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.
References in periodicals archive ?
Circuit's caselaw, including the recently decided Lucia case, because the D.C.
It would be surprising if there were not further caselaw on this issue.
We then state some basic findings about the Court's caselaw since State Farm, consider various explanations for those findings, and underscore their inconsistency with a simple narrative about the prevalence of hard look review.
was a mass of conflicting caselaw in the pre-McNally period and come up
Supreme Court caselaw in finding that it "does not hinge on motivation, but rather 'on the degree of the Government's participation in the private party's activities.'" (167) The CAAF drew from Skinner that "there must be 'clear indices of the Government's encouragement, endorsement, and participation' in the challenged search." (168) Since Chief Wilt's "specific order ...
Notwithstanding the substantial logic and appeal of this argument, the court dismissed it almost out of hand by using a form of "boot-strap" argument--despite what appears to be contrary conduct, the owner cannot be said to be "estopped" from making this argument because (1) caselaw permits owners to claim liquidated damages even after the completion deadline has passed and (2) the contract itself provided for the assessment of liquidated damages.
tn addition to local asylum office trainings, the primary lesson plan has been updated to reflect newly issued documents by the United Nations High Commission for Refugees on religious persecution as well as recent developments in caselaw.
Neither lawyer looked once at his notes, as he quoted extensive passages of legislation, and invoked detailed caselaw, legislative history, and an Feldman leaned forward and pointedly challenged each lawyer's arguments on an equally high plain of rapid fire analysis, with comparable mastery of the statutes, caselaw, and record.
Support for the privacy rights of infertile individuals may also be found in caselaw that establishes reproductive autonomy as a fundamental human right.