Definitions from Black's Law Dictionary: 2nd Edition and Ballentine's Law Dictionary as are available for each term in each dictionary.
  • Ballentine's Law Dictionary

    A precedent; instigation; solicitation.

  • Black's Law Dictionary: 2nd Edition

    In pleading and prao-tice. Solicitation, properly of an earnest or urgent kind. An act is often said to be done at a party's "special instance and request." In the civil and French law. A general term, designating all sorts of actions and judicial demands. Dig. 44, 7, 58. In ecclesiastical law. Causes of if stance are those proceeded in at the solicitation of some party, as opposed to causes of office, which run in the name of the judge. Hallifax, Civll Law, p. 156. In Scotch law. That which may be insisted on at one diet or course of probation. Wharton.
    —Instance conrt. In English law. That division or department of the court of admiralty which exercises all the ordinary admiralty jurisdiction, with the single exception of prize cases, the latter belonging to the branch called the "Prize Court." The term is sometimes used in American law for purposes of explanation, but has no proper application to admiralty courts in the United States, where the powers of both instance and prize couris are conferred without any distinction. 3 Kent, Comm. 355, 378; The Betsey, 3 Dall. 6, 1 I Ed. 485; The Emulous, 1 Gall. 563, Fed. Cas. No. 4,479.