PERSONAL INJURY LEGAL GLOSSARY
Glossary of Personal Injury Law Terms
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Joint and Several Liability: Refers to a plaintiff's ability
to sue one or more defendants separately or all together at his or
her option. Permits a group of defendants to be held both
individually and collectively liable for all damages suffered by the
plaintiff. The plaintiff can recover the entire amount of damages
from one defendant, even if all of the defendants are liable.
Joint Tenancy: A form of legal co-ownership of property
(also known as survivorship). At the death of one co-owner, the
surviving co-owner becomes sole owner of the property. Tenancy by
the entirety is a special form of joint tenancy between a husband
Judge: Workers' compensation judges are appointed and are
representatives of the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and
Industry. They conduct hearings in an administrative proceeding for
workers' compensation cases.
Judgment: Official decision of a court resolving the
issues in a legal action and stating the rights and obligations of
the parties. See also decree, order.
Judgment Notwithstanding the Verdict (n.o.v.): An order by
the trial judge entering a judgment in a manner contradictory to the
jury’s verdict. This is granted only when the verdict is
unreasonable and unsupportable.
Judicial: Pertaining to a judge.
Judicial Notice: The procedure by which a judge recognizes
the existence of the truth of a certain fact having bearing on the
case without the production of evidence because such fact is
established by common notoriety. For example, if the accident
happened on Thanksgiving, the judge can take judicial notice that
the accident happened on a Thursday.
Judicial Review: The authority of a court to review the
official actions of other branches of government. Also, the
authority to declare unconstitutional the actions of other branches.
Jurisdiction: The legal right by which judges exercise
Jurisprudence: The study of law and the structure of the
Jury: Persons selected according to law and sworn to
inquire into and declare a verdict on matters of fact. A petit jury
is an ordinary or trial jury, composed of six to 12 persons, which
hears either civil or criminal cases.
Jury Commissioner: The court officer responsible for
choosing the panel of persons to serve as potential jurors for a
particular court term.
Justiciable: Issues and claims capable of being properly
examined in court.