Legal Term Glossary

General Legal Terms

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Term Definition

Written statement explaining facts of a case and laws that apply.

Board of Supervisors

Local governing body at the county level.


The seat where a judge sits in court.


Courtroom attendant responsible for keeping order in the courtroom and supervising the jury.


Money or other form of security the judge requires to be held by the court to ensure that a criminal defendant, released while awaiting trial, will be in court for the trial. Bail is returned when the defendant returns for trial.


One who is admitted to the State Bar of Arizona and who may represent clients in legal proceedings. Also called lawyer or counsel.

Synonyms - lawyer, counsel

Court proceeding in which the defendant stands before the judge to answer criminal charges by entering a plea of guilty or not guilty.


An attorney selected to hear a case and settle the legal dispute without a formal trial.


Arbitration is a dispute resolution system.  In arbitration the disputing individuals each present their side of an issue to an arbitrator who will act like a judge and decide the matter. There are two types of arbitration: binding voluntary arbitration and mandatory non-binding arbitration.

Binding Voluntary Arbitration is a process where the disputing individuals agree to settle their matter privately outside of the public court system using an arbitrator, a professional decision maker that is chosen by one or both of the disputing parties, to decide the dispute. Arbitration does not require the use of court rules or procedures and is viewed as a simplified private court proceeding. Each side will present their case to the arbitrator who will then decide the issue. Once the matter is decided the case is over and in most cases the court will enforce the arbitrators decision.

Mandatory Non-binding Arbitration is a process used by the court system where individuals who meet certain qualifications will have their case decided by a court appointed arbitrator instead of a judge. Decisions made in this type of arbitration are non-binding meaning that either individual may ask for a new trial in trial court.


The person against whom the appeal is taken.

Appellate Court

A court having jurisdiction (authority) to hear appeals.


The person/party appealing the judgment or decision of a court.


Legal process used to ask a higher court to review a decision of a lower court.


An agreement made before marriage that indicates how property will be divided should the couple divorce or a person die.

Synonyms - Premarital Agreement

Written response in a civil case. In it, the defendant admits or denies the allegations of the complaint made by the plaintiff and states any defenses that apply.

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This website has been prepared for general information purposes only. The information on this website is not legal advice. Legal advice is dependent upon the specific circumstances of each situation. Also, the law may vary from state-to-state or county-to-county, so that some information in this website may not be correct for your situation. Finally, the information contained on this website is not guaranteed to be up to date. Therefore, the information contained in this website cannot replace the advice of competent legal counsel licensed in your jurisdiction.