Glossary

Orders that a specific location be searched for items, which if found, can be used in court as evidence. Search warrants require probable cause in order to be issued.

The punishment ordered by a court for a defendant convicted of a crime. Federal courts look to the United States Sentencing Commission Guidelines when deciding the proper punishment for a given crime.

To separate. Sometimes juries are sequestered from outside influences during their deliberations.

The service of writs or summonses to the appropriate party.

Parties to a lawsuit resolve their difference without having a trial. Settlements often involve the payment of compensation by one party in satisfaction of the other party's claims.

A conference between the judge and lawyers held out of earshot of the jury and spectators.

A description that a witness gives to the police and that the police write down.

A law passed by a legislature.

A law that sets the time within which parties must take action to enforce their rights.

A command to a witness to appear and give testimony.

A command to a witness to produce documents.

A decision made on the basis of statements and evidence presented for the record without a trial. It is used when there is no dispute as to the facts of the case, and one party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.