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 ?
There are several key trends in 2015 case law, she explained.
For case law searching, user settings include jurisdiction, date range, Authority Check (see below), number of results (100, 500, or 1000) and "sort by" (relevance, decision date, short name, or by times cited).
Under the case law, once the action is at issue, it is, by definition, "ready to be set for trial," so the addition of that clause in the rule adds nothing except an opportunity to misunderstand it.
The case law holds that advice from a lawyer for the purpose of tax return preparation is not "legal advice" because such could have been provided by an accountant and does not require the work of a lawyer.
The case law is far from uniform on the applicability of the common interest doctrine to communications among insurers and their reinsurers.
However, law enforcement agencies around the country undoubtedly can relate to the findings through their own experiences with the complex case law in their own states.
Since the divorce agreement did not address the issue, the court examined California and related case law. Neither dealt directly with the issue.
Result: not the ideal, but a fair and sensible plan that provided voting districts "as equal as possible," as required by statute, and the League's position on representative government now has a powerful and useful precedent in Minnesota case law!
Citing state case law, the court noted that "peremptory challenges may not be used to remove potential jurors who belong to a 'cognizable group ...
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.
To round out the program, Palm Beach County attorney Julie Littky-Rubin provided a general case law update and discussion on the Daubert/Frye case law, and PBCTLA board member Richard M.