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An individual who hires employees or servants to perform services and who directs the manner in which such services are performed.A court officer appointed by a judge to perform such jobs as examining witnesses, taking testimony, computing damages, or taking oaths, affidavits, or acknowledgments of deeds.

A master makes a report of his or her findings to the judge so a decree can be formulated. A master in chancery was an officer in Chancery Court in England. In the U. S. these duties may be rendered by a court clerk, commissioner, auditor, or referee.

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


n. 1) employer, in the area of law known as "master and servant," which more properly should be called employer and employee. 2) a person, supposedly with special expertise, appointed by a judge to investigate a problem (such as whether a parent's home is appropriate for child visitation) and report back to the judge his/her findings and recommendation. (See: master and servant, employment, respondeat superior)

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


1 a nearly obsolete term for an EMPLOYER under a contract of employment in the sense of service rather than for services. The law was treated under the title ‘master and servant’ but is now usually collected under the title ‘employment law’, which includes much to do with trade unions. See EMPLOYMENT, UNFAIR DISMISSAL.
2 an officer of the Supreme Court of Judicature subordinate to a judge.
Collins Dictionary of Law © W.J. Stewart, 2006

MASTER. This word has several meanings. 1. Master is one who has control over a servant or apprentice. A master stands in relation to his apprentices, in loco parentis, and is bound to fulfill that relation, which the law generally enforces. He is also entitled to be obeyed by his apprentices, as if they were his children. Bouv. Inst. Index, h.t.
     2.-2. Master is one who is employed in teaching children, known generally as a schoolmaster; as to his powers, see Correction.
     3.-3. Master is the name of an officer: as, the ship Benjamin Franklin, whereof A B is master; the master of the rolls; master in chancery, &c.
     4.-4. By master is also understood a principal who employs another to perform some act or do something for him. The law having adopted the maxim of the civil law, qui facit per alium facit per se; the agent is but an instrument, and the master is civilly responsible for the act of his agent, as if it were his own, when he either commands him to do an act, or puts him in a condition, of which such act is a result, or by the absence of due care and control, either previously in the choice of his agent, or immediately in the act itself, negligently suffers him to do an injury. Story, Ag. Sec. 454, note; Noy's Max. c. 44; Salk. 282; 1 East. R. 106; 1 Bos. & Pul. 404; 2 H. Bl. 267; 5 Barn. & Cr. 547; 2 Taunt. R. 314; 4 Taunt. R. 649; Mass. 364, 385; 17 Mass. 479, 509; 1 Pick. 47 5; 4 Watts, 222; 2 Harr. & Gill., 316; 6 Cowen, 189; 8 Pick. 23; 5 Munf. 483. Vide Agent; Agency; Driver; Servant.

A Law Dictionary, Adapted to the Constitution and Laws of the United States. By John Bouvier. Published 1856.
References in periodicals archive ?
The other speaker was comedian Tony Jo and the master of ceremonies was John Collier, who owns a company called Select Sporting Speakers.
Tipperary's Sam O'Doherty, one of the stars of last April's Fleadh Ibiza, will be master of ceremonies for the shows.
Ratmansky, who is now the artistic director of the Bolsboi Ballet, cites Meehan as a mentor.) This year, he was a visiting professor of dance at Vassar College, and he will be will be the master of ceremonies at this summer's USA International Ballet Competition.
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Pictured (from left) are master of ceremonies and television newsman Storm Field; Yoshi Yamada, chairman and chief executive officer, Panasonic Corp.
Newsreader Jackie Bird will be Master of Ceremonies, with athletes acting as joint MCs.
When after 22 minutes or so the master of ceremonies started to open the door slightly, the Pope got even closer to me and said into my ear, using Polish student slang: 'Ganiaja nas!' ('See, they're rushing us!')
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Steve Olson will once again be master of ceremonies, and Joe Lee of Darden restaurants will be our keynote speaker.
The second office is that of the master of ceremonies in the Office of the Liturgical Celebrations of the Supreme Pontiff.

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