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 refers to 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...