Questions tagged [common-law]

For questions regarding English common law, or legal systems based on judge-made law descended from it.

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1answer
48 views

What torts can a person not yet admitted to the bar represent before a California state or federal court?

A comment on a recent question stuck with me: "[L]ay people can't prosecute [torts] in California". Is this correct? And if so, to what extent? What torts can and cannot be prosecuted by a ...
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4answers
146 views

Do courts withhold hearing transcripts from parties anywhere?

Unlike the old days when court hearings were stenotyped, these days they just make audio recordings. Later those may be typed back to transcripts. Anywhere in the world, do parties to court hearings ...
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2answers
96 views

Does a witness admit perjury by testifying a different story on retrial?

Bob was a witness in a trial. That trial was later declared a mistrial and a new one was ordered. When taking the witness stand again, Bob tells a whole different story, inconsistent or directly ...
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2answers
121 views

Is there presumption of lack of witness' credibility?

Can a party in a case ever argue that their opponents' lay witness lacks credibility just because there is no evidence of their credibility? Where the judge is the trier of fact (judge-alone/bench ...
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1answer
127 views

Is police report inadmissible when the cop who wrote it is not available to testify?

Say a cop conducted a crime investigation, interviewed the person of interest (later charged with the crime) and wrote it all down in a report. When the trial comes, the cop is no longer available (...
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2answers
79 views

Locating summoned witnesses to serve the summons

Suppose a party to a proceeding has obtained summons to a witness from the court. The witness lives in the town (as per their digital footprint) but is not responsive. The party has no idea where to ...
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1answer
28 views

Conflicting Terms after Post-Merger of Companies

Company A has a contract to produce widgets for the State for $5 per widget. The State also has a contract with Company B to produce the same widgets for $4.50 per widget. Company A acquires Company B....
4
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1answer
57 views

Are US courts less likely to enforce the repayment of a loan if it is (ceteris paribus) without interest?

Apparently, in common law, a loan given without an interest being specified/demanded is at procedural disadvantage, in that a court may not recognize it as a contract, the plaintiff having to rely on ...
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2answers
298 views

Defendant's right to surprise prosecution at trial

Common law disclosure obligations between prosecutors and defendants appear to be imbalanced: prosecutors basically have to disclose everything they have on defendants defendants have to disclose ...
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1answer
103 views

Using deepfake to create endorsment

The radio station I typically listen to regularly has some celebrity endorsement along the lines of You are listening to song name on my favorite station station name With the improvements of deep ...
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1answer
2k views

Notice of uncontroverted facts in criminal trials

Section 128 of the New Zealand Evidence Act 2006: (1) A Judge or jury may take notice of facts so known and accepted either generally or in the locality in which the proceeding is being held that ...
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4answers
208 views

How do defence lawyers get away with saying "he didn't do it" when they only can prove the uncertainty that he did?

Following various criminal trials (like this one) I often see defence lawyers claim that the defendant unequivocally did not commit the crime whereas they do not actually present (or claim to have) ...
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1answer
48 views

I returned an order to a business online that has a "typical" return policy, and they have not issued a refund. How can I take legal action? [closed]

I ordered an item from business online that has a "typical" return policy, i.e., a full refund will be issued in, say, two weeks upon receiving the returned item, assuming that the item has ...
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2answers
105 views

Witness credibility questions on cross-examination

Dan is on trial for murdering Vanessa. Wayne, who is Dan's neighbour, is witness for the prosecution. Dan's lawyer is interested to discredit Wayne's evidence, but has nothing. On cross-examination, ...
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1answer
65 views

Are there any common law jurisdictions outside the United States which maintain separate Courts of Equity?

It is well know that some jurisdictions in the United States, most prominently Delaware, maintain separate equity courts (Courts of Chancery), as formerly existed in England prior to the Judicature ...
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2answers
72 views

FOI and Common Law right of access [US]

The US federal government, and accordingly, the State governments all have Freedom of Information laws, which provide for the disclosure of public information. frmally in a government fails to ...
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1answer
65 views

Legal theory of the accomplice

In a related question, the general tone of the answers, many of whom were obviously not Americans and more familar with British law, was that an accomplice could be convicted in absence of evidence ...
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1answer
53 views

When is it encumbent on a court to rule on arguments not raised by the defense?

