test case

(redirected from test bed)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Acronyms, Idioms, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.

Test Case

A suit brought specifically for the establishment of an important legal right or principle.

The term test case describes a case that tests the validity of a particular law. Test cases are useful because they establish legal rights or principles and thereby serve as precedent for future similar cases. Test cases save the judicial system the time and expense of conducting proceedings for each and every case that involves the same issue or issues.

To illustrate, assume that Congress passes a law that makes using a cellular phone while driving a misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail and a fine of $10,000. Such a law would likely be challenged by a large number of cell phone owners, all of whom are in essentially identical circumstances and all of whom have the same arguments against the law. In such a situation, attorneys representing the plaintiffs might look for a case with a sympathetic set of facts with which to challenge the law. For example, they might select a case involving a driver who was charged with violating the law when she used her cell phone to request medical assistance for a family member. Other observant law firms would postpone or otherwise delay their own similar cases to wait for the outcome of the test case.

A test case need not concern a new law. Suppose, for example, an attorney or client is dissatisfied with the current state of a particular law and has strong arguments in favor of changing it. If the facts of the case give the attorney or client a good chance of prevailing, the case may be called a test case because the outcome would change the law for future persons in similar circumstances.

In some cases, a person may choose to violate an existing law to provoke a lawsuit, prosecution, or penalty. The person may then challenge the lawsuit, prosecution, or penalty and use the case to try and change the law through a judicial opinion. In Druker v. Commissioner of Internal Revenue, 697 F.2d 46 (2d Cir. 1982), cert. den., 461 U.S. 957, 103 S. Ct. 2429, 77 L. Ed. 2d 1316 (1983), for example, James O. and Joan Druker, a married couple, intentionally used the lower tax rates for unmarried individuals in computing their 1975 and 1976 Income Tax because they believed the federal tax scheme was unconstitutional under the equal protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. Before the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) could take action against the Drukers, the Drukers filed suit against the commissioner of the IRS. The Drukers were unsuccessful, but had they received a favorable disposition, they would have succeeded in changing the law on federal taxation of married couples.

Cross-references

Case Law; Stare Decisis.

See: criterion

test case

see CLASS ACTION.
References in periodicals archive ?
Cloud Computing Test Bed furthers our commitment to the global, collaborative research community that is advancing the new sciences of the Internet,CO said Prabhakar Raghavan, head of Yahoo
Lee Griffiths, the other codirector of Friction Arts and curator of Test Bed, explains that the company's philosophy is to work with local communities without compromising artistic quality.
Test network running under back-ground load to ensure authenticity of test bed
We congratulate Ralink on achieving selection to the Wi-Fi CERTIFIED Wi-Fi Direct[TM] test bed," said Wi-Fi Alliance CEO Edgar Figueroa.
Cubics Transport Management Platform collects data from public, private and active transport using test bed sensors in order to generate information that is essential in guiding city planning, reducing congestion and improving traffic patterns.
and Spaceflight Services said they have signed launch contract for a NovaWurks Payload Test Bed (PTB) mission planned for the third quarter of 2017.
LOS ANGELES (CyHAN)- In partnership with Aerion Corporation of Reno, Nevada, NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center's tested supersonic airflow over a small experimental airfoil design on its F-15B Test Bed aircraft during the spring of 2013.
Fabless semiconductor company MediaTek Inc announced on Tuesday that its wholly owned subsidiary Ralink Technology was selected to be in the Wi-Fi CERTIFIED WMM-Admission Control test bed as the benchmark for advanced Wi-Fi performance and interoperability.
Dace says that the language will benefit designers because it cuts the amount of test bed code required and allows simulators and emulators to link to the test bed equipment at a consistent speed through the VERA application programming interface.
To address this challenge, AVL has developed a new combustion controller that drastically reduces test bed time for engine calibration teams.
The Energy Market Authority (EMA) of Singapore has awarded a two megawatt-hour Vanadium Redox-Flow battery energy storage system (ESS) test bed to Red Dot Power Pte Ltd, Singapore of which Younicos is a consortium member and technology partner.
Network builder Lucent Technologies has been chosen by Korean telecomms company KT to install its Trunk Access Gateway system for its next generation networks test bed.