LITIS CONTESTATIO, civil law. "Contestari." It is when each party to a suit (uterque reus) says "Teste estote." It was therefore, so called, because persons were called on by the parties to the suit "to bear witness," "to be witnesses." It is supposed that this contestatio was the usual termination of certain acts before the magistratus or in jure, of which the persons called to be witnesses were at some future time to bear record before the judex, in judicio. The Iis contestata, in the system of Justinian, consisted in the statements made by. the parties to a suit before the magistrate respecting the claim or demand, and the answer or defence to it. When this was done, the cause was ready for hearing. Savig. Traite de Droit Romain, tom. vi. § cclviii.; Smith, Dict. Gr. & Rom. Antiq. h. v. The contesting of the suit, or pleading the general issue. Vide 2 Bro. Civ. and Adm. Law, 358.