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direct evidence - Evidence in the form of testimony from a witness who actually saw, heard, or touched the subject of interrogation.  

direct examination - The first questioning of a witness by the attorney for the party on whose behalf the witness is called. Usually proceeds with open ended, non leading questions.  

directed verdict - In civil cases in which there is insufficient basis for any other conclusion, the judge may direct the jury to render a specific verdict. Criminal defendants may also ask the court to rule in their favor rather than submitting the case to the jury.  

discovery - The process through which parties to an action are allowed to obtain relevant information known to other parties or nonparties before trial.  

dismissal without prejudice - A dismissal which permits the plaintiff to sue again on the same cause of action or the state to proceed again. Dismissal with prejudice bars the right to subsequently bring an action on the same cause.  

disposition - The order of a Juvenile Court determining what is to be done with a minor already adjudged to be within the court's jurisdiction. In criminal or civil cases, the settlement of a case.  

dispositional report - In Juvenile Court, a written report relating to the child's mental, physical, and social history, submitted by the juvenile probation department or other designated agency to assist the judge in determining a proper disposition.  

dissent - A term commonly used to denote the disagreement of one or more judges of a court of appeals with the decision of the majority.  

diversion - Procedures for handling relatively insignificant juvenile problems informally, without referral to Juvenile Court. In criminal cases, the formal continuance of a case for a certain length of time, usually a year, with the goal of dismissal if the defendant meets certain conditions.  

docket - A brief entry or the book containing such entries of any proceeding in court.  

domicile - That place where a person has his true and permanent home. A person may have several residences, but only one domicile.  

double jeopardy - Common law and constitutional prohibition (5th Amendment) against more than one prosecution for the same crime.  

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