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Plurality opinion

Plurality opinion

A plurality opinion is in certain legal systems the opinion from a group of judges, often in an appellate court, in which no single opinion supports a majority of the court. The plurality opinion did not receive the support of more than half the justices, but received more support than any other opinion, excluding those dissenting from the holding of the court. In Marks v. United States, 430 U.S. 188 (1977), the Supreme Court of the United States explained how the holding of a case should be viewed where there is no majority supporting the rationale of any opinion: “When a fragmented Court decides a case and no single rationale explaining the result enjoys the assent of five Justices, the holding of the Court may be viewed as that position taken by those Members who concurred in the judgments on the narrowest grounds.” Marks, 430 U.S. at 193. That requires lower courts to look at all opinions to determine which is the most narrow compared to others. This opinion will be called the controlling opinion, and can be a mere concurrence, not the plurality.The Marks Rule has raised the following schools of thought regarding the appropriate basis for determining the holding in such fractured cases: (a) the narrowest analysis essential to the result derived from a combination of all concurring opinions, (Pedcor Mgmt. Co. Welfare Benefit Plan v. Nations Pers. of Tex., Inc., 343 F.3d 355, 358-59 (5th Cir. 2003)); (b) the concurring opinion offering the narrowest rationale, (e.g. Horn v. Thoratec Corp., 376 F.3d 163, 175-76 (3d Cir. 2004)); or (c) only those parts of the concurring opinions which overlap and arrive at the same result. For example, if one follows the first interpretation, then the holding in the case should be viewed as the narrowest rationale supported by all of the concurring opinions read together as though it were a single majority opinion, and where there is a conflict, the opinion based on the narrowest ground governs. Followers of the second rationale would find the concurring opinion offering the narrowest analysis to be the holding. Whereas, under the third interpretation, only the rationale(s) common to all concurring opinions which arrive at the same result(s) (and to the exclusion of all other rationales) is considered the holding. A good example of a plurality opinion can be found in the Supreme Court's decision in Crawford v. Marion County Election Board, 553 U.S. 181 (2008). In considering whether Indiana's voter identification law passed constitutional muster, three justices believed the proper analysis was to apply the balancing approach laid down in Anderson v. Celebrezze, 460 U.S. 780 (1983). Three other justices agreed with the outcome of the Anderson approach, but believed the proper analysis was to apply the rule in Burdick v. Takushi, 504 U.S. 428 (1992), which "forged Anderson's amorphous 'flexible standard' into something resembling an administrable rule." Regardless of the approach used, a reading of the opinions together results in a holding that "neutral, nondiscriminatory regulation of voting procedure" is constitutional so long as the burden imposed by the regulation is minimal or not severe.

— Wikipedia

Concurring opinion

Concurring opinion

In law, a concurring opinion is a written opinion by one or more judges of a court which agrees with the decision made by the majority of the court, but states different reasons as the basis for his or her decision. When no absolute majority of the court can agree on the basis for deciding the case, the decision of the court may be contained in a number of concurring opinions, and the concurring opinion joined by the greatest number of judges is referred to as the plurality opinion. There are several kinds of concurring opinion. A simple concurring opinion arises when a judge joins the decision of the court but has something to add. Concurring in judgment means that the judge agrees with the majority decision but not with the reasoning of the majority opinion. In some courts, such as the Supreme Court of the United States, the majority opinion may be broken down into numbered or lettered parts, and then concurring justices may state that they join some parts of the majority opinion, but not others, for the reasons given in their concurring opinion. In other courts, such as the Supreme Court of California, the same justice may write a majority opinion and a separate concurring opinion to express additional reasons in support of the judgment.

— Freebase

Concurring opinion

Concurring opinion

In law, a concurring opinion is in certain legal systems a written opinion by one or more judges of a court which agrees with the decision made by the majority of the court, but states different (or additional) reasons as the basis for his or her decision. When no absolute majority of the court can agree on the basis for deciding the case, the decision of the court may be contained in a number of concurring opinions, and the concurring opinion joined by the greatest number of judges is referred to as the plurality opinion. As a practical matter, concurring opinions are slightly less useful to lawyers than majority opinions. Having failed to receive a majority of the court's votes, concurring opinions are not binding precedent and cannot be cited as such. But concurring opinions can sometimes be cited as a form of persuasive precedent (assuming the point of law is one on which there is no binding precedent already in effect). The conflict in views between a majority opinion and a concurring opinion can assist a lawyer in understanding the points of law articulated in the majority opinion. Occasionally, a judge will use a concurring opinion to signal that he or she is open to certain types of test cases that would facilitate the development of a new legal rule, and in turn, such a concurring opinion may become more famous than the majority opinion in the same case. A well-known example of this phenomenon is Escola v. Coca-Cola Bottling Co. (1944).Concurring opinions may be held by courts but not expressed: in many legal systems the court "speaks with one voice" and thus any concurring or dissenting opinions are not reported.

