Pro Tempore Law and Legal Definition

Pro tempore is a Latin phrase which means ‘for the time being’ in English. This phrase is often used to describe a person who acts as placeholder in the absence of a superior. For example, Judge Pro Tempore. A judge pro tem can be a judge who is sitting temporarily for another judge or an attorney who has been appointed to serve as a judge as a substitute for a regular judge. Legislative bodies can have one or more pro tempore for the presiding officer. In the U.S. the phrase is commonly used in municipalities such as cities and towns with regard to the position of the Mayor. Cities which do not have a position of Vice Mayor, appoint a person from the city council to act as Mayor Pro Tem in the absence of the actual Mayor.