courts and procedure

specific finding

Definition from Nolo’s Plain-English Law DictionaryA decision on a fact made by a jury in its verdict at the judge's request. Often the judge gives a jury a list of decisions to be made on specific findings of fact to help the jurors focus on the issues....

Speedy Trial Act (1974)

Codified at 18 U.S.C.A. § 3161 et seq., this act requires, among other things, a criminal defendant to be brought to trial within seventy days of either his or her indictment or first appearance in court. Certain delays are, also, automatically...

spontaneous exclamation

See excited utterance.

Spousal communications privilege

Under the Federal Rules of Evidence, confidential communications between two married spouses are privileged. This privilege may be waived by the consent of both spouses.

Spousal immunity

Under the Federal Rules of Evidence, in a criminal case the prosecution cannot compel the defendant's spouse to testify against him. This privilege only applies if the defendant and the spouse witness are currently married at the time of the...

Statutory Construction

Definition

The process of determining what a particular statute means so that a court may apply it accurately.

Overview

Any question of statutory interpretation begins with looking at the plain language of the statute to discover its original...

stay

Definition from Nolo’s Plain-English Law DictionaryA court order that suspends or stops certain proceedings. (See also: automatic stay)

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

stay of execution

Definition from Nolo’s Plain-English Law DictionaryA court-ordered delay in carrying out the death penalty.

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

Stay of Proceedings

A ruling by a court to stop or suspend a proceeding or trial temporarily or indefinitely. A court may later lift the stay and continue the proceeding. Some stays are automatic, but others are up to judicial discretion. Usually, the pendency of an...

submit

Definition from Nolo’s Plain-English Law DictionaryTo finish presenting evidence or an argument in a hearing or trial and give the matter over to the judge for a decision.

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

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