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Legal Terminology Glossary

A

Admission – a voluntary acknowledgement that something is true or correct

Appeal – the process of asking a more senior court to review a decision you believe is wrong

Application – the process of asking the Court to make an Order that something be done

B

Barrister – a lawyer who has been called to the Bar and is qualified to plead in higher Courts. They often assist solicitors with second opinions and will conduct trials and other significant hearings

C

Case – a claim brought by one person or entity against another

Civil Procedure Rules – rules that set out how civil cases progress

Claimant – someone who seeks compensation for being wronged

Claim Form – submitted to court in order to begin court proceedings

Client – someone who uses a solicitor to get advice on legal matters

Contributory Negligence – where the claimant has contributed to his/her loss or injury by partly causing the accident

Costs – legal fees incurred when bringing a claim

Counter Claim – a claim by the Defendant against the Claimant

Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority – innocent victims compensated by government organisations for injuries they have suffered as a result of violent crime

D

Damages – compensation received by the Claimant

Default Judgement – entered by the Court when a party fails to respond to proceedings within the set time frame

Defence – the response from a Defendant to the Claimants version of events and claim

Defendant – the party the claimant is claiming against

Disclosure – the process of disclosing the documents to be relied upon during the claim to the other party

E

Employers Liability – where an employer is held responsible for accidents occurring through their negligence during the course of a person’s employment

Evidence – something proving a claim or argument, i.e. a report, statement, CCTV or photographs

Expert – a specialist in a particular field, such as a Doctor or Engineer

Fees – see “costs” above

F

Funding – the method used to account for the legal costs involved in a claim

H

High Court – The second level of civil Court, between County Court and Court of Appeal

I

Indemnity – where a party agrees to protect another party from financial loss or responsibility

Inquest – the investigation carried out after an unexpected or unexplained death

Issuing Proceedings – bringing a claim to Court after other attempts to settle it have failed

J

Judgement – a decision made on a set of facts during Court proceedings

L

Legal Help – a scheme to provide advice and assistance to those who cannot afford to pay for a lawyer

Legal Ombudsman – an organisation with the power to resolve complaints related to lawyers

Letter of Claim – the initial letter sent to the Defendant that notifies them of the claim

Liability – a legal obligation or responsibility

Limitation – the maximum time a claimant has to make a claim for compensation

Litigation – the process of taking a case to Court

Litigation Friend – a trusted person who acts on behalf of someone under 18 years of age or someone without capacity to act for themselves

M

Mediator – an independent party that contributes to settlement negotiations

N

Negligence – a civil wrong where a person or entity is in breach of a duty of care which results in loss or injury to another

O

Occupational Disease – an illness contracted in the workplace

Occupiers’ Liability – the legal responsibility of someone who allows people to enter his or her land or building

P

Particulars of Claim – outlines the basis on which a claim is made and details what the claim is for

Personal Injury Protocol – rules that determine how a lower value Personal Injury claim progresses

Pleadings – formal statements which outline the claimant’s case and the defendant’s response to that case

Product Liability – the responsibility of a manufacturer or supplier for injury as a result of defective goods they have manufactured or sold

Proof of Evidence – a written statement detailing what a witness intends to say in Court

Public Liability – the legal responsibility of an occupier for people who enter his or her land or property

R

Remuneration – a financial reward, compensation

RTA – Road Traffic Accident

S

Settlement – agreeing compensation and bringing a legal matter to an end

Solicitors Regulation Authority – the organisation which regulates solicitors in England and Wales, sets out their Code of Conduct and considers complaints against them

Statement of Case – any of a number of formal documents used to outline a case

Stay of Proceedings – where a case is halted, usually temporarily, to allow for tasks to be completed

Summary Judgement – is a judgement entered by a court for one party against another party summarily, i.e., without a full trial.

T

Trial – usually the final hearing where everything is decided by the Court

W

Witness – a person who saw or experienced something, or who can give evidence in a claim to help determine an issue

Witness Statement – a statement provided by a witness

Witness Summons – an order made by the Court requiring a witness to attend a hearing

Workplace Claims – a personal injury claim resulting from an accident in the workplace