common law

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com·mon law

(kom'ŏn law)
A system of law based on custom, tradition, and court decisions rather than on written legislation.

common law

A system of law that originated in medieval England and is based on former legal decisions (precedent) and custom, not on legislation. Common law constantly evolves from previous decisions and changing custom. It forms the basis of the legal system in the U.S. (except Louisiana), the U.K. and most other English-speaking countries and is therefore the most frequent source of legal precedent for malpractice cases.
See also: law

common law,

n a judge-made law, as contrasted with statutory law. This body of law originated in England and was in force at the time of the American Revolution; modified since that time on a case-by-case basis in the courts.


a shared structure, function, disease. See also under specific name of the item, e.g. atrioventricular canal.

common chemical sense
mediated by the trigeminal nerve from chemical sense organs in the conjunctival sac and in the nasal and buccal cavities.
common fee
the fee for professional services agreed to formally or informally by a local group of the veterinary profession, usually determined by an interpractice survey of fees actually charged.
common law
the law of common usage, the practice or code which is usually followed. Based on decisions of the courts in individual cases. It is not written down as statutory law is.
common pathway
see coagulation pathways.
common salt
see sodium chloride.
common source
a point from which a number of animals are infected or affected. The point from which a common source or point epidemic begins.
common stonecrop
common sucker
References in periodicals archive ?
At the same time, the common law system has been moving in the direction of the civil law.
Zywicki (2003) describes the common law system in the Middle Ages as polycentric.
In the common law system, the bundle of right theory focuses on the use interests and the estate system directs our attention only to certain legal interests.
Taking the view that there is no such thing as the domination of the common law system, it is important to assess the benefits of competition between legal systems.
At the same time, under a more flexible system that allows splitting a cause of action, the plaintiff can pursue his or her claims in stages using legitimate strategic considerations and would therefore not be forced to press his or her claims to the utmost, as would be the case under the common law system.
The Wong Kim Ark decision, however, was based on the mistaken premise that the Fourteenth Amendment adopted the common law system of birthright citizenship.
The Court's treating the common law system of awarding punitive damages as equivalent to unstructured systems of imposing criminal punishment reveals that its recent invocation of due process principles to invalidate punitive awards is, at once, quite unremarkable and quite dramatic.
210) International law purists condemn the expansion of robust international courts and stare decisis--those aspects of the common law system invading the traditional civil law.
The Florida lawyers learned that unlike the English common law system, Scottish law is based on the Roman law through connections from the Normans and French.
Most obviously, a corporate legal framework that rests on the foundation of the distinctive common law system, the most efficient and equitable framework ever devised to ensure the smooth running of free capitalism.
During the Cold War, it was widely accepted that a Marxist-based socialist law offered a third alternative to the English common law system and the continental European civil law system.