federal common law
- A concept intriguing to legal theorists. Strictly speaking, a nonentity. 15 Am J2d Com L § 4. In a less than strict usage, the common law enforced generally throughout the United States. Western Union Tel. Co. v Call Pub. Co. 181 US 92, 45 L Ed 765, 21 S Ct 561. While there is no common law of the United States in the sense of a national customary law, the courts of the United States enforce the law as they find it in the several states and apply the common law, as a national institution, in the interpretation of the constitution. State ex ref. Powell v State Bank, 90 Mont 539, 4 P2d 717, 80 ALR 1494. Although there is no national common law in the United States distinct from the common law which each state has adopted for itself and applies as its local law subject to alteration by statute, there is a federal common law in the sense that the United States Constitution, treaties, and statutes are construed in the light of common law principles and in the further sense that the federal courts also apply common law principles in cases involving substantive matters in transactions substantially involving the interests or obligations of the federal government or its instrumentalities. 15 Am J2d Com L § 4. "Notwithstanding Erie Railroad v Tompkins, 304 US 64, 82 L Ed 1188, 58 S Ct 817, 114 ALR 1487, there still exist certain fields where legal relations are governed by a Federal common law, a body of decisional law developed by the Federal courts untrammeled by state court decisions." O'Brien v Western Union Telegraph Co. (CA1 Mass) 113 F2d 539.
Ballentine's law dictionary. Anderson, W.S.. 1998.
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Federal common law — is a term of United States law used to describe common law that is developed by the federal courts, instead of by the courts of the various states. The United States is the only country to combine the creation of common law doctrines with a… … Wikipedia
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federal common law — A body of decisional law developed by the federal courts. The application of this body of common law is limited by the Erie doctrine and by the Rules of Decision Act, which provides that except for cases governed by the Constitution, the treaties … Black's law dictionary
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common law — Those principles, usages and rules of action applicable to the government and security of persons and property which do not rest for their authority upon any express or positive statute or other written declaration, but upon statements of… … Ballentine's law dictionary
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