Glossary of Legal Terms & Definitions
- Canons of ethics Canons of ethics are the ethical standards attorneys must follow in the practice of law.
- Capital offense A capital offense is a crime which can result in someone being sentenced to death, such as treason or first-degree murder.
- Case law Is law established from previous decisions by appellate courts or the Supreme Court of the United States that are used in writing an argument in a brief or answer.
- Case number The number assigned by the court to identify one case from another.
- Cause of action The factual situation which provides a legal right to bring a claim in court for damages and compensation.
- Certified copy A certified copy is a copy of a document that is authenticated and certified as a true copy of the original document by the person who is in possession of the original.
- Certiorari Granting a writ of certiorari is the legal equivalent of agreeing to do something. A higher court, such as the Supreme Court of the United States, grants a writ of certiorari to review a lower court’s procedure and decision.
- Charge In a criminal case, the Defendant gets charged with committing a crime. The charge is the law the defendant is accused of breaking.
- Circumstantial evidence Is when a principal fact is inferred from one or more circumstantial facts. For example, a judge or jury can infer a person committed a crime if they are seen running away from the scene of the crime.
- Civil law or civil case A civil case involves private parties or businesses suing each other under law not regulated by a state or federal government.
- Class action A class action is a case brought by an individual or two on behalf of a larger group of people.
- Clearinghouse An organization located in one spot that monitors, receives, and disburses child support-IV-D payments.
- Client security/protection fund Is a fund established by the Supreme Court of Arizona to help people hurt by the dishonest conduct of licensed Arizona attorneys by reimbursing them for loses they have sustained.
- Closing Usually refers to purchasing and selling of real estate. It is the final exchange where the parties exchange the agreed on amount for the title and deed.
- Code of Professional Responsibility The ethical rules attorneys are required to follow when practicing law.
- Common law is the original legal system, based on court decisions, that originated in England and was brought over to the United States when it was first forming. United States common law varies by state, the three types are: English; French; and Spanish.
- Compensatory damages Is money awarded to compensate someone for losses suffered. Typically, it is for damages that can be measured, such as medical bills or replacing property, but can also include harder to measure damages, such as pain and suffering.
- Complainant In a civil case, the complainant is the party alleging the offense and brining the lawsuit.
- Complaint The complaint is the initial document filed to begin a case. It lists the facts of the case, the relevant law, and the action the filing party is asking the court to take.
- Conciliation A conciliation is a form of alternative dispute resolution in which a neutral third party tries to help resolve a case without proceeding through the court system, similar to a mediation.
- Constable A constable is an elected official directed by the Justice of the Peace to deliver and return legal notices/documents.
- Contempt of court A person is found in contempt of court when they willfully disobey or disrespect the court or a judge’s command and interfere with the administration of justice. Someone found in contempt of court can face financial sanctions and, potentially, jail time.
- Contingency fee A contingency fee is the amount a lawyer agrees to be paid out of the damages awarded to their client. Typically, filing fees and other costs associated with working the case are not considered part of the contingency fee amount.
- Continuance A continuance is a request by a party for the court to postpone a legal proceeding to a later date.
- Contract A contract is a legally enforceable agreement made either orally or in writing between two or more parties creating an obligation to do or not to do a particular thing. A contract can be formed by orally agreeing to do something, signing an agreement, or by performing your part of the(...)
- Conviction In a criminal case, a conviction is when someone has been found guilty of committing a crime.
- Copyright A copyright is a legally enforceable authority someone was given to prevent other people or businesses from copying things they have written, authored, or created.
- Corporation A corporation is a legal entity authorized by a state to conduct business or other activities within the state. Similar to an individual person, a corporation can perform actions necessary to carry on business, such as enter into contracts or sue/be sued. Typically, those who own a(...)
- Counsel Is another word for attorney or lawyer in a case, a person who can give legal advice.
- Counterclaim In a civil case, a counterclaim is made by the Defendant against the Plaintiff alleging they did something to cause or aggravate the issue.
- Court A court is an entity established by the federal or state government to resolve legal disputes.
- Court costs Are the costs associated with arguing or defending a court case, not including attorney fees. For example, the costs associated with filing the complaint or the costs for hiring a process server.
