Legal Glossary

Allegation – A declaration from one party; stating what it expects to prove of the other party.

Arbitration – The overall settlement of a dispute by a third party’s decision that has been agreed upon by each opposing party.

Brief- An attorneys legal documents, which consists of the laws and facts surrounding their client’s case.

Burden of Proof – The measure of proof needed to confirm a fact. This obligates the party to probe the existing facts during the initial trial.

Civil Law – All areas of law that do not apply to criminal law. These settlements are usually disputes between organizations, groups, or individuals.

Cause of Action – This is a legal claim; a written statement by the maker under penalty of perjury.

Decree – A final decision of the court ending the suit. An interlocutory decree on the other hand is a preliminary decree which does not finalize the suit.

Due Process – This is a guarantee initiated by the Constitution that every accused person must be able to receive a fair and unbiased trial.

En Banc “On The Bench” – A group of judges hearing a case as one.

Expert Evidence – A testimony given by a qualified speaker in areas such as science and psychology.

Fact-finding Hearing – An arrangement to determine facts of relevance to resolve a controversy.

Fraud – A deceitful perversion of truth or device to intentionally deprive another party of property and/or rights while possible infliction of harm.

General Jurisdiction – The courts that take on all types of cases such as criminal and/or civil. The Superior Courts are considered to be courts of general jurisdiction.

Guardian Ad Litem – An appointed individual by the court to watch over a minor or person of incompetence who is engaged in a litigation process.

Hearsay – The evidence given by a witness who has overheard someone else say; rather than the actual observance of the act itself.

Hung Jury – An undecided verdict by the trial jury.

Impeachment of a Witness – A credibility attack on a witness by another witness and/or witnesses.

Inadmissible – Under the rules established of evidence; that which can not be admitted as evidence into the trial.

Jurisdiction – The overall authority of the court consisting of judicial power and the ability to exercise it.

Jury – A number of people selected to come to a decision regarding a given trial. A jury usually consist of 6 to 12 individuals.

Limited Jurisdiction – Those courts that are limited to all forms of criminal and civil cases. Limited Jurisdiction courts consist of district, police and municipal courts.

Litigation – A lawsuit held within court.

Malpractice – The misconduct of a professional. If a claim is presented for malpractice against a professional or group of professionals, you must prove that your case was legitimate and that the actions of the professional were negligent.

Misdemeanor – A criminal offense that has not been considered a felony but is punishable by a fine or a short term of imprisonment. A gross misdemeanor consists of the higher fine potential and a longer jail sentence.

Objection – A statement by an attorney for the omission of attempted evidence given by the opposing attorney.

Omnibus Hearing – A pretrial hearing usually arranged the same day as the trial. This hearing is to ensure each party discovers all applicable information concerning the case. This is also the time for the judge to decide whether new evidence is accepted or admissible.

Peremptory Challenge – A procedure used to reject prospective jurors without reason. Each opposing side is permitted a restricted number of peremptory challenges.

Preponderance of Evidence – The standard of proof in cases or civil dispute. This consists of the overly convincing evidence presented by one side versus the opposing side’s evidence.

Reasonable Doubt – If the jurors cannot come to an abiding conviction with a “reasonable doubt” of guilt then the accused is able to proceed with an acquittal.

Remand – An appellate court action resulting in sending the case back to the court it originated from.

Statute of Limitations – In order for a party to ensure their rights are met, a judicial action should be taken within a given amount of time. The Statute of Limitations explains the time available for a given party to further with a case.

Stipulation – An agreement of the attorneys and/or opposing parties on the matter at hand within the trial proceedings.

Tort – An injury imposed by another of a person or property. If this is the case a claim for damages can be pursued.

Transcript – The official record kept by the clerk, of the trial proceedings.

Verdict – A trials final decision made by either a judge or jury.

Voir Dire – Also know as “To speak the truth.” This is the preliminary process of choosing potentially qualified jurors to observe a given case.

Willful Act – An act executed intentionally without the means of a justifiable cause.

Writ – A court order directing an individual either to perform or to cease from performing a particular act.


Medical Malpractice Legal Glossary

Surgical Error
A surgical error consists of a medical mistake during surgery, which can go unnoticed causing harm to the patient. Some surgical errors are noticeable and can be as grave as a procedure done on a wrong limb or body part. Within any medical procedure a surgical mishap could occur. This includes the simplest of cosmetic surgery as well as procedures both intrusive and/or non-intrusive.

Non-economic Damages
These are damages payable for suffering, pain, and/or loss of companionship. They may also include punitive damages, but these types of damages are typically discussed separately.

