willful


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Related to willful: willfully, wilful, willful ignorance

Willful

Intentional; not accidental; voluntary; designed.

There is no precise definition of the term willful because its meaning largely depends on the context in which it appears. It generally signifies a sense of the intentional as opposed to the inadvertent, the deliberate as opposed to the unplanned, and the voluntary as opposed to the compelled. After centuries of court cases, it has no single meaning, whether as an adjective (willful) or an adverb (willfully).

Statutes and case law have adapted the term willful to the particular circumstances of action and inaction peculiar to specific areas of the law, including tort law, criminal law, workers' compensation, and Unemployment Compensation. A willful violation, for example, may mean a deliberate intent to violate the law, an intent to perform an act that the law forbids, an intent to refrain from performing an act that the law requires, an indifference to whether or not action or inaction violates the law, or some other variant.

In criminal-law statutes, willfully ordinarily means with a bad purpose or criminal intent, particularly if the proscribed act is mala in se (an evil in itself, intrinsically wrong) or involves moral turpitude. For example, willful murder is the unlawful killing of another individual without any excuse or Mitigating Circumstances. If the forbidden act is not wrong in itself, such as driving over the speed limit, willfully is used to mean intentionally, purposefully, or knowingly.

Under workers' compensation acts, willful misconduct by an employee means that he intentionally performed an act with the knowledge that it was likely to result in serious injuries or with reckless disregard of its probable consequences. A finding of "willful misconduct" prevents the employee from being awarded compensation for his injuries.

Under unemployment compensation laws, an employee who is fired on willful misconduct grounds is not entitled to recover unemployment compensation benefits. Common examples of such willful misconduct include excessive absenteeism, habitual lateness, deliberate violations of an employer's rules and regulations, reporting for work in an intoxicated condition, and drinking alcoholic beverages while on the job.

willful

adj. referring to acts which are intentional, conscious, and directed toward achieving a purpose. Some willful conduct which has wrongful or unfortunate results is considered "hardheaded," "stubborn" and even "malicious." Example: "The defendant's attack on his neighbor was willful." (See: willfully)

willful

adjective conscious, contemplated, deliberate, designed, inflexible, intended, intentional, intractable, intransigent, obdurate, obstinate, obstinatus, pertinax, planned, premeditated, purposed, purposeful, restive, retractory, studied, tenacious, uncompromising, unconstrained, unyielding, volitional, volitive, voluntary
Associated concepts: willful acts
See also: arbitrary and capricious, deliberate, disobedient, express, froward, inexorable, inflexible, intentional, intractable, obdurate, pertinacious, premeditated, recalcitrant, restive, spontaneous, unbending, uncontrollable, unruly, unyielding, voluntary
References in periodicals archive ?
Although the sequence of events started with the collision, credible evidence supports a finding that claimant's willful violation of his employer's rule and the statutory requirement to wear a seatbelt proximately caused his injuries.
She describes the willful child as the child that is of the wrong bent, physically and mentally driven astray by their (impulsive) willful desires: "Eliminating willfulness could be understood as a method of negation: a way of stopping a certain kind of subject from coming into existence...a perversion of the right path of the will" (p.
or willful misconduct, the fine increases to $3,000 per barrel of oil
Absent production of an opinion, oftentimes to avoid risking expansive waiver of privilege which could extend to trial counsel strategy, an adverse inference was taken that the opinion was negative, thus supporting a plaintiff's willful infringement charge.
A defendant commits a "willful violation" of a trademark when that defendant knowingly and purposefully capitalizes on and appropriates the goodwill of a plaintiff.
On the other hand, funds earned in a foreign jurisdiction prior to immigrating to the United States, or gifts and inheritance from a foreign person which remained offshore may be less indicative of willful acts by the client.
transferors in many common situations even though the failure was not intentional and not due to willful neglect.
Motorcycle mishaps were categorized as "willful noncompliance" with respect to fatigue if the rider failed to follow Joint Travel Regulation restrictions for proper rest when driving/riding and mishaps were categorized as "willful non-compliance" for training if the member failed to perform all required training before riding at the time of the mishap.
that "willful blindness" could satisfy the knowledge
Three-fourths of that amount was proposed for a violation the L&I department characterized as "willful," which was linked to a February fire at the refinery that shut down operations for several months.
The State Bank of India will name and shame what it calls "willful defaulters", the country's Economic Times newspaper said yesterday.
Willful blindness; why we ignore the obvious at our peril.