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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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3
votes
2answers
528 views

Can US courts be made to define whether a given search is reasonable (i.e. constitutional)?

In 2014, regarding the forced disclosure of the encryption keys of his email service provider company Lavabit, Ladar Levison wrote: The largest technological question we raised in our appeal (which ...
10
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3answers
5k views

How is the “permanent deprivation” element of theft proven in practice?

I never gave this much thought until I saw a prosecutor and then a judge dismiss charges of theft because it would be impossible to prove the accused intended to deprive the owner of the property ...
15
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3answers
1k views

How can a court avoid creating precedent?

There are a number of ways in which a judge may avoid following precedent – overturning or distinguishing a previous ruling, for instance. However, is there any way for a court (particularly a ...
7
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1answer
99 views

Does expected value bear upon the calculation of compensatory damages?

Suppose I am given a lottery ticket. This ticket has a 1 in 1000 chance of winning me one million dollars, and will otherwise be worth nothing. Before I can see whether I've won, some guy comes along ...
11
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2answers
3k views

Lawyer made a key decision without consulting me. Is this normal?

While this case is happening to a relative of mine rather than myself, I will speak in first person for the sake of simplicity. I had a medical procedure performed by a licensed doctor (Dr. A). This ...
6
votes
1answer
120 views

Is the law of unjust enrichment based on an 'absence of basis' or 'unjust factors' approach?

Many common-law practitioners should be familiar with the competing theories on how to conceptualise the law of unjust enrichment. Is the law still confined to an 'unjust factors' approach as ...
6
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2answers
312 views

Legal definitions in the United States

When trying to learn about and understand law, one of the most important aspects of it is the legal definition of a word. Is there a source in which the courts refer to when looking to define a word? ...
10
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3answers
2k views

What is stare decisis?

I know in general that stare decisis effectively means that once a court rules on a law that other courts can use that decision when considering their cases. But why is that the case, how is it ...
16
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3answers
1k views

Has a common law defence ever held water?

The UK is a common law country. It is a widely held belief of many people that statute Acts of parliament (i.e. most 'laws') only apply with the "consent of the governed"; and that one may be a "free ...