courts and procedure

Amicus Curiae

Latin for "friend of the court." Plural is "amici curiae." Frequently, a person or group who is not a party to an action, but has a strong interest in the matter, will petition the court for permission to submit a brief in the action with the intent of...

Appellate Procedure

Appellate Procedure: An Overview

Appellate procedure consists of the rules and practices by which appellate courts review trial court judgments. Appellate review performs several functions, including correcting errors committed by a trial court,...

Approach

Definition

To move towards the bench in order to have a conversation with the judge and opposing counsel off the record and/or out of the jury's earshot. An attorney or juror (during voir dire) must request to approach the bench, i.e. "Your honor, may I...

Approach the Witness

Definition

To move towards a witness in order to show him or her a document or exhibit. In some jurisdictions, an attorney must request to approach a witness, i.e. "May I approach the witness?"

Illustrative caselaw

See, e.g. Michaels v. State, 970...

Arm's Length

Definition

Of or relating to transactions between two parties who are independent and do not have a close relationship with each other. Presumably, these parties have equal bargaining power and are not subject to undue pressure or influence from...

Arraignment

Definition

The first step in criminal proceeding where the defendant is brought in front of the court to hear the charges and enter a plea.

Illustrative caselaw

See, e.g. County of Riverside v. McLaughlin 500 U.S. 44 (1991) and Godinez v. Moran,...

Arrest

An arrest is using legal authority to deprive a person of his or her freedom of movement. An arrest is generally made with an arrest warrant. An arrest may be made without a warrant if probable cause and exigent circumstances are presented at the...

Attest

Definition

To testify or confirm that something is true, genuine, or authentic. See attestation.

Illustrative case law

See, e.g. Keely v. Moore, 196 U.S. 38 (1904).

See alsoAttestation clauseEstates and trusts

Attestation

Definition

Testimony or confirmation that something is true, genuine, or authentic. An attestation is frequently in writing. For example, a witness attests a will by signing it; his or her signature may confirm, inter alia, that he or she witnessed the...

Attestation Clause

Definition

A clause at the end of a document, in particular a will, which sets forth the legal requirements the document must satisfy, states that those requirements have been met, and is signed by one or more witnesses. An attestation clause...

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