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Open

To make accessible, visible, or available; to submit to review, examination, or inquiry through the elimination of restrictions or impediments.

To open a judgment means to render it capable of reexamination by removing or relaxing the bar of its finality. A judgment is ordinarily opened at the insistence of a party who is able to show good cause as to why the execution of the judgment would be inequitable.

To open a court is to formally announce, ordinarily through the bailiff, that the session has commenced and that the business before the tribunal will proceed.

The term open is also used as an adjective in reference to that which is patent, visible, apparent, or notorious, such as a defect in a product, or conduct such as lewdness.

West's Encyclopedia of American Law, edition 2. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

TO OPEN, OPENING. To open a case is to make a statement of the pleadings in a case, which is called the opening.
     2. The opening should be concise, very distinct and perspicuous. Its use is to enable the judge and jury to direct their attention to the real merits of the case, and the points in issue. 1 Stark. R. 439;S. C. 2 E. C. L. R. 462; 2 Stark. R. 31; S. C 3 Eng. C. L. R. 230.
     3. The opening address or speech is that made immediately after the evidence has been closed; such address usually states, 1st. The full extent of the plaintiff's claims, and the circumstances under which they are made, to show that they are just and reasonable. 2d. At least an outline of the evidence by which those claims are to be established. 3d. The legal grounds and authorities in favor of the claim or of the proposed evidence. 4th. An anticipation of the expected defence, and statement of the grounds on which it is futile, "either in law or justice, and the reasons why it ought to fail. 3 Chit. Pr. 881; 3 Bouv. Inst. n. 3044, et seq. To open a judgment, is to set it aside.

A Law Dictionary, Adapted to the Constitution and Laws of the United States. By John Bouvier. Published 1856.
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