Webster's New International Dictionary, Second Edition

Canadian Law Dictionary.

A; B; C; D; E; F; G & H; I; J; L; M; N; O; P; Q; R; S; T; U; V; W;

 

 

Maintenance:
The obligation that one person has to contribute in part or in whole to the cost of living of another person.

Malfeasance:
Doing something which is illegal. Compare with misfeasance and nonfeasance.

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.

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.

Maritime Law:
A very specific body of law peculiar to transportation by water, seamen and harbors.

Marine Registry:
Federal registry for registering title documents against ships.

Massachusetts Trust:
An organization structure 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.

Mechanic's Lien:
See: Builder's lien and Repairer's lien.

Mediation:
An alternate dispute mechanism whereby the mediator acts as a facilitator assisting the parties in coming to a mutually agreed settlement.  Under the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act, mediation can be used, for example, if a creditor or the Trustee opposes a bankrupt's discharge.

Misappropriation of Funds:
The wrongful taking of funds by a person to whom funds are entrusted.

Misrepresentation:
To describe or present incorrectly, improperly or falsely.

Monitor:
A person or firm appointed to review and report on, without controlling or approving, the day-to-day transactions of a business. Particulars of the engagement are usually set out in an exchange of letters, an agreement or court order.

Mortgage:
An interest given on real property to guarantee the payment of a debt or execution of some action.

MOU:
Abbreviation fo "Memorandum of Understanding." A document which, if meeting the other criteria, can be, in law, a contract. Generally, in the world of commerce or international negotiations, a MOU is considered to be a preliminary document; not a comprehensive agreement between two parties but rather an interim or partial agreement on some elements, in some cases a mere agreement in principle, on which there has been accord. Most MOU's imply that something more is eventually expected.

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.

Misfeasance:
Improperly doing something which a person has the legal right to do. Compare with malfeasance and nonfeasance.

Mis-joinder:
When a person has been named as a party to a law suit when that person should not have been added. When this is asserted, a court will usually accommodate a request to amend the court documents to strike, or substitute for, the name of the mis-joined party. Compare with non-joinder.

Misrepresentation:
A false and material statement which induces a party to enter into a contract.

Mistrial:
A partial or complete trial which is found to be null and void and of no effect because of some irregularity.

Mitigating Circumstances:
These are facts that, while not negating an offence or wrongful action, tend to show that the defendant may have had some grounds for acting the way he/she did.

Mitigation of Damages:
A person who sues another for damages has a responsibility to minimize those damages, as far as reasonable. For example, if a tenant vacates rental premices the landlord has a responsibiliy to find another tenant so as to minimize the economic damage on themselves.

Modus Operandi:
Latin: method of operation. Used by law enforcement officials to refer to a criminal's preferred method of committing crime.

Moiety:
Half of something. For example, it can be said that joint tenants hold a moiety in property.

Moot:
Also called a "moot point": a side issue, problem or question which does not have to be decided to resolve the main issues in a dispute.

Moot Court:
Fictional or hypothetical trial, usually hosted by law schools, as training for future barristers or litigators.

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. The person lending the money and receiving the mortgage is called the mortgagee; the person who concedes a mortgage as security upon their property is called a mortgagor.

Mutatis Mutandis:
With appropriate changes as applicable.  For example, in proposals all other sections of the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act, over and above the section on proposals, applies to proposals, mutatis mutandis.

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