appellate procedure

Declaration Under Penalty of Perjury

A statement that has been signed by a declarant who will be found guilty of perjury if the facts declared in the statement are shown to be materially false. These statements have the same effect as an affidavit does in federal court...

Defective Verdict

A verdict flawed to such extent that a judgment cannot be based on it. The verdict may be defective because of procedural irregularities during deliberations, or because of contradictions in its substantive conclusions. As a result, the judge might...


A reason why the plaintiff or prosecutor should not prevail on a cause of action or demand for relief. A defense can either allege a failure to state a claim, or affirm the existence of a claim and present additional reasons that prevent the plaintiff...


An individual whose deposition, or sworn out-of-court testimony, is taken during the discovery process. A similar and sometimes interchangeable term is an affiant, someone who also swears to a declaration of written facts, which is...


The act of questioning a deponent under oath, either a witness or a party to a lawsuit, at a deposition. Such an action is taken during the pre-trial discovery process. Rule 30 and Rule 31 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure...



A deposition is a witness's sworn out-of-court testimony. It is used to gather information as part of the discovery process and, in limited circumstances, may be used at trial. The witness being deposed is called the "deponent."



Discretion is the power of officials to act according to the dictates of their own judgment and conscience. Discretion is abused when the judicial action is arbitrary, fanciful, or unreasonable. If the plaintiff or the defendant thinks...


Definition from Nolo’s Plain-English Law DictionarySee: clearly erroneous

Definition provided by Nolo’s Plain-English Law Dictionary.


Definition from Nolo’s Plain-English Law Dictionary(1) A legal mistake. (2) A mistake of law or fact by a judge or court.

Definition provided by Nolo’s Plain-English Law Dictionary.


Definition from Nolo’s Plain-English Law DictionaryTo halt, bar, or prevent. (See: estoppel)

Definition provided by Nolo’s Plain-English Law Dictionary.