— Wikipedia

Dissenting opinion

Dissenting opinion

A dissenting opinion is an opinion in a legal case written by one or more judges expressing disagreement with the majority opinion of the court which gives rise to its judgment. When not necessarily referring to a legal decision, this can also be referred to as a minority report. A dissenting opinion does not create binding precedent nor does it become a part of case law. However, they are cited from time to time as a persuasive authority when arguing that the court's holding should be limited or overturned. In some cases, a previous dissent is used to spur a change in the law, and a later case will write a majority opinion for the same rule of law formerly cited by the dissent. The dissent may disagree with the majority for any number of reasons: a different interpretation of the case law, use of different principles, or a different interpretation of the facts. They are written at the same time as the majority opinion, and are often used to dispute the reasoning behind the majority opinion. A dissent in part is a dissenting opinion that disagrees selectively—specifically, with one part of the majority holding. In decisions that require holdings with multiple parts due to multiple legal claims or consolidated cases, judges may write an opinion "concurring in part and dissenting in part". In some courts, such as the Supreme Court of the United States, the majority opinion may be broken down into numbered or lettered parts, which allows those judges "dissenting in part" to easily identify which parts they join with the majority, and which sections they do not.

— Freebase

Dissenting opinion

Dissenting opinion

A dissenting opinion (or dissent) is an opinion in a legal case in certain legal systems written by one or more judges expressing disagreement with the majority opinion of the court which gives rise to its judgment. When not necessarily referring to a legal decision, this can also be referred to as a minority report.Dissenting opinions are normally written at the same time as the majority opinion and any concurring opinions, and are also delivered and published at the same time. A dissenting opinion does not create binding precedent nor does it become a part of case law. However, they can sometimes be cited as a form of persuasive authority in subsequent cases when arguing that the court's holding should be limited or overturned. In some cases, a previous dissent is used to spur a change in the law, and a later case may result in a majority opinion adopting a particular understanding of the law formerly advocated in dissent. As with concurring opinions, the difference in opinion between dissents and majority opinions can often illuminate the precise holding of the majority opinion. The dissent may disagree with the majority for any number of reasons: a different interpretation of the existing case law, the application of different principles, or a different interpretation of the facts. Many legal systems do not provide for a dissenting opinion and provide the decision without any information regarding the discussion between judges or its outcome.

— Wikipedia

Majority opinion

Majority opinion

In law, a majority opinion is a judicial opinion agreed to by more than half of the members of a court. A majority opinion sets forth the decision of the court and an explanation of the rationale behind the court's decision. Not all cases have a majority opinion. At times, the justices voting for a majority decision may have drastically different reasons for their votes, and cannot agree on the same set of reasons. In that situation, several concurring opinions may be written, none of which is actually the view of a majority of the members of the court. Therefore, the concurring opinion joined by the greatest number of judges is referred to as the plurality opinion. Normally, appellate courts are staffed with an odd number of judges to avoid a tie. Sometimes when judicial positions are vacant or a judge has recused himself or herself from the case, the court may be stuck with a tie, in which case the lower court's decision will be affirmed without comment by an equally divided court. A majority opinion in countries which use the common law system becomes part of the body of case law. In some courts, such as the Supreme Court of the United States, the majority opinion may be broken down into numbered or lettered sections. This allows judges who write an opinion "concurring in part" or "dissenting in part" to easily identify which parts they join with the majority, and which sections they do not.

— Freebase

Opinion leadership

Opinion leadership

Opinion leadership is leadership by an active media user who interprets the meaning of media messages or content for lower-end media users. Typically the opinion leader is held in high esteem by those who accept his or her opinions. Opinion leadership comes from the theory of two-step flow of communication propounded by Paul Lazarsfeld and Elihu Katz Significant developers of the theory have been Robert K. Merton, C. Wright Mills and Bernard Berelson. This theory is one of several models that try to explain the diffusion of innovations, ideas, or commercial products. Merton distinguishes two types of opinion leadership: monomorphic and polymorphic. Typically, opinion leadership is viewed as a monomorphic, domain-specific measure of individual differences, that is, a person that is an opinion leader in one field may be a follower in another field. An example of a monomorphic opinion leader in the field of computer technology, might be a neighborhood computer service technician.

