criminal law and procedure

blackmail

Definition

Coercion by unjustifiably threatening to reveal to another person or to the public substantially true information that is embarrassing, injurious, or incriminating. Although revealing this information is not in itself a crime, blackmail that comes in the form of demanding money in exchange for withholding information is considered criminal behavior.

 

bench warrant

Definition

An arrest warrant issued directly by a sitting judge or magistrate to a law-enforcement officer in a criminal or civil court proceeding. The bench warrant authorizes the arrest of an individual who has been held in contempt of court, especially when the criminal defendant on bail makes a nonappearance or when a witness under subpoena does not appear for hearing or a trial. In the event that an individual was on bail, the court will usually set a higher bail amount or eliminate bail altogether.

 

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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