Tag Archives: judge

What’s the Difference Between a Hearing and a Trial?

A hearing is to a trial what a battle is to a war.  During the pendency of a case, the parties to a lawsuit may experience ongoing conflicts, ranging from minor disagreements to serious disputes.  When these pretrial conflicts arise, the judge will ordinarily conduct a hearing and … Continue reading

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How old must a child be in order to testify in court?

Most, if not all, jurisdictions have no minimum age requirement in order for a child to be permitted to testify in court.  Instead, judges are given discretion to determine whether a child is competent to testify. In most jurisdictions, judges … Continue reading

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What is a “Writ”?

A “writ” is written court order which commands someone to do something or to refrain from doing something. This term originated in English common law where it was first used to describe a written command from the King. As such, a writ … Continue reading

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What Is a Trial De Novo?

“Trial de novo” means “new trial,” a second bite at the apple, so to speak. While it is possible under certain circumstances to get a new trial in the same court as the first trial, the term “trial de novo” really … Continue reading

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Explain the Terms “Bench” and “Bar”

Courtrooms come in all shapes, sizes and colors.  From classical to modern, from opulent to austere, each courtroom is as unique as the architecture of the community it serves.  But whether the courtroom is located in Alaska or Florida, all courtrooms in America … Continue reading

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I Just Got Served with a Lawsuit – When Do I Have to File an Answer?

On or before 10 a.m. the Monday next following the expiration of 20 days…  Say again? If you have been served with a lawsuit in either a county court or a district court in Texas (J.P. courts are different – see … Continue reading

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Some Legal Papers were Posted to My Door… Have I Really Been Served with a Lawsuit?

Most likely yes. Of course the most common (and preferred) way of serving someone with notice of a lawsuit is through personal service (where a law officer or professional process server physically hands the legal papers to the person being served).  However, … Continue reading

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