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Form

Form

form, n. shape of a body: the boundary-line of an object: a model: a mould: mode of being: mode of arrangement: order: regularity: system, as of government: beauty or elegance: established practice: ceremony: fitness or efficiency for any undertaking: a blank schedule to be filled in with details: a specimen document to be copied or imitated: (phil.) the inherent nature of an object, that which the mind itself contributes as the condition of knowing, that in which the essence of a thing consists: (print.) the type from which an impression is to be taken arranged and secured in a chase—often Forme:—(in the fol. senses pron. fōrm), a long seat, a bench: the pupils on a form, a class: the bed of a hare, which takes its shape from the animal's body.—v.t. to give form or shape to: to make: to contrive: to settle, as an opinion: to combine: to go to make up: to establish: (gram.) to make by derivation.—v.i. to assume a form.—adj. Form′al, according to form or established mode: ceremonious, punctilious, methodical: having the form only: (Shak.) embodied in a form: having the power of making a thing what it is: essential: proper.—v.t. and v.i. Form′alise.—ns. Form′alism, excessive observance of form or conventional usage, esp. in religion: stiffness of manner; Form′alist, one having exaggerated regard to rules or established usages; Formal′ity, the precise observance of forms or ceremonies: established order: sacrifice of substance to form.—adv. Form′ally.—n. Formā′tion, a making or producing: structure: (geol.) a group of strata of one period.—adj. Form′ative, giving form, determining, moulding: (gram.) inflectional, serving to form, not radical.—n. a derivative.—p.adj. Formed, trained, mature.—n. Form′er.—adj. Form′less, shapeless.—Formal logic (see Logic).—Good, or Bad, form, according to good social usage, or the opposite; Take form, to assume a definite appearance. [O. Fr. forme—L. forma, shape.]

— Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

trial

trial

The formal examination of the matter in issue in a cause before a competent tribunal; the mode of determining a question of fact in a court of law; the examination, in legal form, of the facts in issue in a cause pending before a competent tribunal, for the purpose of determining such issue. Military trials shall be carried on only between the hours of eight in the morning and three in the afternoon, except in cases which, in the opinion of the officer ordering the court, require immediate example (Art. 94). No officer, non-commissioned officer, or soldier shall be tried a second time for the same offense (Art. 102); and no person shall be liable to be tried and punished by a general court-martial for any offense which shall appear to have been committed more than two years before the issuing of the order for such trial, unless the person, by reason of having absented himself, or some other manifest impediment, shall not have been amenable to justice within that period (Art. 103). All trials before courts-martial, like those in civil courts, are conducted publicly; and in order that this publicity may in no case be attended with tumult or indecorum of any kind, the court is authorized, by the Rules and Articles of War, to punish, at its discretion, all riotous and disorderly proceedings or menacing words, signs, or gestures, used in its presence (Art. 86). The day and place of meeting of a general court-martial having been published in orders, the officers appointed as members, and parties and witnesses, must attend accordingly. The judge-advocate, at the opening, calls over the names of the members, who arrange themselves on the right or left of the president, according to rank. The members of the court having taken their seats and disposed of any preliminary matter, the prisoner, prosecutor, and witnesses are called into court. The prisoner is attended by a guard, or by an officer, as his rank or the nature of the charge may dictate; but during the trial should be unfettered and free from any bonds or shackles, unless there be danger of escape or rescue. Accommodation is usually afforded at detached tables for the prosecutor and prisoner; also for any friend or legal adviser of the prisoner or prosecutor, whose assistance has been desired during the trial; but the prisoner only can address the court, it being an admitted maxim, that counsel are not to interfere in the proceedings, or to offer the slightest remark, much less to plead or argue. The judge-advocate, by direction of the president, first reads, in an audible voice, the order for holding the court. He then calls over the names of the members, commencing with the president, who is always the highest in rank. He then demands of the prisoner whether he has any exception or cause of challenge against any of the members present, and if he have, he is required to state his cause of challenge, confining his challenge to one member at a time (Art. 88). After hearing the prisoner’s objections, the president must order the court to be cleared, when the members will deliberate on and determine the relevancy or validity of the objection; the member challenged retiring during the discussion. When the prisoner and prosecutor decline to challenge any of the members, or where the causes of challenge have been disallowed, the judge-advocate proceeds to administer to the members of the court the oath prescribed by the 84th Article of War. The oath is taken by each member holding up his right hand and repeating the words after the judge-advocate. After the oath has been administered to all the members, the president administers to the judge-advocate the particular oath of secrecy to be observed by him, as prescribed by the 85th Article of War. No sentence of a general court-martial is complete or final until it has been duly approved. Until that period it is, strictly speaking, no more than an opinion, which is subject to alteration or revisal. In this interval, the communication of that opinion could answer no ends of justice, but might, in many cases, tend to frustrate them. The obligation to perpetual secrecy, with regard to the votes or opinions of the particular members of the court, is likewise founded on the wisest policy. The officers who compose a military tribunal are, in a great degree, dependent for their preferment on the President. They are even, in some measure, under the influence of their commander-in-chief,—considerations which might impair justice. This danger is, therefore, best obviated by the confidence and security which every member possesses, that his particular opinion is never to be divulged. Another reason is, that the individual members of the court may not be exposed to the resentment of parties and their connections, which can hardly fail to be excited by these sentences which courts-martial are obliged to award. It may be necessary for officers, in the course of their duty, daily, to associate and frequently to be sent on the same c

