Rebut Evidence disproving other evidence previously given or reestablishing the credibility of challenged evidence.
Recidivism The continued, habitual or compulsive commission of law violations after first having been convicted or prior offenses.
Recognizance An obligation entered into before a court whereby the recognizor acknowledges that he will do a specific act required by law.
Record All the documents and evidence plus transcripts of oral proceedings in a case.
Recuse The process by which a judge is disqualified from hearing a case, on his or her own motion or upon the objection of either party.
Redirect examination portunity to present rebuttal evidence after one’s evidence has been subjected to cross examination.
Redress To set right; to remedy; to compensate; to remove the causes of a grievance.
Referee A person to whom the court refers a pending case to take testimony, hear the parties, and report back to the court. A referee is an officer with judicial powers who serves as an arm of the court.
Rehearing Another hearing of a civil or criminal case by the same court in which the case was originally heard.
Registered mark Trademark with the words “Registered in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office” or the letter “R” enclosed within a circle.
Rejoinder Opportunity for the side that opened the case to offer limited response to evidence presented during the rebuttal by the opposing side. (See rebut.)
Remand To send a dispute back to the court where it was originally heard. Usually it is an appellate court that remands a case for proceedings in the trial court consistent with the appellate court’s ruling.
Remedy Legal or judicial means by which a right or privilege is enforced or the violation of a right or privilege is prevented, redressed, or compensated.
Remittitur The reduction by a judge of the damages awarded by a jury.
Removal The transfer of a state case to federal court for trial; in civil cases, because the parties are from different states; in criminal and some civil cases, because there is a significant possibility that there could not be a fair trial in state court.
Replacement volumes Volumes which replace books and their pocket parts when the pocket parts cause the books to become too bulky.
Replevin An action for the recovery of a possession that has been wrongfully taken.
Reply The response by a party to charges raised in a pleading by the other party.
Reporters Books which contain court decisions.
Request for admission Also, Request to Admit. Written statements of facts concerning a case which are submitted to an adverse party and which that party must admit or deny; a discovery device.
Request for production of documents A direction or command served upon another party for production of specified documents for review with respect to a suit; a discovery devise.
Res ipsa loquitur Literally, ” a thing that speaks for itself.” In tort law, the doctrine which holds a defendant guilty of negligence without an actual showing that he or she was negligent. Its use is limited in theory to cases in which the cause of the plaintiff’s injury was entirely under the control of the defendant, and the injury presumably could have been caused only by negligence.
Res judicata A rule of civil law that once a matter has been litigated and final judgment has been rendered by the trial court, the matter cannot be relitigated by the parties in the same court, or any other trial court. A court will use res judicata to deny reconsideration of a matter.
Rescission The unmaking or undoing of a contract; repeal.
Research A careful hunting for facts or truth about a subject; inquiry; investigation.
Resolution The formal adoption of a motion.
Respondeat superior Literally, “a superior (or master) must answer.” The doctrine which holds that employers are responsible for the acts and omissions of their employees and agents, when done within the scope of the employees’ duties.
Respondent The person against whom an appeal is taken.
Rest A party is said to “rest” or “rest its case” when it has presented all the evidence it intends to offer.
Restatement A publication which tells what the law is in a particular field, as compiled from statutes and decisions.
Restitution Act of restoring anything to its rightful owner; the act of restoring someone to an economic position he enjoyed before he suffered a loss.
Retainer Act of the client in employing the attorney or counsel, and also denotes the fee which the client pays when he or she retains the attorney to act for them.
Return A report to a judge by police on the implementation of an arrest or search warrant. Also, a report to a judge in reply to a subpoena, civil or criminal.
Reverse An action of a higher court in setting aside or revoking a lower court decision.
Reversible error A procedural error during a trial or hearing sufficiently harmful to justify reversing the judgment of a lower court.
Revocable trust A trust that the grantor may change or revoke.
Revoke To cancel or nullify a legal document.
Right of way The right of a party to pass over the land of another.
RobinsonPatman Act An amendment to the Clayton Act which deals with price discrimination.
Robbery Felonious taking of another’s property, from his or her person or immediate presence and against his or her will, by means of force or fear.
Rules Established standards, guides, or regulations set up by authority.
Rules of evidence Standards governing whether evidence in a civil or criminal case is admissible.
Search warrant A written order issued by a judge that directs a law enforcement officer to search a specific area for a particular piece of evidence.
Seal To mark a document with a seal; to authenticate or make binding by affixing a seal. Court seal, corporate seal.
Sealing The closure of court records to inspection, except to the parties.
Secondary authority Legal encyclopedias, treatises, legal texts, law review articles, and citators. Writings which set forth the opinion of the writer as to the law.
Secured debts In bankruptcy, a debt is secured if the debtor gave the creditor a right to repossess the property or goods used as collateral.