Answers to today's legal questions through blogs and articles

Tag: Common Law

What is RPC Rule 1.16?

Common Law
Judges's Gavel

New Jersey has established the Rules of Professional Conduct for attorneys. Rule 1.16 of the Rules of Professional Conduct deals with the termination of professional services. It is possible for a NJ attorney to withdraw from any case when a client requests that the attorney engage in behavior that he fundamentally disagrees with. RPC Rule 1.16 deals with the specifics of how and when a NJ attorney can withdraw from representation.

What is a Common Law Marriage?

Couple photo
A Couple Walking

When a couple presents themselves as husband and wife and cohabitates for a substantial period of time they can be deemed married without the issuance of a marriage license or a ceremony.  Usually the couple dwells together for at least a year and are in an agreement to become married at a later date. Every state does not recognize or permit common law marriages. However, in most cases if a couple becomes “married” by common law in another state sister states will recognize it as a marital situation.

Is Common Law Legal in NJ?

Prenuptial Agreement and Rings
Prenuptial Agreement

New Jersey is a common law state. In the United States there are two basic legal systems which govern marital property: common law and community property. The community property system is founded on Spanish law and is usually practiced in the western and south western portions of the United States. Alaska offers couples the right to opt in for community property. Common law, on the other hand has its foundation in English law and it is what governs most of the states including New Jersey.

What is Common Law?

Courtroom
Court house

The term Common Law refers to a legal system which is for the most part formed by decisions that have been made by the courts rather than on written laws and regulations that are imposed by government officials or legislatures. Reasoning per each case is necessary to interpret common law. It is based more on a principle and reasoning through particular circumstances to evaluate a case and determine what laws are actually applicable. This means that decisions which have been made about cases which are similar in nature become very valuable since the new case in question will be evaluated based on previous case decisions. The more similar the cases are, the stronger the link between them. The term, common law can also be used to refer to laws which did not originate from other branches of law. Statutes are actually brief explanations of the law they represent and are not explanatory in themselves. Codification is the process through which statutes are passed and then expressed and contained in a single document. This makes it more easily understood within the law that already exists instead of needing to create new laws.  Common Law in most cases only applies inside an area of jurisdiction. Judges oftentimes create common law by writing out their opinions on cases. When they do this, it binds lower courts in the same jurisdiction to the same types of judgments. The foundation that supports this type of law is formed by property, torts and contracts.