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mitigating circumstance - A circumstance which may be considered to reduce the degree of moral culpability, although it does not entirely justify or excuse an offense.  

moot - A moot point is one that need not be decided, due to a change of circumstances.  

moral turpitude - Conduct contrary to honesty or good morals.  

motion - A formal request presented to a court.  

multiplicity of actions - Numerous and unnecessary attempts to litigate the same issue.   



- N - 

ne exeat - A writ which forbids the person to whom it is addressed to leave the country, the state or the jurisdiction of the court.  

negligence - Failure to exercise the care that an ordinarily prudent person would exercise in the same circumstances.  

no bill - This phrase, endorsed by a grand jury on an indictment, means that, in the opinion of the jury, evidence was insufficient to warrant the return of a formal charge.  

no-fault divorce - A kind of divorce in which the parties need not cast blame on one another for the failure of the marriage.  

nolle prosequi - A formal entry upon the record by the plaintiff in a civil suit, or the prosecuting officer in a criminal case, declaring the case will not be prosecuted.  

nolo contendere - A Latin phrase meaning "I will not contest it." A plea in a criminal case which does not require the defendant to admit guilt, but the defendant does not contest the facts on which the charge is based. Some judges refuse to accept such pleas in criminal cases.  

nominal party - One who is joined as a party or defendant merely because the technical rules of pleading require his presence in the record.  

non compos mentis - Not of sound mind; insane.  

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