Glossary of Litigation Terms

Evidence Rules

Evidence Rules are written rules that govern the admissibility of evidence in a court. There are both Federal Rules of Evidence and state codes such as the California Evidence Code.

Expert Witness

An Expert Witness is a person who is qualified to testify as an expert if he or she has special knowledge, skill, experience, training, or education sufficient to qualify as an expert on the subject to which his or her testimony relates. Against the objection of a party, such special knowledge, skill, experience, training, or education must be shown before the witness may testify as an expert.

A witness’ special knowledge, skill, experience, training, or education may be shown by any otherwise admissible evidence, including his or her own testimony.

A witness testifying as an expert may be cross-examined to the same extent as any other witness and, in addition, may be fully cross-examined as to his or her qualifications, the subject to which his or her expert testimony relates, and the matter upon which his or her opinion is based and the reasons for his or her opinions.


A Fact is an actual happening, event or thing done.


Foreseeability is the reasonable anticipation that injury or harm will likely result from certain acts or failure to act. In tort law, foreseeability is an element of causation.

Independent Contractor

An Independent Contractor is a worker hired to do a specific job over which the employer has no right to control the manner in which the work is done. The worker is generally licensed and offers services to the public. Independent contractors establish their own hours. Independent contractors are free to assign work to others, if they determine to do so.


An Injunction is an order of a court that a party do something or refrain from doing something. It is intended to prevent harm. Injunctions may be temporary, pending trial (preliminary injunctions) or may be permanent injunctions ordered after trial.


An Injury is any wrong or damage done to another person, his property, rights or reputation.



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