Definition

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    Precedent can be defined as a previously adjudged action or decision on same or similar point, serving as a rule or example for present guidance

    New York State Unified Court System. “Glossary of Legal Terms” (2016)

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    Another definition of precedent is the legal notion that prior appellate court decisions constitute binding guidance for future rulings on the same issues.

    Drogin, Eric Y., et al. Handbook of forensic assessment: Psychological and psychiatric perspectives. Vol. 209. John Wiley & Sons, 2011.

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    A court decision that provides an example or authority for a later similar case that deals with a similar question of law.

    Missouri Press-Bar Commission. “News Reporter’s Legal Glossary” (2009)

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    A judgment or decision of a Court of law cited as authority for deciding upon later cases involving similar facts or issues. Also refers to a copy of an instrument or document used as a guide in preparation of a similar instrument or document.

    Parlee McLaws LLP. “Glossary Of Common Financial and Legal Terms”, 4th ed.

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    A template used as a guide to preparing a similar type of agreement. It can also refer to a prior court decision that is authority for a particular legal position or argument.

    Peter English, Surry Partners Lawyers. “Glossary of legal terms” (2009)

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    A prior judicial decision that serves as an example or rule to authorize or justify another.

    Colorado Bar Association. “Glossary of Legal Terms”

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    A previously decided case that guides the decision of future cases.

    National Center for State Courts. “Glossary of Commonly Used Court & Justice System Terminology”, Rev. 2/8/11 (2011)

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    A court decision in an earlier case that the court uses to decide similar or new cases.

    California Superior Court. “English Legal Glossary” (2005)

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    Doctrine of precedent is the doctrine that courts must follow past rulings of higher courts in very similar cases. The precedent comes from the reasons a judge has given for their decision in a case. For example, the County Court of Victoria must follow relevant rulings of the Supreme Court of Victoria.

    Victoria Law Foundation. “Legal glossary” (2015)

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    An adjudged case or court decision furnishing an example or authority for an identical or similar later case on a similar question. Judges will generally “follow precedent” - meaning that they use the principles established in earlier cases to decide new cases that have similar facts and raise similar legal issues. A judge will disregard precedent if a party can show that the earlier case was wrongly decided or that it differed in some significant way from the current case.

    State Bar of Wisconsin. “News Reporters’ Legal Handbook”, 6th Ed. (2013)