Dedimus Potestatum Law and Legal Definition

Dedimus in general is an order to a private person to do some act in place of a judge, such as to examine a witness, etc. Dedimus potestatum is an outdated procedure used to preserve testimony which might be in danger of being lost, such as when the witness is terminally ill. However, the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure have developed to allow taking of testimony before trial if that testimony might otherwise be lost. The term also refers to certain officials, such as Dedimus Justices who perform a single function under Maine statute, that of swearing in various public officials, including Notaries Public. The office is a lifetime appointment by the Governor.