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Understanding Vicarious Liability

Understanding Vicarious Liability

Vicarious liability is a strict form of liability which popularly arises in common law. Vicarious liability occurs when one person is liable for the actions of another individual. These actions are seen as negligent.
A common example of vicarious liability occurs when an employer gets sued for something one of their workers does. This type of liability is commonly referred to as secondary liability. Vicarious liability is found under
the doctrine of the respondent superior which states that the “master” is responsible for the agents’ actions.
Vicarious liability is generally used in court cases that involve employment law.  Exceptions do exist under this type of liability, such as if the individual acts in an inappropriate manner, or if they act in a negligent way outside of work or while they are not working.

Learn About NJ As A Common Law State

Learn About NJ As A Common Law State

Common law is a law system that is developed by judges and the decisions of courts. Common laws are used instead of legislative statutes or executive branch actions. In the United States, state laws are created by the state legislature as well as the court system. Therefore, New Jersey (NJ) state laws are both common laws and legislative laws. 
The most well-known common law of NJ State laws is found within marriage.  When a couple gets married, the decision is approved by and granted through the courts. NJ State laws are not solely considered common laws, whereas California is. 
Often, some NJ State laws are generated from the idea of common law. However, most laws are created through State legislation in which the State legislature votes on a bill prior to passing it. After a bill is passed, the laws are then enforced by law enforcement and regulated by the court systems.

Common Law v. Regulatory Law

Common Law v. Regulatory Law

Regulatory law, sometimes
called administrative law, refers to a part of the legal system that governs
agencies that enforce laws to the general public. Government agencies are
separate entities that the Government uses to delegate certain tasks.

Government agencies will be
responsible for administering rules and regulations that affect specific areas
of life. For example, there are Government agencies that are responsible for
enforcing laws in specific areas of life, such as traffic tickets.

Common law, on the other hand,
will be based on precedence. Prior judgments will be used to rule on cases with
similar circumstances. Common law is often referred to as case law or
judge-made law because a judge’s ruling will sometimes form new laws. 

Regulatory law generally refers to law enforcement. Laws of the
common law system will be influenced by both statutory and regulatory law. This
means that a judge’s decision will be supported by both prior decisions and the
legislation that is enforced by regulatory agencies. Regulatory agencies of the
executive branch of Government will issue rules and regulations for the general
public.

Under the laws of common law,
there is a system by which precedent will be used, which is why actual common
law systems are slightly more complicated than in theory. Interaction with
regulatory law will mean that decisions made in higher courts, such as the
appellate court, will be binding upon lower courts. Decisions made in lower
courts, on the other hand, will not always be binding upon future decisions in
appellate courts.

Laws of regulatory agencies are more formal, written legislation.
This means that any laws of statute are changed and updated through a process
of Government approval. For example, in a civil law system, the rulings of
judges are based primarily on the written code. Laws of a common law system
will be based on a combination, but rely heavily on precedent. In common law
systems it is easier to make gradual adjustments that reflect the changing laws
of society. These changes will be less drastic than changes in laws of
regulatory agencies.

Although precedent is dominant
in a common law system, a judge can sometimes deviate from precedent if the
circumstances of the case call for a change. Also, decisions of first
impression will make changes in a common law system. Decisions of first
impression will occur when there is no precedent that exists to influence a
judge’s decision on a particular case. This means that the circumstances of the
case are unique. When the judge makes a decision, this decision will set
precedence.

Easy Steps To Obtain A Common Law Marriage

Easy Steps To Obtain A Common Law Marriage

The steps required in order to obtain a common law marriage vary between the 12 states/districts in which they are currently recognized within the United States of America. These states/districts include: Alabama, Colorado, Washington D.C., Iowa, Kansas, Montana, New Hampshire, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Texas, and Utah.
In order to be considered for a valid and recognized common law marriage within these 12 jurisdictions, the following details regarding residential cohabitation are taken into consideration:
The couple must be participating in a residential cohabitation. In other words, the couple in question must live together.
The two must possess, utilize, and file a statement of joint income. This adds validity and seriousness to the relationship in question in the eyes of many legislative bodies.
The couple in question must have lived together for a ‘significant duration of time’. However, there is no definitive amount of time specified in any state legislature. 
The couple must have the intent to eventually wed.

