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M'Naughten rule
n. a traditional "right and wrong" test of legal insanity in crim...
M. O.
n. slang for modus operandi, the way or pattern in which a repeat...
magistrate
n. 1) a generic term for any judge of a court, or anyone official...
Magna Carta
n. Latin for "Great Charter," it was a document delineating a ser...
mail box rule
n. in contract law, making a written offer or acceptance of offer...
maim
v. to inflict a serious bodily injury, including mutilation or an...
majority
n. 1) the age when a person can exercise all normal legal rights,...
make
v. 1) to create something. 2) to sign a check, promissory note, b...
make one whole
v. to pay or award damages sufficient to put the party who was da...
maker
n. 1) the person who signs a check or promissory note, which make...
malfeasance
n. intentionally doing something either legally or morally wrong ...
malice
n. a conscious, intentional wrongdoing either of a civil wrong li...
malice aforethought
n. 1) the conscious intent to cause death or great bodily harm to...
malicious prosecution
n. filing a lawsuit with the intention of creating problems for t...
malpractice
n. An act or continuing conduct of a professional which does not ...
malum in se
(mal-uhm in say) adv. Latin referring to an act that is "wrong in...
malum prohibitum
(mal-uhm prohibit-uhm) adj. Latin meaning "wrong due to being pro...
mandamus
(man-dame-us) n. Latin for "we order," a writ (more modernly call...
mandate
n. 1) any mandatory order or requirement under statute, regulatio...
mandatory
adj., adv. absolutely demanded or required.
mandatory joinder
n. the required inclusion of a party in a lawsuit whom the court ...
manifest
1) adj., adv. completely obvious or evident. 2) n. a written list...
Mann Act
n. a federal statute making it a crime to transport a woman acros...
manslaughter
n. the unlawful killing of another person without premeditation o...
marital deduction
n. an estate tax deduction allowed a surviving spouse of half of ...
marital rights
n. an old-fashioned expression for the rights of a husband (not r...
maritime law
n. Also called "admiralty law" or "the law of admiralty," the law...
mark
n. an "X" made by a person who is illiterate or too weak to sign ...
marked for identification
adj. documents or objects presented during a trial before there h...
market value
n. the price which a seller of property would receive in an open ...
marketable title
n. the title to real property which has no encumbrances (mortgage...
marriage
n. the joining of a male and female in matrimony by a person qual...
marshal
1) n. a federal court official who may serve papers and act as a ...
martial law
n. a system of complete control by a country's military over all ...
Massachusetts Trust
n. a business in which the investors give management authority to...
master
n. 1) employer, in the area of law known as "master and servant,"...
master and servant
n. the body of law, including statutes and legal decisions which ...
material
adj. relevant and significant. In a lawsuit, "material evidence" ...
material representation
n. a convincing statement made to induce someone to enter into a ...
material witness
n. a person who apparently has information about the subject matt...
matter of record
n. anything, including testimony, evidence, rulings and sometimes...
maturity
n. 1) the date when the payment of the principal amount owed unde...
maxims
n. a collection of legal truisms which are used as "rules of thum...
may
v. a choice to act or not, or a promise of a possibility, as dist...
mayhem
1) n. the criminal act of disabling, disfiguring or cutting off o...
McNabb-Mallory rule
n. a federal rule of evidence in criminal trials that prohibits t...
mechanic's lien
n. the right of a craftsman, laborer, supplier, architect or othe...
mediation
n. the attempt to settle a legal dispute through active participa...
mediator
n. a person who conducts mediation. A mediator is usually a lawye...
meet and confer
n. a requirement of courts that before certain types of motions a...
meeting of the minds
n. when two parties to an agreement (contract) both have the same...
memorandum
n. 1) a brief writing, note, summary or outline. 2) A "memorandum...
mens rea
(menz ray-ah) n. Latin for a "guilty mind," or criminal intent in...
mental anguish
n. mental suffering which includes fright, feelings of distress, ...
mental competency
n.
mental cruelty
n. a term, rapidly going out of fashion and out of the statutes, ...
mental suffering
n. emotional pain synonymous with "mental anguish."
mercantile law
n. that broad area of the law (also called commercial law), statu...
merchantable
adj. a product of a high enough quality to make it fit for sale. ...
merger
n. 1) in corporate law, the joining together of two corporations ...
