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Court News Ohio

CNO Legal Glossary

Reasonable doubt
A standard that requires proof offered to be of the highest degree. In a criminal case, reasonable doubt is present when jurors, after carefully considering and comparing all the evidence, cannot say they are firmly convinced of the truth of the charge against a defendant. “Beyond a reasonable doubt” is the burden of proof required to determine guilt in a criminal case.
The third possible argument. A rebuttal can be made in response to a reply that is made to an original argument.
Reckless conduct
Actions characterized by the conscious disregard of or indifference to a known or obvious risk of harm to another that is unreasonable under the circumstances; substantially greater than negligent conduct.
A written account of the proceedings in a case, including all pleadings, evidence, and exhibits submitted.
A condition that an individual is able to function successfully in society after serving a criminal sentence.
The ruling of a reviewing court that sends back a case to the lower court.
An action by an owner seeking the return of property taken unlawfully.
An argument or brief that responds to an initial argument.
Res judicata
Latin, meaning “a thing adjudicated.” An issue that has already been settled by judicial decision.
Respondeat superior
A legal principle that makes an employer liable for the actions of an employee while that employee is on the job.
Money that the court orders a wrongdoer to pay to someone for the loss of money or other property caused by the wrongdoer.
A fee paid by a client to hire a lawyer for a legal matter.
The ruling of a reviewing court that changes the outcome of the case.
Rule of lenity
The legal principle that an ambiguous criminal statute must be construed in favor of the defendant.

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 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.