Exchequer of Pleas
The Exchequer of Pleas or Court of Exchequer was a court that dealt with matters of equity, a set of legal principles based on natural law and common law in England and Wales. Part of the curia regis, or King's Council, the Exchequer of Pleas split from the curia during the 1190s, to sit as an independent, central court; the Court of Chancery's reputation for tardiness and expense resulted in much of its business transferring to the Exchequer. The Exchequer and Chancery, with similar jurisdictions, drew closer together over the years, until an argument was made during the 19th century that having two identical courts was unnecessary; as a result, the Exchequer lost its equity jurisdiction. With the Judicature Acts, the Exchequer was formally dissolved as a judicial body by an Order in Council of 16 December 1880; the Exchequer's jurisdiction, at various times, was equity, or both. A court of both common law and equity, it lost much of its common law jurisdiction after the formation of the Court of Common Pleas, from on concerned itself with equitable matters and those common law matters it had discretion to try, such as actions brought against Exchequer officials and actions brought by the monarch against non-paying debtors.
With the Writ of Quominus, which allowed the Exchequer to look at "common" cases between subject and subject, this discretionary area was expanded, it soon regained its standing in common law matters. Cases were formally taken by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, but in practice were heard by the Barons of the Exchequer, judicial officials led by the Chief Baron. Other court officials included the King's Remembrancer, who appointed all other officials and kept the Exchequer's records, the sworn and side clerks, who acted as attorneys to parties to a case, it was claimed that the Exchequer was based on a similar Norman court. The first reliable records come from the time of Henry I, when the sole surviving Pipe roll from his reign shows the Exchequer working out of the king's palace as part of the curia regis; the curia regis followed the king as he travelled rather than sitting at any one fixed location, was held in York and Northampton at various times. By the late 12th century it had taken to sitting in a fixed location, by the 1170s it was possible to distinguish the Exchequer's work from that of the other parts of the curia regis, although the king of the time considered the Exchequer to be an element of the curia.
The word "Exchequer" derives from the chequered cloth laid on a table for the purposes of counting money. In the 1190s the Exchequer began separating from the curia regis, a process which continued until the beginning of the 13th century. Although the Exchequer of Pleas was the first common law court, it was the last to separate from the curia regis. There are few records known to date from before 1580; until the 16th century, the Exchequer carried out its duties with little variation in its function or practice. A small court, the Exchequer handled around 250 cases a year, compared to 2,500 in the Court of King's Bench and 10,000 in the Court of Common Pleas. Under the Tudors, the Exchequer's political and fiscal importance all increased; this was thanks to the Lord High Treasurer. The appointment of the second and third Dukes of Norfolk as Lord High Treasurers from 1501 to 1546 led to a gradual reduction in the Exchequer's power; the Dukes were seen by the government as too independent to be trusted with any real power, but too useful to be removed.
When William Paulet was appointed Treasurer in 1546 the Exchequer again increased in power, absorbing the Court of Augmentations and Court of First Fruits and Tenths by 1554. The Exchequer was assisted in this period by Thomas Fanshawe, the Queen's Remembrancer. Fanshawe's administrative reforms were considered excellent, his work continued to be used as the standard until the 1830s. Exchequer business increased under James and Charles I, before the English Civil War disrupted the courts. With the increasing use of the Writ of Quominus, which allowed royal debtors to bring a case against a third party who owed them money if it was that lack of money which prevented them paying the king and the new regime, the Exchequer transformed from a "tax court" dealing with civil cases to a dedicated court of equity and common law; the Civil War caused four equitable courts to be dissolved.
