legal theory

sovereign immunity


The sovereign immunity refers to the fact that the government cannot be sued without its consent.


Sovereign immunity was derived from British common law doctrine based on the idea that the King could do no wrong. In the...


See: special damages

[Last updated in August of 2021 by the Wex Definitions Team]

Stambovsky v. Ackley

Stambovsky v. Ackley


Appellant/Plaintiff: Jeffrey M. Stambovsky

Respondent/Defendant: Helen V. Ackley et al.

Court and Date

Appellate Division 1st Department of the Supreme Court...

stare decisis

Stare decisis is the doctrine that courts will adhere to precedent in making their decisions. Stare decisis means “to stand by things decided” in Latin.

When a court faces a legal argument, if a previous court has ruled on...

statutory interpretation

Statutory interpretation is the process where courts interpret and apply legislation; also known as statutory construction. Although sometimes the words of a statute may have a plain meaning; in many cases there may be some level of ambiguity...

straw man

Straw man is a third party that holds property in intermission for the sole purpose of transferring it to another. In property law, a straw man would be the person whom a grantor transfers land to for some reason; (sometimes known as a "front...

strict construction

Strict construction is a form of judicial interpretation of a statute. The fundamental principle behind this construction is that the text of a provision in a statute should be applied as it is written (see also: statutory construction). Such...

strict scrutiny


Strict scrutiny is a form of judicial review that courts use to determine the constitutionality of certain laws. Strict scrutiny is often used by courts when a plaintiff sues the government for discrimination. To pass strict scrutiny, the...

sua sponte

Latin for "of one's own accord; voluntarily." Used to indicate that a court has taken notice of an issue on its own motion without prompting or suggestion from either party.

As a general rule, where grounds for dismissal exist, an action is...

subornation of perjury

At common law, this was a separate offense from perjury. It consisted of procuring or somehow inducing another person to commit perjury.