All Fours

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All Fours

Identical; similar.

All fours specifically refers to two cases or decisions that have similar fact patterns and raise identical legal issues. Since the circumstances leading to their individual determinations are virtually the same, the decision rendered by the court in each case will be similar. Such cases or decisions are said to be on all fours with each other.

ALL FOURS. This is a metaphorical expression, to signify that a case agrees in all its circumstances with another case; it goes as it were upon its four legs, as an animal does.

References in classic literature ?
SOCRATES: Then the line which forms the side of eight feet ought to be more than this line of two feet, and less than the other of four feet?
Tell me, boy, is not this a square of four feet which I have drawn?
SOCRATES: And are there not here four equal lines which contain this space?
So he sent for the fisherman, and asked him to procure four more fish.
"Sire," he answered, "I got them from a lake which lies in the middle of four hills beyond yonder mountains."
The water was so clear that they could see the four kinds of fish swimming about in it.
"Doctor, you dear old soul," cried she, "get up and dance with me!" And then the four young people laughed louder than ever, to think what a queer figure the poor old doctor would cut.
At the motion of his hand, the four rioters resumed their seats; the more readily, because their violent exertions had wearied them, youthful though they were.
"Everything goes by fours in that shop," cried a third; "the four nations, the four faculties, the four feasts, the four procurators, the four electors, the four booksellers."
"She is making the bed of the king of the debauchees." She is paying her four deniers* quatuor denarios ."
He often builds his largest men of war, whereof some are nine feet long, in the woods where the timber grows, and has them carried on these engines three or four hundred yards to the sea.
About four hours after we began our journey, I awaked by a very ridiculous accident; for the carriage being stopped a while, to adjust something that was out of order, two or three of the young natives had the curiosity to see how I looked when I was asleep; they climbed up into the engine, and advancing very softly to my face, one of them, an officer in the guards, put the sharp end of his half-pike a good way up into my left nostril, which tickled my nose like a straw, and made me sneeze violently; whereupon they stole off unperceived, and it was three weeks before I knew the cause of my waking so suddenly.