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Master

An individual who hires employees or servants to perform services and who directs the manner in which such services are performed.A court officer appointed by a judge to perform such jobs as examining witnesses, taking testimony, computing damages, or taking oaths, affidavits, or acknowledgments of deeds.

A master makes a report of his or her findings to the judge so a decree can be formulated. A master in chancery was an officer in Chancery Court in England. In the U. S. these duties may be rendered by a court clerk, commissioner, auditor, or referee.

West's Encyclopedia of American Law, edition 2. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

master

n. 1) employer, in the area of law known as "master and servant," which more properly should be called employer and employee. 2) a person, supposedly with special expertise, appointed by a judge to investigate a problem (such as whether a parent's home is appropriate for child visitation) and report back to the judge his/her findings and recommendation. (See: master and servant, employment, respondeat superior)

Copyright © 1981-2005 by Gerald N. Hill and Kathleen T. Hill. All Right reserved.

master

1 a nearly obsolete term for an EMPLOYER under a contract of employment in the sense of service rather than for services. The law was treated under the title ‘master and servant’ but is now usually collected under the title ‘employment law’, which includes much to do with trade unions. See EMPLOYMENT, UNFAIR DISMISSAL.
2 an officer of the Supreme Court of Judicature subordinate to a judge.
Collins Dictionary of Law © W.J. Stewart, 2006

MASTER. This word has several meanings. 1. Master is one who has control over a servant or apprentice. A master stands in relation to his apprentices, in loco parentis, and is bound to fulfill that relation, which the law generally enforces. He is also entitled to be obeyed by his apprentices, as if they were his children. Bouv. Inst. Index, h.t.
     2.-2. Master is one who is employed in teaching children, known generally as a schoolmaster; as to his powers, see Correction.
     3.-3. Master is the name of an officer: as, the ship Benjamin Franklin, whereof A B is master; the master of the rolls; master in chancery, &c.
     4.-4. By master is also understood a principal who employs another to perform some act or do something for him. The law having adopted the maxim of the civil law, qui facit per alium facit per se; the agent is but an instrument, and the master is civilly responsible for the act of his agent, as if it were his own, when he either commands him to do an act, or puts him in a condition, of which such act is a result, or by the absence of due care and control, either previously in the choice of his agent, or immediately in the act itself, negligently suffers him to do an injury. Story, Ag. Sec. 454, note; Noy's Max. c. 44; Salk. 282; 1 East. R. 106; 1 Bos. & Pul. 404; 2 H. Bl. 267; 5 Barn. & Cr. 547; 2 Taunt. R. 314; 4 Taunt. R. 649; Mass. 364, 385; 17 Mass. 479, 509; 1 Pick. 47 5; 4 Watts, 222; 2 Harr. & Gill., 316; 6 Cowen, 189; 8 Pick. 23; 5 Munf. 483. Vide Agent; Agency; Driver; Servant.

A Law Dictionary, Adapted to the Constitution and Laws of the United States. By John Bouvier. Published 1856.
References in classic literature ?
``How, knave,'' replied his master, ``wilt thou not obey my commands?''
To suffer the Jew to pay himself would be dishonest, for it would be cheating my master; and unreasonable, for it were the part of a fool; and unchristian, since it would be plundering a believer to enrich an infidel.''
This occurrence took place very soon after I went to live with my old master, and under the following circumstances.
One day it came to Philip's turn to translate, and the master sat there glaring at him and furiously biting his thumb.
The master seized the arms of his chair and grasped them as though to prevent himself from falling upon Philip.
Two or three of you, I fear, are doomed to feel the master's ferule.
Wherefore, teach them their multiplication-table, good Master Cheever, and whip them well when they deserve it; for much of the country's welfare depends on these boys.
"I am not talking to you of that, Master Jacques Charmolue, but of the trial of your magician.
Next came the saddle, but that was not half so bad; my master put it on my back very gently, while old Daniel held my head; he then made the girths fast under my body, patting and talking to me all the time; then I had a few oats, then a little leading about; and this he did every day till I began to look for the oats and the saddle.
This had been one of the things taught him by the master, and White Fang obeyed, though he lay down reluctantly and sullenly.
"She is a lucky one, and if it was not for her jealousy I would not change her for the giantess Andandona, who by my master's account was a very clever and worthy woman; my Teresa is one of those that won't let themselves want for anything, though their heirs may have to pay for it."
My master, finding how profitable I was likely to be, resolved to carry me to the most considerable cities of the kingdom.