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 ?
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?
SOCRATES: Has not each interior line cut off half of the four spaces?
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.
There, in fact, stood the four glasses, brimful of this wonderful water, the delicate spray of which, as it effervesced from the surface, resembled the tremulous glitter of diamonds.
And then the four young people laughed louder than ever, to think what a queer figure the poor old doctor would cut.
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.
The bailiff's four sergeants were still there, stiff, motionless, as painted statues.
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.