Voir dire is a legal procedure conducted before trial in which the attorneys and the judge question prospective jurors to determine if any juror is biased and/or cannot deal with the issues fairly, or if there is cause not to allow a juror to serve.

 

GVR: When the court GVRs, it Grants certiorari, Vacates the decision below and Remands a case to the lower court without hearing oral argument or deciding the case on the merits. A GVR order is not accompanied by a written opinion addressing the merits of the case, but the court usually provides some direction to the lower court by, for example, instructing it to reconsider its decision in light of a recent decision by the Supreme Court.

 

Sub judice refers to a matter before a court or a judge, under judicial consideration and not yet decided. When a matter has yet to be proved or disproved in a court case it is sub judice and unable to be discussed or stated as a fact in public. By not referring to matters that are sub judice, the rights to a fair trial are protected because it ensures that a potential jury is not influenced by misinformation or false claims.

 

Batson challenge. An objection to the validity of a peremptory challenge, on grounds that the other party used it to exclude a potential juror based on race, ethnicity, or sex. The result of a Batson challenge may be a new trial.

 

Prima Facie. Latin for "at first look," or "on its face," referring to a lawsuit or criminal prosecution in which the evidence before trial is sufficient to prove the case unless there is substantial contradictory evidence presented at trial.

 

Pretextual generally refers to a reason for an action which is false, and offered to cover up true motives or intentions. Pretext can be found based on (a) statistics, (b) comparators similarly situated, (c) written or oral statement(s) indicating bias, or (d) just plain false reason. 

 

Inter alia. Latin for "among other things." This phrase is often found in legal pleadings and writings to specify one example out of many possibilities. 

 

Extrinsic evidence is external, outside evidence or evidence that is inadmissable or not properly before the court, jury, or other determining body. 

 

Indicium is a Latin term meaning, the act of accusing someone of a crime.

 

Malum in se is a Latin phrase meaning wrong or evil in itself. The phrase is used to refer to conduct assessed as sinful or inherently wrong by nature, independent of regulations governing the conduct. It is distinguished from malum prohibitum, which is wrong only because it is prohibited.

 

de minimis - too trivial or minor to merit consideration.

 

facial challenge - In U.S. constitutional law, a facial challenge  is a challenge to a statute in which the plaintiff alleges that the legislation is always unconstitutional, and therefore void. It is contrasted with an as-applied challenge, which alleges that a particular application of a statute is unconstitutional.

 

strict scrutiny - refers to a level of study or analysis the courts use to determine the constitutionality of a law, or of the actions of a governmental body. The most rigid standard of judicial review, strict scrutiny is used to determine whether such an action or legislation violates constitutional rights.

 

a fortiori - used in logic to denote an argument to the effect that because one ascertained fact exists, therefore another which is included in it or analogous to it and is less 

improbable, unusual, or surprising must also exist.