Usually a court will not make a ruling using an argument which the parties to the case have not raised. This subject has been discussed on this site previously. However, I would argue that this legal ...
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1answer
161 views

During your trial, the Supreme Court of the US agrees to hear an appeal of a relevant precedent case. What is the law that you are presumed to know?

Imagine a court case in progress in the USA, specifically a case at the first level of the courts (i.e. it is a district court case and the court is a trial court, not any kind of appeal court). ...
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1answer
45 views

Sentence given when a Summary only offence has imprisonment over 6 months?

I was reading into the Wireless Telegraphy Act 2006. At the sentencing section, I note the following: (a)on summary conviction, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 12 months or to a fine not ...
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1answer
53 views

How far does liability extend in a civil conspiracy?

Acme LLC makes widgets. Bob is a member of Acme. Bob tries to take Acme's widget maker, thinking he can operate the machine himself, but breaks it in the process. Of course Bob has also violated his ...
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1answer
77 views

What are the legal implications of manipulating Bitcoin if you could “forge” transactions?

Imagine I have recently been abducted by highly advanced and strangely opinionated aliens who provide me with unfathomably advanced technology on the condition that I undermine Bitcoin (the aliens are ...
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1answer
202 views

When in court, how do you determine when to push the rules aside and make up your own?

I don't know any other way to ask it. I have recently been told that when you are in traffic court there are no references to federal law and to try to use federal law would be considered "pseudo ...
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1answer
276 views

Who is to examine the witness who is the self-represented plaintiff or prosecutor?

Bob is a self-represented plaintiff in a civil case (or, say, private prosecutor in a criminal case). He is also a witness. If the trial is judge-alone aka bench (not jury), he is able to conduct it ...
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1answer
52 views

Deed of undertaking between neighbours

Neighbours have an issue about their adjoining land parcels and have verbally agreed to sort it out in a certain way. One of them wants to make sure that the other is aware of the consequences and ...
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1answer
69 views

What is the extent of "technically feasible" in common law?

If a law requires a website to perform a duty towards its users as far as technically feasible what is the extent ? Does it mainly take care of financxial costs? Meaning is something that is possible ...
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4answers
97 views

Do proponents of jury trials see it as a means to an end, or an end in itself? [closed]

Let me explain the question. In the U.S., it is common place to hear people express enthusiasm for the fact that many cases are determined by juries. Such enthusiasm may be motivated by the efficiency/...
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2answers
145 views

Stochastic legal liability

I am trying to understand how do legal systems handle situation where there is no clear causal responsibility of a person, but a well established stochastic relation. I am aware of the "beyond ...
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3answers
147 views

Street signs and bylaws -- what matters more?

The question is specifically about a situation in Canada (province Ontario, city of Toronto), but other common law country view would be useful. Suppose there is a municipal bylaw that prohibits ...
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1answer
65 views

How large is the difference in the amount of reading needed to become familiar with the law in common vs civil law countries? [closed]

Common law relies more on previous rulings while civil law relies more on written code. Therefore, one would expect it takes more work to become familiar with the law in the former case. Please ...
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2answers
337 views

Does "duty to rescue" apply to a child that one has no direct responsibility for?

This appeared in a comment on another SE site: If I am sitting by a deep swimming pool and see an unsupervised toddler child playing close to the edge - and then watch the child fall in and drown, ...
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2answers
138 views

How can we reconcile the fact that common law, relative to civil law, give judges more power in interpreting law but less power in guiding trials? [closed]

In common law, judge-made precedents are more important than in civil law where judges are supposed to stick more closely to the written code. Thus, one may say that judges are given more power in ...
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3answers
102 views

Why are headnotes presumed to be correct in England and Wales, but not USA?

Please see the question in the subject line. I can post a separate question if you want, but are headnotes presumed correct in other Commonwealth jurisdictions? Canada? Australia? New Zealand? ...
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How distinct (un-continental) are the UK tax and accounting law and court decisions in tax and accounting cases?

