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Most Misunderstood Legal Courthouse Terms

Article 2.3 Transfers of Structured Settlement Payment Rights

Most Misunderstood Legal Courthouse Terms  A-C


Acquittal – Finding of not guilty

Adjournment – Postponing or recessing a court hearing

Adjudicate – To exercise judicial authority in settling a case

Affidavit – A written statement given voluntarily and under oath

Answer – The defendant’s response to a plaintiff’s allegations in a complaint

Arraignment – Proceeding in which an accused person is brought before a judge to hear the charges and or enter a plea of guilty, not guilty or no contest.  Bail is set at this hearing.

Bail – Money or other security given to secure a person’s release from custody, and guarantee his or her later appearance in court.

Beyond a Reasonable Doubt – The standard in a criminal case requiring that the jury be satisfied to a moral certainty that every element of a crime has been proven by the prosecution

Bond – A written statement that obligates one person to pay a specified amount of money to another if a certain condition occurs

Burden of Proof – In criminal, the prosecution has the burden of proving a defendant guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.  In civil, the plaintiff has the burden of proving the case by preponderance of evidence

Closing Arguments – Lawyers’ final statement to the judge and/or jury after all parties have presented their evidence

ComplaintCivil – A document filed by the plaintiff containing a statement of the facts constituting the cause of action and a demand for judgment.  It’s the beginning of a civil action

ComplaintCriminal – A document filed by the prosecutor describing the alleged offenses committed by the defendant

Conservatorship – Proceeding to appoint a manager for a person who is either physically or mentally unable to care for himself or herself


Courtesy of Los Angeles Superior Court 2014


Structured Settlement Attorney Eugene Ahtirski