Legal Terms Q – R

Legal Terms Q - Rqualified wheel — the group of potential jurors who are not excused or exempted from the master wheel, and who are thus found eligible to serve. An individual on the qualified wheel may request a hardship excuse to be removed from the qualified wheel. See master wheel.

reaffirmation — in bankruptcy, an agreement by a debtor to repay a particular debt even though there is no legal obligation to do so.

record — all the documents filed in a case and a written account of the trial proceedings.

record on appeal — the record of a case made as proceedings unfold in the U.S. district court, and assembled by clerks in the district court clerk’s office and transmitted to the U.S. court of appeals. It consists of the pleadings and exhibits filed in the case, the written orders entered by the trial judge, a certified copy of the docket entries, and a transcript of the relevant court proceedings. Court of appeals judges review parts of the record, along with briefs presented by the parties, when considering appeals of lower courts’ decisions.

recross-examination — questions directed to a witness by the lawyer who conducted the cross-examination of the witness. Recross-examination follows redirect examination and focuses on matters that were raised for the first time during cross-examination. The questions focus on matters the witness testified to during redirect examination and are designed to test the witness’s credibility. Leading questions may be asked on recross-examination, as they may on cross-examination. See also leading question.

recuse — to withdraw or disqualify oneself as a judge in a case because of personal prejudice, conflict of interest, or some other good reason why the judge should not sit in the interest of fairness.

redirect examination — questions directed to a witness by the lawyer who conducted the direct examination of the witness. Redirect examination follows cross-examination and focuses on matters that were raised for the first time during cross-examination.

referral order — an order that assigns a magistrate judge responsibility for handling a variety of pretrial issues in a civil case and for ensuring that the parties adhere to a strict case-preparation schedule. In some courts, it is common for district judges to enter referral orders in newly filed civil cases.

relief — money damages or any other remedy the plaintiff seeks in a complaint.

remand — the act of an appellate court sending a case back to a lower court for further proceedings.

removal — a procedure applicable to most cases in which a federal court has jurisdiction because there is a federal question or diversity (parties who live in different states), but the plaintiff chooses to sue in state court. The federal removal statute allows the defendant to get the case removed to federal court, in part to ensure fairness to out-of-state defendants.

reorganization — a type of bankruptcy filing in which the debtor gets to keep most, if not all, of its assets but has to pay all or some specified part of its debts according to a plan of reorganization.

reorganization plan — see plan of reorganization.

representative party — a party who sues on behalf of the class in a class action. The claims or defenses of the representative party must be typical of the class, and the representative party must protect the interests of the class. See class action.

requests for admission — a form of discovery in which one party asks another to admit or deny the truth of facts or the genuineness of documents.

requests for production of documents — a form of discovery in which one party requests that another make certain documents and other objects available for inspection and copying.

restitution — payment by an offender of money or services to the victim of a crime for losses suffered as a result of the crime. Restitution must be ordered as part of the defendant’s sentence for certain crimes. It may also be ordered as a condition of probation or of supervised release.

reverse — to set aside a lower court’s decision or order and enter a different decision or order. A reversal is often followed by a remand.

revocation of probation or supervised release — a court’s order that a probationer or supervised releasee who has violated one or more conditions of probation or supervised release can no longer serve his or her sentence in the community and must be imprisoned.

right to remain silent — see privilege against self-incrimination.