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Related to maxims: Proverbs


n. a collection of legal truisms which are used as "rules of thumb" by both judges and lawyers. They are listed in the codified statutes of most states, and include:

"When the reason of a rule ceases, so should the rule itself"

"He who consents to an act is not wronged by it"

"No one can take advantage of his own wrong"

"No one should suffer by the act of another"

"He who takes the benefit must bear the burden"

"For every wrong there is a remedy"

"Between rights otherwise equal, the earliest is preferred"

"No man is responsible for that which no man can control"

"The law helps the vigilant, before those who sleep on their rights"

"The law respects form less than substance"

"The law never requires impossibilities"

"The law neither does nor requires idle acts"

"The law disregards trifles"

"Particular expressions qualify those which are general"

"That is certain which can be made certain"

"Time does not confirm a void act"

"An interpretation which gives effect is preferred to one which makes void"

"Interpretation must be reasonable"

"Things happen according to the ordinary course of nature and the ordinary habits of life"

References in classic literature ?
Now, upon the most diligent enquiry into the former lives of these two brothers, I find, besides the cursed and hellish maxim of policy above mentioned, another reason for the captain's conduct: the captain, besides what we have before said of him, was a man of great pride and fierceness, and had always treated his brother, who was of a different complexion, and greatly deficient in both these qualities, with the utmost air of superiority.
Having thus provided myself with these maxims, and having placed them in reserve along with the truths of faith, which have ever occupied the first place in my belief, I came to the conclusion that I might with freedom set about ridding myself of what remained of my opinions.
According to the maxim "same cause, same effect," we cannot therefore regard the peat-smoke alone as the cause of your recollection, since it does not have the same effect in other cases.
Therefore, since my acquaintance were pleased to think my poor endeavours might not be unacceptable to my country, I imposed on myself, as a maxim never to be swerved from, that I would strictly adhere to truth; neither indeed can I be ever under the least temptation to vary from it, while I retain in my mind the lectures and example of my noble master and the other illustrious HOUYHNHNMS of whom I had so long the honour to be an humble hearer.
Likewise, Sancho," said Don Quixote, "thou must not mingle such a quantity of proverbs in thy discourse as thou dost; for though proverbs are short maxims, thou dost drag them in so often by the head and shoulders that they savour more of nonsense than of maxims.

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