Ad Hoc

This phrases mean “for this purpose only.” Its literal translation from the Latin is “to this.”

Common examples are an ad hoc committee or an ad hoc commission created for a specific or one-time purpose to address issues that fall outside...

Ad Litem

[Latin literal translation: for the suit]


A guardian ad litem is a guardian (usually a lawyer) appointed by the court to manage the affairs of the ward as they relate to a proceeding or particular aspect of litigation, as...

Adequate and Independent State Grounds

Refers to the standard used by the Supreme Court to determine if it will hear a case from a state court. The Supreme Court will hear a case from a state court only if the state court judgment turned on federal grounds. It will refuse jurisdiction if...

Adequate Remedy

An adequate remedy is one that affords complete relief with reference to the particular matter in controversy, and which is appropriate to the circumstances of the case. An adequate remedy has also been described as a remedy that is complete,...


Adjourn is the final closing of a meeting, such as a convention, or other official gathering.

In a legal sense, to adjourn means to suspend court proceedings to another time or place, or to end them. It is different from...


To adjudicate means to make a formal judgment or decision regarding a problem or disputed matter.

See: Adjudication.

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


Adjudication refers to the legal process of resolving a dispute or deciding a case. When a claim is brought, courts identify the rights of the parties at that particular moment by analyzing what were, in law, the rights and wrongs of their actions when...

Adjudicative Fact

A fact that is either legally operative or even so important as to be controlling on some question of law. Adjudicative facts are those which concern the parties to some dispute and are helpful in determining the proper outcome in the case.



A representative of an insurance company who handles claims; both negotiation and settlement.


Adjustment is a settlement, allowance, or deduction made on a debt or claim that has been objected to by a debtor or creditor in order to establish an equitable arrangement between the parties.

For tax returns, an IRS-...