Donoghue v Stevenson
Donoghue v Stevenson UKHL 100 was a landmark court decision in Scots delict law and English tort law by the House of Lords. It laid the foundation of the modern law of negligence, establishing general principles of the duty of care. Known as the "Paisley snail" or "snail in the bottle" case, the case involved Mrs Donoghue drinking a bottle of ginger beer in a café in Paisley, Renfrewshire. A dead snail was in the bottle, she fell ill, she sued the ginger beer manufacturer, Mr Stevenson. The House of Lords held that the manufacturer owed a duty of care to her, breached, because it was reasonably foreseeable that failure to ensure the product's safety would lead to harm to consumers. There was a sufficiently proximate relationship between consumers and product manufacturers. Prior to Donoghue v Stevenson, liability for personal injury in tort depended upon showing physical damage inflicted directly or indirectly. Being made ill by consuming a noxious substance did not qualify as either, so the orthodox view was that Mrs Donoghue had no sustainable claim in law.
However, the decision fundamentally created a new type of liability in law which did not depend upon any recognised category of tortious claims. This was an evolutionary step in the common law for tort and delict, moving from strict liability based upon direct physical contact to a fault-based system which only required injury; this evolution was taken further in the decision of Letang v Cooper 1 QB 232 when it was held that actions should not be jointly pleaded in trespass and negligence, but in negligence alone. On the evening of Sunday 26 August 1928, during the Glasgow Trades Holiday, Donoghue took a train to Paisley, Renfrewshire. In Paisley, she went to the Wellmeadow Café. A friend, with her ordered a pear and ice for herself and a Scotsman ice cream float, a mix of ice cream and ginger beer, for Donoghue; the owner of the café, Francis Minghella, brought over a tumbler of ice cream and poured ginger beer on it from a brown and opaque bottle labelled "D. Stevenson, Glen Lane, Paisley".
Furthermore, although the bottle was labelled as Stevenson's, McByde suggests it is possible it did not belong to him. Bottles were reused, in the process returned to the incorrect manufacturer. Moreover, Stevenson claimed he did not issue bottles matching the description provided by Donoghue. Donoghue drank some of the ice cream float. However, when Donoghue's friend poured the remaining ginger beer into the tumbler, a decomposed snail floated out of the bottle. Donoghue claimed. According to her statements of facts, she was required to consult a doctor on 29 August and was admitted to Glasgow Royal Infirmary for "emergency treatment" on 16 September, she was subsequently diagnosed with severe gastroenteritis and shock. The ginger beer had been manufactured by David Stevenson, who ran a company producing both ginger beer and lemonade at 11 and 12 Glen Lane, less than a mile away from the Wellmeadow Café; the contact details for the ginger beer manufacturer were on the bottle label and recorded by Donoghue's friend.
Donoghue subsequently contacted and instructed Walter Leechman, a local solicitor and city councillor whose firm had acted for the claimants in a factually similar case, Mullen v AG Barr & Co Ltd, less than three weeks earlier. Despite the ruling in Mullen, Leechman issued a writ on Donoghue's behalf against Stevenson on 9 April 1929; the writ claimed £500 in damages, the same amount a claimant in Mullen had recovered at first instance, £50 in costs. The total amount Donoghue attempted to recover would be equivalent to at least £27,000 in 2012; the full allegations made by Donoghue were presented in five condescendences, which claimed that Stevenson had a duty of care to Donoghue to ensure that snails did not get into his bottles of ginger beer, but that he had breached this duty by failing to provide a system to clean bottles a system that would be used in the business and was necessary given that the ginger beer was intended for human consumption. The ineffectiveness of the cleaning system was alleged to result from the bottles being left in places "to which it was obvious that snails had freedom of access... and in which, indeed and snail trails were found", an allegation described by Matthew Chapman as "somewhat gratuitous".