UK has common law system which is based on the case law. But meanwhile there is ongoing efforts to codify some laws - e.g. there is https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1994/23/contents Value Added ...
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34 views

Claiming *forum non conveniens* after extended "shadow litigation"

Can someone claim that a particular forum is inconvenient after challenging service through a proxy (the recipient), thus essentially "shadow litigating" intensively for an extended period ...
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3answers
8k views

Is it a real legal principle that any ambiguity in a contract is interpreted to the benefit of the side that did not write the contract?

I have heard that there is a legal principle where any ambiguity in the contract is interpreted to the benefit of the side that did not draw up or suggest the contract text. This was presented to me ...
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1answer
75 views

What happens when a Canadian not-for-profit organization does not comply with its own by-laws?

When I search "by-law Canada" in Google, everything I get is about "municipal by-laws" such as as the first result which is the website of a law firm that explains what municipal ...
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1answer
54 views

By what laws can the DoJ be the plaintiff for breaking confidentiality of the First Lady?

Quoting Techdirt: On Tuesday, the Justice Department sued Stephanie Winston Wolkoff, a former close friend of the First Lady, Melania Trump, who recently published a book about her relationship with ...
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3answers
111 views

Northern Ireland: Is Homicide an offence in common law or is it an offence in statute?

In one of the episodes of the British-Irish television series The Fall, a person is charged by PSNI, in Northern Ireland, with multiple counts of murder. The police officer reads out the charges in ...
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1answer
63 views

How are affirmative defenses of duress and necessity treated in U.S. law?

Duress and Necessity are two common law "affirmative defenses" that can be argued for acquittal of a criminal charge. However I can't find clear law or precedent for either in the United ...
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2answers
285 views

Where does the legal principle of "can't benefit twice" come from?

I've been told there is a legal principle (in UK law, specifically England) that a person cannot be allowed to benefit twice from a court's decision. I've found criminal law which addresses that, and ...
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1answer
191 views

Why require unanimous jury for 'not guilty' verdict?

People say that the rationale for requiring unanimous jury decisions is rooted in favouritism of the defendant. But is that true? Without referencing certain game theoretic experiments/models, it ...
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1answer
157 views

Is allowing kids to leave their bike out on their lawn an example of attractive nuisance?

I know plenty of friends who have allowed their kids to leave their bikes in the front yard. I'm wondering what would happen if a random child were to steal a bike left out and get hurt playing with ...
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1answer
94 views

How long do a man and a woman live together before they are considered common law married?

How long do a man and a woman live together before they are considered common law married in Dallas, Texas?
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1answer
242 views

USA: Do 911/PD phone operators have a 'duty to rescue'?

As I understand it: 'duty to rescue' does not generally exist for regular citizens in the USA. (Some exceptions apply!) Let's say I'm in Europe and I call the general inquiry phone number of a local (...
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1answer
27 views

Is a decree of civil court mandatorily required to be executed in common law juridictions?

In short, my question is that are execution proceedings mandatorily required to be concluded before a decree holder may enjoy the fruits of his decree against the judgment debtor OR are execution ...
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2answers
180 views

Does pleading guilty circumvent the 'corpus delicti' rule?

The corpus delicti rule states, if I understand it correctly, that there must be evidence that a crime occured (other than a confession) before anyone can be convicted of that crime. I have found ...
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3answers
98 views

Liability and Responsibility what is the importance of the distinction in common Law

In Civil Law( legal system) there is no distinction between Liability and Responsibility. One can only seek(judicially) the cessation of an illegal act if they have suffered damages. One can only ...
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39 views

What are "cooperation in perfecting rights" and are they enforcable?

Bellow is an example "Perfection Rights" provision from a employment contract. To me it seems to be saying 1) you agree to do paper work we may need you to do, even after you are no longer ...
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1answer
96 views

Would a jury have been used in a divorce trial in 1920s England?

Alfred Hitchcock's silent film Easy Virtue opens with a divorce trial, interspersed with flashbacks. The film is set in the 1920s, and the trial is in England. It seems to show a jury meeting and ...