Terminology

Affidavit:
A written declaration or statement of facts made under oath or affirmation.

Answer:
A pleading (written document) responding to the allegations in the Complaint.

Appeal:
The presentation of the case or issue to a higher court for its review and decision after a judgment has been made by a
lower court.

Appearance:
Coming before the court either in person or through attorney representation.

Brief:
A written document prepared in a lawsuit that typically presents the facts and legal arguments that support a party’s
position.

Comparative Negligence:
The measurement of the proportionate fault of each of the parties involved that contributed to the injury.

Complaint:
The initial pleading (written document) filed in an action which commences the lawsuit. Typically, the plaintiff files a complaint.

Common law:
A body of principles and rules derived from usage and custom as opposed to statute or law.Costs: An allowance for expenses in the prosecution or defense of an action. The losing party pays this sum to the winning party.

Counterclaim:
A claim by the defendant in an action brought against the plaintiff.

Cross claim:
A claim by the defendant in an action brought against another defendant in the action or a claim by the plaintiff against another plaintiff in the action.

Damages:
Monetary compensation awarded to the successful party in a lawsuit.

Defendant:
The party that is sued in a lawsuit.

Fault:
An error or omission that causes injury

Judgment:
The court’s final decision at the conclusion of a lawsuit.

Evidence:
Fact or material that tends to prove an allegation or defense in the lawsuit.

Neglect:
An omission, failure to act or to restrain from doing an act that is required.

Negligence:
Failure to do something or to use the care that a reasonable and prudent person would under the same circumstances.

Plaintiff:
The party that sues by bringing a lawsuit and whose name appears on the record as the complaining party.

Pleadings:
The formal allegations that each party makes about their respective claims and defenses.

Respondeat Superior:
A legal principle that holds an employer responsible for certain acts of his employee.

Statutory:
Rules created by statute.

Verdict:
The final decision of a jury.