wex backgrounders



To move towards the bench in order to have a conversation with the judge and opposing counsel off the record and/or out of the jury's earshot. An attorney or juror (during voir dire) must request to approach the bench, i.e. "Your honor, may I...


Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002: an overview

[updated December 2003]

The Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act (pdf) was signed into law in March of 2002. On the same day that BCRA became official federal policy, Senator Mitch McConnell and the...



When a party loses in a court of law, it is often allowed to appeal the decision to a higher court. In some instances, parties are entitled to an appeal, as a matter of right. However, sometimes a party is not able to appeal as a matter of...

Congressional Power

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







Emancipation of minors - laws

Laws of the Fifty States, District of Columbia and Puerto Rico Governing the Emancipation of Minors

This page links to the laws of the states dealing with the "emancipation" of minors, that is, the provisions dealing with when and on what conditions...

Equal Employment Opportunity Commission


The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) enforces federal laws prohibiting workplace discrimination. The EEOC was created by the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The employment section of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, known as Title...

Equitable Subordination

In the law of corporations, describes decision by a court to subordinate a controlling shareholder’s claims upon debt owed her by her own firm, to those of other “outside” (i.e., bona fide third party) creditors in bankruptcy. Equitable subordination...

Fair Debt Collection Practices Act


A creditor may seek to collect an outstanding debt in several ways. However, because of “abundant evidence of the use of abusive, deceptive, and unfair debt collection practices by many debt collectors,” 15 U.S.C. § 1692, in 1978, Congress...

Federal Sentencing Guidelines

The Federal Sentencing Guidelines are non-binding rules that set out a uniform sentencing policy for defendants convicted in the United States federal court system that became effective in 1987. The Guidelines provide for “very...

Freedom of Disposition

Freedom of Disposition is a principle of trusts and estates law that says the law should grant freedom to people to dispose of their property in any way they want. Two schools of thought surround this theory. The less popular view is that the freedom...