This is a form of detection from one party to another. This consists of one party submitting written questions to the other. During this unearthing the latter party is bound under oath and must answer truthfully or else dire implications could follow.

Fibromyalgia is a non-inflammatory pain disorder consisting of muscle stiffness, fatigue, joint tenderness and widespread pain.

Anesthesia consists of a drug administered as a method of sensation relief for the patient during medical and/or surgical procedures. Complications occurring from an anesthesia error unfortunately take place on a regular basis and can cause serious injuries to the patient including a possibility of death.

An affidavit is a written testimonial or declaration sworn under oath before an authorized legal council. This declaration is voluntary and is a pledge of truth towards those that it applies.

That which is discovered includes the evidence found by the opposing party. The deposition location also known as the pre-trial process location is where the initial discovery of evidence found by the opposing party is divulged.

Medical Negligence
This is consistent with the failure of a medical professional to meet his/her professional standards of conduct and/or duties. These standards are based on what a knowledgeable and skilled professional in the particular situation would or would not do.

Medication Malpractice
Medication malpractice covers claims of prescribing an inaccurate medication to a patient. This category also covers prescription of harmful dosage levels and/or the harmful combination of different medications given to a patient.

A cesarean also known as a “C-section” is a delivery procedure done surgically to retrieve the baby from a woman’s lower abdomen. Commonly, an epidural is administered to relieve the pain during delivery.

Birth Injury
Is any serious injury to the baby and possibly to the mother during the delivery of the new born that may place either the mother or the infant at risk of death. Birth injuries may consist of fractures, paralysis, brain damage, and other life long palsy conditions.

Cerebral Palsy
A name for a group of permanent brain injuries caused during and after child birth. The baby may have or developed confined motor skills, disabilities in learning, speech impediments, and other disabilities.

Cancer Misdiagnosis
A doctors mistake in determining cancer of a patient and causing the individual mental anguish or death. Types of misdiagnosis may include no cancer diagnosis, the wrong type of cancer, time delay in determining cancer, or determining cancer when in fact there is no cancer.

Workers’ Compensation Legal Glossary

Accepted Claim – A statement from the insurance company which grants a person with work related injury, funds from workers compensation.

American Medical Association (AMA) – Guidelines created by a group of doctors that determines what levels of injuries has occurred to the person.

Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) – A federal law created to protect people with disabilities from discrimination.

Apportionment – Determination of how much a person with disability from work injury, should receive from the employer.

Average Weekly Wage – Given to employees who are temporarily injured, it is the average amount of money divided into weekly payments from the workers compensation insurance.

Benefit Notice – Sent by the insurance company to inform the person of how much benefits they might receive.

Commutation – Granted by the workers compensation legal court; it awards the person with disability by full or a quantity of payments.

Cumulative Injury – An injury caused by the same procedures at work.

Death Benefits – Benefits are given to the dependent relatives when an injury or disability to a person causes death.

Delay Letter – A notice sent by the insurance company to inform the person with disability, the he reason for postponement of their pending reward payments.

Denied Claim – A statement from the insurance company denying a person with disability benefits because their injury is not funded by workers compensation.

Disability – An injury that results in limitations in everyday activities. It may limit a person from working mentally and physically.

Division of Workers’ Compensation (DWC) – Responsible for the laws created for workers compensation. Involved in helping injured employees with information in what they should do for them to win their case against their employer.

Ergonomics – Studies done to improve the quality of workers for the employees at the workplace.

Impairment Rating – ratings determined by the American Medical Association on how much the ability a worker has lost due to injuries.

In Pro Per – An injured worker present in court and does not have a lawyer with him.

Permanent Disability Rating (PDR) – Information showing how much time spent at the workplace contributed to the injury. The information helps decides how long the person will receive disability benefits.

Stipulations With Request For Award (Stips) – Two sides come to end agreement on how much benefits should be received. The judge must approve on what the sides negotiate with.

Uninsured Employers Fund – Benefits paid to the employee with disability, by the Division of Workers’ Compensation, because of the employers were involved with illegal workers compensation.

Utilization Review (UR) – A process in which the insurance company reviews doctors recommendation and decide whether to pay for the injured persons treatment.

Vocational Rehabilitation – a workers compensation benefits in which you are unable to do your regular duties at work and the employer does not have any other work. Another benefit includes them finding a person another job.

Vocational Rehabilitation Maintenance Allowance (VRMA) – during your time in vocational rehabilitation, VRMA helps to pay for the persons caring expenses.

Work Restrictions – A doctor’s note stating what the person is limited from doing. It helps the worker prevent serious injuries.


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