— Military Dictionary and Gazetteer

Editorial

Editorial

An editorial, leading article, or leader is an opinion piece written by the senior editorial staff or publisher of a newspaper or magazine or any other written document. Editorials may be supposed to reflect the opinion of the periodical. In Australian and major United States newspapers, such as the New York Times and the Boston Globe, editorials are often classified under the heading "opinion". Editorials may also be in the form of editorial cartoons. Typically, a newspaper's editorial board evaluates which issues are important for their readership to know the newspaper's opinion. Editorials are typically published on a special page dedicated to them, called the editorial page, which often also features letters to the editor from members of the public; the page opposite this page is called the op-ed page and frequently contains opinion pieces by writers not directly affiliated with the publication. However, a newspaper may choose to publish an editorial on the front page. In most English language press, this is done only rarely and on topics considered especially important; however, it is more common in some European countries such as Italy and France. In the field of fashion publishing especially, the term has been adapted to usually refer to photo-editorials in particular – features with often full-page photographs on a particular theme, designer, model or other single topic, with or without accompanying text.

— Freebase

Obiter dictum

Obiter dictum

Obiter dictum is Latin for a statement "said in passing". An obiter dictum is a remark or observation made by a judge that, although included in the body of the court's opinion, does not form a necessary part of the court's decision. In a court opinion, obiter dicta include, but are not limited to, words "introduced by way of illustration, or analogy or argument." Unlike the rationes decidendi, obiter dicta are not the subject of the judicial decision, even if they happen to be correct statements of law. Under the doctrine of stare decisis, statements constituting obiter dicta are therefore not binding, although in some jurisdictions, such as England and Wales, they can be strongly persuasive. An example of an instance where a court opinion may include obiter dicta is where a court rules that it lacks jurisdiction to hear a case or dismisses the case on a technicality. If the court in such a case offers opinions on the merits of the case, such opinions may constitute obiter dicta. Less clear-cut instances of obiter dicta occur where a judge makes a side comment in an opinion to provide context for other parts of the opinion, or makes a thorough exploration of a relevant area of law. Another example would be where the judge, in explaining his or her ruling, provides a hypothetical set of facts and explains how he or she believes the law would apply to those facts.

— Freebase

Opinion

Opinion

In general, an opinion is a belief about matters commonly considered to be subjective, i.e. it is based on that which is less than absolutely certain, and is the result of emotion or interpretation of facts. An opinion may be supported by an argument, although people may draw opposing opinions from the same set of facts. Opinions rarely change without new arguments being presented. It can be reasoned that one opinion is better supported by the facts than another by analyzing the supporting arguments. In casual use, the term opinion may be the result of a person's perspective, understanding, particular feelings, beliefs, and desires. It may refer to unsubstantiated information, in contrast to knowledge and fact-based beliefs. Collective or professional opinions are defined as meeting a higher standard to substantiate the opinion.

— Freebase

Seriatim

Seriatim

Seriatim is a legal term typically used to indicate that a court is addressing multiple issues in a certain order, such as the order that the issues were originally presented to the court. A seriatim opinion describes an opinion delivered by a court with multiple judges, in which each judge reads his or her own opinion rather than a single judge writing an opinion on behalf of the entire court. This is a practice generally used when a case does not have a majority opinion. Most frequently used in modern times pleadings as a shorthand for "one by one in sequence". For example, in English civil cases, defence statements generally used to conclude with the phrase "save as expressly admitted herein, each allegation of the plaintiffs is denied as if set out in full and traversed herein seriatim." This formulation is now discouraged under the English Civil Procedure Rules, especially rule 16.5-. Also sometimes seen in older deeds and contracts as a more traditional way of incorporating terms of reference. For example "the railway by-laws shall apply to the contract as if set out herein seriatim." Use of the word has become less frequent in legal discourse as a result of, among other factors, efforts by groups such as the Plain Language Movement to promote the use of "plain English" in legal discourse.

