courts and procedure

a fortiori

A fortiori signals an argument that it is based on an even stronger argument. In Latin, the term literally means ‘from [the] stronger’. A fortiori is generally used to suggest that an argument is based on another argument so strong as to make...

a priori

A priori signals an assertion that is based on prior knowledge or intuition. In Latin, the term literally means ‘from [the] former’. An a priori determination is formed prior to investigation.

For example:


a priori assumption

An a priori assumption is an assumption that is presumed to be true without any assessment of the facts or without further proof. A priori is a Latin term that refers to a theoretical deduction made on a subject without a precise and detailed...


A.K.A. is the abbreviation of “also known as.” It is often used to specify a party’s aliases or nicknames in a case.

[Last updated in June of 2022 by the Wex Definitions Team]

ab initio

Ab initio is a Latin term that means "from the beginning” or “from inception.” Ab initio is used to indicate that some fact existed from the start of a relevant time period. It is often used as part of the phrase “void ab initio,” meaning...

ab intestato

Ab intestato is a Latin term meaning "by intestacy." The term refers to laws governing the succession of property after the previous owner of the property dies without a valid will.

[Last updated in June of 2022 by the Wex...


Abandon refers to the act of abandonment. A party can “abandon” in multiple fields of law and abandoning generally, though not always, involves voluntarily giving up a right.

See abandonment for more information.



Abandonment is a term that applies to a variety of areas of law. These areas include matrimonial law, civil procedure, and property.

Matrimonial Law

In matrimonial law, abandonment is a form of marital misconduct which...


Abate is to eliminate or nullify.

The term is often used in relation to the elimination of a nuisance. For example, California Civil Code § 3491 provides that one of the “remedies against a public nuisance [is] abatement.”...


Abatement is the act of reducing or nullifying something. Multiple subjects throughout law are subject to abatement and the term appears in many locations.

In property law, abatement refers to a reduction in property taxes a...