wex definitions

Temporary restraining order

Temporary restraing orders are short-term pre-trial temporary injunctions.  To obtain a temporary restraining order, a party must convince the judge that he or she will suffer immediate irreparable harm unless the order is issued. If the judge is convinced that a temporary restraining order is necessary, he or she may issue the order immediately, without informing the other parties and without holding a hearing.


Wells Notice

A "Wells Notice" is a letter sent by a securities regulator to a prospective respondent, notifying him of the substance of charges that the regulator intends to bring against the respondent, and affording the respondent with the opportunity to submit a written statement to the ultimate decision maker.


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Writ of certiorari

A type of writ, meant for rare use, by which an appellate court decides to review a case at its discretion.  The word certioari comes from Law Latin and means "to be more fully informed."  A writ of certiorari orders a lower court to deliver its record in a case so that the higher court may review it.  The U.S. Supreme Court uses certiorari to pick most of the cases that it hears.


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Territorial jurisdiction

Territorial jurisdiction is the court's power to bind the parties to the action. This law determines the scope of federal and state court power. State court territorial jurisdiction is determined by the Due Process Clause of the Constitution's Fourteenth Amendment and the federal court territorial jurisdiction is determined by the Due Process Clause of the Constitution's Fifth Amendment.

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Title (property)


In matters of property, Title constitutes the legal basis of ownership. Distinct from possession, title is sometimes synonymous with absolute ownership. Depending on the property, title is represented by documentary evidence of ownership, such as a deed or certificate of title (e.g. certificate of title to an automobile). Title to real property may be held solely, collectively, collectively with the right of survivorship, via joint tenacy, or with tenacy in common. Corporations, trusts, partnerships, and limited liability companies are legal entities to which title may be vested.

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Sovereignty is a political concept that refers to dominant power or supreme authority. In a monarchy, supreme power resides in the "sovereign", or king. In modern democracies, sovereign power rests with the people and is exercised through representative bodies such as Congress or Parliament. The Sovereign is the one who exercises power without limitation. Sovereignty is essentially the power to make laws, even as Blackstone defined it.

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Shepard's Citations

In the legal field, Shepard's is a highly regarded citational index. It allows researchers to track particular judicial decisions, statutes, and other legal resources as they are invoked at different historical moments for a range of purposes. Shepard's citations provide references to when and how cases and law review articles were cited by other sources. Citations exist for both federal and state courts.

See Legal research

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