Legal jargon for "to take notice of," used in phrases such as "On this day I do hereby witnesseth the signing of this document."

Witness Stand

A chair at the end of the judge's bench, on the jury box side, where a witness sits and gives testimony after being sworn to tell the truth. When called to testify, the witness "takes the stand." Most witness stands are equipped with a microphone…


A person who testifies under oath at a deposition or trial, providing firsthand or expert evidence. The term also refers to someone who watches another person sign a document and then adds his or her name to confirm (called "attesting") that…


The practice of holding back a portion of money from an employee's paycheck to pay Social Security, Medicare, and income taxes.

Withdrawal Of A Corporation

See: dissolution of corporation


In criminal law, leaving a conspiracy to commit a crime before the actual crime is committed. If the withdrawal is before any overt act, the withdrawing person may escape prosecution. (See also: overt act)

With Prejudice

A final and binding decision by a judge about a legal matter that prevents further pursuit of the same matter in any court. When judges make such a decision, they dismiss the matter "with prejudice." The parties may also agree to dismiss a claim…


Eavesdropping on private conversations by connecting listening equipment to a telephone line. To be legal, wiretapping must be authorized by a search warrant or court order.


Using an electronic device to listen to or record another's telephone (or electronic) communications.

Winding Up A Corporation

See: dissolution of corporation

Winding Up

1) The process of liquidating or closing down a corporation, limited liability company, or partnership. Typically this involves paying off expenses and creditors, settling accounts, and collecting and distributing (to shareholders and owners)…

Willful Tort

A harmful act that is committed in an intentional and conscious way. For example, if your neighbor builds an ugly new fence and you intentionally mow it down with your truck, that's a willful tort. But carelessly backing into the fence as you…


Intentional, conscious, and intended to achieve a particular result.

Will Contest

A lawsuit challenging the validity of a will or some of its terms after the person who made the will has died. Will contests are quite rare. There are just a few legal grounds for challenging a will. The most common are undue influence by someone…


A document in which the will maker specifies who is to receive his or her property at death and names an executor. You can also use your will to name a guardian for your young children. To be valid, awill must be signed by the person who made…

Wildcard Exemption

An exemption that allows a debtor to apply a certain dollar amount to any type of property to make it -- or more of it -- exempt.