3 Common Law Facts You Must Know

3 Common Law Facts You Must Know

What is Common Law?
Common Law is a type of legal methodology undertaken by a specific jurisdiction; the adoption of a statutory legal structure mandated by the precepts expressed within Common Law are considered to differ from those jurisdictions undertaking a legal methodology rooted in Civil Law. 
Common Law is deeply rooted in Roman Law, which a multitude of historians credit as providing the earliest incarnations of legal statues and stipulations; not only were a variety of Roman Laws absorbed by the tenets of Common Law, but many facets of Roman Law are considered to be both legally – and structurally – sound despite its development dating back to 439 BCE. Therefore, when someone asks what common law is, it must be understood that the concepts latent in this legal methodology date back to the earliest of times, in regards to the scope of law. 
How does Common Law differ from other legal methodologies?
Common law (also referred to as case law or precedent) is developed by judges through the decisions rendered in a legal forum, such as a court room or tribunal. This creation process differentiates from other legal methodologies, which predominantly create their interpretative process through legislative statutes or a decision rendered by the underlying executive branch. 
A common law legal system is a legal methodology that places a significant weight on precedent and on the principle that it is unfair to treat similar legal matters differently on different occasions. 
In a common law setting, if the parties disagree on what the underlying law is, an idealized common law court will evaluate past precedential decisions of relevant court systems. If a similar dispute has been resolved in a previous court case, a common law system will evaluate the precedential decisions and apply it to the underlying legal issue at hand. 
Basic Principles of Common Law:
In a generic common law jurisdiction several stages of analysis and research are required to determine what the underlying law is in a given situation. The court or presiding judge must ascertain the facts, then, locate any relevant laws, statutes and cases that may apply to the underlying legal issue. Following the retrieval of coordinating statutes and cases, the judge must then extract the principles and statements issued by various courts. The retrieval of this information is used to determine how the common law court is likely to rule on the facts of the case at hand. 
In a common law system, later decisions and those decisions offered by a higher court will carry more weight than judgments delivered by lower courts or that took place in earlier cases. After this process has been satisfied, the judge or presiding authority, must integrate the reasons given to determine what the law is. When this is accomplished, the underlying law or legal issue will be applied to the facts offered in the particular case. 

Tort Law At A Glance

Tort Law At A Glance


What is Tort Law?
Tort law is a legal methodology which covers civil wrongdoings; tort law is typically applied to non-criminal infractions, such as defamation and trespassing. Under the scope of tort law, if an individual suffers a legal, physical or economic harm, he or she will be entitled to filing a suit against the negligent or aggressive party. If the underlying suit is deemed valid, damages may be awarded to the victim in order to compensate for his or her damages incurred. The majority of tort laws are established through statute and located in various regional, state and federal civil codes. Each code will typically define the limits in regards to compensation and the statute of limitations applied to the specific tort law. 
Categories of Tort Law:
Tort law is predominantly classified into the following three categories: intentional torts, strict liability torts and negligent torts. Those torts that arise out of negligence encompass a civil wrong precipitated by a negligent action or a failure to practice due diligence. A negligent tort case may arise, for example, if an individual breaks a glass bottle (in an accidental manner) on the door stop of their neighbor’s home. If the neighbor sustains an injury as a result of stepping on the fragmented glass, the individual may sue, under tort law, for physical damages incurred as a result of negligent or careless actions. The issue that tort law will inspect is not the breaking of the bottle, but the failure to inform the neighbor of the broken glass and the failure to clean up the remnants. 
An intentional tort will involve a deliberate attempt to impose harm on an individual or entity. Defamation is commonly attached to this classification, along with false imprisonment, batter and interfering with an entity’s economic operation. The degree of liability, in regards to an intentional tart, is based off a review of the damages imposed from the deliberate action. Using the example above, the difference between an intentional tort and a negligent tort, would be if the individual broke the glass battle with the intention of injuring his or her neighbor.  
A strict liability tort will cover issues that arise from product liability cases. Strict liability torts will evaluate liability and subsequently reward the injured party based on a review of the damages, injuries or harm sustained by the victim. In addition to product liability cases, this category of tort law will also be attached to cases involving potentially-hazardous merchandise and consumer safety issues. An example of a strict liability tort would be if the glass bottle, used in the previous example, was manufactured with an inherent flaw; this flaw ultimately caused the glass bottle to shatter. Any subsequent injuries that arose from the shattering will be placed against the manufacturer based on an interpretation of the underlying strict liability tort. 

