Means, literally, friend of the court.
A person with strong interest in or views on the subject matter of an action
may petition the court for permission to file a brief, on behalf of a party
but actually to suggest a rationale consistent with its own views. Such briefs
are commonly filed in appeals concerning matters of broad public interest; i.e.
civil rights cases.
The party who sues on a writ
of error by taking an appeal from an inferior court to a higher court for
The power vested in an appellate court
to review and revise the judicial action of an inferior court.
The party in a cause against whom an
appeal is taken; that is, the party who has an interest adverse to setting aside
or reversing the judgment of the inferior court.
Each state has an attorney general, who
is the chief law officer of the state. He gives advice and opinions on the interpretation
of laws to the governor and to executive departments and agencies.
bill of information
The charging document filed by the district
attorney which sets forth the criminal allegations of the state against the
blood alcohol level
The percentage of alcohol in a person's
blood measured in grams of alcohol per hundred cubic centimeters of blood. The
amount of alcohol is set by weight.
One in which the death penalty may, but
need not necessarily, be imposed.
Published volumes of case decisions by a particular court or a group of courts; i.e. Supreme Court Reporter, Federal Reporter, Louisiana Supreme Court Reporter.
Laws concerned with private rights and
remedies as contrasted with criminal laws.
A decree entered with the consent of
all parties. An agreement of the parties, made with approval of the court, and
in effect, an admission by them that the decree is a just determination of their
Not conflicting with any provision of
the constitution or fundamental law of the state.
In general, refers to the state and federal
statutes that define criminal offenses and specify corresponding fines and punishment.
Criminal offenses includes certain offenses of a public nature or wrongs committed
against the state.
The person defending or denying: the
party against whom relief is sought in a civil case or the accused in a criminal
Cases which originate at the trial court
level, but bypass review by the intermediate courts of appeal in order to be
heard directly by the Supreme Court.
The explicit disagreement of one or more
judges of a court with the decision passed by the majority upon a case before
them. In such event, the non-concurring judge is reported as "dissenting."
due process of law
Broadly defined as the constitutional
guarantee that no person shall be arbitrarily or unreasonably deprived of life,
liberty or property.
equal protection of the law
The constitutional guarantee of "equal
protection of the laws" means that no person or class of persons shall be denied
the same protection of the laws which is enjoyed by other persons or other classes
in like circumstances in their lives, liberty, property and their pursuit of
The act of destroying or erasing information--including
criminal records--in files, computers or other depositories.
A public officer who presides in a court
of justice and who is charged with the control of proceedings and the decisions
of questions of law or discretion.
The power and authority of a court to
hear and decide certain judicial cases.
Title given to judges, particularly judges
of U.S. and state supreme courts.
The act of giving or enacting laws via
the legislative process; in contrast to court-made laws.
The background and events leading up
to the enactment of a law. Such is looked to when court attempts to interpret
a statue which is ambiguous or inconsistent.
A party to a lawsuit.
A lawsuit. Legal action including all
proceedings therein. Contest in a court of law for the purpose of enforcing
a right or seeking a remedy.
The statement by a judge or court of
the decision reached in regard to a cause tried or argued before them, expounding
the law as applied to the case, and detailing the reasons upon which the judgment
A presentation, usually limited in time,
by the appellant and appellee providing rationale for affirming, reversing,
or modifying the decision of the inferior court.
Jurisdiction in the first instance. The
Louisiana Supreme Court has exclusive original jurisdiction over cases involving
disciplinary actions against lawyers and judges. This means that these cases
cannot be heard by any other state court.
A person who complains or sues in a civil
action. The prosecuting party (i.e State or United States) in a criminal action.
A presumption is a rule of law, statutory
or judicial, by which finding a basic fact gives rise to existence of a presumed
fact until it is rebutted or challenged.
An offer or endeavor to proceed in an
To proceed in a judicial proceeding against
a criminally accused party.
To overthrow; to abate; to vacate; to
annul; to make void.
separation of powers
The governments of states and the United
States are divided into three branches: the legislative, which is empowered
to make laws, the executive which is required to carry out the laws and the
judicial which is charged with interpreting the laws and adjudicating disputes
under the laws.
Standing is a requirement that the plaintiffs
have been injured or been threatened with injury by governmental action complained
of, and focuses on the question of whether the litigant is the proper party
to fight the lawsuit.
Laws enacted or established by the will
of the legislative department of government declaring, commanding or prohibiting
The Supreme Court has supervisory jurisdiction
over all courts. Cases from these courts reach the Supreme Court after they
have been heard by a lower court. The Supreme Court, however, does not automatically
hear these cases. A party must first convince the Supreme Court that their
case merits high court review because an error occurred in the opinion, judgment
or ruling of the lower court.
That which is contrary to the constitution
and the fundamental laws of the state.
writ of certiorari
An order by an appellate court which
is used when the court has discretion on whether or not to hear an appeal. If
the writ is denied, the court refuses to hear the appeal and, in effect, the
judgment below stands unchanged. If the writ is granted, then it has the effect
of ordering the lower court to certify the record and send it up to the higher
court which has discretion to hear the appeal.
zero tolerance law
An enforcement policy allowing no exception to the rule of law.