is a Latin
Latin is an Italic language originally spoken in Latium and Ancient Rome. It, along with most European languages, is a descendant of the ancient Proto-Indo-European language. Although it is considered a dead language, a number of scholars and members of the Christian clergy speak it fluently, and...
legal term meaning for the sake of argument
. The phrase "assuming, arguendo
, that ..." is used in courtroom
A courtroom is the actual enclosed space in which a judge regularly holds court.The schedule of official court proceedings is called a docket; the term is also synonymous with a court's caseload as a whole.-Courtroom design:-United States:...
settings and academic legal settings to designate provisional and unendorsed assumptions that will be made at the beginning of an argument in order to explore their implications. Making an assumption arguendo
allows an attorney
A lawyer, according to Black's Law Dictionary, is "a person learned in the law; as an attorney, counsel or solicitor; a person who is practicing law." Law is the system of rules of conduct established by the sovereign government of a society to correct wrongs, maintain the stability of political...
to pursue arguments in the alternative without admitting even the slightest possibility that those assumptions could be true. Often, these assumptions would be that the facts or legal arguments endorsed by a hostile party were true.
Thus, an attorney in a criminal case may say, for example, that "assuming, arguendo
, that my client stole
In common usage, theft is the illegal taking of another person's property without that person's permission or consent. The word is also used as an informal shorthand term for some crimes against property, such as burglary, embezzlement, larceny, looting, robbery, shoplifting and fraud...
Čar is a village in the municipality of Bujanovac, Serbia. According to the 2002 census, the town has a population of 296 people.-References:...
, it would be clear that my client would have been justified
Justification may refer to:*Theory of justification, a part of epistemology that attempts to understand the justification of propositions and beliefs*Justification , defence in a prosecution for a criminal offense...
in doing so in order to save a life." If the client would be shielded from legal consequences as a result even if he or she had committed the crime, this form of argument allows an attorney to suggest that it would be pointless to pursue the matter of whether the client committed the crime, as it would lead to the same legal consequences regardless of which set of facts was assumed to be true.
For a real-life example in a civil case, see Tiffany and Company's Reply Brief
, Tiffany Inc. v. eBay, Inc.
Tiffany Inc. v. eBay Inc., 600 F.3d 93 , established that trademark owners have the burden of policing for counterfeit items when their products are sold in an online marketplace...
, 08-3947-CV (U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit 2008): "In any event, assuming arguendo
that requiring eBay to take remedial measures would impair eBay's business, that fact cannot relieve eBay of its legal obligations." p. 23, second paragraph.
Particularly in an appellate court
An appellate court, commonly called an appeals court or court of appeals or appeal court , is any court of law that is empowered to hear an appeal of a trial court or other lower tribunal...
, a judge may ask an attorney what the effects of a different set of assumptions, made arguendo
, about the facts governing a situation might be. This is especially useful in exploring whether different fact patterns might limit the proper scope of a possible holding in a given case.