wex articles



The pleading that starts a case. Essentially, a document that sets forth a jurisdictional basis for the court's power, the plaintiff's cause of action, and a demand for judicial relief.


A plaintiff starts a civil action by...

Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA)


The Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act is better known as CERCLA. It is codified in 42 U.S.C. Chapter 103.

Also known as "Superfund," CERCLA is aimed at cleaning up sites contaminated with hazardous...

Computer and Internet Fraud


Fraud through the criminal use of a computer or the Internet can take many different forms. “Hacking” is a common form, in which a perpetrator uses technological tools to remotely access a protected computer or system. Another common form...

Conflict of Laws


A difference between the laws of two or more jurisdictions with some connection to a case, such that the outcome depends on which jurisdiction's law will be used to resolve each issue in dispute. The conflicting legal rules may come from U.S...

Congressional Power

Article I of the US Constitution creates and defines the powers of Congress. For more on specific congressional powers, see:







Constitutional Law

Constitutional Law: An Overview

The broad topic of constitutional law deals with the interpretation and implementation of the United States Constitution. As the Constitution is the foundation of the United States, constitutional law deals with...

Consumer Credit

Consumer Credit: An Overview

Credit allows consumers to finance transactions without having to pay the full cost of the merchandise at the time of the transaction. A common form of consumer credit is a credit card account issued by a financial...

Contempt of Court, Direct


"Direct Contempt of Court" is the inherent power judicial officers possess to maintain respect, dignity, and order during proceedings. Judicial officers are not only Circuit Judges or Federal District Judges, but also may often be...

Contempt of Court, Indirect


“Indirect contempt of court” is the violation of a court order outside the immediate presence of the court. It may be either civil, or criminal.

A charge of "Criminal Indirect Contempt of Court" is a criminal charge. Defendants...



An agreement between private parties creating mutual obligations enforceable by law. The basic elements required for the agreement to be a legally enforceable contract are: mutual assent, expressed by a valid offer and acceptance; adequate...