criminal law and procedure

Attorney of Record


1) A lawyer who appears in court or receives pleadings and other formal documents on a party's behalf. Also known as counsel of record.

2) In patent and trademark law, a lawyer or agent named in a power of attorney filed by a patent or...

Attorney Work Product


Written or oral materials prepared by or for an attorney in the course of legal representation, especially in preparation for litigation. Generally, an opposing party may not discover or compel disclosure of work product. In limited...

Attorney Work Product Privilege


The work product doctrine states that an adverse party generally may not discover or compel disclosure of written or oral materials prepared by or for an attorney in the course of legal representation, especially in preparation for litigation....

Attorney's Fees (or Attorneys' Fees)


The amount billed to a client for legal services performed on his or her behalf. Attorney's fees may be an hourly, flat (for a particular service, e.g. $10,000 to handle all aspects of a DUI case) or contingent fee (a percentage of client's...

Automobile Exception

The "automobile exception" is an exception to the general requirement of a warrant for searches and seizures under the Fourth Amendment. Under the exception, a vehicle may be searched without a warrant when the evidence or contraband may possibly be...



A medical examination of a corpse to determine disease, injury, and cause of death, especially in a criminal investigation. Also termed postmortem; postmortem examination; necropsy; obduction.

Back-to-back life sentences


Two or more life sentences served by an inmate consecutively rather than concurrently.

Illustrative caselaw

See, e.g. Gmerek v. State, 781 S.W.2d 575 (Mo. Ct. App. 1989) (regarding back-to-back sentences generally).

See also



Cash or a bond given to the court by a prisoner to secure conditional release from custody. The prisoner promises to return for judicial proceedings at a later time. A failure to return triggers the bond obligation and allows the court to keep any...

Bail bond

An obligation to pay the court if a criminal defendant fails to meet the terms of conditional release from custody. Many bail bonds are signed by the defendant and the defendant's sureties (e.g., a bondsman). Some bail bonds are signed by the...

Bail bondsman

A bail bondsman is a person who provides bail bonds for people charged with crimes and who do not have the money necessary to post the entire bail with the court. The bail bondsman acts as a surety by providing money to the court for the...