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Glossary of Civil Lawsuit Legal Terms

Civil Lawsuit Glossary & Legal Term Definition

ANSWER: Defendant’s formal written response to the allegations contained in the complaint.

BILL OF PARTICULARS: Plaintiff’s written response to questions concerning the facts of the case as propounded by the defendant.

COMPLAINT: The first pleading in a lawsuit setting forth the material facts upon which plaintiff relies to support his demand for damages.

COVERAGE: The amount of the insurance policy covering the claim. An insurance company is responsible to pay money damages against their insured, the defendant, only to the level of its coverage. If a verdict assess damages in excess of the coverage the defendant is personally obligated to pay the excess over the policy limits

DAMAGES: The amount of compensation sought to make the plaintiff whole. The extent of the injuries suffered by the plaintiff, plaintiff’s financial losses; plaintiff’s loss of enjoyment of life.

DEFENDANT: Person against whom the lawsuit is brought.

DEPOSITION: Also known as the Examination Before Trial or EBT. An informal hearing in which each party is examined under oath, in the presence of a stenographer, by the other side concerning the underlying facts of the case, damages and issues of liability.

DISCOVERY: The process of exchanging information about the specific facts concerning the litigation and the litigants.

FILING: The act of depositing the original of a legal document with the court. It is a necessary step in the beginning of a lawsuit;

HIPAA: Federally approved authorization under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996.

LIABILITY: Who is at fault.

MOTION: A document filed by either side seeking a judge’s ruling during the course of litigation.

NOTE OF ISSUE: Document filed certifying that the case is trial ready.

PARTIES: reference to both the plaintiff and defendant jointly.

PLAINTIFF: Person who brings the lawsuit

REQUEST FOR JUDICIAL INTERVENTION: Document filed with the court requesting that the Court become actively involved in a case.

SERVICE: The act of delivering legal papers to the opposition. To begin a lawsuit the Summons and Complaint must be delivered to the defendant by personal service as set forth in statutes

SUMMONS: a document advising the defendant has been started against him and that he is answer the complaint.

Additional steps of filing a New York civil lawsuit.

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