The totality of the facts, law, and contentions presented by the party against whom a civil action or ciminal prosecution isinstituted in order to defeat or diminish the plaintiff’s Cause of Action or the prosecutor’s case. A reply to the claims of theother party, which asserts reasons why the claims should be disallowed. The defense may involve an absolute denial of theother party’s factual allegations or may entail an Affirmative Defense, which sets forth completely new factual allegations. Pursuant to the rules of federal Civil Procedure, numerous defenses may be asserted by motion as well as by answer, whileother defenses must be pleaded affirmatively.
A frivolous defense is one that entails a vacuous assertion, which is not supported by argument or evidence. The rules offederal procedure provide that on motion such defense may be ordered stricken from the pleadings.
A meritorious defense is one that involves the essence or substance of the case, as distinguished from technical objectionsor delaying tactics.
With respect to a criminal charge, defenses such as alibi, consent, duress, Entrapment, ignorance or mistake, infancy,insanity, intoxication, and Self-Defense can result in a party’s acquittal.