Basic Tools and Concepts
Basic Form of Legal Proofs
Generally, legal proofs are a form of complex definitional proof. There are two parts to the proof: the first defines or proves the rule, the second proves that the object or case under consideration does or does not fit the rule.
Seen as a standard deductive syllogism, a typical legal proof can be illustrated as follows:
Major Premise (general rule)
- May be statute
- May be from common law using induction
- May be combination of statute and its
interpretation by courts (using induction)
- May or may not require detailed proof
Major Premise is Applied to:
- The specific facts of the case under consideration.
- Use analogical reasoning to test facts against rule by comparing to other situations that have applied the same rule to similar facts.
Use Reasoning by Analogy to Reach: