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opinion

n. the explanation of a court's judgment. When a trial court judgment is appealed to a court of appeals, the appeals judge's opinion will be detailed, citing case precedents, analyzing the facts, the applicable law and the arguments of the attorneys for the parties. Those opinions considered by the court to be worthy of serving as a precedent or involving important legal issues will be published in the official reports available in most law libraries. Since appeals courts have anywhere from three to nine judges, there are often "dissenting opinions" which disagree with the majority opinion, and "concurring opinions" which agree with the result, but apply different emphasis, precedents or logic to reach the determination. Normally the majority opinion identifies the author, but some brief opinions are labeled "in banc" (by the bench) or "per curiam" (by the court) in which the author is not specified.


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The People's Law Dictionary by Gerald and Kathleen Hill Publisher Fine Communications