This breach of duty was alleged to have caused Donoghue's subsequent illness. Stevenson responded to the condescendences by denying that any of his bottles of ginger beer had contained snails and "that the alleged injuries are grossly exaggerated... any illness suffered by the was due to the bad condition of her own health at the time". In response to the writ, Stevenson pleaded that the claim had no legal basis, that the facts could not be substantiated, that he had not caused Donoghue any injury and that the claimed amount was excessive. Injuries resulting from defective products were claimed on the basis of a contract of sale between the seller and the consumer. However, Donoghue had no contractual relationship with Minghella as she had not purchased the ginger beer. Moreover, neither had a contract with the manufacturer. Donoghue was therefore required to claim damages for negligence. Ansell v Waterhouse had established in 1817 that legal liability could arise for an act or omission "contrary to the duty which the law casts on him in the particular case".
However, there was no general duty of care and
Overseas Tankship (UK) Ltd v Morts Dock and Engineering Co Ltd
Overseas Tankship Ltd v Morts Dock and Engineering Co Ltd known as Wagon Mound, is a landmark tort law case, which imposed a remoteness rule for causation in negligence. The Privy Council held that a party can be held liable only for loss, reasonably foreseeable. Contributory negligence on the part of the dock owners was relevant in the decision, was essential to the outcome, although not central to this case's legal significance; the Wagon Mound should not be confused with the successor case of the Overseas Tankship v Miller Steamship or "Wagon Mound", which concerned the standard of the reasonable man in breach of the duty of care. Overseas Tankship had a ship, the Wagon Mound, docked in Sydney Harbour in October 1951; the crew had carelessly allowed furnace oil to leak from their ship. The oil drifted under a wharf thickly coating the water and the shore where other ships were being repaired. Hot metal produced by welders using oxyacetylene torches on the respondent's timber wharf at Sheerlegs Wharf fell on floating cotton waste which ignited the oil on the water.
The wharf and ships moored. In an action by Mort's Dock for damages for negligence it was found as a fact that the defendants did not know and could not reasonably have been expected to know that the oil was capable of being set alight when spread on water; the dock owners knew the oil was there, continued to use welders. The leading case on proximate cause was Re Polemis, which held that a defendant can be deemed liable for all consequences flowing from his negligent conduct regardless of how unforeseeable such consequences are; as this case was binding in Australia, its rule was followed by the New South Wales Court of Appeal. The defendant appealed to the Privy Council; the Privy Council found in favour of the defendant, agreeing with the expert witness who provided evidence that the defendant, in spite of the furnace oil being innately flammable, could not reasonably expect it to burn on water. The Board indicated Morts would have been successful if they had claimed damages for direct damage by the oil to the slipway but this was minor and not part of the damages claimed.
Viscount Simonds, in his delivery for the Privy Council, said that the Counsel for Morts had discredited their own position by arguing that it couldn't have been bunkering oil because it wouldn't burn on water. The Privy Council's advice soundly disapproved the rule established in Re Polemis, as being "out of the current of contemporary thought" and held that to find a party liable for negligence the damage must be reasonably foreseeable; the council found that though the crew were careless and breached their duty of care, the resulting extensive damage by fire was not foreseeable by a reasonable person, although the minor damage of oil on metal on the slipway would have been foreseeable. Viscount Simonds delivered the judgment of the Board and said: It is, no doubt, proper when considering tortious liability for negligence to analyse its elements and to say that the plaintiff must prove a duty owed to him by the defendant, a breach of that duty by the defendant, consequent damage, but there can be no liability.
It is not the act but the consequences on which tortious liability is founded.... Who knows or can be assumed to know all the processes of nature? But if it would be wrong that a man should be held liable for damage unpredictable by a reasonable man because it was "direct" or "natural," it would be wrong that he should escape liability, however "indirect" the damage, if he foresaw or could reasonably foresee the intervening events which led to its being done, it is a principle of civil liability, subject only to qualifications which have no present relevance, that a man must be considered to be responsible for the probable consequences of his act. To demand more of him is too harsh a rule, to demand less is to ignore that civilised order requires the observance of a minimum standard of behaviour. Up until this time the leading case had been Re Polemis, where the central question was that of the directness of the chain of events between the triggering act being examined for negligence and the result.