mesne
: (mean, with a silent s) adj. from Norman French for intermediat...
mesne profits
n. profits which have accrued while there was a dispute over land...
metes and bounds
(meets and bounds) n. a surveyor's description of a parcel of rea...
military law
n. regulations governing the conduct of men and women in the arme...
mining claim
n. a description by boundaries of real property in which metal or...
ministerial act
n. an act, particularly of a governmental employee, which is perf...
minor
n. someone under legal age, which is generally 18, except for cer...
minority
n. 1) in voting, a side with less than half the votes. 2) a term ...
minutes
n. 1) the written record of meetings, particularly of boards of d...
Miranda warning
n. the requirement, also called the Miranda rule, set by the U.S....
mirror wills
n. the wills of a husband and wife which are identical except tha...
misadventure
n. a death due to unintentional accident without any violation of...
misappropriation
n. the intentional, illegal use of the property or funds of anoth...
misdemeanor
n. a lesser crime punishable by a fine and/or county jail time fo...
misfeasance
n. management of a business, public office or other responsibilit...
misjoinder
n. the inclusion of parties (plaintiffs or defendants) or causes ...
misnomer
n. the wrong name.
misprision of a felony
n. the crime of concealing another's felony (serious crime) from ...
misrepresentation
n. the crime of misstating facts to obtain money, goods or benefi...
mistake
n. 1) an error in comprehending facts, meaning of words or the la...
mistrial
n. the termination of a trial before its normal conclusion becaus...
mitigating circumstances
n. in criminal law, conditions or happenings which do not excuse ...
mitigation of damages
n. the requirement that someone injured by another's negligence o...
modification
n. a change in an existing court order or judgment made necessary...
modus operandi
(mode-us ah-purr-and-ee or ah-purr-and-eye) n. from Latin, a crim...
moiety
: (moy-et-tee) n. half. Generally a reference to interest in real...
molestation
n. the crime of sexual acts with children up to the age of 18, in...
monopoly
n. a business or inter-related group of businesses which controls...
month-to-month
adj. referring to a tenancy in which the tenant pays monthly rent...
monument
n. 1) an established landmark which a surveyor uses as part of a ...
moot
adj. 1) unsettled, open to argument or debatable, specifically ab...
moot court
n. law school exercise in which students argue both sides of an a...
moot point
n. 1) a legal question which no court has decided, so it is still...
moral certainty
n. in a criminal trial, the reasonable belief (but falling short ...
moral turpitude
n. gross violation of standards of moral conduct, vileness. An ac...
moratorium
n. 1) any suspension of activity, particularly voluntary suspensi...
mortgage
n. a document in which the owner pledges his/her/its title to rea...
mortgagee
n. the person or business making a loan that is secured by the re...
mortgagor
n. the person who has borrowed money and pledged his/her real pro...
motion
n. a formal request made to a judge for an order or judgment. Mot...
motion for a new trial
n. a request made by the loser for the case to be tried again on ...
motion for a summary judgment
n. a written request for a judgment in the moving party's favor b...
motion for dismissal
(non-suit) n. application by a defendant in a lawsuit or criminal...
motion in limine
(lim-in-nay) n. Latin for "threshold," a motion made at the start...
motion to strike
n. a request for a judge's order to eliminate all or a portion of...
motion to suppress
n. a motion (usually on behalf of a criminal defendant) to disall...
motive
n. in criminal investigation the probable reason a person committ...
mouthpiece
n. old-fashioned slang for one's lawyer.
movant
n. the party in a lawsuit or other legal proceeding who makes a m...
move
v. to make a motion in court applying for a court order or judgme...
multifarious
adj., adv. reference to a lawsuit in which either party or variou...
multiplicity of suits
n. several actual or potential lawsuits which should be joined to...
municipal
adj. referring to an incorporated or chartered city or town.
municipal court
n. a lower court which usually tries criminal misdemeanors and ci...
muniment of title
n. documentary evidence of title to real property. A muniment cou...
murder
n. the killing of a human being by a sane person, with intent, ma...
mutual
adj., adv. referring to anything in which both parties have recip...
mutual wills
n. wills made by two people (usually spouses, but could be "partn...

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The People's Law Dictionary by Gerald and Kathleen Hill Publisher Fine Communications

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