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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 ?
proves thesound decisionof the Palestinian-Arab bid to theUnited Nations General Councilto end the Israeli occupation and the suffering of the defenseless
The US's deafening silence, Boroujerdi said, shows their indifference to the lives of the innocent and defenseless civilians, clarifying that it was the U.S.
What is not so easy to understand is how people let themselves be defenseless prey on our American western frontier of the mid to late 1800s, where going armed had no negative social connotations, and even less regulation.
In The Rights of the Defenseless: Protecting Animals and Children in Gilded Age America, Professor Susan J.
Breyer's four new Ice Cream Poppers Heath, Hershey's Oreo, and Reese's deliver the same "snack sensation" to your defenseless arteries.
"In his Christmas homily," said the president, "the pope noted that the Savior came to Earth as a 'defenseless child,' and said that the splendor of that Christmas shines upon every child, born and unborn.
Findings by a team of Swiss, German, and Canadian researchers suggest that animals may be largely defenseless against the rapid dissemination of UFPs into cells throughout the body [EHP 113:1555-1560].
Puny and defenseless, they're almost obliterated by the technological maelstrom that surrounds them.
As it happens, Carrie is not totally defenseless, as she's been honing her powers of telekinesis, the ability to move objects by using the power of her mind.
Instead, Roy urges progressives to get real--"aim at real targets, wage real battles, and inflict real damage." Since the goal is to disable Empire, the targets should be its working parts, and Roy relishes the idea of targeting its corporate parts, the businesses directly benefiting from the trampling of defenseless nations and peoples.
Where was the concern for the defenseless victims of the sexual predators hidden by the Catholic Church for decades?
By contrast, Lar Lubovitch's Artemis, his sixth work for ABT, was merely dismissed, possibly because it seemed so defenseless. Its subject, the mythical encounter of the hunter Aktaion with the goddess Artemis, who turned him into a stag with very odd antlers, isn't stirring material for anyone but animal rights activists these days.