The Council decided that rather than go with precedent they would determine a principle from a range of cases, in a similar way as Lord Atkin did in Donoghue v Stevenson, their principle was a single test for foreseeability which they argued was a logical link between the damage and the liability. Stated differently, foreseeability was the logical link between, the test for, breach of the duty of care and the damages; this is the supreme test, may be rephrased as "the liability of a consequence... was natural or necessary or probable." The Lords made reference to hindsight, indicating it is nothing like foresight and should play no role in assessing negligence. There is authority to challenge this view of hindsight; the common law rules of causation have had their importance lessened by the promulgation of statute law in Australia. Contributory negligence is now essential for many determin
Benjamin N. Cardozo
Benjamin Nathan Cardozo was an American lawyer and jurist who served as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States. He had served as the Chief Judge of the New York Court of Appeals. Cardozo is remembered for his significant influence on the development of American common law in the 20th century, in addition to his philosophy and vivid prose style. Born in New York City, Cardozo passed the bar in 1891 after attending Columbia Law School, he won an election to the New York Supreme Court in 1913 but joined the New York Court of Appeals the following year. He won election as Chief Judge of that court in 1926. In 1932, President Herbert Hoover appointed Cardozo to the Supreme Court to succeed Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. Cardozo served on the Court until 1938, formed part of the liberal bloc of justices known as the Three Musketeers, he wrote the Court's majority opinion in notable cases such as Nixon v. Condon and Steward Machine Co. v. Davis. Cardozo, the son of Rebecca Washington and Albert Jacob Cardozo, was born in 1870 in New York City.
Both Cardozo's maternal grandparents, Sara Seixas and Isaac Mendes Seixas Nathan, his paternal grandparents, Ellen Hart and Michael H. Cardozo, were Western Sephardim of the Portuguese Jewish community, affiliated with Manhattan's Congregation Shearith Israel; the family were descended from Jewish-origin New Christian conversos who left the Iberian Peninsula for Holland during the Inquisition, after which they returned to Judaism. Cardozo family tradition held that their marrano ancestors were from Portugal, although Cardozo's ancestry has not been traced to Portugal. However, "Cardozo", "Seixas" and "Mendes" are the Portuguese, rather than Spanish, spelling of those common Iberian surnames. Benjamin Cardozo was a twin with his sister Emily, they had a total of four siblings, including brother. One of many cousins was the poet Emma Lazarus. Benjamin was named for his uncle, Benjamin Nathan, a vice president of the New York Stock Exchange and the victim of a noted famous unsolved murder case in 1870.
Albert Cardozo, Benjamin Cardozo's father, was a judge on the Supreme Court of New York until 1868, when he was implicated in a judicial corruption scandal, sparked by the Erie Railway takeover wars. The scandal led to the creation of the Association of the Bar of the City of New York and his father's resignation from the bench. After leaving the court, he practiced law for nearly two decades more until his death in 1885. Rebecca Cardozo died in 1879 when Emily were young; the twins were raised during much of their childhood by their older sister Nell, 11 years older. One of Benjamin's tutors was Horatio Alger. At age 15, Cardozo entered Columbia University where he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa, went on to Columbia Law School in 1889. Cardozo wanted to enter a profession that could materially aid himself and his siblings, but he hoped to restore the family name, sullied by his father's actions as a judge; when Cardozo entered Columbia Law School, the program was only two years long. Cardozo declined to stay for an extra year, thus left law school without a law degree.
