Everybody who would like to improve English has many options to choose from. Always remember that you can learn English in many different circumstances, using different sources, surprisingly…even the court trial…

After 6 years of fighting for the truth Johnny Depp has won his defamation case against ex-wife Amber Heard. The trail took place in Virginia, United States of America in Fairfax County Courthouse.

For the last couple weeks we were able to watch live what was happening in the courtroom. We saw the evidence that each team presented to the jury. We heard testimonies from witnesses from both sides. The verdict was announced on Wednesday 1st June 2022. It came five days after the closing arguments.

While listening to the lawyers we could hear many words connected with law. We would like to present you some of them and tell you what they actually mean. We will start with some generl ones:

“LAWSUIT” – a legal dispute that’s decided in a courtroom; also called a “TRIAL”

“COURTROOM” – the place with the judge, lawers, etc;

“PLAINTIFF” – the one making the complaint (J.Depp);

“DEFENDANT” – the one trying to prove she’s not responsible for doing the things that he’s accusing her of doing (A.Heard)

“TESTIMONY” – a formal statement that is made about what people saw, heard etc, after having promised to tell the truth

It goes without saying that there were a lot of “OBJECTIONS”. This is the way of informing the judge that the other person’s evidence or testimony shouldn’t be allowed. Then lawyers have to say why they object and give a good reason. Let’s study some of them below:

“OBJECTION HEARSAY” means that a person testified as to what they know to be true.

“OBJECTION, NO FOUNDATION” means that a person failed to explain the background circumstances of how they know the information that they are testifying about.

“OBJECTION, LEADING” means that the other side asks the question which leads the witness to a certain answer.

“OBJECTION, NON-RESPONSIVE” means that a person starts responding to a question with information that is completely unrelated to the question.

“OBJECTION, CALL FOR SPECULATION” means that a person doesn’t know if the statement was true or not but testifies about it or a question that is posed can only be answered by using speculation.

Every time when the judge agreed that the objection was right, she said “I SUSTAIN THE OBJECTION”. But when she didnot she said “OVERRULED” or “I ALLOW IT”.

Some other words used in the courtroom and their definitions:

“OATH” is a promise to tell the truth;

“JUROR” is a person who is on the jury;

“CROSS EXAMINATION” is questioning of a witness by the attorney for the other side;

“ALLEGATION” is a claim ar assertion that someone hasa done something illegal or wrong, typically one made without proof;

“EVIDENCE” is an information presented in testimony or in documents that is used to persuade the fact finder (judge or jury) to decide the case for one side or the other;

“EXHIBIT” is a document or material object produced and identified in court or before an examiner for use as evidence;

“VERDICT” is the decision of a petit jury or a judge.

“WITNESS” is a person called upon by either side in a lawsuit to give testimony before the court or jury.

You can watch some useful film on youtube to learn more:







Article written by Klaudia Wosik, Maja Olszewska and Maja Podsiadło from class 1f, edited by Ms M.Kossak