- counter- + plea (Wiktionary)
“We cannot evade Philosophy by immoderately pleading our human frailty and the sharpness of pain: Philosophy is merely constrained to have recourse to her unanswerable counterplea: ‘Living in necessity is bad: but at least there is no necessity that you should go on doing so.’”
“But his counterplea when it came was of a disconcerting briefness and potency.”
“a criminal one, instituted to bring about the legal punishment of the guilty party, or one of certain other exceptional cases, he may, after hearing the cause of the summons, immediately enter a counterplea against the plaintiff before the same judge.”
“II, xii); also the forum of a counterplea (forum reconventionis sive reaccusationis), i.e. in a criminal suit the defendant can, on his side, accuse the plaintiff in the court of the judge before whom he himself is to be tried (c. ii, X, De mut. petit.,”
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