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A court decision decided in a previous case with factual and legal similarity to a current dispute before the court, unless a party shows it was wrongly decided or differed significantly from the current case. Precedent can be binding, meaning it must be followed, or non-binding, meaning it is not binding but can be influential.


Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary
precedent (adjective)
in time, order, arrangement, or significance - prior
precedent (noun)
an earlier occurrence of something similar
a) something done or said that may serve as an or rule to authorize or justify a subsequent act of the same or an kind - example analogous a verdict that had no precedent
b) the convention established by such a precedent or by long practice
a person or thing that serves as a model
Merriam-Webster Online Thesaurus
precedent (adjective)
going before another in time or order
antecedent, anterior, foregoing, former, precedent, preceding, prior
advance, early, premature; earliest, first, inaugural, initial, maiden, original, pioneer; preexisting; introductory, preliminary; erstwhile, whilom
advanced, late; closing, concluding, final, last, latest, latter, terminal, ultimate
after, ensuing, following, later, posterior, subsequent, succeeding
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