Important Litigation Terms You Need to Know

January 25, 2020


Knowing Key Litigation Terms Can Help You in Your Case

Many people go through life without ever having a run-in with the law, making it easy to neglect taking the time to learn some of the most common litigation terms. Others, however, understand all too well why it is important to educate yourself about the meaning of the most referenced litigation terms.

Whether you have been involved in a car accident, are facing a premises liability case, or need a lawyer for any other reason, it is imperative you take the time to brush up on some of the terms your legal team will be using.

Unfortunately, the law is often misunderstood, and many people completely misuse legal terminology. Today we are going to look at some of the most commonly used – and important – litigation terms to prepare you for any future cases. At Shamieh Law, our clients are our top priority. We strive to ensure your questions are answered and you understand all aspects of your case, regardless of the circumstances.

Defining the Top Litigation Terms

Let’s face it – lawyers often seem to have their own language, making it difficult for clients to fully understand what is going on. If you’ve never been involved in the legal system before, there’s a good chance you will be hearing many of these terms for the first time.

Below you will find some of the most widely used litigation terms as well as answers to some common questions surrounding legal terminology. However, if you have a question about a term that we did not go over, we encourage you to reach out. Our team would be happy to answer any questions you may have.

Here are a handful of legal terms you should know:

  • Credibility – This term is thrown around a lot and is basically another way of saying that you are believable and trustworthy with your story. Someone who has the ability to appear honest is hugely important, as credibility is often at the center of a lawsuit.
  • Damages – Damages refer to the amount of money or compensation you will receive in a lawsuit.
  • Default – This is the process where the court stops any party (either plaintiff or defendant) from advancing claims or defenses because the party in question failed to follow the rules of the law.
  • Docket – This is how the court keeps track of a case.
  • Liability – Another important term, liability, is used to describe a defendant that is responsible for the accident and any damages. In almost all lawsuits, the goal is to prove that one party is liable for the injuries and damages suffered.
  • Negligence – When someone acts without care and does not follow through with their duty to another person (such as crossing the yellow lane when driving), they may be found negligent.

What is a Deposition?

One of the most frequently asked law questions is, “what is a deposition?” This is a very common term that refers to when a person is asked to appear in court at a specific time and place and give a sworn testimony. Usually, depositions take place after the lawsuit has been filed but before there has been a settlement or trial.

What questions are asked during a deposition?

The questions asked during a deposition will depend on the nature of the case. However, questions largely center around the following:

  • Questions about your background, such as “what is your full name?”
  • Questions about your residential history
  • Questions about your marital status
  • Questions about your education
  • Questions about your legal history

 What is mediation?

 Mediation is an opportunity for the parties to discuss any disputes or problems with the help of an experienced, unbiased third person. It is basically an informal meeting among the parties in an effort to reach a settlement as peacefully as possible, without having to go to court.

What is arbitration?

Most often used in lawsuits involving businesses, arbitration is the process of bringing a dispute before a third party for resolution. The third party, or the arbitrator, then listens to the evidence and both sides of the story prior to making a decision.

We hope you now have a better understanding of some of the most common legal terms and phrases you may hear in the event of a lawsuit. If you have additional questions or would like to schedule a free consultation, please contact Shamieh Law today.