Common law v. Statutory Law

Common law v. Statutory Law

The common
law differs from statutory law because it is mainly based on precedent.
Statutory law is a more formal body of the legal system that consists of
written legislation. This legislation will mainly be based on rules and
regulations either mandating or prohibiting certain behaviors of the general
public. Common law, on the other hand, will allow judges to decide cases based
on the rulings of prior cases with similar circumstances.

Many times
statutory law can be interpreted differently by different people. This is why
making rulings based on precedent in common law systems can be beneficial when
the meaning of a law is disputed. When the facts of a case are unique and there
is no binding precedent, these are called cases of first impression. In this
case, a judge’s decision will essentially form law and subsequent cases will be
ruled in a similar way.

The main differentiation between common law and
statutory law is the way in which the laws are created. As stated above, common
law comes from precedent. Statutory law is made by the Government. It is
designed to keep citizens safe as well as ensure that citizens are able to
function in everyday life. If there is an issue before the court that
absolutely cannot be decided by precedent or a judge’s decision, the court may
turn to statutory law to decide the case. When a statutory law is broken by a
citizen, the Government will have a predetermined punishment that is in
proportion to the nature of the crime.

There are
many different types of Government agencies that are able to issue statutory
law. Many times, a judge’s decision will be based on a combination of statutory
law and common law. This means judges will incorporate both written statutes
and case precedent when issuing a ruling. It is important for both judges and
attorneys to be aware of recent changes in statutory law and relevant court
decisions that will affect common law.

Most of the time, the areas of contract law, tort
law, and property law exist within common law, not statutory law. Although
there may be some written statutes in these areas, most of the time a judge’s
decision will be based on precedent. Statutory law will give only a rigid,
formal interpretation of the law. It does not always apply easily to all
situations. This is why it is beneficial for judges to refer to prior cases,
rather than legislation. Many times, a precedent will be identified and then
applied to the case at hand through analogy.

Facts You Must Know About Recognition of Common Law

Facts You Must Know About Recognition of Common Law

Common law
is a system of precedence-based rulings that is used to decide cases brought
before a judge. Common law precedent can be used in combination with statutes
to decide cases with similar circumstances or to decide cases that are not
covered under existing legislation. This process is called
 stare decisis, which in Latin means
“let the decision stand”.

Common law
precedent is used to ensure the fairness of the legal system by treating all
cases with similar facts in the same way. Many times the written law can be
interpreted differently by different individuals. Common law systems also allow
for fairness by prohibiting most bias and different interpretations by judges.
As long as decisions are based on precedent, then citizens will generally be
treated fairly by the legal system. Sometimes a precedent can be overruled.
However, this will generally not be done unless the judge has grounds for doing
so.

Many countries employ a common law system based on
precedent. The common law originated in England after the Norman Conquest,
which is why most countries that have roots in English heritage will use the
common law, as opposed to a civil law system. Countries that employ a common
law system include the United States, Ireland, India, Canada, and South Africa.
In civil law countries, court decisions will be mostly based on written
statutes that are developed by legislation.

Countries
that utilize a common law system will employ an adversarial system in court
cases. This means that each party will be accompanied by an advocate that will
represent the interests of that party. In this case, there will be a group of
impartial observers that will decide the outcome of the case. This refers to
the judge and the jury. This is in opposition to an inquisitorial system that
some civil law countries employ. In this type of system, a judge or group of
judges will investigate the facts of the case in order to make a decision.

The common law is based on precedent which is why
it is usually more predictable than other types of systems. Based on the
rulings of prior cases, a plaintiff or defendant is able to generally assume
what will happen in their case. Procedural fairness is an issue in common law
that attempts to ensure that all procedures are followed correctly in order to
provide fairness to every party in a court case.

