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Terms and Definitions

# A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
There are 11 names in this directory beginning with the letter N.
Natural Law
Law that so necessarily agrees with the nature of human beings, that without observing the maxims, the peace and happiness of society cannot be preserved; that law, knowledge of which may be attained merely by the light of reason, and from the facts of its essential connection with human nature.
Failure to exercise a degree of care that a person of ordinary prudence (a "reasonable person") would exercise under the same circumstances. The term refers to conduct that falls below the standard established law for the protection of others against unreasonable risk of harm.
Negotiable Instrument
A writing signed by the maker or drawer, containing an unconditional promise or order to pay a specific sum, payable on demand or at a definite time, and payable to order or to bearer. A draft, check certificate of deposit, and note may or may not be negotiable instruments, depending upon whether the elements of negotiability are satisfied. An ordinary check issued by an employer to an employee or by a customer to a store is a negotiable instrument.
No Fault
A system of insurance whereby all persons who are injured in an automobile accident may be compensated for any injuries resulting therefrom, without regard to who was without fault.
Nolo Contendere
Latin term meaning "I do not wish to contend, fight or maintain (a defense)." A statement that the defendant will not contest a charge made by the government. It admits all facts stated in the indictment for the purposes of a particular case, but it cannot be used as an admission elsewhere, or in any other proceeding, such as a civil suit arising from the same facts.
In the law of agency, the total omission or failure of an agent to perform a distinct duty that he has agreed with his principal to do; also, the neglect or refusal, without sufficient excuse, to do what is an officers legal duty to do. Nonfeasance differs from misfeasance, which is the improper doing of an act that one might lawfully do, and from malfeasance, which is the doing of an act that is wholly wrongful and unlawful.
Not Guilty
A plea by the accused in a criminal action that denies every essential element of the offense charged. A plea of not guilty on arraignment of government to prove the defendant's guilt beyond a reasonable doubt and preserves the right of the accused to defend against the charge. A jury verdict of not guilty does not mean the jury found accused innocent, but simply that the state failed to prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt.
Notary Public
A public officer authorized to administer oaths, to attest to and certify certain types of documents, to take depositions, and to perform certain acts in commercial matters. The seal of notary public authenticates a document. In some jurisdictions an attorney admitted to practice within the jurisdictions can act as a notary public. In many jurisdictions private persons can apply for and receive authority to act as notaries to witness documents.
A written paper that acknowledges a debt and promises payment to a specified party of a specific sum, and that describes a time of maturity that is either definite or will become definite.
Information concerning a fact, communicated by or derived from an authorized person. For example, a defendant might receive notice that a lawsuit has been instituted against him or her.
Anything that disturbs the free use of one's property, or that renders its ordinary use of uncomfortable. In tort law, a wrong arising from unreasonable or unlawful use of property to the annoyance or damage of another or of the public.