…nota bene…

From the immense multiplication of reported cases, many of them being of local or individual interest merely, many others, consisting more of the application than the settlement of any principle, and many of all kinds, no doubt, being both hastily considered, and questionably decided – it has come to pass that precedent, in its ancient and technical power, is hardly known to the courts at all; and that "a case" – once so much sought for, so deferentially listened to, and so scrupulously followed – is now much less inquired after than "a principle" and "a reason."

Smith’s Leading Cases, 1855, Vol.I, Preface to the fifth American edition.

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Last updated: 06-Oct-2015

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