courts and procedure

Res judicata


Res judicata translates to "a matter judged."


Generally, res judicata is the principle that a cause of action may not be relitigated once it has been judged on the merits. "Finality" is the term which refers to when a court...



A fee that the client pays upfront to an attorney before the attorney has begun work for the client.

There are three types of retainers, each with a different purpose:

(1) A general retainer, which is a fee for a...


A retrial is a new trial of a case to re-examine some or all of the matters from the concluded trial. A party files a motion for a new trial, and a court may grant a retrial if there was a significant error of law, a verdict going against the...

reversible error

Definition from Nolo’s Plain-English Law DictionaryA legal mistake at the trial court level that is so significant (resulted in an improper judgment) that the judgment must be reversed by the appellate court. A reversible error is distinguished from an...


Definition from Nolo’s Plain-English Law DictionaryThe judicial consideration of a lower court judgment by an appellate court, determining if there were legal errors sufficient to require reversal. In reviewing a lower court decision or order, appellate...


1) Revival is requesting a court to reinstate the force of a dormant judgment—i.e. a judgment that was issued and has since lapsed or expired. Also referred to as renewal of judgment in some jurisdictions. Many state statutes lay out how an...



A concerted action: (1) made in furtherance of an express common purpose; (2) through the use or threat of violence, disorder, or terror to the public; and (3) resulting in a disturbance of the peace. Under common law, the crime of...

Rules Enabling Act of 1934

An act passed by Congress in 1934 that gave the Supreme Court the power to make rules of procedure and evidence for federal courts as long as they did not “abridge, enlarge, or modify any substantive right.”

rules of court

Definition from Nolo’s Plain-English Law DictionaryA set of procedural rules adopted by local, state, or federal courts that instruct parties and attorneys what the court's mandatory procedures are about things like the time allowed to file papers, format...


To punish. A punishment imposed on parties who disobey laws or court orders. See e.g. Chambers v. Nasco, Inc. 501 U.S. 32 (1991).