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Lawsuits and Appeals Legal Terms

DDefamation
The serious harming of someone’s reputation or character by making false statements as though they are factual. Includes the more specific Slander and Libel.
Defendant
The person or entity who is being sued in a court of law.
LLibel
Libel is typically written or printed defamation (serious harming of someone’s reputation or character by making false statements) but can include pictures, signs, film, and electronic broadcasts like websites, webcasts, podcasts, television, or radio.
Litigation
The process of filing a lawsuit to resolve a legal dispute.
PPeriods of Prescription
Also known as “prescriptive periods”. In civil law, these are the laws that detail the maximum period of time that legal proceedings may be enacted after certain events. In common law, these legally maximum periods of time to begin legal proceedings are referred to as “statutes of limitation”.
Plaintiff
The party (individual) or entity who starts a lawsuit against another party (the defendant) in a court of law.
RRecusal
The act of a judge to remove (recuse) him or her self from participating in a case because they have special or personal interest in the outcome that could influence their decisions or judgement of the case.
SSlander
Usually spoken defamation (serious harming of someone’s reputation or character by making false statements) but can include gestures, sign language, and other “non-permanent” statements.
Statute of Limitations
A term that details the maximum period of time that legal proceedings may be enacted after certain events.
Structured Settlement
An agreement for the financial settlement of a lawsuit to be paid out in installments rather than in a lump sum.