attorney - A written
instrument authorizing another (not necessarily a lawyer) to act as one's agent or attorney.
- A rule of law that is established by an
appellate court in an earlier case serves as binding precedent in all subsequent similar cases.
evidence - Evidence which
might unfairly sway the judge or jury to one side or the other. For example, photographs of a gory murder scene
might inflame a jury without providing useful evidence. May be excluded in criminal cases if prejudicial effect
outweighs probative value.
error - Synonymous with
"reversible error"; an error which warrants the appellate court in reversing the judgment before
hearing - A probable cause
hearing which screens felony criminal cases by deciding whether there is enough evidence to warrant a trial. If the
judge determines there is sufficient evidence, the defendant is "bound over" for trial. The defendant may waive
injunction - In civil cases
when it is necessary to preserve the status quo prior to trial, the court may issue a preliminary injunction or
temporary restraining order ordering a party to carry out a specified activity.
inquiry - In Juvenile Court,
an investigation and study conducted by the probation department upon receiving a referral to determine whether
further action should be taken.
premeditation - The planning of a crime preceding the commission of
the act, rather than committing the crime on the spur of the moment.
evidence - Evidence which is
(even minimally) of greater weight or more convincing than the evidence which is offered in opposition to it. This
is the standard by which a plaintiff must prove his/her case in a civil suit.
report - An investigation
conducted at the request of the court after a person has been found guilty of a crime. The purpose is to provide
the court with extensive background information to determine the appropriate sentence. On felonies, usually done by
the Department of Corrections, Division of Adult Probation & Parole (AP & P).
appearance) - In felony cases,
the first appearance before a judge at which the defendant is formally notified of the charges and a date is set
for a preliminary hearing. No plea is entered at this stage. If, after the preliminary hearing, the case is bound
over to the District Court, the defendant will enter a plea during arraignment in District Court. (Presentment is
often incorrectly called arraignment.)