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law and motion - A setting before a judge at which time a variety of motions, pleas, sentencings, orders to show cause or procedural requests may be presented. Normally, evidence is not taken. Defendants must be present.  

leading question - One which virtually instructs a witness how to answer or puts into his mouth words to be echoed back; one which suggests to the witness the answer desired. Ordinarily prohibited on direct examination, although allowed on cross-examination.  

levy - A seizure; the obtaining of money by legal process through seizure and sale of property.  

liability - A legal responsibility, obligation, or debt.  

libel - See defamation 

lien - A claim against property for payment of a debt. Common types of liens include the mechanic's lien, the judgment lien, and the mortgage lien.  

lis pendens - A pending suit.  

litigant - A party to a lawsuit; one engaged in litigation.  

locus delicti - The place of the offense.   



- M - 

malfeasance - Unlawful conduct.  

malicious prosecution - A meritless (civil or criminal) action instituted solely to harass the defendant. Such misuse of the judicial process may be the basis for an action against the original plaintiff/prosecutor.  

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