Duhaime's Law Dictionary

M
Legal definitions for terms and concepts beginning with M

Modi Vivendi
Latin: limited force. A temporary and often limited interim agreement between states pending negotiation and ratification of a treaty.
Modus Operandi
Latin: method of operation.
Mohtasib
Muslim law: the investigating and, in some cases, prosecuting office of criminal justice.
Moiety
Half of something. For example, it can be said that joint tenants hold a moiety in property.
Monarchy
A form of government in which law-making power is given to a single person, usually holding such authority by birthright and not by merit.
Money
An item accepted by all as payment for debts or for goods or services.
Money Laundering
The conversion or transfer of money obtained by crime for the purposes of frustrating law enforcement.
Monopoly
A commercial advantage enjoyed by only one or a select few companies in which only those companies can trade in a certain area.
Monopsony
Market conditions in which there exists only one buyer for a commodity or service.
Mooring
The securing of a vessel to the shore or to the bottom, including by anchor.
Moot
A matter where the issue raised concerns a hypothetical or abstract question
Moot Court
A trial on a fictional or hypothetical issue, usually hosted by law schools, as training for future barristers or litigators.
Moral Insanity
A disease of the mind in which the individual is bereft of ethical judgment or feelings but still fully functioning intellectually.
Moral Turpitude
An act of baseness or depravity contrary to accepted moral standards.
Moratorium
The temporary suspension of legal action against a person.
Mortgage
An interest given on a piece of land, in writing, to guarantee the payment of a debt or the execution of some action.
Mortgagee
The person who extends credit secured by a mortgage; the mortgage lender.
Mortgagor
The person who borrows money secured by conceding a mortgage against his interest in real property.
Mortis Omnia Solvit
Latin: Death puts an end to everything.
Mortmain
French: dead hand. Property taken out of circulation.
Mortmain Statutes
Statutes of ancient English law which prevented the transfer of real property to or from corporations in general, or to or from religious corporations in particular.
Mosaic Law
Ancient law as set out in the first five books of the Bible (Old Testament).
Motion
A proposal made to a Court or at a meeting and intended to be considered and decided upon.
Motion to Strike
A motion put to the Court to strike a pleading or evidence of a witness.
Motorcycle
A motor vehicle with two wheels in the same plane designed to convey people.
Motor Vehicle
A self-propelled contrivance designed for the carriage of persons or things.
MOU
Abbreviation of Memorandum of Understanding. A document intended to become a contract but which, if meeting other criteria, can be recognized, in law, as a contract.
Movable
Civil law: things not attached to land and which may be carried from place to place.
Mujtahid
A scholar of Muslim lawyer.
Mulatto
A person one of whose parents is either wholly black or the other wholly white.
Multi-tracking
The triage of cases by a court to a process (track) based on predefined criteria, usually based on value and complexity
Multiculturalism
A doctrine of state policy of active encouragement and support of the co-existence of multiple cultures within a same territory.
Multi-level Marketing
A system for selling products in which participants get paid for selling products to other participants who, in turn, are paid for selling the same products to yet more participants.
Munchausen's Syndrome
An acute but fabricated illness supported by a dramatic history of some plausibility.
Murder
Intentional homicide (the taking of another person’s life), without legal justification or provocation.
Murder Gene
A DNA genetic variant that, some scientists propose, predisposes an individual to berserk violence.
Muslim
Muslim law: any person who professes as a religion, that there is but one God and that Mohammad is the prophet of that God.
Muslim Law
The body of law derived from the Koran and other recorded sayings of the Muslim prophet Muhammad (570-632).
Muta
Muslim law: a temporary marriage; for a fixed period.
Mutatis Mutandis
Latin: with changes on points of detail.
Mutilation
To render a thing imperfect by cutting off or destroying a part.
Mutual Combat
A fight into which both parties enter willingly, or in which two persons, upon a sudden quarrel, and in hot blood, mutually fight upon equal terms.
Myocardial Infarction
Permanent damage caused to the middle layer, the heart muscle, usually by sudden obstruction of blood flow.
Myocardium
The cardiac muscle at the middle layer of the heart.
Mystic Will
A sealed and secret will requiring strict formalities and available only in limited civil law jurisdictions.
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