I have had past experiences with lawyers, they were too busy to answer phone calls but quick to bill. Chris Nesi was different. He was amazing. He was kind, knowing our case very well, and really cared about our family. Chris Nesi was so wonderful, that i can not find the words to express what a great job he did for us.

Summer T, Child Custody client

This is my first experience with an attorney. I had seen Mr. Nesi in court representing another client. The representation was so great that I left the court room to get his business card, I called him the same day. Chris Nesi is currently representing me and I am thrilled. Chris Nesi is tremendous at what he does.

Nicholas S, Child Custody client

I have been through many lawyers in my quest for custody of my children. Chris Nesi is the first lawyer that gave me his cell phone number and actually called me back on the weekends - regardless of the time. Usually, I would wait days for a lawyer to call me back. That's not all, when we got to court, Chris mopped the floor with my ex's attorney!!! I now have sole custody of my children and I am receiving more child support than I expected! I would recommend Chris Nesi to anyone who wants a lawyer who will fight for them and your kids!!! Thanks a million Chris.

Child Custody client

Mr. Nesi was able to achieve everything I asked of him. He was professional and an outstanding lawyer. I recommend Mr. Nesi to anyone in need of a divorce lawyer.

Lisa, Divorce client

Michigan Legal Glossary


Adjournment: to temporarily or permanently postpone a case
Administrator: a person appointed by the court to manage an estate in the event that no will is written
Affidavit: A sworn written statement
Alimony: money paid to one spouse for the benefit of the other in the event of a legal separation (see: maintenance)
Annul: to void
Annulment: a legal decree declaring a marriage is invalid – not to be confused with a divorce
Appeal: where the unsuccessful party in lawsuit requests of a higher court to overturn the judgment made by a lower one
Arbitration: a method of amicable dispute resolution by a third party
Arraignment: the initial appearance before a judge in a criminal case where a defendant can enter a plea, ask to post bail, and have a court lawyer appointed
Article of Incorporation: a document filed with the state that incorporates a limited liability company
Assignment: to transfer legal rights from one person to another (which is not the same as a novation, which is the transfer of legal obligations from one person to another)
Award: a decision where an arbitrator gives money to either the plaintiff or defendant of a lawsuit.



Bail: money paid to the court guaranteeing a defendant's attendance at an appointed time. This is more commonly known as a bail bond
Bankruptcy: a federal process in which a person who cannot pay bills is freed from liability for those debts
a process governed by federal law where a person cannot pay bills when due and payable – chapter 7 and chapter 13 bankruptcy actions
Beneficiary: the person named as such in a will or insurance policy who receives assets from an estate or trust
Board of Directors: a group of individuals running a company on behalf of the shareholders
Brief: a legal document that describes the legal arguments in a particular lawsuit
Burden of Proof: the duty of the defendant to demonstrate, according to the facts, that the allegations brought to the lawsuit are either true or false



Capital Gain/Loss: the profit or loss from the sale of an asset – such as a home. Typically, capital gain will be taxed
Cause of Action: the reason or grounds on which legal action is being brought
Caveat Emptor: a Latin phrase meaning "buyer beware," where customers must take due care when purchasing something, that the goods are purchased “as is” and a case cannot be taken before the courts
Certified Copy: a document signed as being a true copy of the original (if the original document cannot be produced. Also known as certified true copy
Certify: to testify in writing
Class Action Lawsuit: two or more plaintiffs with a common interest join to bring a case against another
Collateral: the security a person agrees to pledge toward a loan, which will be forfeit in the event the loan is not repaid – also known as "security"
Complaint: a civil law action that initiates a lawsuit
Condition: circumstances that are essential to the performance of a specified act; for example, it may be a condition of a loan that you give security. Without giving security, you do not have the right to the loan
Conflict of Interest: a situation in which a person has competing interests, and cannot perform his/her duty and act impartially toward both parties
Consideration: something of value (usually money), which is paid in exchange for entering into a contract
Contract: a legal agreement consisting of two or more persons, (known as "parties to the contract"), whereby an offer is made and accepted
Costs: a sum of money awarded to the successful party in a lawsuit, usually amounting to the literal cost of having brought the case, such as legal fees
Counsel: a legal representative, such as a lawyer or attorney
Creditor: a person an individual owes money to
Custodian: a person appointed to oversee and disperse funds on behalf of a child – unlike a trustee, a custodian is normally a court appointed person



Damages: money paid to a person that suffering injury or loss as a result of a third party’s actions.
Debtor: a person owing money to a creditor
Decision: in a court case, the verdict
Deed: a written legal document describing a piece of property and defining the property’s boundaries
Default: failure to meet the terms of a contract, an obligation. For example: if you owe money, and fail to pay, you are in default of the contract.
Defendant: a person who must defend an accusation (criminal), or a person being sued (civil)
Defined Benefit/Contribution Plan: a type of 401(k) retirement plans
Deposition: a witness’s pre-trial testimony, taken under oath, for purpose of discovery
Discovery: the pre-trial process where each party requests documentation and information relating to their case
Dismissal: the termination of a case from court
Double Jeopardy: the process of trying someone twice for the same crime or offense.
Due Process: a legal doctrine stating that one’s trial must be fair



