Duane Morris of counsel Thomas R. Newman co-authored an article that was recently published in the New York Law Journal. “Urging a Change in the Law: When to Set Aside Precedent?” explores the common law doctrine of stare decisis, which provides that once a court has decided a legal issue, subsequent cases presenting similar facts should be decided in conformity with the earlier decision. But the doctrine is not an inflexible rule. Judicial decisions simply determine the rights of the parties to an action that is before the court at a particular time in history. They are not, and are not meant to be, immutable laws governing the conduct of mankind and designed for the ages, such as the Ten Commandments. Rather, opinions “must be read in the setting of the particular cases and as the product of preoccupation with their special facts.” The “precedential value of a judicial opinion is limited to the question presented by the facts of the case before the court.”
To read the article in its entirety, please visit: http://www.duanemorris.com/articles/urging_a_change_in_the_law_when_to_set_aside_precedent_5578.html.