/What Is Case Law How Is It Used in the American Legal System

What Is Case Law How Is It Used in the American Legal System

In Latin, stare decisis means „to stick to things decided”. In the American legal system, this Latin expression represents the „doctrine of precedent, according to which a court must follow previous decisions when the same points recur in a dispute”. (Black`s Law Dictionary, 11th edition) As a general rule, a court only deviates from precedent if there is a compelling reason. Under „vertical” stare decisis, decisions of the highest court in a jurisdiction set a convincing precedent for the lower courts of that court to follow. For example, the U.S. Supreme Court sets a binding precedent that all other federal courts must follow (and that all state courts must follow in constitutional interpretation). Similarly, a state`s highest court sets a compelling precedent for the state`s lower courts. Interlocutory appellate courts (such as federal courts of appeal) set compelling precedents for courts below them. A related concept is „horizontal” stare decisis, in which a court applies its own previous decisions to similar situations it will have in the future.

Case law, which is also used interchangeably with the common law, is a precedent-based statute, that is, on judicial decisions in previous cases, and not on the basis of constitutions, articles or regulations. Case law uses the detailed facts of a case decided by courts or similar tribunals. These previous decisions are called „jurisprudence” or precedent. Stare decisis – a Latin phrase meaning „to leave the decision in abeyance” – is the principle by which judges are bound by such past decisions. Civil law systems rely less on precedents than on codes that explicitly provide rules for many specific disputes. If a judge has to go beyond the letter of a code to resolve a dispute, his or her decision will not become binding or even relevant in subsequent decisions involving other parties. Lawyer: The lawyer advises the client on how to order the client`s affairs, how or whether to proceed with a proposed course of action, or how to proceed with respect to ongoing or potential litigation or settlements. Often this is when the lawyer prepares (or asks someone) an inter-office law brief that reviews the client`s legal situation and helps the lawyer advise the client. Here are some of the fundamental principles that make up the U.S. legal system. Each of these chapters is discussed in more detail in this chapter and in other chapters of this book.

They are summarized below to give the reader an overview of some of the fundamental principles of American common law. Judges may refer to different types of persuasive authorities to decide a case. Frequently cited non-binding sources include legal encyclopedias such as Corpus Juris Secundum and Halsbury`s Laws of England, or published works of the Law Commission or the American Law Institute. Some bodies are empowered by law to issue directives with powers of persuasion or similar legal effects, such as the Highway Code. The Supreme Court of the United States is the head of the judiciary and is the final court of the federal judicial system. Only a small proportion of cases in which a review by the Supreme Court is requested are accepted for trial and give rise to a judicial opinion. Nexi Uni – Includes U.S. and international academic legal journals, legal dictionaries, and journals One of the most complex terms in U.S.

jurisprudence is the extent to which the various sources of law in state and federal systems are linked. There is a complex set of rules that define relative priority between different sources of law and between state and federal systems. Before researching a specific case, it is useful to know: Cornell Legal Information Institute A non-profit portal for U.S. legal research that contains a wide range of primary sources of law (e.g., law) and secondary sources (e.g., commentaries). This is similar to the Canadian CanLII.Queen`s Law Library Guide to American Case Law The CaseMap suite consists of four unique components and can help you organize, analyze, and present your entire case. The different role of jurisprudence in civil and customary traditions leads to differences in the way courts make decisions. Common law courts generally explain in detail the legal basis for their decisions, citing both legislation and relevant prior judgments, and often interpret broader principles of law. The necessary analysis (called ratio decidendi) then sets a precedent that binds the other courts; The additional analyses, which are not strictly necessary for the decision in the present case, are called obiter dicta, which constitute a convincing authority but are not technically binding. On the other hand, decisions in civil courts tend to be shorter and concern only laws. The reason for this difference is that these civil courts follow a tradition that the reader should be able to draw logic from the decision and the laws.

(2) Significance of subsequent history – If a higher-level court acted in a lower-level case, the opinion and decision of the superior court sets the precedent in the case. In fact, the opinion of a higher court prevails over the opinion of a lower-level court in the same case. The United States has two main judicial systems: the federal judicial system and the state judicial system: A main tool for finding American jurisprudence, organized by subject, is the West American Digest system, with electronic access via Westlaw. It corresponds to the Canadian Book of Abstracts. Unfortunately, the SFU Library does not currently have a subscription to this resource. Books can provide detailed legal overviews and refer you to important case law. Use the search terms law + [your topic] to find books in the catalog, for example a search of U.S. copyright law, limited to books. The legal systems of the Nordic countries are sometimes regarded as civil law systems, but as a separate branch and sometimes as distinct from the civil law tradition. In Sweden, for example, case law may play a more important role than in some continental codified legal systems. The two highest courts, the Supreme Court (Högsta domstolen) and the Supreme Administrative Court (Högsta förvaltningsdomstolen), have the right to set precedents which, in practice (but not formally), are binding on any future application of the law.

Courts of appeal, whether general courts (hovrätter) or administrative courts (kammarrätter), may also issue decisions that serve as guidelines for the application of the law, but these decisions may be overturned by higher courts. Much of the case law is used to prove the existence of a statute and not, unlike many common law jurisdictions, the creation of a statute. Second, the federal judicial system is based on a system of „jurisdiction,” that is, the geographical distribution of courts at certain levels. For example, while there is only one Supreme Court, the Court of Appeal is divided into 13 counties and there are 94 district courts.