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  • 1. The process of calling a witness’s testimony into doubt. For example, if the attorney can show that the witness may have fabricated portions of his testimony, the witness is said to be “impeached;”
  • 2. The constitutional process whereby the House of Representatives may “impeach” (accuse of misconduct) high officers of the federal government, who are then tried by the Senate.

Income Execution

A method to satisfy a judgment by levying a portion of the defendant’s wages.

In Camera

Latin, meaning in a judge’s chambers. Often means outside the presence of a jury and the public. In private.

Inculpatory Evidence

Evidence indicating that a defendant did commit the crime.

Indeterminate Sentence

A sentence without a definite term. For example a sentence of “x to y years” or a sentence of “not more then x but not less than y years.”


The formal charge issued by a grand jury stating that there is enough evidence that the defendant committed the crime to justify having a trial; it is used primarily for felonies. See also information.

In Forma Pauperis

“In the manner of a pauper.” Permission given by the court to a person to file a case without payment of the required court fees because the person cannot pay them.


A formal accusation by a government attorney that the defendant committed a misdemeanor. See also indictment.


A court order preventing one or more named parties from taking some action. A preliminary injunction often is issued to allow fact-finding, so a judge can determine whether a permanent injunction is justified.

Insider (of Corporate Debtor)

A director, officer, or person in control of the debtor; a partnership in which the debtor is a general partner; a general partner of the debtor; or a relative of a general partner, director, officer, or person in control of the debtor.

Insider (of Individual Debtor)

Any relative of the debtor or of a general partner of the debtor; partnership inwhich the debtor is a general partner; general partner of the debtor; or corporation of which the debtor is a director, officer, or person in control.


Direction given by the judge to the jury.


A form of discovery consisting of written questions to be answered in writing and under oath. Or written questions proffered by one side which must be answered in writing by the other side as part of the discovery process in an action.


When an individual dies without leaving a will.


  • 1. The disputed point between parties in a lawsuit;
  • 2. To send out officially, as in a court issuing an order.