What is Special Pleading?

Legal Definition
Special pleading is a form of fallacious argument that involves an attempt to cite something as an exception to a generally accepted rule, principle, etc. without justifying the exception. The lack of criticism may be a simple oversight (e.g., a reference to common sense) or an application of a double standard.
-- Wikipedia
Legal Definition
Special pleading is a form of fallacious argument that involves an attempt to cite something as an exception to a generally accepted rule, principle, etc. without justifying the exception.

The lack of criticism may be a simple oversight (e.g., a reference to common sense) or an application of a double standard.
-- Wikipedia
Legal Definition
the name applied to a pleading beyond the denial of the plaintiff's charges that can include justification for an action.
Legal Definition
The allegartion of special or new matter, as distinguished from a direct denial of matter previously alleged on the opposite side. Gould on Pl. c. 1, s. 18; Co. Litt. 282; 3 Wheat. R. 246 Com. Dig. Pleader, E 15.
-- Bouviers Law Dictionary
Legal Definition
By special pleading is meant the allegation of special or new matter, as distinguished from a direct denial of matter previously alleged on the opposite side. Gould on Pl. c. 1, s. 18.
-- Bouviers Law Dictionary
Legal Definition
When the allegations (or "pleadings," as they are called) of the contending parties in an action are not of the general or ordinary form, but are of a more complex or special character, they are denominated "special pleadings;" and, when a defendant pleads a plea of this description, (i. e., a special pleat) he is said to plead specially, in opposition to pleading the genera] issue. These terms have given rise to the popular denomination of that science which, though properly called "pleading," Is generally known by the name of "special pleading." Brown. The allegation of special or new matter in, opposition or explanation of the last previous averments on the other side, as distinguished from a direct denial of matter previously alleged by the opposite party. Gould, FL c. 1, ยง 18. In popular language, the adroit and plausible advocacy of a client's case in court. Stimson, Law Gloss.
-- Black's Law Dictionary
Legal Definition
Pleading in excuse or justification; a plea in confession and avoidance.
-- Ballentine's Law Dictionary