Citators A set of books which provides the subsequent history of reported decisions through a form of abbreviations or words.
Civil Relating to private rights and remedies sought by civil actions as contrasted with criminal proceedings.
Civil action An action brought to enforce or protect private rights.
Civil law Law based on a series of written codes or laws.
Civil procedure The rules and process by which a civil case is tried and appealed, including the preparations for trial, the rules of evidence and trial conduct, and the procedure for pursuing appeals.
Claim A debt owing by a debtor to another person or business. In probate parlance, the term used for debts of the decedent and a procedure that must be followed by a creditor to obtain payment from his estate.
Class action A lawsuit brought by one or more persons on behalf of a larger group.
Clayton Act A federal law which is an amendment to the Sherman Act dealing with antitrust regulations and unfair trade practices.
Clean air acts Federal and state environmental statutes enacted to regulate and control air pollution. Clear and convincing evidence Standard of proof commonly used in civil lawsuits and in regulatory agency cases. It governs the amount of proof that must be offered in order for the plaintiff to win the case.
Clemency or executive clemency Act of grace or mercy by the president or governor to ease the consequences of a criminal act, accusation, or conviction. (Sometimes known as commutation or pardon.)
Clerk of Court Administrator or chief clerical officer of the court.
Closing argument The closing statement, by counsel, to the trier of facts after all parties have concluded their presentation of evidence.
Code of Federal Regulations An annual publication which contains the cumulative executive agency regulations. Code of Professional Conduct The rules of conduct that govern the legal profession.
Codicil An amendment to a will.
Collate To arrange in order; verify arrangement of pages before binding or fastening; put together.
Collective mark Trademark or service mark used by members of a cooperative, an association, or other collective group or organization.
Commit To send a person to prison, asylum, or reformatory by a court order.
Common law Also case law. Law established by subject matter heard in earlier cases.
Commutation The reduction of a sentence, as from death to life imprisonment.
Comparative fault A rule in admiralty law where each vessel involved in a collision is required to pay a share of the total damages in proportion to its percentage of fault.
Comparative negligence The rule under which negligence is measured by percentage and damages are diminished in proportion to the amount of negligence attributable to the person seeking recovery.
Competency A witness’s ability to observe, recall and recount under other what happened. Criminal defendants must also be competent to stand trial; they must understand the nature of the proceedings and have the ability to assist their lawyers.
Complainant The party who complains or sues; one who applies to the court for legal redress.
Complaint 1. The legal document that usually begins a civil lawsuit. It states the facts and identifies the action the court is asked to take. 2. Formal written charge that a person has committed a criminal offense.
Conciliation A form of alternative dispute resolution in hich the parties bring their dispute to a neutral third party,who helps lower tensions, improve communications, and explore possible solutions. Conciliation is similar to mediation, but is may be less formal.
Concurrent jurisdiction The jurisdiction of two or more courts, each authorized to deal with the same subject matter.
Concurrent sentences Sentences for more than one crime that are to be served at the same time, rather than one after the other.
Condemnation The legal process by which the government takes private land for public use, paying the owners a fair price.
Conditional release A release from custody which imposes regulations on the activities and associations of the defendant. If a defendant fails to meet the conditions, the release is revoked.
Conformed copy An exact copy of a document on which has been written things that could not or were not copied, i.e., a written signature is replaced on the conformed copy with a notation that it was signed by the parties.
Consecutive sentences Successive sentences, one beginning at the expiration of another, imposed against a person convicted of two or more violations.
Consent Agreement; voluntary acceptance of the wish of another.
Conservatorship Legal right given to a person to manage the property and financial affairs of a person deemed incapable of doing that for himself or herself.
Consideration The price bargained for and paid for a promise, goods, or real estate.
Conspiracy A combination of two or more persons formed for the purpose of committing by joint collaboration some unlawful act.
Constitution The fundamental law of a nation or state which establishes the character and basic principles of the government.
Constitutional law Law set forth in the Constitution of the United States and the state constitutions.
Consumer bankruptcy A proceeding under the Bankruptcy Code filed by an individual (or husband and wife) who is not in business.
Contempt of court Willful disobedience of a judge’s command or of an official court order.
Continuance Postponement of a legal proceeding to a later date.
Contract An agreement between two or more persons which creates an obligation to do or not to do a particular thing. A legally enforceable agreement between two or more competent parties made either orally or in writing.
Contributory negligence The rule of law under which an act or omission of plaintiff is a contributing cause of injury and a bar to recovery.
Conveyance Instrument transferring title of land for one person or group of persons to another.
Conviction A judgment of guilt against a criminal defendant.