Legal Terms RIM Professionals Should Know

Information Management, November/December 2005 | Go to article overview

Legal Terms RIM Professionals Should Know


Case Law - The collection of reported cases that form the body of law within a given jurisdiction

Civil Action - An action brought to enforce, redress, or protect a private or civil right;a non-criminal litigation.

Common Law - Body of law derived from judicial decisions

Discovery -The act or process of finding or learning something that was previously unknown. Discovery methods include:

* Interrogatories -Written questions submitted to an opposing party as part of discovery

* Deposition - A witness's out-of-court testimony that is reduced to writing for later use in court

* Requests for admission - A party's written factual statement served on another party who must admit, deny, or object to the substance of the statement. The admitted statements will be treated by the court as established and do not have to be proved at trial.

* Requests for production - A party's written request that another party provide specified documents or other tangible things for inspection and copying

Evidence - Something (including testimony, documents, and tangible objects) that tends to prove or disprove the existence of a fact

* Admissible evidence - Evidence that is relevant and is of such a character (e.g., not unfairly prejudicial or based on hearsay) that the court should receive it

* Best evidence rule - To prove the contents of a writing, or recording, or photograph, a party must produce the original writing, recording or photograph, unless it is unavailable, in which case secondary evidence copies, notes, or testimony, may be admitted.

Note: Just because an item or record was produced in the discovery phase does not mean that !t will be used as evidence. Evidence must be admitted under the Rules of Evidence, and there are times when discovery material cannot meet the burden of production under the Rules of Evidence.

Jurisdiction - A government's general power to exercise authority over all persons and things within its territory

* State, local (city, village, township, county)

* Federal

Law - The aggregate of legislation, judicial precedents, and accepted legal principles; the body of authoritative grounds of judicial and administration action

Opinion - A court's written statement explaining its decision in a given case

* Attorney general opinion

* Legal counsel opinion

Public Laws - Most laws passed by Congress are public laws. …

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