The Law Dictionary

Featuring Black’s Law Dictionary Free Online Legal Dictionary 2nd Ed.


In equity practice. The hearing of the arguments of the counsel for the parties upon the pleadings, or pleadings and proofs; corresponding to the trial of an action at law.The word “hearing” has an established meaning as applicable to equity cases. It means the same thing in those cases that the word “trial” does in cases at law. And the words “final hearing” have long been used to designate the trial of an equity case upon the merits, as distinguished from the hearing of any preliminary questions arising in the cause, and which are termed “interlocutory.” Akerly v. Vilas, 24 Wis. 171, 1 Am. Rep. 100.In criminal law. The examination of a prisoner charged with a crime or misdemeanor,and of the witnesses for the accused.

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