Legal Dictionary

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Appearance

In an appearance a person comes before a court and formally notifies it that he or she will participate in a case. Parties, attorneys and witnesses can all make an appearance. There are different types of appearances. For example, in a General Appearance, a party consents to the jurisdiction of the court and agrees to participate in the case. In a Special Appearance, which is also referred to as a “Limited Appearance,” the party is only contesting jurisdiction. In a criminal matter, the Defendant's first court appearance is called an “Arraignment.”