Week 2 - WEEK 2 I Interplay between statutes and the common...

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WEEK 2 9/6/2006 I. Interplay between statutes and the common law A. Legislature can change the common law by statute B. Legislature can “legislate” the common law by statute C. Courts can interpret statute D. Do courts abandon precedent? i. See Gallagher v. St. Raymond’s , Cases at 6 – In 1968, a woman, Mrs. Gallagher attends a church function. When Mrs. Gallagher leaves the church it has become night and is dark outside. Gallagher falls while trying to find a railing in the darkness and sues stating that the Church was negligent by not providing lighting and owed a duty of reasonable care to their guests. NY common law stated that property owners were not required to provide artificial light on their property. Property laws for NY were established in early 1900s when it was unreasonable to require property owners to provide expensive artificial light (gas lamps, etc). The Court of Appeals ruled that the laws were outdated given that it is now cheap and easy to have outdoor lighting. The judges also looked at the fact that the city municipalities changed their ordinates requiring public building owners to provide artificial light. Therefore the court was willing to abandon precedent and changed the common law rule. II. What cases change in the law? A. Social development or social evolution i. Obscenity laws have undergone radical transformation since Victorian times. ii. Prevailing public view on workers’ compensation is different today than during the beginning of the industrial revolution.
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  • Fall '07
  • GROSSMAN,D.
  • Law, Common Law, Supreme Court of the United States, Subject-matter jurisdiction, Personal jurisdiction

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