A legal case is a dispute between opposing parties resolved by a court, or by some equivalent legal process. A legal case may be either civil or criminal. There is always a defendant and an accuser. A case is short for a cause of action, a lawsuit, or the right to sue. It also refers to the reported decisions which can be cited as precedents.¹
Famous U.S. Court Cases
The trial of O.J. Simpson (pictured), former Heisman Trophy Winner and star NFL fullback, began with a televised police chase through Los Angeles on June 17, 1994. Simpson pleaded not guilty to the murders of Nicole Brown, his ex-wife, and Ron Goldman. Evidence pointed significantly in Simpson's direction, as blood was found on his personal belongings, among other sources of evidence. Simpson's criminal case verdict was not guilty, but he was later found liable in a civil case.
Scopes Monkey Trial²
A high school teacher from Tennessee, John Scopes, was tried and found guilty of illegally teaching evolution, which was a banned subject in schools in the 1920s. Scopes served as more of a pawn, as the true purpose of the case was to formally debate the evolution ban in court. The jury found Scopes guilty so that the case could continue to the state Supreme Court, where the constitutional ban could be possibly overturned.
A Jewish man, Leo Frank, was accused of murdering a young white women who he worked with, Mary Phagan. The testimony of a black janitor at the factory, James Conley, was important in this case. Conley said Frank had planted notes to body blame a black person for the crime. Although evidence pointed to Frank's innocence, he was convicted to death by hanging. However, his sentence was changed to life imprisonment. An angry mob ended up kidnapping Frank from jail and killed him.
1. The Free Dictionary. Case n. Retrieved May 12, 2014, from http://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/case
2. How Stuff Works. Top 10 Controversial Court Cases. Retrieved May 12, 2014, from http://people.howstuffworks.com/ten-controversial-court-cases.htm#page=1