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Encyclopedia > Legal case

A legal case is a dispute between opposing parties resolved by a court, or by some equivalent legal process. A legal case may be either civil or criminal. A court is an official, public forum which a sovereign establishes by lawful authority to adjudicate disputes, and to dispense civil, labour, administrative and criminal justice under the law. ...

Contents


A civil case

A civil case, more commonly known as a lawsuit begins when a plaintiff files a document called a complaint with a court, informing the court of the wrong that the plaintiff has allegedly suffered because of the defendant, and requesting a remedy. The remedy sought may be money, an injunction, which requires the defendant to perform or refrain from performing some action, or a declaratory judgment, which determines that the plaintiff has certain legal rights. A lawsuit is a civil action brought before a court in which the party commencing the action, the plaintiff, seeks a legal remedy. ... A plaintiff, also known as a claimant or complainant, is the party who initiates a lawsuit (also known as an action) before a court. ... In general use, a complaint is an expression of displeasure, such as poor service at a store, or from a local government, for example. ... A defendant or defender is any party who is required to answer the complaint of a plaintiff or pursuer in a civil lawsuit before a court, or any party who has been formally charged or accused of violating a criminal statute. ... A remedy is the solution or amelioration of a problem or difficulty. ... An injunction is an equitable remedy in the form of a court order that either prohibits or compels (restrains or enjoins) a party from continuing a particular activity. ... A declaratory judgment is a judgment of a court which declares what rights each party in a dispute should have, but does not order any action or result in any legal damages. ...


The plaintiff must also make a genuine effort to inform the defendant of the case through service of process, by which the plaintiff delivers to the defendant the same documents that the plaintiff filed with the court. Service of process is the term given to legal notice of a court or administrative bodys exercise of its jurisdiction over a person (defendant etc. ...


At any point during the case, the parties can agree to a settlement, which will end the case. A settlement is a contract that is one possible result when parties sue (or contemplate so doing) each other in civil courts, usually seeking money as reparations for the alleged wrongdoing of the defendants. ...


A criminal case

A criminal case begins when a person suspected of a crime is indicted or charged with the offense by a government official called a prosecutor or district attorney. In the common law legal system, an indictment is a formal charge of having committed a serious criminal offense. ... The examples and perspective in this article or section may not represent a worldwide view. ... A district attorney is, in some U.S. jurisdictions, the title of the local public official who represents the government in the prosecution of criminals. ...


Like a civil case, a criminal case may also be settled before a trial through a plea bargain, in which the accused confesses to the crime in exchange for a particular sentencing recommendation. Also like a civil case, a criminal case that is not settled may be abandoned by the prosecutor, or may go to trial. A plea bargain is an agreement in a criminal case in which a prosecutor and a defendant arrange to settle the case against the defendant. ...


Common elements

Legal cases, whether criminal or civil, are premised on the idea that a dispute will be fairly resolved when a legal procedure exists by which the dispute can be brought to a factfinder not otherwise involved in the case, who can evaluate evidence to determine the truth with respect to claims of guilt, innocence, liability, or lack of fault. Details of the procedure may depend on both the kind of case and the kind of system in which the case is brought - whether, for example, it is an inquisitorial system or an adversarial system. Legal procedure is the body of law and rules used in the administration of justice in the court system, including such areas as civil procedure, criminal procedure, appellate procedure, administrative procedure, labour procedure, and probate. ... The law of evidence governs the use of testimony (e. ... An inquisitorial system is a legal system where the court or a part of the court is actively involved in determining the facts of the case, as opposed to an adversarial system where the role of the court is solely that of an impartial referee between parties. ... The adversarial system (or adversary system) of law is the system of law, generally adopted in common law countries, that relies on the skill of the different advocates representing their partys positions and not on some neutral party, usually the judge, trying to ascertain the truth of the case. ...


In most systems, the governing body responsible for overseeing the courts assigns a unique number/letter combination or similar designation to each case in order to track the various disputes that are or have been before it. The outcome of the case is recorded, and can later be reviewed by obtaining a copy of the documents associated with the designation previously assigned to the case.


See also


  Results from FactBites:
 
Legal case - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (398 words)
A civil case, more commonly known as a lawsuit begins when a plaintiff files a document called a complaint with a court, informing the court of the wrong that the plaintiff has allegedly suffered because of the defendant, and requesting a remedy.
A criminal case begins when a person suspected of a crime is indicted by a grand jury or otherwise charged with the offense by a government official called a prosecutor or district attorney.
Like a civil case, a criminal case may also be settled before a trial through a plea bargain, in which the accused confesses to the crime in exchange for a particular sentencing recommendation.
Horvitz & Levy LLP - Legal Malpractice Cases (1071 words)
Legal malpractice action arising from defendant attorney's failure to opt plaintiff client out of a class action lawsuit, which resulted in the release of plaintiff's claims against plaintiff's employer.
The Court of Appeal reversed, holding that "lost punitive damages" are not recoverable against an attorney in a legal malpractice action.
Before we were consulted on the case, the Court of Appeal affirmed, holding defendants owed a duty to nonclient third-party plaintiffs.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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