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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.

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


the actual and intrinsic rights and wrongs of an issue as distinct from extraneous matters and technicalities.
Collins Dictionary of Law © W.J. Stewart, 2006

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.

A Law Dictionary, Adapted to the Constitution and Laws of the United States. By John Bouvier. Published 1856.
References in periodicals archive ?
Strictly speaking, Kett explains "merit is a quality deserving reward" but the standards for what qualities actually deserve merit have been repeatedly redefined over time.
In describing the beginnings of change, Kett applied the metaphor of a lake with the dam beginning to seep to "Merit and the Culture of Public life," Chapter 2 of the book.
During the founding era, many Americans believed that republicanism and merit went hand-in-hand because both favored truth, sincerity, frugality, and industry.
Early in America's development, faith in the veracity of the biblical Scriptures gave people courage to insist that moral considerations play a key role in evaluating merit. John Jay, the first Chief Justice of the US Supreme Court, wrote in Federalist No.
Meanwhile Brian's namesake, young Cameron Starkey (Syngenta) could ruffle a few feathers after qualifying by taking the junior league by storm this year with a Huddersfield Under 18 and Under 16 Merit double success.
First round: S Hirst (Mirfield Merit) v F Greenwood (Vets Examiner Rosebowl), C Brown (Marsh Utd pounds 1,400) v G Senior (Mugs Handicap), A Crowther (Dearne and Don Merit) v B Starkey (Yorkshire/Worthington Handicaps), T Young (Vets Bass North) v T Skitt (Wakefield Merit).
Although we want to live in a pluralistic society, we are moving toward a racial hierarchy: Merit produces inequality, not just among individuals but among groups.
If the company is willing to have a work force that does not "look like America," and is willing to defend its merit standards before the courts, it is likely to reap the highest productivity gains.
The Lumen Awards program is not a competition per se, as each project submitted is evaluated on its own merit. Mustafa Abadan, design partner, SOM; Elizabeth Donoff, senior editor, Architectural Lighting; Nelson Jenkins, architect and lighting designer, principal, Lumen Architecture; Thomas Thompson, lighting designer, partner, Brandston Partnership, Dan Jacoby, architect, TPG Architecture, Addison Kelly, lighting designer, principal US Lighting Consultants, comprised this year's jury and reviewed the 79 projects that were submitted.