Law Library Legal Dictionary – M
Legal Definitions – M
M Visa – A temporary visa that is used for foreign students wishing to enter the United States for nonacademic or vocational studies.
Magazine Buyers Club – A type of fraud that is designed to make money by requiring potential buyers to subscribe to a variety of magazines for a discounted price.
Mail Fraud – A type of fraud that occurs when a person uses the United States Postal Service (USPS) to defraud someone of property or money.
Mail Theft – A type of theft that occurs when someone steals mail that is not addressed to them.
Malicious Prosecution – An intentional tort that involves the malicious pursuit of a legal action that is without probable cause and dismissed in favor of the victim.
Malware-based Phishing – A form of phishing that uses alerts and notifications from known malware companies to trick the user into supplying personal information. This information is then often used to commit identity theft.
Mandatory Minimum Drug Sentences – Federal sentencing laws that require that a specified minimum length of sentence be imposed if certain criteria are met for certain federal drug offenses. These mandatory sentencing laws are part of the Anti-Drug Abuse Act.
Mandatory Paid Sick Leave – Paid sick leave that employers are required by law to provide for employees. Only a few states have made paid sick leave mandatory.
Mandatory Retention Laws – State laws that require schools to hold back students at certain grade levels if they cannot pass certain tests that examine a student’s proficiency at subjects such as reading comprehension.
Manslaughter – The unlawful killing of another person without prior intentions to kill a particular person.
Manufacturing Defect – A type of product liability defect in a product that was not intended and occurred when the product was being manufactured.
Marital Communications Privilege – A testimonial privilege in a criminal trial that applies to the conversations between spouses during the course of the marriage, and it is held by both spouses. This privilege exists even if the couple is now divorced, but the conversation occurred while the couple was still married.
Marital Rape – Non-consensual sex in which the perpetrator is the victim’s spouse. Although it is criminalized in all states, some states treat marital rape differently than other forms of rape.
Market Manipulation – Manipulation enacted by a group of investors by disseminating information about a certain company to all other investors in order to influence the value of that company’s stock either in a positive or negative manner.
Marriage Annulment – A legal process by which a marriage is terminated. Once the process is complete, the law acts as if the two people were never married in the first place.
Marriage Requirements – The requirements that one must meet in order to be able to get legally married.
Mass Tort Litigation – A specific area of personal injury law that involves injuries or losses to large groups of persons.
Material Breach of Contract – A breach that reaches to the heart of the contract’s subject matter and negatively affects the outcome of the agreement, such that the non-breaching party did not receive the "substantial benefit" of the bargain.
Maternity Leave – Leave from work that a female employee takes in order to care for her newborn child. The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) requires employers to permit eligible employees to take this leave.
Mediation – The process by which a neutral third party intervenes between two conflicting parties to promote reconciliation, settlement, or compromise.
Medicaid Irrevocable Trust – A trust that provides protection against loss of assets to nursing homes.
Medical Battery – The intentional violation by a doctor of a patient’s right to direct his or her own medical treatments.
Medical Billing Scams – A fraudulent scam that preys on people by having them engage in medical billing at home.
Medical Clinic Malpractice – Professional negligence that is imputed to a medical clinic by a healthcare professional employed by the clinic when that professional’s conduct falls below the established standard of care for all healthcare professionals.
Medical Directive – A legal document that contains instructions regarding a person’s health care decisions if they should become incapacitated.
Medical Information Bureau – A central database of medical information that is used by insurance companies and contains basic health information, such as whether a person is a smoker or has high blood pressure. This database contains information for about 15 million people.
Medical Lien – A lien that is imposed by a court when a medical service provider gives reasonable and necessary medical treatment to a patient to relieve or cure an injury, and fails to be paid for that service.