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A legal obligation that entails mandatory conduct or performance. With respect to the laws relating to Customs Duties, a tax owed to the government for the import or export of goods.

A fiduciary, such as an executor or trustee, who occupies a position of confidence in relation to a third person, owes such person a duty to render services, provide care, or perform certain acts on his or her behalf.

In the context of Negligence cases, a person has a duty to comport himself or herself in a particular manner with respect to another person.

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


n. 1) a legal obligation, the breach of which can result in liability. In a lawsuit a plaintiff must claim and prove that there was a duty by defendant to plaintiff. This can be a duty of care in a negligence case or a duty to perform in a contract case. 2) a tax on imports. (See: duty of care)

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

DUTY, natural law. A human action which is, exactly conformable to the laws which require us to obey them.
     2. It differs from a legal obligation, because a duty cannot always be enforced by the law; it is our duty, for example, to be temperate in eating, but we are under no legal obligation to be so; we ought to love our neighbors, but no law obliges us to love them.
     3. Duties may be considered in the relation of man towards God, towards himself, and towards mankind. 1. We are bound to obey the will of God as far as we are able to discover it, because he is the sovereign Lord of the universe who made and governs all things by his almighty power, and infinite wisdom. The general name of this duty is piety: which consists in entertaining just opinions concerning him, and partly in such affections towards him, and such, worship of him, as is suitable to these opinions.
     4.-2. A man has a duty to perform towards himself; he is bound by the law of nature to protect his life and his limbs; it is his duty, too, to avoid all intemperance in eating and drinking, and in the unlawful gratification of all his other appetites.
     5.-3. He has duties to perform towards others. He is bound to do to others the same justice which he would have a right to expect them to do to him.

A Law Dictionary, Adapted to the Constitution and Laws of the United States. By John Bouvier. Published 1856.
References in periodicals archive ?
In Ruffin's novel, a Republican administration elected in 1860 promptly enacts a 40 percent protective tariff in 1861, and Northern manufactures end up destroying their Southern competitors.
Manufacturers, who had grown in numbers and wealth through the long period when commercial restrictions and war had kept out European products, sought to block competition by the use of protective tariffs. Capitalists sought the financial stability that a reconstituted, revitalized, and honestly managed Bank of the United States could afford (p.
Malaysia has made a special request that it be allowed to maintain protective tariffs on automobile imports until 2005.
Kania said Ford was disappointed with the decision by ASEAN economic ministers early this month to consider a Malaysian request to maintain protective tariffs on automobile imports until 2005.
Sedan cloth was largely driven from world markets by the mid-nineteenth century, although it maintained its position in France thanks to protective tariffs.
The high wholesale prices of the third and fourth quarters of last year caused domestic producers to have to compete with offshore suppliers, who normally are precluded from selling much butterfat in the United States, due to high protective tariffs. A U.S.
Republicans supported high protective tariffs and Democrats endorsed moderate tariffs for revenue purposes only.
Most historians agree that for Northern industrial and commercial interests, the Civil War was about protective tariffs and an attempt to bring Southern cotton to New England textile mills rather than to Britain and France.
America began a long period of isolation, hiding itself behind protective tariffs.
But as I have argued ("The Myth of Free Trade Britain and Fortress France: Tariffs and Trade in the Nineteenth Century," Journal of Economic History 51 [March 1991]: 23-46) and subsequent research has revealed, the distinction between revenue tariffs and protective tariffs is not easy to make.
The removal of Turkey's protective tariffs is expected to hurt the country's domestic food processing, paper products, beverage and consumer durable goods industries.
Their model assumes that Democrats represent labor, which is used more intensively in import-competing industries that benefit from protective tariffs. Republicans represent capital, which is used more intensively in export-oriented industries that favor free trade.