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The forcible repulsion of an unlawful and violent attack, such as the defense of one's person, property, or country in time of war.

The totality of the facts, law, and contentions presented by the party against whom a civil action or ciminal prosecution is instituted in order to defeat or diminish the plaintiff's Cause of Action or the prosecutor's case. A reply to the claims of the other party, which asserts reasons why the claims should be disallowed. The defense may involve an absolute denial of the other party's factual allegations or may entail an Affirmative Defense, which sets forth completely new factual allegations. Pursuant to the rules of federal Civil Procedure, numerous defenses may be asserted by motion as well as by answer, while other defenses must be pleaded affirmatively.

A frivolous defense is one that entails a vacuous assertion, which is not supported by argument or evidence. The rules of federal procedure provide that on motion such defense may be ordered stricken from the pleadings.

A meritorious defense is one that involves the essence or substance of the case, as distinguished from technical objections or delaying tactics.

With respect to a criminal charge, defenses such as alibi, consent, duress, Entrapment, ignorance or mistake, infancy, insanity, intoxication, and Self-Defense can result in a party's acquittal.

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


n. 1) a general term for the effort of an attorney representing a defendant during trial and in pre-trial maneuvers to defeat the party suing or the prosecution in a criminal case. 2) a response to a complaint, called an affirmative defense, to counter, defeat, or remove all or a part of the contentions of the plaintiff. (See: affirmative defense)

Copyright © 1981-2005 by Gerald N. Hill and Kathleen T. Hill. All Right reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
They included: the intermittent nature of the war, campus safety, socio-economic status, reliance on adaptive defense mechanisms particularly denial and rationalization, war preparedness, and the mitigating role of family, community and religion.
Different defense mechanisms are characteristic of different levels of psychological functioning, from primitive through mature, and they can allow for a practical and rapid way of determining how well adjusted a patient is, said Dr.
First, saliva from the insect's mouth is injected into the skin, which irritates the area, causing the human body to release a natural defense mechanism called histamine.
Relatively harmless ancestors gradually or step-by-step evolve into "pathogens;" the host develops adaptive defense mechanisms, which in turn select for new virus "variants;" eventually, equilibrium is reached between infection and host defenses.
Investigations of disengagement strategies have focused primarily on the efforts of persons with cardiac disease to: (a) deny the impact or severity of their condition, (b) avoid or escape the problems or issues necessitated by its onset, (c) seek distraction from the disease's constant presence (e.g., diversion of attention, wishful thinking), and (d) resort to "traditional" (i.e., psychoanalytically derived) defense mechanisms.
These steroids are so-called because of their apparent ability to improve energy, vision and memory.Importantly, collaborative studies with surgeons at Leeds General infirmary have shown that this defense mechanism can be switched on in diseased blood vessels as well as in healthy vessels.So-called 'fountain of youth' steroids are made naturally in the body, but levels decline rapidly with age.
When there is personal guilt or a lack of self-confidence, "undoing" the act by apologizing or by performing a good deed may be the defense mechanism.
"It's a plant defense mechanism against fungi and insects," says Cowan.
No one understands how the plants synthesize toluene, but the process is likely to be some kind of defense mechanism, says Guenther.
Bacterial infections activate the immune system, the body's defense mechanism. As part of its defense, the body generates a series of chemicals that constitutes an inflammatory response.
Researchers have been looking for a more general defense mechanism that might allow important crops to be bred or genetically engineered to withstand a wide range of assaults.
Such an intricate defense mechanism evolves as an arms race between predator and prey, notes Robert L.

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