courts and procedure

Minimum Contacts


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...

Mixed-Motive Instruction

Courts use mixed-motive jury instructions in many discrimination and improper retaliation cases. These instructions usually take the following form: "If the plaintiff shows that the defendant did something that hurt her, and the action was motivated by...

National Security Letter

National Security Letters are administrative orders compel their recipients to provide information to federal investigators. As authorized by the USA PATRIOT Act, the letters included gag orders that forebade recipients from discussing the letter's...

Newly discovered evidence


See after-discovered evidence.

Non-Judicial Foreclosure

Some jurisdictions allow lenders to foreclose property without getting a court order first. This is called a non-judicial foreclosure.

Non-judicial foreclosure is only available for deeds of trust with power-of-sale clauses. They are not...

Notice of Pendency

When a court considers a lawsuit involving real property, the court may issue a notice of pendency as a provisional remedy. This notice is filed with the property's deed at the county registry. Once the notice is filed, even if the land is sold or...

parol evidence rule


The parol evidence rule governs the extent to which parties to a case may introduce into court evidence of a prior or contemporaneous agreement in order to modify, explain, or supplement the contract at issue. The rule excludes the admission of...



A jail or correctional facility that confines convicted criminals for an extended period of time.

Popular action


Also called a qui tam action. See qui tam.



In the law of evidence, certain subject matters are privileged, and can not be inquired into in any way. Such privileged information is not subject to disclosure or discovery and cannot be asked about in testimony. Usually, privileges exist...