A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
Click on the first letter of the word from the list above to go to the appropriate section of the glossary.
- M -
Magistrate (See U.S. Magistrate Judge.) - Judicial officer exercising some of the functions of a judge. It also refers in a general way to a judge.
Malfeasance - The commission of an unlawful act.
Malicious prosecution - An action instituted with intention of injuring the defendant and without probable cause, and which terminates in favor of the person prosecuted.
Malpractice - Any professional misconduct.
Manslaughter - The unlawful killing of another without intent to kill; either voluntary (upon a sudden impulse); or involuntary (during the commission of an unlawful act not ordinarily expected to result in great bodily harm). (See also murder.)
Marshal - The executive officer of the federal court.
Martindale-Hubbell Law - A publication of several volumes which contains names, addresses, Director specialties, and rating of United States lawyers; also includes digests of state and foreign statutory law.
Mediation - A form of alternative dispute resolution in which the parties bring their dispute to a neutral third party, who helps them agree on a settlement.
Memorandum - An informal note or instrument embodying something the parties desire to have in written evidence.
Memorialized - In writing.
Merger - The absorption of one thing or right into another.
Minor - A person under the age of legal competence.
Minute book - A book maintained by the courtroom deputy (bailiff), which contains minute entries of all hearings and trial conducted by the judge.
Minutes - Memorandum of a transaction or proceeding.
Miranda warning - Requirement that police tell a suspect in their custody of his or her constitutional rights before they question him or her. So named as a result of the Miranda v. Arizona ruling by the United States Supreme Court.
Misdemeanor - A criminal offense lesser than a felony and generally punishable by fine or by imprisonment other than in a penitentiary.
Misfeasance - Improper performance of an act which a person might lawfully do.
Mistrial - An invalid trial, caused by fundamental error. When a mistrial is declared, the trial must start again from the selection of the jury.
Mitigating circumstances - Those which do not constitute a justification or excuse for an offense but which may be considered as reasons for reducing the degree of blame.
Mittimus - The name of an order in writing, issuing from a court and directing the sheriff or other officer to convey a person to a prison, asylum, or reformatory, and directing the jailer or other appropriate official to receive and safely keep the person until his or her fate shall be determined by due course of law.
Mitigation - A reduction, abatement, or diminution of a penalty or punishment imposed by law.
Moot - A moot case or a moot point is one not subject to a judicial determination because it involves an abstract question or a pretended controversy that has not yet actually arisen or has already passed. Mootness usually refers to a court's refusal to consider a case because the issue involved has been resolved prior to the court's decision, leaving nothing that would be affected by the court's decision.
Motion - An application made to a court or judge which requests a ruling or order in favor of the applicant.
Motion in Limine - A motion made by counsel requesting that information which might be prejudicial not be allowed to be heard in a case.
Murder - The unlawful killing of a human being with deliberate intent to kill: (1) murder in the first degree is characterized by premeditation; (2) murder in the second degree is characterized by a sudden and instantaneous intent to kill or to cause injury without caring whether the injury kills or not.
Mutual assent - A meeting of the minds; agreement.