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The strict legal rights of the parties to a lawsuit.
The word merits refers to the substance of a legal dispute and not the technicalities that can affect a lawsuit. A judgment on the merits is the final resolution of a particular dispute.
meritsthe actual and intrinsic rights and wrongs of an issue as distinct from extraneous matters and technicalities.
MERITS. This word is used principally in matters of defence.
2. A defence upon the merits, is one that rests upon the justice of the cause, and not upon technical grounds only; there is, therefore, a difference between a good defence, which may be technical or not, and a defence on the merits. 5 B. & Ald. 703 1 Ashm. R. 4; 5 John. R. 536; Id. 360; 3 John. R. 245 Id. 449; 6 John. R. 131; 4 John. R. 486; 2 Cowen, R. 281; 7 Cowen, R. 514; 6 Wend. R. 511; 6 Cowen, R. 895.