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interrogatories
written questions to the opposing party that must be answered under penalty of perjury
request for admissions
written statements the opposing party must admit or deny under penalty of perjury
request for production
a request for documents or other physical items be provided for inspection
request for mental or physical examination
request that the other party be subjected to a mental or physical examination
depositions
oral questions that must be answered under oath
ex parte hearing
a hearing at which only one party is present, such as a hearing on a motion for a restraining order
trial brief
also called a trial memorandum, this document is filled with the court to argue a legal issue, relying on law to support the party's position.
magistrate
a judicial officer who may preside over hearings, a magistrate does not have all the powers of judge, normally dealing with procedural matters.
direct evidence
evidence (from personal observation) that tends to establish a fact without the need for an inference.
circumstantial evidence
evidence of one fact that requires an inference to establish another fact
voir dire (for the jury)
to question prospective jurors
challenge for cause
a method of dismissing a juror for good cause shown; unlimited in number.
peremptory challenge
a method of dismissing a juror for which no reason need be given; limited to 3 or 6 challenges.
preponderance of the evidence
the burden of proof in cival cases means that it is more likely than not that a fact is a as a party alleges it to be.
subpoena duces tecum
a document issued under authority of the court to compel the appearance of a witness, and ordering the witness to provide specific documents