Definition[edit | edit source]
Scienter is a legal term that refers to intent or knowledge of wrongdoing. It means that an offending party has knowledge of the "wrongness" of an act or event prior to committing it. For example, if a man sells a car to his friend with brakes that do not work, and he does not know about the problem, then the man has no scienter. If he sells the car and knew of the problem before he sold the car, he has scienter.