case law

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Case Law

Legal principles enunciated and embodied in judicial decisions that are derived from the application of particular areas of law to the facts of individual cases.

As opposed to statutes—legislative acts that proscribe certain conduct by demanding or prohibiting something or that declare the legality of particular acts—case law is a dynamic and constantly developing body of law. Each case contains a portion wherein the facts of the controversy are set forth as well as the holding and dicta—an explanation of how the judge arrived at a particular conclusion. In addition, a case might contain concurring and dissenting opinions of other judges.

Since the U.S. legal system has a common-law system, higher court decisions are binding on lower courts in cases with similar facts that raise similar issues. The concept of precedent, or Stare Decisis, means to follow or adhere to previously decided cases in judging the case at bar. It means that appellate case law should be considered as binding upon lower courts.

case law

n. reported decisions of appeals courts and other courts which make new interpretations of the law and, therefore, can be cited as precedents. These interpretations are distinguished from "statutory law" which is the statutes and codes (laws) enacted by legislative bodies, "regulatory law" which is regulations required by agencies based on statutes, and in some states, the Common Law, which is the generally accepted law carried down from England. The rulings in trials and hearings which are not appealed and not reported are not case law and, therefore, not precedent or new interpretations. Law students principally study case law to understand the application of law to facts and learn the courts' subsequent interpretations of statutes. (See: case system, precedent)

case law

law established by following judicial decisions given in earlier cases. See PRECEDENT, STARE DECISIS.
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Key Case Law Rules for Government Contract Formation is a specialty reference title directed to government acquisition professionals, and fills a gap in understanding case law and legal decisions as it applies to managing government contracts.
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And the "plain sight provision" for car carry, "under Ohio case law, is a legal fiction and cannot be reliably complied with by a law-abiding citizen, no matter how well intentioned they are.
Clinton's deputy attorney general, Jamie Gorelick, testified that ``the Department of Justice believes, and the case law supports, that the president has inherent authority to conduct warrantless searches for foreign intelligence purposes.
Preparing a cost seg study requires a skill and understanding of IRS and tax court case law complemented by engineering and cost estimating skills.
Although there is no case law governing the use of e-mail by public officials, the attorney general's office and state Department of Administration have made it clear that communication in cyberspace by public officials can easily violate the state law and may even subject Offending officials to civil and criminal actions.