Reasonable Person

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Reasonable Person

A phrase frequently used in tort and Criminal Law to denote a hypothetical person in society who exercises average care, skill, and judgment in conduct and who serves as a comparative standard for determining liability.

The decision whether an accused is guilty of a given offense might involve the application of an objective test in which the conduct of the accused is compared to that of a reasonable person under similar circumstances. In most cases, persons with greater than average skills, or with special duties to society, are held to a higher standard of care. For example, a physician who aids a person in distress is held to a higher standard of care than is an ordinary person.



West's Encyclopedia of American Law, edition 2. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in classic literature ?
No reasonable person can doubt (though the Judges excused her from answering the question) that Mrs.
Dunster, that I should find you a reasonable person. Men of your eminence in their profession usually are."
This is what they must have been doing to you; for you always used to be a reasonable person. Why should you thus mock me when I have trouble enough already--talking such nonsense, and waking me up out of a sweet sleep that had taken possession of my eyes and closed them?
But, worse than all, neither the cats nor the pigs could put up any longer with the behavior of the little repeaters tied to their tails, and resented it by scampering all over the place, scratching and poking, and squeaking and screeching, and caterwauling and squalling, and flying into the faces, and running under the petticoats of the people, and creating altogether the most abominable din and confusion which it is possible for a reasonable person to conceive.
Her conclusion was that she would very much like to show her niece, if it were possible, how to live, or as she put it, how to be a reasonable person. She thought that there must be something wrong in this confusion between politics and kissing politicians, and that an elder person ought to be able to help.
Whiles," he announced, "a most charmingly reasonable person. I make you my offer, then, with every confidence, although I warn you that there will be some strange conditions attached to it.
The Minor Canon answered: 'Your late guardian is a--a most unreasonable person, and it signifies nothing to any reasonable person whether he is ADverse, PERverse, or the REverse.'
There were hosts of these geniuses, and any reasonable person would have thought it honour enough to meet them.
She always had been a reasonable person; and he really did mean to do right.
If we do succeed--and I am myself hopeful of success--you may at least so far repeat your proceedings on the birthday night, as to satisfy any reasonable person that you are guiltless, morally speaking, of the theft of the Diamond.
That I have some claim to the exercise of a veto here, would not, I believe, be denied by any reasonable person cognizant of the relations between us: relations which, though thrown into the past by your recent procedure, are not thereby annulled in their character of determining antecedents.
standard that looks at how a reasonable person would feel, deemphasizing

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