offensive collateral estoppel

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Offensive collateral estoppel is a type of collateral estoppel (also termed issue preclusion)—the doctrine barring a party from relitigating an issue decided against that party in an earlier action, even if the second action is significantly different from the first. 

Offensive collateral estoppel is asserted by a plaintiff in a suit to prevent the defendant from relitigating an issue previously decided against the defendant. The opposite is defensive collateral estoppel, which is when the defendant asserts the estoppel.

[Last updated in July of 2021 by the Wex Definitions Team