- Court reporter A court reporter is a person who works for the court who transcribes word-for-word what is said in a court proceeding or deposition and produces a transcript of the proceedings upon request.
- Crime Someone commits a crime when they do an action forbidden by a state or federal statute or regulation.
- Criminal justice system All the courts and tribunals established to handle enforcement of criminal law.
- Cross-examine When a witness has finished being questioned by the attorney who asked them to testify and the opposing attorney starts questioning them.
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What People Say
“He fights for his clients like no one I have ever seen”
David Maletta is the absolute best trial attorney in the state of Arizona. He is a kind, emphatic, and extremely patient person. As an attorney, he is prepared, aggressive, and extremely skilled. He is not afraid to go to trial and fight for his clients, like other attorneys that just plead their clients to the original charges. When he is in trial, he flips a switch and goes from a nice guy to a killing machine. He fights for his clients like no one I have ever seen. Watching him do a cross-examination is exhilarating because he is so good it’s scary.
Patricia Bevins - Google Review
“I would give them more stars, but the option is not there”
Best divorce lawyers in Arizona, hands down. Timothy Hintz handled my divorce, and as a father, I have my son and our house. I would give them more stars, but the option is not there. His paralegal Jennifer Bone is extremely competent, and the whole team is very friendly. Took a big weight off, having them behind me.
Joseph A. - Google Review
“There is NOBODY I would rather have defending me than David”
I hired David Maletta and it was the best decision of my life. His knowledge, genuine interest, overall attitude, and ability to connect with people is incomparable. I could talk about all of this at length. I COULD do all of that, but that wouldn’t do David justice. He first and foremost demonstrates his interest and genuine care for his client. Being in uncharted territory with a criminal charge and nowhere to turn, David’s presence and personality put all nerves at ease. I went through a jury trial with David beside me. The trial ran for 3 days and I spent a significant amount of time with David one-on-one. During this stressful time, he wanted to hear my input and thoughts on everything. David was incredible from the first day I met him. Not only is he a great attorney, but he is also a great person who cares about people and finding justice for his clients. He connects to the human side of people. I can’t put into words how much David cares about the individual in a case. When it comes to the courtroom, there is NOBODY I would rather have defending me than David.
Jacob - AVVO Review
“Nothing but good things to say about my experience.”
I have nothing but good things to say about my experience working with David Maletta. I was in a very high-stress situation facing a pending DUI charge. He doesn’t know this, but I actually interviewed 5 potential lawyers, and he was the most optimistic of all of them. He took over and handled everything, and now I don’t have to live with a DUI. Thank you so much for everything! Highly recommend them to anyone looking for legal help.
Lauren Koontz - Google Review
“I was found NOT GUILTY. Dave won the trial for me.”
Dave stayed with me while he pushed back and forth with Covid-19 and the delays with court. Once cited, the state basically decides that you’re guilty through the automatic suspension of your drivers license. Dave immediately took care of that problem and I never lost the privilege of driving. Dave took notes like crazy and was upfront about our uphill battle. I was also well aware that the plea deal that was given to us, was unacceptable and through Dave’s knowledge and experience I had put my trust in him to guide me to make the right decision on how to proceed. With Dave’s guidance I had decided that we needed to fight for something better than what the prosecutor was offering and Dave was 100 percent behind me on that decision. We knew the risks, be we also knew we had very little to lose based on the prosecutions stance. We decided to go to trial… Watching the prosecution and then watching Dave was night and day!! It was clear to the jury that the prosecution didn’t have their facts straight and were not addressing the facts that they could not address…There was a lot at stake for my personal life and my work life. I was found NOT GUILTY. Dave won the trial for me.
Gregory - AVVO Review
“Because of Darin I got my daughter back”
Before I hired Darin I went through a total of 3 different attorneys in two different states fighting a jurisdiction battle, when my daughter was taken to a different state. It was a very difficult decision to switch attorneys at one of the most difficult, time sensitive and important times in my case, but I’m very glad I did. Upon receiving my file from previous attorneys Darin came very familiar with my case quickly. Like other people have explained he took the time to lay everything out and explain how the process was going to proceed and what to expect and continued to do this as new issues arrived. He is also very quick at responding to emails and phone calls. My case was getting close to trial as told by my previous attorneys, I did not want to go to trial as I know this is very costly (most attorneys will convince you that you need to.) Darin knew my situation, fought for what was right and got the results I wanted while avoiding a costly trial. He is extremely knowledgeable in the Child Support Guidelines as well. Because of Darin I got my daughter back. I would highly recommend him and would hire again for any future issues. Thanks Darin!
