Jurisdiction- a court’s legal power to hear particular kinds of cases
Court of General Jurisdiction- a court that can hear nearly any type of case
Court of Limited Jurisdiction- a specialty court that can hear only cases of a certain type
En Banc- an appeals case presided over by a larger than usual panel of judges (more than three)
Appellate Brief- a document containing legal arguments in an appellate case, submitted to a court by attorneys for one party.
Remand- the act by which an appellate court sends a case back to a lower court for further proceedings
Court of last resort- the highest court to which a case may be appealed.
Writ of certiorari- a request that a case be heard by an appellate court such as the U.S. Supreme Court
In chambers- meeting that occurs between attorneys and a judge in the judge’s office rather than in the court room.
Recusal- the act by which a judge removes herself from a case bc she may be biased or may have appearance of being biased
Due process- the right guaranteed by the fifth and fourteenth amendments that laws and processes be fair.
Magistrate- a judge who handles matters such as warrants, infractions, and the early stages of a criminal case
Justice of the peace- a judge who handles matters such as warrants, infractions, and the early stages of a criminal case
Commissioner- an individual who presides over the early stages of some criminal trials or serves as a judge in specialized courts
Special prosecutor- prosecutor who is appointed specifically for one particular case, usually because of his specialized knowledge or experience
Attorney general- state’s head law enforcement officer; also the head of the U.S. Department of Justice
District attorney – the lawyer who prosecutes criminal cases at the local level
Prosecutorial discretion- prosecutor’s power to determine when to bring criminal charges and which charges to bring
Defense attorney- lawyer who represents the defendant in a criminal case
Attorney-client privilege- right of a person to prevent the government from asking his lawyer to provide evidence of the content of discussions between the person and his attorney
Local legal culture- a shared understand of how cases should be processed
Going rate- generally agreed upon sentence for a defendant based on the crime and prior record
Grand jury- panel of citizens who may investigate certain crimes and determine whether sufficient evidence exists to bring a defendant to trial
Petit jury- small group of citizens who determine whether a criminal defendant is guilty of the crimes with which he is charged
Venire- a group of people called to be prospective jurors
Voir dire- process of questioning prospective jurors about their background, opinions, and knowledge relevant to a particular case
Challenge for cause- excusing potential jurors from a jury because they might be biased in that case
Peremptory challenge – attorney’s removal of a prospective juror she feels will not be sympathetic to her side of the case
Jury nullification- power of juries to refuse to apply criminal laws when they feel applying them would be unjust
Lay witness- individual who has personally seen or heard information relevant to the case at hand; also called fact witness or eyewitness
Expert witness- one who has specialized knowledge of some scientific or technical matter intended to help the trier of fact understand particular evidence or specific facts in a case
Subpoena- legal document ordering a person to appear in court
Contempt of court- violation of a court’s order, punishable by fine, jail time, or both
Bail- a sum of money deposited by a defendant with a court to ensure the defendant’s appearance at trial
Preventive detention- practice of holding a suspect without bail because he’s believed to pose a potential danger to the community or at risk of...