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 ?
Modern scholars thus analogize common-law judges to legislators who create law through their verbal commands.
For example, in a recent defense of common-law constitutionalism, David Strauss attempts to preserve the common law against the criticism that it is undemocratic by separating it from judicial review.
Women in common-law unions were particularly violent during this period, killing their partners more often than formally married New Orleans spouses.
that "[i]t is hard to believe that the common-law interpretation of
In the first chapter, Stoner explores the common-law features of the Constitution and finds that the American Constitution and constitutionalism "cannot be understood without reference to the common-law tradition in which they were formed.
I doubt whether a priest would require the confession of a lifetime of serious sins, though he might ask whether the communicant lives in a sinful state, such as living in an adulterous or common-law relationship, or practising contraception, etc.
The new law clarifies that a taxpayer may take into account only wages that are paid to the taxpayer's common-law employees and reported on a W-2 filed with the Social Security Administration no later than 60 days after the W-2's extended due date.
The notion of common-law marriage is a persistent myth which can lead to serious financial loss and emotional distress.
Later, he says that the Irish can take advantage of the vulnerabilities in the law because "the Common-Law hath left them this benefite, whereof they make advantage, and wrest it to their bad purposes" (35).
What all of this means is that if we took our common-law heritage seriously, we would come closer to the framers' aim of a society governed by the rule of law, not of judges, or as they used to say, "a government of laws not of men.
The opening one, "Law and Custom in the Western Legal Traditions," sets the historical context by outlining the importance of custom in Roman law, which had a strong hold on continental law through the medieval period and was influential in the Anglo-American common-law tradition.
Despite the growing prevalence and acceptability of common-law marriages in Quebec, women in this type of union continue to be at greater risk for negative birth outcomes than those in traditional marriages.