Employment Litigation and Legal Action

Legal Terminology 101: Referencing Parties in Litigation

By November 13, 2019May 8th, 2020No Comments
Legal Terminology 101: Referencing Parties in Litigation - california employment lawyer - sherman law corporation

Terminology 101: How To Reference Parties in Civil Litigation

Various terminology is used in legal actions to refer to parties, such as, “plaintiff/petitioner/complainant/claimant/defendant/appellant/respondent…”  So what do they mean?

There are subtle differences between the use of these terms.

Plaintiff: A Plaintiff is usually the person who files a legal action against a Defendant.

Defendant: A Defendant is usually the person who is alleged to have engaged in unlawful conduct by the Plaintiff.

Claimant: An arbitration is an alternative to a trial in a courtroom.  The Plaintiff is referred to in arbitration as the Claimant.  Petitioner: A Petitioner is typically the person who files a petition against a Respondent seeking some sort of immediate relief from a tribunal.

Respondent: A Defendant in an arbitration is referred to as a Respondent.  However, a Respondent can be either a Plaintiff or Defendant in an appeal from the lower court, depending on who won the case.  A person becomes a Respondent when the losing party (Appellant) from the initial case appeals from the decision of the lower court.

Appellant: the party initiating an appeal.

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