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Lundy Law Legal Glossary

We’ve created the following legal glossary to help you better understand terms you may find on our website or in your legal documents. Remember, if you have questions, don’t hesitate to call Lundy Law.

A written or printed statement made under oath.

A request made after a trial by a party that has lost one or more issues that asks a higher court to review the decision to determine if it was correct. To make such a request is “to appeal” or “to take an appeal.” One who appeals is called the “appellant.” The other party is the “appellee.”

Money that a defendant pays a plaintiff in a civil case if the plaintiff has won. Damages may be compensatory (for loss or injury) or punitive (to punish and deter future misconduct).

An oral statement made before an officer authorized by law to administer oaths. Such statements are often taken to examine potential witnesses, to obtain discovery, or to be used later in trial.

Procedures used to obtain disclosure of evidence before trial.

A court order preventing one or more named parties from taking some action. A preliminary injunction often is issued to allow fact-finding, so a judge can determine whether a permanent injunction is justified.

The group of persons selected to hear the evidence in a trial and render a verdict on matters of fact.

A legal action started by a plaintiff against a defendant based on a complaint that the defendant failed to perform a legal duty that resulted in harm to the plaintiff.

A case, controversy, or lawsuit. Participants (plaintiffs and defendants) in lawsuits are called litigants.

Written statements filed with the court that describe a party’s legal or factual assertions about the case.

To send a case back to a lower court from which it was appealed, with instructions as to what further proceedings should be had.

Parties to a lawsuit resolve their dispute without having a trial. Settlements often involve the payment of compensation by one party in at least partial satisfaction of the other party’s claims, but usually do not include the admission of fault.

A command—issued under a court’s authority—to a witness to appear and give testimony.

Statute of Limitations
The time within which a lawsuit must be filed. The deadline can vary, depending on the type of civil case.

A civil—not criminal—wrong. A negligent or intentional injury against a person or property, with the exception of breach of contract.

Definitions have been derived from the United States Courts.