courts and procedure



The legal principle that political entities (such as states, nations, or courts from different jurisdictions) will mutually recognize each other’s legislative, executive, and judicial acts. The underlying notion is that different...

Comity of Nations


The principle that one sovereign nation voluntarily adopts or enforces the laws of another sovereign nation out of deference, mutuality, and respect.

Unlike enforcement of judgments between states in the United States (which is...



The suspension or postponement of a trial or court proceeding. Continuance is made on a case-by-case basis at the court’s discretion. Courts balance giving the moving party enough time; the need to make the trial timely and speedy; and...

Court Rules

court rules: an overview

Courts of general jurisdiction have the power to hear claims as long as there is a controversy among parties with diverse interests and conflicting claims. There are additional requirements placed on the controversy depending on...

Courts and court officers - State statutes

Alabama (see Title 12) Alaska- Title 22 Arizona- Title 12 Arkansas (see Title 16, Subtitle 2) Colorado (see Title 13) (searchable index) Connecticut- Title 51 Delaware- Title 10 District of Columbia (see Title 11) Florida (see Title V...

Deadlocked Jury

See hung jury.



The revocation of a lawyer’s license to practice law, usually as a result of a violation of professional ethics.

Disbarment may be imposed by the state bar association if a lawyer commits an offense that directly relates to his...


Discovery: An Overview

In civil actions, parties use the pre-trial discovery process to gather information in preparation for trial.

The Federal Rules of Civil Procedure have very liberal discovery provisions. Before the rules were adopted in 1938...

Dynamite Charge


An instruction given by a court to a deadlocked jury to encourage it to continue deliberating until it reaches a verdict. Also called Allen charge, nitroglycerine charge, shotgun charge, and third-degree instruction.

Illustrative caselaw...

Fifth Amendment

Fifth Amendment: An Overview

The Fifth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution provides, "No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a grand jury, except in cases arising in...