Chris - AVVO Review
“David was relentless in his pursuit of my son’s innocence”
We retained David Maletta to represent our son after being cited for what can only be described as a momentary lapse of reason. David was extremely knowledgeable, was able to clearly communicate very complicated concepts, and was relentless in his pursuit of my son’s innocence. He had strong relationships with the prosecuting attorney and respect of the judge, which ultimately resulted in my son learning a really hard lesson with limited consequences (traffic school and writing an essay to the judge on the physics of driving 130MPH and what happens if that goes badly). I have already sent all of my friends with teenage and 20 year old kids his contact information for when they inevitably get that call. David completely exceeded all of our expectations and we could not recommend him any stronger. Thank you for everything.
Shawn H. - Google Review
“Tim was absolutely amazing and worked diligently”
I had an incident and was given the catch-all charge. There wasn’t really anything I could do by myself to get out of it. Tim was absolutely amazing and worked diligently to ensure that I would have the best possible outcome from my case. Which he successfully achieved! As of right now, I am on the path to having my case fully dismissed. A couple of things that really helped me through this process was that Tim did an amazing job at answering my questions. He was available almost anytime and would respond promptly when he got my emails. He was also very approachable and comforting to be around while we had in person meetings and especially when I was at the court house. I would trust him and the company he works for with any other cases in the future, and as of right now, they will be my first choice if I need a lawyer in the future.
Dylan - AVVO Review
“Listens to every request that you make on a case”
I honestly just want to let it be known to any and everyone looking for an attorney on a case. Whether it be DUI, possession, or your every day to day traffic violations where you need representation attorney Tim Hintze is your man. You have to respect a man that listens to every request that you make on a case and he gets in there and gets it done. Tim has my respect as an attorney and being a well-rounded representer. From him being honest on the possibility and options for your case to him being easy to work and communicate with via over the phone or face to face Mr. Hintze is working it out.
Ben - AVVO Review
“The calm in the middle of my storm…”
I recently consulted with Darin after my wife filed for divorce. He was referred to me by a friend whom I very much trust. Darin was the antithesis of the first two attorneys I consulted (who were matter-of-fact and had very little empathy about the fact that I was struggling emotionally with what was transpiring). From the first few minutes of speaking with Darin, it was obvious that he was very knowledgeable and skilled with divorce and family matters. While that was most important to me, the thing that made the difference was his calming, logical, and empathetic approach. He took the time to listen and empathize with me. He took the time to understand what I wanted to achieve through this process and laid out my options. After the consultation, I knew he would be my attorney if I had to pull the trigger. I, ultimately, didn’t have to engage Darin’s services due to a reconciliation with my wife. I hope I never have to go through that process again. However, if I do, I know beyond a shadow of a doubt who I will be hiring to represent me…Darin R. Colburn. Darin, thank you for caring and being more than an attorney.
Frank - AVVO Review
“Responsive, sympathetic, professional, patient, and kind.”
On one of the worst and most surreal nights of my life (do not EVER get a DUI people!) I was lucky enough to find my way to Tim Hintze. Being in Phoenix for the Thanksgiving holiday from out of town, and after spending the evening with family, I ended up spending the night in jail.
Tim turned one of the worst experiences in my life into “it could have been so much worse!” Working with him from a different state, he covered the bases & paperwork, showed up for me in court, gave me numerous connections to muck my way through the system, and held my hand the whole way.
I cannot imagine how much worse this experience could have been, and thanks to Tim, I didn’t need to. He was responsive, sympathetic, professional, patient, and kind throughout the long process, drawn out by many months due to Covid.
Keep Tim’s number handy and in your contacts in the event you are ever in the sorry position to need a DUI lawyer!
Holly Weber - Google Review
“Very professional, very empathetic, and very responsive to all the issues.”
I had the opportunity to work with Darin during a very troublesome time in my life. As a family attorney, I found him to be very professional, very empathetic, and very responsive to all the issues I faced. I would recommend him to anyone without a second thought. Thank you, Darin!