courts and procedure


What is Impeachment?

Technically, impeachment is the Senate's quasi-criminal proceeding instituted to remove a public officer, not the actual act of removal. Most references to impeachment, however, encompass the entire process, beginning with the...

Impeachment of a witness

At trial, impeachment is the process of attacking the accuracy of witnesses' testimony. For example, if a witness's testimony at trial contradicts her earlier sworn statements, one or both parties might bring up the sworn statement to impeach her...


A procedural device through which third parties can be brought into litigation. Typically, the device is used by defendants who bring in another party and try to show that this "third party defendant" is liable instead of the original defendant. see, e...

In Camera

A Latin term literally meaning "in chambers" but carrying the meaning "in private". This refers to portions of a case that are held in private before a judge. The press and the public are not allowed to take part.

In Chambers

Discussions or hearings held in the judge's office, called his or her chambers.

(See also: in camera)

In Forma Pauperis

A Latin term meaning "in the manner of a pauper." Allowing a poor person to bring suit without liability for the costs of the suit.

In Re

Latin for "in the matter of." Used in legal documents to refer to a case, particularly a case without an opposing party. For example, "In re Estate of Ruth Bentley" might be used to refer to a probate case about the estate of Ruth Bentley.

Inadmissible Evidence

Evidence that can not be presented to the jury or decision maker for any of a variety of reasons: it was improperly obtained, it is prejudicial (the prejudicial value outweighs the probative value), it is hearsay, it is not relevant to the case, etc....

information and belief

“Information and Belief” is a phrase that is normally used in legal pleadings such as complaints and answers during a lawsuit. It is also sometimes used during affidavits under oath, declarations under penalty of perjury. In these...

inspection of documents

In reference to law, inspection of documents is a party’s legal right to examine the opposing party’s documents relevant to the lawsuit during pre-trial discovery (disclosures). Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 34 sets forth the general scope of...