legal education and practice

707(b) action

707(b) action is defined in Chapter 7 of the United States Bankruptcy code as a motion by court, the United States trustee, the trustee, the administrator, or any party in interest to dismiss a debtor’s case on the ground that granting a...

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 posteriori

A posteriori is a Latin phrase that means "by a reason that comes after" (implied by experience). This is generally used to mean "after the facts".

In philosophy, a posteriori reasoning is reasoning starting from the data of...

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...


ABA is an abbreviation for American Bar Association (ABA).

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


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.


abandoned property

Abandoned property is defined as personal property left by an owner who intentionally relinquishes all rights to its control. Real property may not be abandoned; see adverse possession.


At common law, a person...