courts and 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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disbarment

Definition

The revocation of a lawyer’s license to practice law, usually as a result of a violation of professional ethics.

Disbarment may be imposed by the state bar association if a lawyer commits an offense that directly relates to his or her fitness to practice law. Such offenses may include dishonesty, fraud, felony, substance abuse, abuse of public office, or “conduct that is prejudicial to the administration of justice.”

 

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