bonds.
are usually required if the plaintiff wants to secure
property the defendant currently owns. The bond protects the defendant in
case the property is damaged or sold, and is a type of plaintiff bond.
This is commonly required in civil cases, particularly divorce cases when
property ownership is being determined.
are used to guarantee the payment of court costs when
making an appeal concerning a lower court's decision.
protects the defendant
against wrongfully attached property during court proceedings. The bond
protects in case judgment falls against the individual, and usually covers
the cost plus the interest. Indemnity to
are used to protect law enforcement officers against
lawsuits in the event that they have to seize someone's personal property.
If your case requires law enforcement to investigate another's home and
property, you will likely need one of these bonds.
During a bond
hearing, the defendant will appear in a courtroom. The person who was
arrested is informed of the charges against them by a Judge and it is
determined if they are eligible for bond. This type of hearing is also
called a first appearance hearing or a bail bond hearing.
A judge takes
many factors into account when deciding if a person qualifies for bond.
One of the largest facts is whether the person is a danger to the
community or a flight risk. Previous arrests, financial situation and drug
use are also factors that are considered. If a person is released, it can
be with conditions such as limited travel and mental evaluations. To
determine what is necessary to ensure a defendant's appearance at trial, a
judge or magistrate examines the nature and circumstances of the charges,
with particular attention to whether the offense involves violence or
narcotic drugs. The court may inquire into the nature and value of any
property that might be offered as collateral. The court also examines the
weight of the evidence against the defendant, whether the person was on
parole or probation at the time of the present arrest, the nature and
seriousness of danger to others in the community, and evidence of the
defendant's character.History and
Character of the Individual
When examining the history and
character of a person, the court may look at:
Physical and mental
History relating to
drug and alcohol abuse.
Record concerning appearance
at court proceedings.
Length of residence in the community.
Risk to the Community
Where a defendant
poses a threat to the safety of the community, he or she may be held
without bail. In other situations, federal law typically requires that a
defendant in a federal criminal case be released on personal recognizance
or upon execution of an unsecured appearance bond. Released defendants
must not commit any crimes during the period of release. However, if a
court determines that personal recognizance or an unsecured appearance
bond will not reasonably assure the defendant's appearance, or determines
that the safety of a person or the community is endangered, a defendant
may be released upon conditions. Federal law delineates a number of
conditions that may be imposed.Defendants
may be required to:
Maintain or seek employment.
Undergo drug and alcohol testing.
Undergo medical, psychiatric, or
Maintain or commence an educational program.
Comply with a curfew.
Refrain from excessive use of alcohol or any use
of narcotic drugs.
Remain in the custody of a designated person.
Comply with periodic check-ins with authorities.
Refrain from possession
of a firearm.
Refrain from contact with crime victim or others
designated by the court.
Execute a bond agreement with the court or a
solvent surety in an amount as is reasonably necessary to ensure the
Agree to other reasonable conditions the court
may impose to ensure a defendant's appearance.
Both the defendant
and the government may appeal an adverse bail decision. The scope of
review is limited, however. The only question for an appellate court is
whether the trial court abused its discretion. In other words, an
appellate court will uphold a bail decision unless it was clearly
unreasonable, erroneous, or arbitrary and not supported by the facts or
law in the case. This leaves untouched a broad range of bail decisions, so
long as they are based in some part on a reasonable review of the facts of
Bail issues are just the first set of hurdles a person
accused of a crime will face. Having a qualified attorney assist in your
defense will mean that you have access to information about the relevant
laws in your jurisdiction and can analyze the facts of your case. Contact
a qualified local attorney today for a free legal evaluation to start
working on bail and other defense issues.
Money Bail System Costs U.S. Taxpayers $38 Million A Day, $14 billion
. On any given day, more than 450,000 people are
languishing in jails across the U.S. while they await trial. Many face
low-level charges, and are stuck behind bars because they can’t afford to
pay the bail that would secure their release.