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“A posteriori” is a Latin phrase that translates to “from the latter.” In a legal context, it refers to reasoning or knowledge that is derived from empirical evidence or from experiences. This type of reasoning is based on actual facts, events, or observations and is often used to make inferences or predictions.
Lawyers use a posteriori reasoning to build their cases. They gather evidence, witness testimonies, and other factual information related to the case, and then use this data to make inferences, draw conclusions, and create a compelling narrative for their argument.
For example, in a negligence case, a lawyer might use a posteriori reasoning to prove that a manufacturer was responsible for a product defect that caused harm to their client. The lawyer would gather evidence of the defect (such as photographs, expert testimonies, etc.), as well as evidence of the harm caused to their client (such as medical reports). Based on this empirical evidence, they would argue that the manufacturer was negligent in their duty to ensure the safety of their product.