ContractRegardless of how many episodes of Boston Legal, Law and Order, or Judge Judy you may have watched, there are scores of legal terms that are often misunderstood.

In an effort to reduce confusion, it’s a good idea to review a legal glossary now and then.  Here are a few words from the legal lexicon which you should know if heading to court.

COMPLAINT – The first document filed to start most types of civil lawsuits.  It is filed by the Plaintiff.

PLAINTIFF – The party who initiates a lawsuit by filing a Complaint.

CIVIL SUMMONS – The document attached to the Complaint that is served upon you by the Plaintiff (typically by sheriff or by certified mail) that informs you of the filing of the lawsuit against you.

ANSWER – The document filed in response to the Complaint.  It is filed by the Defendant.

DEFENDANT – The party who drafts and files an Answer in response to a Complaint.

ALLEGATIONS – Factual statements made in a Complaint or an Answer that constitutes true and accurate statements of fact.

COUNTERCLAIM – The document filed by a Defendant making Allegations against a Plaintiff.  This party is called a Third-Party Plaintiff.

Motion – Typically a written request to a judge seeking a ruling of law in favor of the moving party – i.e. the Plaintiff or the Defendant.

BRIEF – A written document drafted by an attorney in support of a Motion.

TORT – A civil injury or wrong to someone’s person or property.

BREACH OF CONTRACT – A civil injury or wrong involving a party’s rights and obligations under a contract.

For help in understanding legal terms that may be relevant to you or your business, please contact Attorney Wesley Jones in Wilmington, North Carolina : 910-256-5800.  All initial phone consultations are free.

Wesley Jones is a Litigation Lawyer serving all of Southeastern North Carolina including  New Hanover County (e.g. Wilmington, Kure Beach, Wrightsville Beach, Landfall, and Mayfaire), all of Pender County (e.g. Burgaw and Topsail Beach) and all of Brunswick County (e.g. Bolivia, Southport, Ocean Isle, and Oak Island).

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