THE LEGAL PROCESS

Actual Controversy

An actual controversy is a constitutional requirement (Found in found in Art. III, Section 2, Clause 1) for federal courts that demands there be a real dispute between two parties capable of being resolved by the court, as opposed to a hypothetical...

Actual Damages

Overview

In tort law, actual damages is a type of damages which refers to compensation awarded by a court in response to a loss suffered by a party.

The Supreme Court held in Birsdall v. Coolidge, 93 U.S. 64 (1876) that the phrases "compensatory...

Actual Innocence

Definition

An absence of facts required for conviction under a criminal statute. For example, a defendant accused of robbery who never illegally took anyone's property is actually innocent of the charge.

Overview

Defendants often claim...

Actual Notice

Someone receiving notice (being informed of a case that could affect their interest - see: Notice) in fact, as opposed to Constructive Notice (where although that person did not receive notice in fact, the law will consider them to have received notice...

actuarial tables

Definition

Statistical tables that display the life expectancies of people based on certain characteristics such as age, gender, family...

Actus Reus

Definition

Actus reus refers to the act or omission that comprise the physical elements of a crime as required by statute.

OverviewAct

The actus reus includes only voluntary bodily movements, particularly one which society has an interest in...

Ad Hoc

This phrases mean “for this purpose only.” Its literal translation from the Latin is “to this.”

Common examples are an ad hoc committee or an ad hoc commission created for a specific or one-time purpose to address issues that fall outside...

Ad Litem

[Latin literal translation: for the suit]

Examples:

A guardian ad litem is a guardian (usually a lawyer) appointed by the court to manage the affairs of the ward as they relate to a proceeding or particular aspect of litigation, as...

Adequate and Independent State Grounds

Refers to the standard used by the Supreme Court to determine if it will hear a case from a state court. The Supreme Court will hear a case from a state court only if the state court judgment turned on federal grounds. It will refuse jurisdiction if...

Adequate Remedy

An adequate remedy is one that affords complete relief with reference to the particular matter in controversy, and which is appropriate to the circumstances of the case. An adequate remedy has also been described as a remedy that is complete,...

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