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The inference that two or more things that are similar to each other in some respects are also similar in other respects.

An analogy denotes that similarity exists in some characteristics of things that are otherwise not alike.

In a legal argument, an analogy may be used when there is no precedent (prior case law close in facts and legal principles) in point. Reasoning by analogy involves referring to a case that concerns unrelated subject matter but is governed by the same general principles and applying those principles to the case at hand.

West's Encyclopedia of American Law, edition 2. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

ANALOGY, construction. The similitude of relations which exist between things compared.
     2. To reason analogically, is to draw conclusions based on this similitude of relations, on the resemblance, or the connexion which is perceived between the objects compared. "It is this guide," says Toollier, which leads the law lawgiver, like other men, without his observing it. It is analogy which induces us, with reason, to suppose that, following the example of the Creator of the universe, the lawgiver has established general and uniform laws, which it is unnecessary to repeat in all analogous cases." Dr. Civ. Fr. liv. 3, t. 1, c. 1. Vide Ang. on Adv. Enjoym. 30, 31; Hale's Com. Law, 141.
     3. Analogy has been declared to be an argument or guide in forming legal judgments, and is very commonly a ground of such judgments. 7 Barn. & Cres. 168; 3 Bing. R. 265; 8 Bing R. 557, 563; 3 Atk. 313; 1 Eden's R. 212; 1 W. Bl. 151; 6 Ves. jr. 675, 676; 3 Swanst. R. 561; 1 Turn. & R. 103, 338; 1 R. & M. 352, 475, 477; 4 Burr. R. 1962; 2022, 2068; 4 T. R. 591; 4 Barn. & Cr. 855; 7 Dowl. & Ry. 251; Cas. t. Talb. 140; 3 P. Wms. 391; 3 Bro. C. C. 639, n.

A Law Dictionary, Adapted to the Constitution and Laws of the United States. By John Bouvier. Published 1856.
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