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Glossary


Oath of indigency and order appointing counsel
A document signed by the defendant under oath before the judge, stating he or she is without funds to retain an attorney. The judge may then declare the defendant insolvent and sign an order appointing counsel.
Oaths
 Sworn attestations required in court, usually administered by the in-court clerk.
Objection
The process by which one party takes exception to some statement or procedure. An objection is either sustained (allowed) or overruled by the judge.
On a person’s own recognizance
Release of a person from custody without the payment of any bail or posting of bond, upon the promise to return to court.
Opening statement
The initial statement made by attorneys for each side, outlining the facts each intends to establish during the trial.
Opinion
A judge’s written explanation of a decision of the court or of a majority of judges. A dissenting opinion disagrees with the majority opinion because of the reasoning and/or the principles of law on which the decision is based. A concurring opinion agrees with the decision of the court but offers further comment. A per curiam opinion is an unsigned opinion ‘’of the court.’’
Oral argument
An oppoirtunity for lawyers to summarize their positions before the court and also to answer the judges’ questions.
Order
A written or oral command from a court directing or forbidding an action.
Ore tenus motion
An oral motion before the court.
Overrule
A judge’s decision not to allow an objection. Also, a decision by a higher court finding that a lower court decision was in error.