There are
two major rules of procedural fairness in common law jurisdictions. First, the
judge must offer a fair trial to all parties before the court. Secondly, the
judge must not be biased in any way. If a judge does not offer procedural
fairness, then the decision of the court can be overruled under common law.

Find Out Common Law’s Historical Uses

Find Out Common Law's Historical Uses

Common law
refers to a legal system that is formed based on the prior decisions of judges
in court cases. The basis for this type of decision-making is that cases with
similar circumstances should be ruled in a similar manner. By deciding a court
case, the judge forms precedent by which all other similar cases will be
handled.

Common law
is used in many countries as opposed to legislative law, which makes decisions
based on written laws and regulations. There is a system of judgments in common
law, in which decisions that are made by higher, appellate courts will set the
precedent for lower courts. However, decisions that are held in lower courts
will not usually be binding upon higher courts.

The history
of common law is thought to begin in England during the Middle Ages. Now there
are a large number of nations that employ a common law system. Most often it is
countries that originated from English customs that will continue to utilize
the common law. This includes the United States.

The term common law originated in England in the
11th Century when the King employed several judges who would travel from
jurisdiction to jurisdiction to make rulings in court. During this time there
were many different sections of the kingdom that would employ their own local
law. The King attempted to unify these laws and they used the phrase common law
to indicate those laws that were common among all the jurisdictions.

The Norman
Conquest of 1066 was when the common law really began to take over in England.
This is when the concept of the inquisition was integrated into the court
system. This means that the judges no longer acted as an impartial mediator,
but instead began to investigate the facts of the case and make an informed
judgment. It was also during this time that all judgments began to be recorded
in written form. This helped develop the concept of precedent.

King Henry II began to rule England in 1154, and
it was around this time that common law became the norm throughout the kingdom.
Henry II began to abolish local laws and customs and replaced them with a
national system. It was also during this time that juries began to be sworn by
an oath and used to decide court cases. This was true for both civil cases and
criminal.

When a
dispute would arise in the local courts, Henry II sent his traveling judges to
hear the case. When the judges returned back to London after hearing local
cases, this was when the judges’ decisions would be discussed and recorded.
Today, having a system based on common law is very beneficial in some cases.
This is because it ensures that the facts of a case will not be treated differently
at different times.

What You Didn’t Know About the Evolution of Common Law

What You Didn't Know About the Evolution of Common Law

The main
concept of common law is that it is developed on a decision-based, case-by-case
basis. This means that common law is an ever evolving area of the legal system
because new cases are always being decided. Based on this aspect, common law
differentiates from statutory law. Statutory laws are not generally subject to
change based on rulings. These laws will be more solid.

Courts in
common law systems are able to reinterpret certain laws in order to reflect
changes in society. However, these changes will not generally come in a drastic
form, but are instead gradually made over a period of time. When changes are
made to statutory laws, it will normally come in a more abrupt manner than
common law evolution.

An example
of this type of change is the evolution of liability for negligence in common
law. Historically, a third party would not be able to collect for negligence,
even if the defendant’s actions harmed the plaintiff. Through a series of court
decisions, this was changed. The evolution of the common law allows for
corrections to be made when the legal system is not operating correctly.

Most of the time, when making important decisions
judges will reference previous cases that have similar circumstances. The
theory is that if that another case with similar circumstances was ruled in a
certain way, this should remain consistent for all subsequent cases. When
judges rule on a case where there is little or no precedent, this is often
called a case of first impression. This means that a judge can reference prior
court cases, but there is no case that exists with the same circumstances and
there is, therefore, no precedent. This means that the judge is in a sense
responsible for making laws. As a result of the judgment on this case of first
impression, all subsequent court cases will be ruled in a similar manner. This
ensures a certain stability in the legal system.

Common law systems may give a considerable amount
of authority to judges when decisions are made. However, because these
decisions are based on prior decisions, judges must abide by binding precedent.
This attempts to avoid any bias or corruption on the part of judges. A judge
will always write a legal opinion when making a major decision in a common law
jurisdiction.

A legal
opinion is a written publication that will explain a judge’s ruling. It is in
the legal opinion that judges will reference what precedents were used to form
the decision. This ensures that a ruling was issued on legitimate terms, and
the judge is able to reference similar situations where this ruling was held.