For a Kinder, Gentler Society
25 Doctrines of Law You Should Know
  • Philip Chase Tobin
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25 Doctrines of Law You Should Know.
Sound Bite
In a non-jargon format, this book explains 25 doctrines of law that are most important for Americans on a day-to-day basis.

The doctrines of law have never been addressed in book form before. In fact, surprisingly little is on the market that would make even some basic principles of American law accessible to the public.


About the Author

Philip Chase Tobin holds degrees in English and Latin and Legal Technology. He has been a school teacher and businessman and holds a U.S. Patent and numerous copyrights. He has self-litigated several cases and has been to the U.S. Supreme Court on a writ of certiorari.

About the Book

"I'll sue you!

In America's litigious society, everyone needs to know a few basics to avoid being snowed, cowed and generally abused. Even those who can afford to hire lawyers need to know what they are up...

"I'll sue you!

In America's litigious society, everyone needs to know a few basics to avoid being snowed, cowed and generally abused. Even those who can afford to hire lawyers need to know what they are up to. This introduction to legal doctrines is a good first step if you want to file suit or help prepare your own legal defenes.

When a conflict arises, what are the main doctrines of law that give one side an advantage? What do they mean, and how do they apply? When you can see through the legal jargon, the intimidation factor loses its power and you can concentrate on real issues — and use these tools to take care of yourself.

Some of America's doctrines go back to the 17th-century English Bench and have had a lasting impact on our legal system. Other doctrines are of more recent vintage but have had an equally profound influence. The author has researched 1000 legal cases and identified 326 different doctrines of law; of those, he has selected 25 doctrines that average Americans are most likely to encounter in everyday activities. In these pages he reviews actual cases to show how the doctrines apply in real-life scenarios and relates what happened in court.

These non-jargon explanations of legal scenarios provide handy background reading for fans of court-room dramas and, since any one of us may end up in court these days, important general education for every adult in the United States.

The 25 doctrines discussed are:

    1. Res Ipsa Loquitur
    2. Promissory Estoppel
    3. Respondeat Superior
    4. Doctrine of Sudden Danger
    5. Rescue Doctrine
    6. Doctrine of Comparative Negligence
    7. Doctrine of Unjust Enrichment
    8. Doctrine of Unclean Hands
    9. Doctrine of Unconscionability
    10. Fruit of the Poisonous Tree Doctrine
    11. Attractive Nuisance Doctrine
    12. Doctrine of Mitigated Damages
    13. Quantum Meruit Doctrine
    14. Doctrine of Sovereign Immunity
    15. Doctrine of Absolute Immunity
    16. Doctrine of Qualified Immunity
    17. Last Clear Chance Doctrine
    18. Open and Obvious Danger Doctrine
    19. Assumption of Risk Doctrine
    20. Public Duty Doctrine
    21. Statute of Limitations
    22. Equitable Estoppel
    23. Res Judicata
    24.Collateral Estoppel
    25. Stare Decisis

As an accessible point of introduction for those interested in the US legal system, this book is suitable as a popular reference work for public libraries, auxiliary reading for business-school courses, a starting place for anyone caught in a legal conflict, and handy background reading for fans of court-room drama novels and TV.


Preface

I have often heard it said that we in the US are a litigious society. I have often heard it said that this is because we have more personal freedom than other societies. I believe both statements to be true. My purpose in bringing forth this...

I have often heard it said that we in the US are a litigious society. I have often heard it said that this is because we have more personal freedom than other societies. I believe both statements to be true. My purpose in bringing forth this book is to show the average person that he or she can be an informed citizen and, if not exhaustively informed, at least well enough informed to arrive at an intelligent decision about when to consult an attorney and what to believe when the attorney gives an assessment of a controversy.
Every year thousands of citizens are victimized by their ignorance of the law. They would not have been so afflicted had they known enough basic law to have consulted an attorney in good time. Had these individuals been lay-familiar with the doctrines of law contained in this book, they very well could have avoided their loss: countless thousands of individuals who should have consulted a lawyer and didn’t because they lacked a fundamental understanding of the most rudimentary law as manifested by the contents of the doctrines contained herein.
To my knowledge, no work has ever been published that treats the doctrines of law as a subject area of law. In the short term, I believe this is a good read; in the long term, and upon reflection, the reader will have developed a sense for the legal arena.
There are over three hundred doctrines of law. Most are very narrow in their application. The Doctrine of Riparian Rights has to do with water rights; the Pullman-Abstention Doctrine has to do with avoiding the possibility of federal courts unnecessarily deciding Constitutional questions. The Lis-Pendens Doctrine binds a purchaser or encumbrancer of property to the results of any pending lawsuit which may effect title. By contrast the doctrines I have selected and discussed are, I feel, relevant to the average person in the broad sweep of his every day activity.
The case material is interesting stuff cut from the day-to-day tourney of legal Americana. The initial case presented under a given doctrine is abstracted from an actual case, followed by a derived rendition of a specific public-record case.
Any writing that attempts to treat the subject of doctrines of law must, in the very beginning, attempt to define the term it seeks to explain. In his address, “The Path of the Law,” given at the dedication of the New Hall of the Boston University School of Law on January 8, 1897, the later-to-be Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes stated that “It is not the nature of the crime, but the dangerousness of the criminal that constitutes the only reasonable legal criterion to guide the inevitable social reaction against the criminal.”
I suspect that if this was true to such a legal clairvoyant as Oliver Wendell Holmes in 1897, it was also true to those nameless great Anglo-Saxon legal minds that came before him, and it was in an effort to encapsulate and solemnize the social reaction against perceived criminal and civil miscreants that the doctrines of law came into being. Doctrines of law are, then, judge-made legal clichés that describe social reactions to legal conundrums that result from errant criminal and civil behavior.
Let us begin with Res Ipsa Loquitur!

Philip Chase
Ellsworth, Maine


Reviews
May 2007 Reference & Research Book News | More »
Categories

Pages 240
Year: 2007
LC Classification: KF380.C48
Dewey code: 349.73--dc22
BISAC: LAW030000
BISAC: LAW052000
Soft Cover
ISBN: 978-0-87586-536-2
Price: USD 23.95
Hard Cover:
ISBN: 978-0-87586-537-9
Price: USD 32.95
eBook
ISBN: 978-0-87586-538-6
Price: USD 23.95
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