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Court News Ohio

CNO Legal Glossary

A
Acquittal
A jury's verdict that a defendant is not guilty in a criminal case, or the judge's finding that the evidence is insufficient to convict.
Adam Walsh Act
The federal law that requires sex-offender registration and community notification.
Ad hoc
Latin, meaning “for this.” Concerned with a special purpose. For example, an “ad hoc” committee.
Admissible
Allowed to be considered as evidence by a judge or jury.
Affidavit
A written statement made under oath.
Affirm
The ruling of a reviewing court that the decision of the lower court was correct.
Aggravating circumstances
In criminal law, conditions that add to the seriousness of an offense and may increase the penalty for a crime.
Allied offenses
Multiple crimes that arise from and are committed by the same conduct, and that the court must treat as one offense for sentencing.
Alternate juror
A juror selected in the same manner as a regular juror and who hears all the evidence but does not decide the case unless called on to replace a regular juror.
Alternative dispute resolution (ADR)
A procedure for settling a dispute without a formal trial. Most forms of ADR are heard by an arbitrator or mediator.
Amicus curiae
Latin, meaning “friend of the court.” A person or group that is not a party in a case, but who asks a court or is requested by a court to file a brief because of a special interest in the subject of the case.
Answer
A defendant’s formal written statement in a civil case responding to a complaint and stating the defendant’s defenses.
Appeal
A request made by a party that has lost on one or more issues for a higher court to review the decision for correctness.
Appellant
The party who appeals a court’s decision and seeks to have a decision overturned.
Appellee
The party who opposes an appeal and seeks to have the decision affirmed.
Arbitration
A procedure for settling a dispute without a formal trial before one or more arbitrators. The decision in an arbitration is final and binding, unless it is successfully challenged in court.
Arraignment
A court proceeding in which a criminal defendant is told of the charges against him or her and is asked to enter a plea.
Assets
Property of all kinds, including real and personal, tangible and intangible.
Assume
To agree to continue performing duties under a contract or lease.

The CNO Legal Glossary is part of an ongoing effort to educate the public about the courts and explain the legal system. The glossary is an evolving, interactive public resource. CNO encourages readers to send in their ideas for words and phrases to be considered for inclusion in the glossary. Submit your suggestions to CNO@sc.ohio.gov. The content of the CNO Legal Glossary does not represent the legal views of the court and is not considered or consulted by the justices in case deliberations.

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