Waive


It means knowingly or voluntarily giving up a legal right, including not enforcing a term of a contract.

Waiver


It is the voluntary relinquishment or surrender of some known right or privilege. In civil procedure, certain arguments must be raised in the first objection that a party submits to the court, or else they will be deemed waived.

Wanton


It means grossly negligent to the extent of being recklessly unconcerned with the safety of people or property.

Ward


It may refer to a person who has a guardian appointed by the court to care for and take responsibility for that person. Or, it can mean a political division of a city, much like a council district.

Warrant


It may refer a form of specific authorization like arrest warrant, authorizing the arrest and detention of an individual, Or, search warrant, like a courts order issued that authorizes law enforcement to conduct a search for evidence.

Warranty


In contract law, a warranty has various meanings but generally means a guarantee or promise, which provides assurance by one party to the other party that specific facts or conditions are true or will happen. This factual guarantee may be enforced regardless of materiality which allows for a legal remedy if that promise is not true or followed.

Warranty deed


It is a type of deed where the grantor (seller) guarantees that he or she holds clear title to a piece of real estate and has a right to sell it to the grantee (buyer). This is in contrast to a quitclaim deed, where the seller does not guarantee that he or she holds title to a piece of real estate.

Waste


It refers to any damage to real property by a tenant which lessens its value to the landlord, owner or future owner. An owner can sue for damages for waste, terminate a lease of one committing waste and/or obtain an injunction against further waste.

Watered stock


It is an asset with an artificially-inflated value. The term is most commonly used to refer to a form of securities fraud common under older corporate laws that placed a heavy emphasis upon the par value of stock.

Weight of evidence


It is a measure of evidence on one side of an issue as compared with the evidence on the other side of the issue, or to measure the evidence on multiple issues. In other words, it is the value of evidence presented on a factual issue by one side as compared to evidence introduced by the other side.

Wet reckless


It is a plea to a charge of reckless driving which was "alcohol related." A wet reckless results from a plea bargain to reduce a charge of drunk driving when the amount of blood alcohol was borderline illegal, there was no accident and no prior record.

Whiplash


It refers to a common neck and/or back injury suffered in automobile accidents. The degree of injury and the pain and suffering from whiplash are often in dispute in claims and lawsuits for damages due to negligent driving.

White collar crime


It refers to financially motivated nonviolent crime committed by business and government professionals. Typical white-collar crimes include fraud, bribery, Ponzi schemes, insider trading, embezzlement, cybercrime, copyright infringement, money laundering, identity theft, and forgery.

Widow


She is a woman whose spouse has died, while a widower is a man in that situation. The state of having lost one's spouse to death is termed widowhood. These terms are not applied to a person after he or she becomes divorced from their former spouse, though they may sometimes be used after the former spouse has died.

Widow's election


It is the choice a widow makes between accepting what her husband left her in his will and what she would receive by the laws of succession.

Widower


He is a man whose wife died while he was married to her and who has not remarried.

Will


It refers to a written document which leaves the estate of the person who signed the will to named persons or entities including portions or percentages of the estate, specific gifts, creation of trusts for management and future distribution of all or a portion of the estate. A will usually names an executor to manage the estate, states the authority and obligations of the executor in the management and distribution of the estate, sometimes gives funeral and/or burial instructions, nominates guardians of minor children and spells out other terms. To be valid, the will must be signed by the person who made it be dated and witnessed by two people.

Will contest


A will contest, in the law of property, is a formal objection raised against the validity of a will, based on the contention that the will does not reflect the actual intent of the testator or that the will is otherwise invalid. Will contests generally focus on the assertion that the testator lacked testamentary capacity, was operating under an insane delusion, or was subject to undue influence or fraud.

Willful


It means those acts which are intentional, conscious and directed toward achieving a purpose. Some willful conduct which has wrongful or unfortunate results is considered "hardheaded," "stubborn" and even "malicious."

Wind up


It means closure of a corporation or partnership and liquidation of their assets.

Winding up


It is the process by which a company is brought to an end, and the assets and property of the company are redistributed. Liquidation is also sometimes referred to as winding-up or dissolution, although dissolution technically refers to the last stage of liquidation.

