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not guilty plea - Complete denial of guilt. In criminal cases, a necessary stage of the proceedings required to preserve all legal issues.  

not guilty by reason of insanity - The jury or the judge must determine that the defendant, because of mental disease or defect, could not form the intent required to commit the offense.   



- O - 

objection - The act of taking exception to some statement or procedure in trial or other proceeding. Used to call the court's attention to improper evidence or procedure.  

of counsel - A phrase commonly applied to counsel employed to assist in the preparation or management of the case, or its presentation on appeal, but who is not the principal attorney for the party.  

opinion evidence - Witnesses are normally required to confine their testimony to statements of fact and are not allowed to give their opinions in court. However, if a witness is qualified as an expert in a particular field, he or she may be allowed to state an opinion as an expert based on certain facts.  


order to show cause - Court order requiring a party to appear and show cause why the court should not take a particular course of action. If the party fails to appear or to give sufficient reasons why the court should take no action, the court will take the action. In criminal cases, the defendant must show why probation should not be revoked.  

ordinance - A written law enacted by the legislative body of a county, city, or town.  

original jurisdiction - The court in which a matter must first be filed.   



- P - 

pardon - Action by an official of an executive branch of government relieving a criminal from a conviction.  

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