Prejudice

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Prejudice

A forejudgment; bias; partiality; preconceived opinion. A leaning toward one side of a cause for some reason other than a conviction of its justice.

A juror can be disqualified from a case for being prejudiced, if his or her views on a subject or attitude toward a party will unduly influence the final decision.

When a lawsuit is dismissed Without Prejudice, it signifies that none of the rights or privileges of the individual involved are considered to be lost or waived. The same holds true when an admission is made or when a motion is denied with the designation without prejudice.

A dismissal without prejudice permits a new lawsuit to be brought on the same grounds because no decision has been reached about the controversy on its merits. The whole subject in litigation is as much open to a subsequent suit as if no suit had ever been brought. The purpose and effect of the words without prejudice in a judgment, order, or decree dismissing a suit are to prohibit the defendant from using the defense of Res Judicata in any later action by the same plaintiff on the subject matter. A dismissal with prejudice, however, is a bar to relitigation of the subject matter.

A decision resulting in prejudicial error substantially affects an appellant's legal rights and is often the ground for a reversal of the judgment and for the granting of a new trial.

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

PREJUDICE. To decide beforehand; to lean in favor of one side of a cause for some reason or other than its justice.
     2. A judge ought to be without prejudice, and he cannot therefore sit in a case where he has any interest, or when a near relation is a part, or where he has been of counsel for one of the parties. Vide Judge.
     3. In the civil law prejudice signifies a tort or injury; as the act of one man should never prejudice another. Dig. 60, 17, 74.

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