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  • Magna Carta

    Charter to which subscribed King John of England on June 12, 1215 in which a basic set of limits were set on the King's powers. King John had ruled tyrannically. His barons rebelled and committed themselves to war with King John unless he agreed to the Charter. Held to be the precursor of habeas corpus as Article 39 of the Magna Carta held that no man shall be "imprisoned, exiled or destroyed ... except by lawful judgment of his peers or by the law of the land". qq
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  • Maintenance

    Refers to the obligation of one person to contribute, in part or in whole, to the cost of living of another person. Maintenance is usually expressed in a currency amount per month as in "$450 a month maintenance." Some countries prefer the words "support" (spousal or child) or "alimony" but they all mean the same thing.
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  • Malfeasance

    Doing something which is illegal. Compare with misfeasance and nonfeasance.
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  • Malpractice Defense

    the area of law that focuses on representing those professionals who have been accused of negligence, misconduct, lack of ordinary skill, or a breach of duty in the performance of a professional service (medicine, law, etc.) resulting in injury or loss.
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  • Mandamus

    A writ which commands an individual, organization (eg. government), administrative tribunal or court to perform a certain action, usually to correct a prior illegal action or a failure to act in the first place.
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  • Manslaughter

    Accidental homicide or homicide which occurs without an intent to kill, and which does not occur during the commission of another crime or under extreme provocation. qq
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  • MAO

    Medical Assistance Only
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  • Maritime law

    A very specific body of law peculiar to transportation by water, seamen and harbors.
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  • Marriage

    The state-recognized, voluntary and exclusive contract for the lifelong union of two persons. Most countries do not recognize marriage between same-sex couples or polygamous marriages.
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  • Massachusetts trust

    A unique way to organize a business where the property is bought by, or transferred to, a trustee (such as a trust company) and the trustee issues trust "units", which the investors, or their designates, hold as beneficiaries. This is a common way to structure a large real estate purchase.
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  • Matrimony

    The legal state of being married. Ecclesiastics talk of the "holy" state of matrimony.
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  • Mediation

    a process of non-binding intervention between parties to promote resolution of a grievance, reconciliation, settlement, or compromise outside of the court system (see also mediation and alternative dispute resolution).
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  • Medicaid Program

    federally funded medical support for low income families
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  • Medical Support

    legal provision for payment of medical and dental bills
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  • Mens rea

    Latin for "guilty mind." Many serious crimes require the proof of "mens rea" before a person can be convicted. In other words, the prosecution must prove not only that the accused committed the offence but that he (or she) did it knowing that it was prohibited; that their act (or omission) was done with an intent to commit a crime.
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  • Mergers & Acquisitions

    the area of law that involves the acquisition of or merging of a corporation of one or more others and/or any of various methods of combining two or more organizations.
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  • Military Law

    law that is enforced by the military rather than civil authority.
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  • Minor

    A person who is legally underage. It varies between 21 and 18 years of age. Each state sets an age threshold at which time a person is invested with all legal rights as an adult. For many new adults, this may mean access to places serving alcohol and the right to purchase and consume alcohol, smoke cigarettes and drive a car. But there are many other legal rights which a minor does not have such as, in some states, the right to own land, to sign a contract or to get married.
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  • Minutes

    The official record of a meeting. Some minutes include a summary (not verbatim) of the discussion along with any resolutions. Other minutes just contain a record of the decisions. Minutes start off with the name of the organization, the place and date of the meeting and the name of those person's present. Minutes are prepared by the corporate secretary and signed by either the president or secretary.
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  • Miranda warning

    Also known as the "Miranda Rule, this is the name given to the requirement that police officers, in the U.S.A., must warn suspects upon arrest that they have the right to remain silent, that any statement that they make could be used against them in a court of law, that they have the right to contact a lawyer and that if they cannot afford a lawyer, that one will be provided before any questioning is so desired. Failure to issue the Miranda warning results in the evidence so obtained to not be admissible in the court. The warning became a national police requirement when ordered by the US Supreme Court in the 1966 case Miranda v. Arizona and that is how it got the name.
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