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[Latin, For the time being.] An abbreviation used for pro tempore, Latin for "temporary or provisional."
A person who acts as a temporary substitute serves pro tem. The term is often used to describe the acting head of a governing body, such as the president pro tem of the Senate, who presides over the Senate when the vice president is unable to do so.
1) adj. short for the Latin "pro tempore", temporarily or for the time being. In law, judge pro tem normally refers to a judge who is sitting temporarily for another judge or to an attorney who has been appointed to serve as a judge as a substitute for a regular judge. When an appeals justice is not available or there is a vacancy, a lower court judge is appointed Justice Pro Tem until a new Justice is appointed. Small claims cases are often heard by an attorney serving as Judge Pro Tem. 2) n. short for a temporary judge as "Sam Collins is Pro Tem today."