Legal Terminology for To Kill a Mockingbird

Legal Terminology for To Kill a Mockingbird
prosecuting attorney - a lawyer empowered to prosecute (bring a
criminal charge against someone who is accused of doing something
illegal)) cases on behalf of a government and its people.
circuit solicitor - a lawyer who travels to different locations to
prosecute in trials
defending attorney - usually hired directly by the person accused and
from that point forward, represents the accused throughout the legal
process, including trial.
court-appointed attorneys - lawyers who provide legal counsel to
those who have been criminally charged and cannot otherwise obtain or
pay for an attorney.
plaintiff - the person who initiates a lawsuit. The person who initiates
a lawsuit by filing a complaint is called the plaintiff.
defendant - in criminal cases, the person accused of the crime.
court reporter - a stenographer who makes a verbatim record and
transcription of proceedings
judge - a public official who hears and decides cases brought before a
court of law.
bailiff - a law officer who helps to maintain order in the court
jury - a group of people selected to apply the law, as stated by the
judge, to the facts of a case and render a decision, called the verdict.
Traditionally, an American jury was made up of 12 people who had to
arrive at a unanimous decision. But today, in many states, juries in civil
cases may be composed of as few as six members and non-unanimous
verdicts may be permitted.
Other legal terms used in the book:
Chapter 16:
Subpoena - a written legal order directing a person to appear in court
to give testimony
Chapter 17
corroborating evidence - in legal terms; corroborating evidence is
evidence which helps to strengthen a position.
contempt charges - contempt, in this case, is open disrespect of a
court or judge. A person who acts in such a manner may face a
contempt charge from a judge.
irrelevant'n'immaterial - "irrelevant and immaterial" Irrelevant means
not relative; not related (to something). Immaterial means
unimportant. The judge is saying that whether or not Mr. Ewell can
read and write is not related and unimportant to the case.
title dispute - a legal fight over the ownership of a particular piece of
Chapter 20
indicted - formally accused; charged
Chapter 21
acquit - clear of a charge; find not guilty
charged the jury - when Judge Taylor charges the jury, he gives
them instructions in law before they go off to deliberate or decide the