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An issue is a point of controversy or disagreement between parties and is submitted to a court or other legal tribunal for resolution. An issue can be a question of fact or law, or both, and can arise in various stages of a legal proceeding, such as during pretrial discovery, at trial, or on appeal.

In a criminal trial, one of the issues in dispute may be whether the defendant committed the alleged offense. In a civil lawsuit, an issue may be whether the defendant breached a contract or acted negligently. Issues can also arise in administrative proceedings, such as disputes between regulatory agencies and businesses.

[Last updated in March of 2023 by the Wex Definitions Team]