Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Financial, Acronyms, Idioms, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.


Important; affecting the merits of a case; causing a particular course of action; significant; substantial. A description of the quality of evidence that possesses such substantial Probative value as to establish the truth or falsity of a point in issue in a lawsuit.

A material fact is an occurrence, event, or information that is sufficiently significant to influence an individual into acting in a certain way, such as entering into a contract. In formal court procedures, a material fact is anything needed to prove one party's case, or tending to establish a point that is crucial to a person's position.

A material issue is a question that is in dispute between two parties involved in litigation, and that must be answered in order for the conflict to be resolved.

A material witness is a person whose testimony is a necessary element of a lawsuit. An individual who is considered a material witness can be compelled to appear in court and provide testimony. In the event that the person's safety is endangered as a result of his or her planned or actual testimony, he or she may be given legal protection or held in Protective Custody.

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


adj. 1) relevant and significant in a lawsuit, as in "material evidence" as distinguished from totally irrelevant or of such minor importance that the court will either ignore it, rule it immaterial if objected to, or not allow lengthy testimony upon such a matter. 2) "material breach" of a contract is a valid excuse by the other party not to perform. However, an insignificant divergence from the terms of the contract is not a material breach.

Copyright © 1981-2005 by Gerald N. Hill and Kathleen T. Hill. All Right reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
If you can eliminate control failures and worn equipment as causing the contamination, look next at system configuration, material characteristics, and process conditions.
* integration and automation of plant equipment, from material proportioning to product packaging.
As companies search for a substitute for this important role, many are realizing they can avoid a material weakness in their internal control over financial reporting by completing the account reconciliations before the SEC filing.
There is a solution to almost every material handling need enabling the use of an electric-driven material handler to reduce the operating cost.
* Determine the optimum way to implement new materials.
After drying the fibers in an oven, the Nebraska team tested the filtration capacity of its new material and found that caffeine stuck to the modified fibers much more readily than to unmodified fibers.
Many early Moderns were happy to imitate the simplicity of poured concrete planes in masonry and stucco; like the Neo-Classicists a century earlier, they were concerned to achieve forms and spaces with not much regard for the materials from which they were made.
Fill the tray completely so that the retentive lips of the tray, along with the fleece strip, will prevent the material from pulling away from the sides.
Not only do Judd's materials link his work to the world beyond art, but his forms also echo those of architecture, packaging, design, etc.
Because forensic geologists must be aware of the context and source of the samples examined, investigators should ensure that they remove earth material from clothing, vehicles, or other sources with extreme care, ensuring preservation of the original sample.
"Care of Architectural Material." (15 Oct.
"Every day, our workers move at least twelve hundred pounds of material," McVay says.