courts and procedure

Abstract of Judgment

See also

Abstract

Abuse of Discretion

Definition

A standard of review used by appellate courts to review decisions of lower courts. The appellate court will typically find that the decision was an abuse of discretion if the discretionary decision was made in plain error.

Overview

The...

Acceptance of Service

Definition

Agreement by the defendant (or the defendant's attorney) to accept papers or a complaint without having the papers served by a process server or a sheriff. Acceptance of service is accomplished by signing a "receipt and acknowledgment of...

Adhesion Contract (Contract of Adhesion)

Overview

An adhesion contract (also called a "standard form contract" or a "boilerplate contract") is a contract drafted by one party (usually a business with stronger bargaining power) and signed by another party (usually one with weaker...

Administrative Law Judge (ALJ)

Definition

An independent hearing examiner who presides at an administrative hearing. An ALJ has the power to administer oaths, receive evidence, take testimony, and make initial findings of fact or law. An ALJ’s findings are subject to review...

Admissible Evidence

Definition

Evidence that is formally presented before the trier of fact (i.e., the judge or jury) to consider in deciding the case. The trial court judge determines whether or not the evidence may be proffered. To be admissible in court, the...

Admission

Definition

1) A person's, in particular a party's, statement acknowledging that a certain fact is true or silence after another party's assertion of a fact that, if false, would typically elicit a denial. 2) Admission by a party-opponent: an out-of-...

After-Discovered Evidence

Definition

In a civil or criminal case, evidence that existed at the time of a motion or trial but that could not have been discovered with reasonable diligence prior to a court ruling upon the motion or the trial's completion. Upon later discovery, a...

Allen Charge

Definition

An instruction given by a court to a deadlocked jury to encourage it to continue deliberating until it reaches a verdict. Some states prohibit Allen charges, because they deem them coercive, but the U.S. Supreme Court upheld their use in...

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