Also found in: Dictionary, Wikipedia.
An important judicial decision that is frequently regarded as having settled or determined the law upon all points involved in such controversies and thereby serves as a guide for subsequent decisions.
brown v. board of education of topeka, kansas, 347 U.S. 483, 74 S.Ct. 686, 98 L. Ed. 873 (1954), which declared racial Segregation in public schools to be in violation of the equal protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, is an example of a leading case.
leading casenoun case dispositive on a salient point, case which is dispositive of an issue, decisive case in point, greatest precedence, highest case in a circuit, highest case of precedence, milestone, most critical case in a subject area, most major case in point, number one case in the area
LEADING CASE. A case decided by a court in the last resort, which settles a particular point or question; the principles upon which it is decided are to be followed in future cases, which are similar to it. Collections of such cases have been made, with commentaries upon them by White, by Wallace and Hare, and others.