THE LEGAL PROCESS

status conference

Definition from Nolo’s Plain-English Law DictionaryA meeting of the judge and the lawyers (or unrepresented parties) in a pending legal matter, to determine how the case is progressing. At the status conference, the judge may ask about what discovery has...

Statute of limitations

Any law that bars claims after a certain period of time passes after an injury. The period of time varies depending on the jurisdiction and the type of claim.

Statutes of limitations exist for both civil and criminal causes of action, and...

Statute of repose

Any law that bars claims after some action by the defendant, even if the plaintiff has not yet been injured. Since the time period begins to run from the date of the defendant's action even if the injury is yet to occur, a statute of repose is...

Statutory Construction

Definition

The process of determining what a particular statute means so that a court may apply it accurately.

Overview

Any question of statutory interpretation begins with looking at the plain language of the statute to discover its original...

statutory offer of settlement

Definition from Nolo’s Plain-English Law DictionaryA written offer of a specific sum of money made by a defendant to a plaintiff, which will settle the lawsuit if accepted within a short time. The offer may be filed with the court. If the eventual...

statutory rape

Definition from Nolo’s Plain-English Law DictionarySexual intercourse with a person who has not yet reached the age of consent (determined by state law), whether or not the sexual act is against that person's will. In many states, "Romeo and Juliet"...

stay

Definition from Nolo’s Plain-English Law DictionaryA court order that suspends or stops certain proceedings. (See also: automatic stay)

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

stay of execution

Definition from Nolo’s Plain-English Law DictionaryA court-ordered delay in carrying out the death penalty.

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

Stay of Proceedings

A ruling by a court to stop or suspend a proceeding or trial temporarily or indefinitely. A court may later lift the stay and continue the proceeding. Some stays are automatic, but others are up to judicial discretion. Usually, the pendency of an...

Stipulate

When two opposing parties in a case enter into a voluntary agreement on some factual or legal point. Because the point is no longer in dispute, neither side has to introduce evidence to prove it.

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