criminal law and procedure

bench warrant

Definition

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, especially when the criminal defendant on bail makes a nonappearance or when a witness under subpoena does not appear for hearing or a trial. In the event that an individual was on bail, the court will usually set a higher bail amount or eliminate bail altogether.

 

bail bondsman

A professional agent for an insurance company who specializes in providing bail bonds for people charged with crimes and who do not have the money necessary to post the entire bail with the court. Bail bondsmen usually charge a fee of 10% of the amount of the bond. The offices of a bail bondsman are usually close to the local courthouse and jail, and some make "house calls" to the jail or hand out cards in court. (See also: bail)

Attorney Work Product Privilege

Definition

A rule that an opposing party generally may not discover or compel disclosure of written or oral materials prepared by or for an attorney in the course of legal representation, especially in preparation for litigation. In limited circumstances, however, an opposing party may discover or compel di

Attorney's Fees (or Attorneys' Fees)

Definition

The amount billed to a client for legal services performed on his or her behalf. Attorney's fees may be an hourly, flat (for a particular service, e.g. $10,000 to handle all aspects of a DUI case) or contingent fee (a percentage of client's recovery, e.g. 33%). Attorney's fees may be set by an attorney-client compensation agreement or in certain types of cases, by statute or a court. 

Attorney Work Product

Definition

Written or oral materials prepared by or for an attorney in the course of legal representation, especially in preparation for litigation. Generally, an opposing party may not discover or compel disclosure of work product.

Attorney General

Definition

The chief law enforcement officer of the federal government or a state. The U.S. Attorney General represents the United States in litigation, oversees federal prosecutors, and advises the President and heads of federal, executive departments on legal matters. State attorneys general represent their states in litigation, oversee prosecutors, and advise members of their states' executive branches on legal matters.

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