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Against or opposed to one’s own interests. This adjective is used to describe several legal concepts. For example:

  • An adverse party would be the one having interests contrary to you.
  • In property law, adverse possession refers to the enjoyment of land to which another person has title with the intention of possessing it. One of the elements of adverse possession is hostile occupation. This means that the landowner has not given the occupier permission to use the property.
  • The doctrine of adverse domination allows the statute of limitations on a claim for breach of fiduciary duty against directors and officers of a corporation to be tolled until the corporation is no longer controlled by the alleged wrongdoers. In Clark v. Milam, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia explained this rule stating that “[t]olling is considered appropriate because where the culpable directors and officers control a corporation, they are unlikely to initiate actions or investigations for fear that such actions will reveal their own wrongdoing.” Clark v. Milam, 872 F. Supp. 307 (S.D. W. Va. 1994).

[Last updated in May of 2020 by the Wex Definitions Team]