Diversion The process of removing some minor criminal, traffic, or juvenile cases from the full judicial process, on the condition that the accused undergo some sort of rehabilitation or make restitution for damages.
Docket An abstract or listing of all pleadings filed in a case; the book containing such entries; trial docket is a listN of or calendar of cases to be tried in a certain term.
Docket control A system for keeping track of deadlines and court dates for both litigation and nonlitigation matters.
Domicile The place where a person has his permanent home to which he intends to return.
Double jeopardy Putting a person on trial more than once for the same crime. It is forbidden by the Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution.
Due process of law The right of all persons to receive the guarantees and safeguards of the law and the judicial process. It includes such constitutional requirements as adequate notice, assistance of counsel, and the rights to remain silent, to a speedy and public trial, to an impartial jury, and to confront and secure witnesses.
Elements of a crime Specific factors that define a crime which the prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt in order to obtain a conviction: (1) that a crime has actually occurred, (2) that the accused intended the crime to happen, and (3) a timely relationship between the first two factors.
Embezzlement The fraudulent appropriation by a person to his own use or benefit or property or money entrusted to him by another.
Eminent Domain The power of the government to take private property for public use through condemnation.
En Banc All the judges of a court sitting together. Appellate courts can consist of a dozen or more judges, but often they hear cases in panels of three judges. If a case is heard or reheard by the full court, it is heard en banc.
Encyclopedia A book or series of books arranged alphabetically by topics containing information on areas of law, including citations to support the information.
Enjoin To order a person to perform, or to abstain and desist from performing a specified act or course of conduct. See injunction.
Entity A person or legally recognized organization.
Entrapment The act of inducing a person to commit a crime so that a criminal charge will be brought against him.
Entry A statement of conclusion reached by the court and placed in the court record.
Environment The conditions, influences, or forces which affect the desirability and value of property, as well as the effect on people’s lives.
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) A federal agency created to permit coordinated and environment effective governmental action to preserve the quality of the environment.
Equal Protection of the Law The guarantee in the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution that all persons be treated equally by the law.
Equitable action An action which may be brought for the purpose of restraining the threatened infliction of wrongs or injuries, and the prevention of threatened illegal action.
Equity Justice administered according to fairness; the spirit or habit of fairness in dealing with other persons.
Equity, courts of Courts which administer a legal remedy according to the system of equity, as distinguished from courts of common law.
Escheat The process by which a deceased person’s property goes to the state if no heir can be found.
Escrow Money or a written instrument such as a deed that, by agreement between two parties, is held by a neutral third party (held in escrow) until all conditions of the agreement is met.
Esquire In the United States the title commonly appended after the name of an attorney. In English law a title of dignity next above gentleman and below knight. Title also given to barristers at law and others. Abbreviated: Esq.
Estate A person’s property.
Estate tax Generally, a tax on the privilege of transferring property to others after a person’s death. In addition to federal estate taxes, many states have their own estate taxes.
Estoppel An impediment that prevents a person from asserting or doing something contrary to his own previous assertion or act.
Et al An abbreviation of the Latin et alii, meaning “and others,” ordinarily used in lieu of listing all names of persons involved in a proceeding.
Et seq An abbreviation for the Latin et sequentes, meaning “and the following,” ordinarily used in referring to a section of statutes.
Ethics Of or relating to moral action and conduct; professionally right; conforming to professional standards.
Evidence Information presented in testimony or in documents that is used to persuade the fact finder (judge or jury) to decide the case for one side or the other.
Exceptions Declarations by either side in a civil or criminal case reserving the right to appeal a judge’s ruling upon a motion. Also, in regulatory cases, objections by either side to points made by the other side or to rulings by the agency or one of its hearing officers.
Exclusionary Rule The rule preventing illegally obtained evidence to be used in any trial.
Exclusion of witnesses An order of the court requiring all witnesses to remain outside the courtroom until each is called to testify, except the plaintiff or defendant. The witnesses are ordered not to discuss their testimony with each other and may be held in contempt if they violate the order.
Execute To complete; to sign; to carry out according to its terms.
Executor A personal representative, named in a will, who administers an estate.
Exempt property All the property of a debtor which is not attachable under the Bankruptcy Code or the state statute.
Exhibit A document or other item introduced as evidence during a trial or hearing.
Exonerate Removal of a charge, responsibility, or duty.
Ex contractu Arising from a contract.