Legal Glossary Fort Lauderdale
C D E
X Y Z
Damages - Money awarded by a court
to a person injured by the unlawful actor negligence of another
Debtor - One who owes a debt to another;
a person filing for relief under theBankruptcy Code.
Decision - The opinion of the court
in concluding a case at law.
Declaratory judgment - A statutory
remedy for judicial determination of a controversy where plaintiff
is in doubt about his legal rights.
Decree - An order of the court. A
final decree is one that fully and finally disposes of the litigation.
Defamation - That which tends to
injure a person's reputation. (See libel and slander.)
Default - Failure of the defendant
to appear and answer the summons and complaint.
Default judgment - A judgment entered
against a party who fails to appear in court or respond to the charges.
Defendant - The person defending
or denying a suit.
Defense of property - Affirmative
defense in criminal law or tort law where force was used to protect
Deficient - Incomplete; defective;
not sufficient in quantity or force.
Defunct - A corporation no longer
operative; having ceased to exist.
Demurrer - A pleading filed by the
defendant that the complaint as filed is not sufficient to require
Dependent - One who derives existence
and support from another.
Deposition - Testimony of a witness
or a party taken under oath outside the courtroom, the transcript
of which becomes a part of the court's file.
Digest - An index or compilation
of abstracts of reported cases into one, set forth under proper
law topic headings or titles and usually in alphabetical arrangement.
Direct evidence - Proof of facts
by witnesses who saw acts done or heard words spoken.
Direct examination - The first questioning
of witnesses by the party on whose behalf they are called.
Directed verdict - In a case in which
the plaintiff has failed to present on the facts of his case proper
evidence for jury consideration, the trial judge may order the entry
of a verdict without allowing the jury to consider it.
Disbarment - Form of discipline of
a lawyer resulting in the loss (often permanently) of that lawyer's
right to practice law. (See censure or suspension.)
Discharge - The name given to the
bankruptcy court's formal discharge of a debtor's debts. In probate,
the release of the estate's representative from fiduciary responsibility.
Disclaim - To refuse a gift made
in a will.
Discovery - The name given pretrial
devices for obtaining facts and information about the case.
Dismissal - The termination of a
lawsuit. (See with prejudice and without prejudice.)
Dissent To disagree. - An appellate
court opinion setting forth the minority view and outlining the
disagreement of one or more judges with the decision of the majority.
Dissolution - The termination; process
of dissolving or winding up something.
Diversity of citizenship - The condition
when the party on one side of a lawsuit is a citizen of one state
and the other party is a citizen of another state; such cases are
under the jurisdiction of federal courts.
Diversion - The process of removing
some minor criminal, traffic, or juvenile cases from the full judicial
process, on the condition that the accused undergo some sort of
rehabilitation or make restitution for damages.
Docket - An abstract or listing of
all pleadings filed in a case; the book containing such entries;
trial docket is a list of or calendar of cases to be tried in a
Docket control - A system for keeping
track of deadlines and court dates for both litigation and non-litigation
Domicile - The place where a person
has his permanent home to which he intends to return.
Double jeopardy - Putting a person
on trial more than once for the same crime. It is forbidden by the
Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution.
Due process of law - The right of
all persons to receive the guarantees and safeguards of the law
and the judicial process. It includes such constitutional requirements
as adequate notice, assistance of counsel, and the rights to remain
silent, to a speedy and public trial, to an impartial jury, and
to confront and secure witnesses.
Sheldon J. Schlesinger, P.A. represents clients throughout
the state of Florida including the cities of Boca Raton, Boynton
Beach, Carol City, Cooper City, Coral Gables, Coral Springs, Davie,
Deerfield Beach, Delray Beach, Fort Lauderdale, Hialeah, Hollywood,
Jupiter, Lake Worth, Miramar, Miami, Oakland Park, Palm Beach, Palm
Beach Gardens, Palm Springs, Pompano Beach, and Rivera Beach
Broward County • Miami-Dade County • Palm Beach