Law Dictionary

nisi prius

noun nisi pri·us \ -ˈprī-əs, -ˈprē-u̇s \

legal Definition of nisi prius

:a court of record that tries an issue of fact before a jury and a single judge :trial court; also :the proceedings in such a court :the conducting of jury trials
  • long-distance travel eliminated the nisi prius practice of the justices
  • —W. J. Brennan, Jr.

Origin and Etymology of nisi prius

Medieval Latin, unless before, the words introducing a clause in an English writ commanding a sheriff to provide a jury at the Court of Westminster on a certain day unless the judges of assize previously come to the county from which the jury is to be returned


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to suppress quietly or indirectly

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