— Freebase

CLIMBDOWN

CLIMBDOWN

A retreat from an earlier position or opinion; a backing down.a retreat, as from an indefensible opinion or position.A retreat or withdrawal from an earlier position or opinion; a back-down or backing down.a change of attitude in which someone admits that they were wrong.A change of opinion,about-turn,climb-down,shift. BACK DOWN

— Editors Contribution

Agenda-setting theory

Agenda-setting theory

Agenda-setting theory describes the "ability (of the news media) to influence the importance placed on the topics of the public agenda". Agenda setting is a social science theory; it also attempts to make predictions. The theory also suggests that media has a great influence to their audience by instilling what they should think instead of what they think. That is, if a news item is covered frequently and prominently, the audience will regard the issue as more important. Agenda-setting theory was formally developed by Max McCombs and Donald Shaw in a study on the 1968 American presidential election. Agenda-setting is the creation of public awareness and concern of salient issues by the news media. As well, agenda-setting describes the way that media attempts to influence viewers, and establish a hierarchy of news prevalence. Two basic assumptions underlie most researches on agenda-setting: the press and the media do not reflect reality; they filter and shape it; media concentration on a few issues and subjects leads the public to perceive those issues as more important than other issues.These core statements were established by measuring the changes in salience through the use of surveys with the presence of more frequent news coverage.One of the most critical aspects in the concept of an agenda-setting role of mass communication is the time frame for this phenomenon. In addition, different media have different agenda-setting potential. From the perspective of agenda setting, the analysis of the relationship between traditional media and new virtual spaces has witnessed growing momentum.In the 1968 "Chapel Hill study", McCombs and Shaw demonstrated a strong correlation coefficient (r > .9) between what 100 residents of Chapel Hill, North Carolina thought was the most important election issue and what the local and national news media reported was the most important issue. By comparing the salience of issues in news content with the public's perceptions of the most important election issue, McCombs and Shaw were able to determine the degree to which the media determines public opinion. Since the 1968 study, published in a 1972 edition of Public Opinion Quarterly, more than 400 studies have been published on the agenda-setting function of the mass media, and the theory continues to be regarded as relevant. Studies have shown that what the media decides to expose in certain countries correlates with their views on things such as politics, economy and culture. Countries that tend to have more political power are more likely to receive media exposure. Financial resources, technologies, foreign trade and money spent on the military can be some of the main factors that explain coverage inequality.Agenda-setting can be traced to the first chapter of Walter Lippmann's 1922 book, Public Opinion. In that chapter, "The World Outside And The Pictures In Our Heads", Lippmann argues that the mass media are the principal connection between events in the world and the images in the minds of the public. Without using the term "agenda-setting", Walter Lippmann was writing about what we today would call "agenda-setting". Following Lippmann, in 1963, Bernard Cohen observed that the press "may not be successful much of the time in telling people what to think, but it is stunningly successful in telling its readers what to think about. The world will look different to different people," Cohen continues, "depending on the map that is drawn for them by writers, editors, and publishers of the paper they read." As early as the 1960s, Cohen had expressed the idea that later led to formalization of agenda-setting theory by McCombs and Shaw. The stories with the strongest agenda setting influence tend to be those that involve conflict, terrorism, crime and drug issues within the United States. Those that don't include or involve the United State and politics associate negatively with public opinion. In turn, there is less concern. Although Maxwell McCombs already had some interest in the field, he was exposed to Cohen's work while serving as a faculty member at UCLA, and it was Cohen's work that heavily influenced him, and later Donald Shaw. The concept of agenda setting was launched by McCombs and Shaw during the 1968 presidential election in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. They examined Lippmann's idea of construction of the pictures in our heads by comparing the issues on the media agenda with key issues on the undecided voters' agenda. They found evidence of agenda setting by identifying that salience of the news agenda is highly correlated to that of the voters' agenda. McCombs and Shaw were the first to provide the field of communication with empirical evidence that demonstrated the power of mass media and its influence on the public agenda. The empirical evidence also earned this theory its credibility amongst other social scientific theories.A relatively unknown scholar named G. Ray Funkhouser performed a study highly similar to

— Wikipedia

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