Cardozo began practicing appellate law alongside his older brother. Benjamin Cardozo practiced law in New York City until year-end 1913 with Simpson and Cardozo. In November 1913, Cardozo was narrowly elected to a 14-year term on the New York Supreme Court, taking office on January 1, 1914. In February 1914, Cardozo was designated to the New York Court of Appeals under the Amendment of 1899, was the first Jew to serve on the Court of Appeals. In January 1917, he was appointed to a regular seat on the Court of Appeals to fill the vacancy caused by the resignation of Samuel Seabury, in November 1917, he was elected on the Democratic and Republican tickets to a 14-year term on the Court of Appeals. In 1926, he was elected, to a 14-year term as Chief Judge, he took office on January 1, 1927, resigned on March 7, 1932 to accept an appointment to the United States Supreme Court. His tenure was marked by a number in tort and contract law in particular; this is due to timing. In 1921, Cardozo gave the Storrs Lectures at Yale University, which were published as The Nature of the Judicial Process, a book that remains valuable to judges today.
Shortly thereafter, Cardozo became a member of the group that founded the American Law Institute, which crafted a Restatement of the Law of Torts, a host of other private law subjects. He wrote three other books that became standards in the legal world. While on the Court of Appeals, he criticized the Exclusionary rule as developed by the federal courts, stated that: "The criminal is to go free because the constable has blundered." He noted that many states had rejected the rule, but suggested that the adoption by the federal courts would affect the practice in the sovereign states. In 1932, President Herbert Hoover appointed Cardozo to the Supreme Court of the United States to succeed Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes; the New York Times said of Cardozo's appointment that "seldom, if in the history of the Court has an appointment been so universally commended." Democratic Cardozo's appoint
Sir Fitzroy Edward Kelly, was an English commercial lawyer, Tory politician and judge. Kelly was born in the son of Robert Hawke Kelly, a captain in the Royal Navy, his mother was the novelist Isabella Kelly, daughter of Captain William Fordyce, Groom of the Privy Chamber to George III. In 1824, he was called to the bar by Lincoln's Inn, having gained a reputation as a skilled special pleader. In 1834 Kelly was made a King's Counsel, remarkably after only ten years' call. A strong Tory, he was returned as Member of Parliament for Ipswich in 1835, but was unseated on petition. In 1837 however he again became member for that town. From 1843 to 1847 he was MP for Cambridge, in 1852 was elected member for Harwich, but with a vacancy occurring in East Suffolk, he preferred to contest that seat and was elected. Most of his legal cases were of a commercial nature, but one was one of the great criminal poisoning crimes of the early Victorian period. In March 1845 Kelly defended John Tawell, the "Quaker murderer," was in fact no longer a member of the Quakers, though he did try to return to that group.
Tawell had poisoned his mistress, Sarah Hart, fled from Salt Hill in Aylesbury by train. However, a description of Tawell was sent to London by electric telegraph, he was captured. Kelly did the best he could for his client, his argument that Sarah Hart had eaten too many apple pips and been poisoned by the prussic acid in the pips led to the nickname "Apple-pip," which followed Kelly for the rest of his life. Despite his endeavours, his client was hanged. Kelly was Solicitor-General in 1845 and again from February to December 1852, during which time he was junior to Attorney-General Sir Frederic Thesiger in the prosecution of John Henry Newman for libel, the Achilli trial. In 1858–1859 he was Attorney General in Lord Derby's second ministry. In 1866 he was raised to the bench as the last Lord Chief Baron of the Exchequer and made a member of the Privy Council, entitling him to sit on the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council. Kelly died at Brighton on 18 September 1880, aged 83. Politics of the United Kingdom This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed..
"Kelly, Sir Fitzroy". Encyclopædia Britannica. 15. Cambridge University Press. P. 720. Leigh Rayment's Historical List of MPs Foss, E.. A Biographical Dictionary of the Judges of England: from the Conquest to the present time, 1066–1870. ISBN 1-4286-2959-9. Gowing, Richard'Sir Fitzroy Kelly, Lord Chief Baron' in: Richard Gowing Public Men of Ipswich and East Suffolk. A series of personal sketches. Ipswich: Scopes.
