FAIL (the browser should render some flash content, not this).


The Principle of the Dangerous Precedent is that you should not now do an admittedly right action for fear you, or your equally timid successors, should not have the courage to do right in some future case, which, ex hypothesi, is essentially different, but superficially resembles the present one. Every public action which is not customary, either is wrong, or, if it is right, is a dangerous precedent. It follows that nothing should ever be done for the first time."  F.Cornford, Microcosmographia Academica 15 (1908)


"Some say this very rare and elusive breed no longer exists, and yet, searches for a Simple Answer still do frequently occur. An enormous amount of time is spent and reams of data are combed over looking for the Simple Answer. Paradoxically, these expeditions often are very complex. Conditional answers, surrounded by Ifs, Wherefores, and Buts, are much more abundant. Perhaps the evolutionary process has had its impact."   W. Zikmund, A Corporate Bestiary 22 (1985)


“[W]hen the law draws a line, a case is on one side of it or the other, and if on the safe side is none the worse legally that a party has availed himself to the full of what the law permits.”   Bullen v. Wisconsin, 240 U.S. 625, 630 (1916) (Holmes, J.)

“We may admit that this case is near the line. . . .  The fact that [the taxpayer] desired to evade the law, as it is called, is immaterial, because the very meaning of a line in the law is that you intentionally may go as close to it as you can if you do not pass it.”    Superior Oil Co. v. Mississippi, 280 U.S. 390, 395-396 (1930) (Holmes, J.).


C. Christopher Trower 2009 | electriclaw | profile | thoughts