Easement: a right given to one person to enter another’s property without needing permission – for example, the telephone lines going into your home are an easement right
Encumbrance: a claim or lien on one’s property title – for example, a mortgage
Escrow: money deposited into the account of an impartial third party, to be retained until certain conditions have been met
money paid into an account in the name of a third party which is then released once certain conditions have been fulfilled
Escrow Agent: an impartial agent appointed to look after an escrow account
Estate: all property owned by deceased person
Evidence: documents, artifacts, and data used in court as proof of facts
Executor: a person appointed in a will to administer the estate
Exempt Property: property that cannot be used as part of a bankruptcy lawsuit – usually work related, such as the tools needed for work
Exhibit: a document or object displayed in court to uphold a claim



Fault: An act where you are to blame for the outcome
Felony: a serious crime punishable by death or imprisonment of more than one year
Fiduciary Duty: one is obligated to act in the best interest of a third party
Fine: a monetary penalty imposed for an offense
Foreclosure: when a borrower fails to repay their debts, the creditor sells the property to recover the money
Franchise: a business relationship whereby the owner of a business grants a license for another person to use the name of the business to sell products or services



Good Faith: a sincere act without the intention to deceive others
Grand Jury: a group of civilians convened by a court to decide if a criminal case has enough merit to proceed to a trial
Grantor: a person who establishes a trust on behalf of the recipients
Guarantee: a legal agreement under which a person agrees to be responsible for the obligations of another
Guarantor: a person who provides a guarantee on behalf of another



Heirs: a person who has a right to inherit the property of a deceased person



Implied: suggested without directly stating – thus, you have "implied warranty", which means that you have given the appearance that there was a warranty, even if there was not one
Incompetency: to lack legal qualification or fitness to act with legal effectiveness
Indemnity: to secure against loss or damages in the event of certain events, compensation
Injunction: a judicial order requiring you to refrain from doing something
Intestate: a person who has died without having made a will



Joint Custody: following a divorce, both parents will share custody of a child
Joint and Several Liability: a person agrees to be individually or mutually responsible for a debt to another person
Judgment: an official decision delivered by a court
Jurisdiction: a court's authority to hear your case and administer justice
Jury: a group of twelve citizens charged with hearing your case and reaching a verdict



Lease: a legal agreement where property is lent to a third party in exchange for something of value
Lemon Laws: laws that protect purchasers of new and used cars, requiring manufactures to repair defective cars
Lessee: a person who is granted a lease
Lessor: a person who grants a lease
Liability: a responsibility or obligation for which you're a legally accountable
Lien: a right given by the owner of property to secure a debt (such as a mortgage)
Limited Liability Company: a business whose owners are shielded from personal accountability in the organization’s debts and obligations.
Living Will: a legal document establishing a person's wishes regarding their medical treatment should they become incapacitated



Maintenance: money paid to one spouse for the benefit of the other in the event of a legal separation (see: alimony)
Minor: a person under 18 years old (the legal age of consent)
Motion: a request made to a judge requesting him to make a decision on a contested issue of law



Natural Person: an individual, specifically not a company or partnership
Negligence: failure to exercise a reasonable degree of care which results in injury to another
Notary Public: a public official authorized to witness documents



Oath: a swearing to deliver the truth in oral statements
Order: written or oral direction of a court



Petition: written supplication to the court requesting judicial action on a specific matter
Plaintiff: the person who commences a suit in court
Pleadings: the allegations made by each party in a civil case
Power of Attorney: a legal document that allows another to act on your behalf
Probate: the process where a court supervises the distribution of property under a will
Proceedings: the sequence of steps that make up a lawsuit
Promissory Note: a written promise by a person to pay another person a specified amount of money on a given date and pursuant to specified terms



Quid Pro Quo: a Latin term meaning to receive an item or service in return for something of value



Real Property: Land, and all rights attached to the land
Reasonable: the standard level of what an ordinary person would expect under normal circumstances
Reply: a plaintiff's response to a defendant's answer or counterclaim in a civil case



Security Agreement: a contract where one agrees to give security in a specified asset to be used as collateral to mitigate risk in the event a loan is not successfully repaid
Settlement: is a resolution or decision reached in a civil case
Shareholder: someone who hold shares in a limited company
Standard of Care: the degree that care must be taken in order to prevent injury to another
Statute of Limitations: the period in which one must file a lawsuit or forfeit the right to bring action.
Strict Liability: Even without proof of negligence, one can still be found guilty of an offence
Subpoena: a legal document requiring one to appear in court as a witness
Summons: a legal document compelling one to appear in court after a civil lawsuit has been initiated.



Testator: person who has made a will
Tort: a civil wrong in which injury occurs to another and is grounds for a lawsuit.
Trust: property held by one person to be managed on behalf of beneficiaries
Trustee: a person who looks after property under a trust



Verdict: a formal decision reached by a jury or court based on the facts presented in a case.



Witness: a person called to testify before a court, who can give firsthand evidence
Worker's Compensation: Lost wages and insurance paid to a worker who becomes injured on the job.
Writ: a formal written order, issued by a court

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