private law


Definition of private law

: a branch of law concerned with private persons, property, and relationships — compare public law

Examples of private law in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Isaak left the governor’s office in early March and returned to private law practice. oregonlive, "Outside lawyer finds former public records advocate’s allegations against Oregon governor’s former top lawyer ‘unsubstantiated’," 24 Dec. 2020 Doug Emhoff, the husband of Sen. Kamala Harris, is making plans to leave his private law practice by January to move into his presumptive new role at the White House. Mica Soellner, Washington Examiner, "Harris's husband Doug Emhoff to quit law firm and focus on White House role come January," 11 Nov. 2020 Schmidt later became an assistant city attorney in Bridgeport from 2007 through 2016 before joining a private law firm in Stamford. Christopher Keating,, "Lawmakers mourning passing of Ed Schmidt, former counsel to three House Speakers and chief of staff to Norwalk mayor," 6 Dec. 2020 Bexar County District Attorney Joe Gonzales last year tried to stop his predecessor’s private law firm from representing Michael Stovall, who was indicted in August 2017 for allegedly choking a former girlfriend. Marina Starleaf Riker,, "Court rules LaHood can’t represent a man he prosecuted, but other members of his law firm can," 19 Nov. 2020 To put it bluntly, these companies spent $205 million to carve out a private law that benefits only themselves. Michael Hiltzik, Los Angeles Times, "Column: With Prop. 22, Uber and Lyft used their wealth to shape labor law in their sole interest," 4 Nov. 2020 His private law practice included representing indigent defendants in capital cases. Christina Hall, Detroit Free Press, "Macomb County names new public defender to represent those who are indigent," 16 Oct. 2020 The city has retained a private law firm to litigate the case. Jeff Mcdonald, San Diego Union-Tribune, "San Diego city officials file suit over Ash Street property," 9 Oct. 2020 But a July legal opinion from the private law firm Colantuono Highsmith Whatley said that the auditor is permitted to hire an independent lawyer in cases where the City Council awarded prior approval and budget. Jeff Mcdonald, San Diego Union-Tribune, "San Diego auditor seeks outside lawyer after city attorney withholds records, legal answers," 2 Sep. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'private law.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of private law

1773, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for private law

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The first known use of private law was in 1773

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Statistics for private law

Last Updated

12 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Private law.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for private law

private law


Legal Definition of private law

: a branch of law concerned with private persons, property, and relationships — compare public law

More from Merriam-Webster on private law Encyclopedia article about private law

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