courts and procedure

bankruptcy discharge

Definition from Nolo’s Plain-English Law DictionaryAn order issued by the bankruptcy court at the end of a bankruptcy case, wiping out all of the debtor's dischargeable debts.

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

bankruptcy proceedings

Definition from Nolo’s Plain-English Law DictionaryThe way a bankruptcy case wends its way through the court system, from the time the bankruptcy petition is filed until the debtor receives a bankruptcy discharge.

Definition provided by Nolo’s Plain-...

bankruptcy trustee

Definition from Nolo’s Plain-English Law DictionaryA person appointed by the court to oversee a bankruptcy case. In a Chapter 7 case, the trustee's role is to gather the debtor's nonexempt property, sell it, and distribute the proceeds to creditors. In a...

bar association


A professional organization of lawyers.

State bar associations, which are usually created by state statute, often require membership for anyone desiring to practice law in that state. Such organizations have the authority to...

bar examination


A written examination that a person must pass in order to obtain a license to practice law. Although every state administers its own version of the bar examination, most exams consist of the Multistate Bar Examination (MBE) (a national...

Batson challenge

An objection to the validity of a peremptory challenge, on grounds that the other party used it to exclude a potential juror based on race, ethnicity, or sex. The result of a Batson challenge may be a new trial.

The name comes from Batson v....

bench warrant


An arrest warrant issued directly by a sitting judge or magistrate to a law-enforcement officer in a criminal or civil court proceeding. The bench warrant authorizes the arrest of an individual who has been held in contempt of court,...

Bill of particulars

A written itemization of claims in a lawsuit that the defendant may demand of the plaintiff in some situations in order to clarify the details of the claims.

Bivens Actions


A Bivens action generally refers to a lawsuit for damages when a federal officer who is acting in the color of federal authority allegedly violates the U.S. Constitution by federal officers acting.

Burden of Proof

The plaintiff...



Coercion by unjustifiably threatening to reveal to another person or to the public substantially true information that is embarrassing, injurious, or incriminating. Although revealing this information is not in itself a crime,...