Negligence is a failure to exercise appropriate and or ethical ruled care expected to be exercised amongst specified circumstances. The area of tort law known as negligence involves harm caused by failing to act as a form of carelessness with extenuating circumstances; the core concept of negligence is that people should exercise reasonable care in their actions, by taking account of the potential harm that they might foreseeably cause to other people or property. Someone who suffers loss caused by another's negligence may be able to sue for damages to compensate for their harm; such loss may include harm to property, psychiatric illness, or economic loss. The law on negligence may be assessed in general terms according to a five-part model which includes the assessment of duty, actual cause, proximate cause, damages; some things must be established by anyone. These are. Most jurisdictions say that there are four elements to a negligence action: duty: the defendant has a duty to others, including the plaintiff, to exercise reasonable care, breach: the defendant breaches that duty through an act or culpable omission, damages: as a result of that act or omission, the plaintiff suffers an injury, causation: the injury to the plaintiff is a reasonably foreseeable consequence of the defendant's act or omission.
Some jurisdictions narrow the definition down to three elements: duty and proximately caused harm. Some jurisdictions recognize five elements, breach, actual cause, proximate cause, damages. However, at their heart, the various definitions of what constitutes negligent conduct are similar; the legal liability of a defendant to a plaintiff is based on the defendant's failure to fulfil a responsibility, recognised by law, of which the plaintiff is the intended beneficiary. The first step in determining the existence of a recognised responsibility is the concept of an obligation or duty. In the tort of negligence the term used is duty of care The case of Donoghue v Stevenson established the modern law of negligence, laying the foundations of the duty of care and the fault principle which, have been adopted throughout the Commonwealth. May Donoghue and her friend were in a café in Paisley; the friend bought Mrs Donoghue. She drank some of the beer and poured the remainder over her ice-cream and was horrified to see the decomposed remains of a snail exit the bottle.
Donoghue suffered nervous shock and gastro-enteritis, but did not sue the cafe owner, instead suing the manufacturer, Stevenson.. The Scottish judge, Lord MacMillan, considered the case to fall within a new category of delict; the case proceeded to the House of Lords, where Lord Atkin interpreted the biblical ordinance to'love thy neighbour' as a legal requirement to'not harm thy neighbour.' He went on to define neighbour as "persons who are so and directly affected by my act that I ought reasonably to have them in contemplation as being so affected when I am directing my mind to the acts or omissions that are called in question." In England the more recent case of Caparo Industries Plc v Dickman introduced a'threefold test' for a duty of care. Harm must be reasonably foreseeable there must be a relationship of proximity between the plaintiff and defendant and it must be'fair and reasonable' to impose liability. However, these act as guidelines for the courts in establishing a duty of care. In Australia, Donoghue v Stevenson was used as a persuasive precedent in the case of Grant v Australian Knitting Mills.
This was a landmark case in the development of negligence law in Australia. Whether a duty of care is owed for psychiatric, as opposed to physical, harm was discussed in the Australian case of Tame v State of New South Wales. Determining a duty for mental harm has now been subsumed into the Civil Liability Act 2002 in New South Wales; the application of Part 3 of the Civil Liability Act 2002 was demonstrated in Wicks v SRA. Once it is established that the defendant owed a duty to the plaintiff/claimant, the matter of whether or not that duty was breached must be settled; the test is both objective. The defendant who knowingly exposes the plaintiff/claimant to a substantial risk of loss, breaches that duty; the defendant who fails to realize the substantial risk of loss to the plaintiff/claimant, which any reasonable person in the same situation would have realized breaches that duty. However, whether the test is objective or subjective may depend upon the particular case involved. There is a reduced threshold for the standard of care owed by children.
