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Nonprofessional, such as a lay witness who is not a recognized expert in the area that is the subject of the person's testimony. That which relates to persons or entities not clerical or ecclesiastical; a person not in ecclesiastical orders. To present the formal declarations by the parties of their respective claims and defenses in pleadings. A share of the profits of a fishing or Whaling voyage, allotted to the officers and seamen, in the nature of wages.

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

LAY, English law. That which relates to persons or things not ecclesiastical. In the United States the people are not, by law, divided, as in England, into ecclesiastical and lay. The law makes no distinction between them.

TO LAY, pleading. To state or to allege. The place from whence a jury are to be summoned, is called the venue, and the allegation in the declaration, of the place where the jury is to be summoned, is in technical language, said to lay the venue. 3 Steph. Com. 574; 3 Bouv. Inst. n. 2826.

A Law Dictionary, Adapted to the Constitution and Laws of the United States. By John Bouvier. Published 1856.
References in periodicals archive ?
A minute later, confounding things further, Massing says that his aim here was not only to arrive at a better comprehension of the works he talks about but also to present a glimpse, an apercu, of the values of which they were "at once the emanation and the expression." At which point, for all the apparently rigorous talk at the beginning of semiotics and schemata, the reader after encountering words like comprehensions and glimpses and emanations and expressions, may wonder what the method is that Massing is laying claim to or what indeed any of the words he uses are meant to mean, since they seem to come from such very different ranges of language.
In the very act of laying claim to and pursuing canonical status in his poems, Komunyakaa demonstrates his "qualification" for it in rhetorical and aesthetic maneuvers that include a repudiation of racial or ethnically based limitations or boundaries.
But Alfajiri moved to court laying claim to this block and seeking that all structures be removed.