Nolo's Plain-English Law Dictionary

Defense

1) A general term for the effort of an attorney representing a defendant during trial and in pretrial maneuvers to defeat the party suing or the prosecution in a criminal case. 2) A response to a complaint, called an affirmative defense, to counter, defeat, or remove all or a part of the contentions of the plaintiff.
NOLO-web2:DRU1.6.12.2.20161011.41205