In the Australian case of McHale v Watson, McHale, a 9-year-old girl was blinded in one eye after being hit by the ricochet of a sharp metal rod thrown by a 12-year-old boy, Watson. The defendant child was held not to have the level of care to the standard of an adult, but of a 12-year-old child with similar experience and intelligence. Kitto J explained that a child's lack of foresight is a characteristic they share with others at that stage of development. Certain jurisdictions provide for breaches where professionals, such as doctors, fail to warn of risks assoc
Law of the United States
The law of the United States comprises many levels of codified and uncodified forms of law, of which the most important is the United States Constitution, the foundation of the federal government of the United States. The Constitution sets out the boundaries of federal law, which consists of Acts of Congress, treaties ratified by the Senate, regulations promulgated by the executive branch, case law originating from the federal judiciary; the United States Code is the official compilation and codification of general and permanent federal statutory law. Federal law and treaties, so long as they are in accordance with the Constitution, preempt conflicting state and territorial laws in the 50 U. S. in the territories. However, the scope of federal preemption is limited because the scope of federal power is not universal. In the dual-sovereign system of American federalism, states are the plenary sovereigns, each with their own constitution, while the federal sovereign possesses only the limited supreme authority enumerated in the Constitution.
Indeed, states may grant their citizens broader rights than the federal Constitution as long as they do not infringe on any federal constitutional rights. Thus, most U. S. law consists of state law, which can and does vary from one state to the next. At both the federal and state levels, with the exception of the state of Louisiana, the law of the United States is derived from the common law system of English law, in force at the time of the American Revolutionary War. However, American law has diverged from its English ancestor both in terms of substance and procedure, has incorporated a number of civil law innovations. In the United States, the law is derived from five sources: constitutional law, statutory law, administrative regulations, the common law. Where Congress enacts a statute that conflicts with the Constitution, state or federal courts may rule that law to be unconstitutional and declare it invalid. Notably, a statute does not automatically disappear because it has been found unconstitutional.
Many federal and state statutes have remained on the books for decades after they were ruled to be unconstitutional. However, under the principle of stare decisis, no sensible lower court will enforce an unconstitutional statute, any court that does so will be reversed by the Supreme Court. Conversely, any court that refuses to enforce a constitutional statute will risk reversal by the Supreme Court. Commonwealth countries are heirs to the common law legal tradition of English law. Certain practices traditionally allowed under English common law were expressly outlawed by the Constitution, such as bills of attainder.</ref> and general search rrts. As common law courts, U. S. courts have inherited the principle of stare decisis. American judges, like common law judges elsewhere, not only apply the law, they make the law, to the extent that their decisions in the cases before them become precedent for decisions in future cases; the actual substance of English law was formally "received" into the United States in several ways.
First, all U. S. states except Louisiana have enacted "reception statutes" which state that the common law of England is the law of the state to the extent that it is not repugnant to domestic law or indigenous conditions. Some reception statutes impose a specific cutoff date for reception, such as the date of a colony's founding, while others are deliberately vague. Thus, contemporary U. S. courts cite pre-Revolution cases when discussing the evolution of an ancient judge-made common law principle into its modern form, such as the heightened duty of care traditionally imposed upon common carriers. Second, a small number of important British statutes in effect at the time of the Revolution have been independently reenacted by U. S. states. Two examples are the Statute of 13 Elizabeth; such English statutes are still cited in contemporary American cases interpreting their modern American descendants. Despite the presence of reception statutes, much of contemporary American common law has diverged from English common law.
Although the courts of the various Commonwealth nations are influenced by each other's rulings, American courts follow post-Revolution Commonwealth rulings unless there is no American ruling on point, the facts and law at issue are nearly identical, the reasoning is persuasive. Early on, American courts after the Revolution did cite contemporary English cases, because appellate decisions from many American courts were not reported until the mid-19th century. Lawyers and judges used English legal materials to fill the gap. Citations to English decisions disappeared during the 19th century as American courts developed their own principles to resolve the legal problems of the American people; the number of published volumes of American reports soared from eighteen in 1810 to over 8,000 by 1910. By 1879 one of the delegates to the California constitutional convention was complaining: "Now, when we require them to state the reasons for a decision, we do not mean they shall write a hundred pages of detail.
We not mean that they shall include the small cases, impose on the country all this fine judici