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The initial presentation to, or examination by, a court of a particular Question of Law.
A case is labeled of the first impression when it sets forth a completely original issue of law for decision by the court. Such a case cannot be decided by reliance on any existing precedent, law formulated in a prior case decided on a comparable question of law, or similar facts.
adj. referring to a legal issue which has never been decided by an appeals court and, therefore, there is no precedent for the court to follow. To reach a decision the court must use analogies from prior rulings by appeals courts, refer to commentaries and articles by legal scholars, and its own logic. In such cases the trial judge usually asks for legal briefs by attorneys for both sides to assist him/her.