Wiretap


It refers to use of an electronic device to listen in on telephone lines, which is illegal unless allowed by court order based upon a showing by law enforcement of "probable cause" to believe the communications are part of criminal activities. Use of wiretap is also a wrongful act for which the party whose telephones were tapped may sue the party performing the act and/or listening in as an invasion of privacy or for theft of information.

Withdrawal


In criminal law, it means leaving a conspiracy to commit a crime before the actual crime is committed, which is similar to "renunciation. In general terms, it refers to removal of money from a bank account.

Witness


An eyewitness is one who testifies what they perceived through his or her senses. That perception might be either with the unaided human sense or with the aid of an instrument. A hearsay witness is one who testifies what someone else said or wrote. An expert witness is one who allegedly has specialized knowledge relevant to the matter of interest, which knowledge purportedly helps to either make sense of other evidence, including other testimony, documentary evidence or physical evidence. A reputation witness is one who testifies about the reputation of a person or business entity, when reputation is material to the dispute at issue. He/she is someone who has, who claims to have, or is thought, by someone with authority to compel testimony, to have knowledge relevant to an event or other matter of interest. In law a witness is someone who, either voluntarily or under compulsion, provides testimonial evidence, either oral or written, of what he or she knows or claims to know about the matter before some official authorized to take such testimony.

Witness stand


It is a chair at the end of the judge's bench on the jury box side, usually with a low "modesty screen," where a witness sits and gives testimony after he/she has sworn to tell the truth.

Words of art


It is a specialized language with meaning peculiar to a particular profession, art, technical work, science or other field of endeavor.

Work product


It refers to the writings, notes, memoranda, reports on conversations with the client or witness, research and confidential materials which an attorney has developed while representing a client, particularly in preparation for trial.

Workers' compensation acts


It refers to the statutes which establish liability of employers for injuries to workers while on the job or illnesses due to the employment, and requiring insurance to protect the workers. Worker's compensation is not based on negligence of the employer, but is absolute liability for medical coverage, a percentage of lost wages or salary, costs of rehabilitation and retraining, and payment for any permanent injury. It provides for a system of hearings and quasi-judicial determinations by administrative law judges and appeal boards.

Writ


It is a formal written order issued by a body with administrative or judicial jurisdiction; in modern usage, this body is generally a court. Warrants, prerogative writs and subpoenas are common types of writs but innumerable forms exist.

Writ of attachment


It is a court order to "attach" or seize an asset. It is issued by a court to a law enforcement officer or sheriff. The writ of attachment is issued in order to satisfy a judgment issued by the court. A prejudgment writ of attachment may be used to freeze assets of a defendant while a legal action is pending.

Writ of coram nobis


It means an order by a court of appeals to a court which rendered judgment requiring that trial court to consider facts not on the trial record which might have resulted in a different judgment if known at the time of trial.

Writ of execution


It is a court order granted to put in force a judgment of possession obtained by a plaintiff from a court. When issuing a writ of execution, a court typically will order a sheriff or other similar official to take possession of property owned by a judgment debtor. Such property will often then be sold in a sheriff's sale and the proceeds remunerated to the plaintiff in partial or full satisfaction of the judgment.

Writ of mandate


It is a judicial remedy in the form of an order from a superior court, to any government subordinate court, corporation, or public authority to do or forbear from doing some specific act which that body is obliged under law to do or refrain from doing and which is in the nature of public duty, and in certain cases one of a statutory duty. It cannot be issued to compel an authority to do something against statutory provision.

Wrongful death


It is a claim against a person who can be held liable for a death. The claim is brought in a civil action, usually by close relatives, as enumerated by statute. Under common law, a dead person cannot bring a suit, and this created a loophole in which activities that resulted in a person's injury would result in civil sanction but activities that resulted in a person's death would not.

Wrongful termination


It means dismissal, contrary to the contract of employment, which effectively means premature termination, either due to insufficient notice or lack of grounds. Although wrongful dismissal is usually associated with lack of notice sometimes it can also be caused by arbitrary dismissal where no notice was required but certain grounds were specified in the contract as being the only ones available but none existed.