ANTE LITEM MOTAM
ante litem motam (an-tee lI-tem moh-t[schwa]m). [Law Latin ¡°before the lawsuit was started¡±] Hist. Before an action has been raised; before a legal dispute arose ¡ª i.e., at a time when the declarant had no motive to lie. ? This phrase was generally used in reference to the evidentiary requirement that the acts upon which an action is based occur before the action is brought. In Scotland, the phrase also referred to the obligation of an estate intromitter to become confirmed as executor of the estate before a creditor could sue the estate. Otherwise, the intromitter could be held personally liable for the decedent’s debts. ¡ª Sometimes shortened to ante litem.
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