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In law, knowledge of wrongness of an act or the danger of a situation. A person with scienter may be held legally liable in criminal or civil cases.


Knowledge regarding the wrongful nature of an act. Some criminal or civil penalty statutes require scienter, and some do not. For example, the shareholders of a small corporation are liable for the 100 percent IRS penalty if the treasurer fails to pay over employee withholding taxes,whether or not the shareholders knew of the practice.One may be liable for discriminatory housing advertising, without a showing of scienter, if ads show all-white human models and target advertising media not likely to be viewed by nonwhites.

References in periodicals archive ?
inference" standard for scienter established by the PLRSA, "an
Scienter is defined as "[a] degree of knowledge that makes a person legally responsible for the consequences of his or her act or omission.
Third, a liability system for top officials requiring a showing of scienter significantly expands the range of facts that will be in contention in litigation because it introduces the additional issue of who knew what.
27) Congress designed the PSLRA to limit frivolous securities lawsuits by heightening the standard for pleading scienter, the Rule 10b-5 culpability element.
Interestingly, both Commil and the United States as amicus argued that neither a good faith belief in invalidity nor non-infringement would negate the scienter requirement for inducement because the inducer need not have knowledge that the induced acts constitute infringement.
As noted above, scienter, or the defendants' state of mind, is an element of a securities-fraud claim.
There is no scienter requirement regarding the harm the
27) In more recent cases, where the defendant's mental state was at issue, a number of courts concluded that scienter was not required.
There is a proportionate liability scheme: where there are multiple defendants, such as an auditor and the audited company, each defendant is liable only for the portion of the damages corresponding to that defendant's relative responsibility for those damages, except that defendants who meet an elevated scienter requirement in misrepresentation have joint and several liability with all other defendants who meet that scienter requirement.
however, that there is both a mens rea and scienter requirement for the
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