civil procedure

minimum contacts

Definition

A nonresident defendant’s connections with the forum state (i.e., the state where the lawsuit is brought) that are sufficient for jurisdiction over that defendant to be proper. Lack of minimum contacts violates the nonresident defendant’s constitutional right to due process and “offends traditional notions of fair play and substantial justice” (International Shoe Co. v. Washington, 326 U.S. 310 (1945)). Examples of minimum contacts include conducting business within the state, incorporating in the state, and visiting the state.

 

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magistrate

Definition

1. A local official whose authority is limited to whatever has been granted by statute or specified in the appointment.

2. In local or state courts, a justice of the peace or other judicial officer who has strictly limited authority and jurisdiction to hear certain cases, often criminal cases or small claims.

3. In U.S. federal courts, a judicial officer who has been appointed by a federal district judge to expedite the judicial process by conducting routine hearings and other proceedings.

 

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comity of nations

Definition

The principle that one sovereign nation voluntarily adopts or enforces the laws of another sovereign nation out of deference, mutuality, and respect.

Unlike enforcement of judgments between states in the United States (which is governed by the Comity Clause of the Constitution), there is no Constitutional obligation on a U.S. court to recognize or enforce a foreign judgment. Neither is comity of nations embodied in international law. However, sovereign nations still use comity of nations for public policy reasons.

 

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comity

Definition

The legal principle that political entities (such as states, nations, or courts from different jurisdictions) will mutually recognize each other’s legislative, executive, and judicial acts. The underlying notion is that different jurisdictions will reciprocate each other’s judgments out of deference, mutuality, and respect.

 

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Attorney's fees (or attorneys' fees)

Definition

The amount billed to a client for legal services performed on his or her behalf. Attorney's fees may be an hourly, flat (for a particular service, e.g. $10,000 to handle all aspects of a DUI case) or contingent fee (a percentage of client's recovery, e.g. 33%). Attorney's fees may be set by an attorney-client compensation agreement or in certain types of cases, by statute or a court. 

 

Attorney work product privilege

Definition

A rule that an opposing party generally may not discover or compel disclosure of written or oral materials prepared by or for an attorney in the course of legal representation, especially in preparation for litigation. In limited circumstances, however, an opposing party may discover or compel di

 

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