Employment Litigation and Legal Action

Legal Terminology 101: Referencing Parties in Litigation

By November 13, 2019 January 16th, 2020 No Comments

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. 

For more information, feel free to contact our office at (424) 249 -3631. 

The 5-Step Guide to Terminating an Employee