Legal Terminology

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To Help You Understand the Legal Process:

We hope you find this list of basic civil lawsuit terminology helpful. The litigators at Mick Levin, P.L.C. have the experience you need when you want to defend your rights against Solodyn® side effects. We provide the expertise on the legal issues, the trial process, your options for resolution, and the potential risks and rewards of each option.

Answer: the formal written statement by a defendant in a civil case that responds to a complaint, articulating the grounds for defense.

Complaint: a written statement that begins a civil lawsuit, in which the plaintiff details the claims against the defendant.

Defendant: the person or organization against whom the plaintiff brings suit.

Deposition: 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.

Disclosure Statement: a summary of the facts, law, witnesses, and evidence that a party expects to utilize during the trial.

Discovery: procedures used to obtain disclosure of evidence before trial.

Expert Witness: a person who is permitted to testify at a trial because of special knowledge, education, or proficiency in a particular field that is relevant to the case.

Interrogatories: a form of discovery consisting of written questions to be answered in writing and under oath.

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

Mediation: a form of alternative dispute resolution in which the parties to a lawsuit meet with a neutral third-party in an effort to settle the case.

Parties: both the plaintiff and defendant.

Plaintiff: a person or business that files a formal complaint with the court.

Pleadings: written statements filed with the court that describe a party's legal or factual assertions about the case.

Relief : damages sought in a civil complaint, usually monetary damages.

Reply : either party may have to file a reply, which is an answer to new allegations raised in pleadings.

Request for Admission: a set of statements sent from one litigant to an adversary, for the purpose of having the adversary admit or deny the statements or allegations therein.

Requests for Production of Documents or Things: a legal request for documents, electronically stored information, or other tangible items.

Service of Process: the procedure by which a party to a lawsuit gives an appropriate notice of initial legal action to another party. The person delivering the notice is called a process server.

Subpoena: a command, issued under a court's authority, to a witness to appear and give testimony.

Trial: a formal meeting in a court in which evidence is presented to a judge and often a jury so that decisions can be made according to the law.

Verdict: a decision of a trial jury or a judge that determines the final outcome of a civil case.

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