Recess: A period of time between sessions of court.

Relief: What you are seeking when you file a lawsuit or a counterclaim. It is your remedy for what the other side did to you that was illegal.

Remedy: What the law provides you if you win your case. These can either be money (“damages”) or some sort of “equitable relief” – which is the court ordering a party to do something (or stop doing something). What constitutes damages versus equitable relief is more decided by history than logic, but where one party is seeking damages you normally have a constitutional right to a jury trial. Debt cases are typically seeking damages.

Renewed Motion for Directed Verdict: This is made after both sides of the case “rest” their cases and stop putting on further evidence. It asks the judge to find, as a matter of law, that the other party did not prove what it needed to prove in order to win its case.

Request for jury trial: Your official request that your case be heard by a jury. Different courts have different requirements for this request—make sure you know and follow these rules.

Requests for Admissions: These are requests that you agree certain facts should be taken as proved. They are a lethal trap for the unwary and inexperienced. Requests for Admissions are governed by their own rule of Civil Procedure. Look it up. If you do not respond to Requests for Admissions within the required amount of time, they will be considered admitted, and thus if you are not careful, you will admit that the entire case against you is valid, when it almost certainly is not. The penalty for wrongly denying a request is so slight that it very well may make sense simply to deny every request for admission sight unseen. If you don’t want to do that, it only takes a minute to see that the requests are usually things you can deny in perfectly good conscience. And if there is any doubt about admitting them at all, it makes sense to deny them and let the company try to prove its case. You can obviously admit the things that are obviously and indisputably true, but just be careful about how you define that term.

Requests for Documents: An informal way to say “Requests for production.” See that section for definition.

Requests for production (of documents or things): Another of the formal discovery devices, the way you ask the other side to give you documents or other things that might pertain to the case. A wide range of discovery is allowed, and it makes sense to give a lot of thought to what might help to know. A sample set of requests is included in the supplemental material, and I suggest you read it carefully to get the spirit of the things.

Res Judicata: Literally, the thing adjudicated. What that means is that once a legal claim is, or could be, heard by and ruled on by a court, you will probably not be allowed to do it again. This is also known as the “doctrine of finality,” and you must take it seriously. If you have a claim that should be brought as a counterclaim, for example, but you don’t – and then you try to bring a separate suit – it will probably be kicked out. This can come up in many complicated and hard to figure ways. When in doubt, try to get your claims in the present action.

Rest: Legalese for finish your case and stop. If things come up, you could possibly “reopen” your case to add more evidence. If you need to reopen your case to get something important in, you must ask (in order to preserve your rights), and it will probably be allowed, but as with anything giving the court “discretion” (the right to control things to see that justice is done), depending on reopening your case is not a good idea because you cannot count on the judge to act in your favor.

Resting the case: When you rest your case you announce that you have no more evidence to show the jury or the court.

Rule Against Hearsay: This is just what it sounds like—a rule against allowing hearsay testimony into evidence. Hearsay is not allowed except under specific circumstances. An important part of American justice is the idea that a person should be able to see and confront his accusers, and hearsay is, by its nature, something said by someone who cannot be cross-examined in front of the jury.

Rules of Civil Procedure: The rules that control the way a whole case is conducted, from beginning to end. Google your state name and “Rules of Civil Procedure” to get the rules for your state.

Rules of Evidence: The rules that control what evidence is permitted to be used to support or attack a case. If it does not comply with the rules of evidence, and if an objection is made, then evidence should be excluded (not permitted).