SORRY OFFICER I DIDN’T MEAN IT, the stress-testing of language in legal regulation and dispute resolution…

Joel C. Denning Law

During the eighteenth century there was a maturation of colonial legal systems with much unevenness from colony to colony, the bench and bar became better trained and better regulated. English-educated lawyers probably exerted appreciable influence in the middle and southern colonies. It seems that adequate common-law books were present in at least some of the colonies, though doubtless in scattered libraries, Certainly it can be said that in the fairly typical colonies the common law was knowable and for the most part followed by the time of the Revolution.
The post-Revolutionary evidence makes it conclusive that by 1765 the courts applied the common law “in the main.” It was said that “The ends of the bridge are secure even if the floor has some missing planks.”
William & Mary Law Review
Volume 10
Issue 2 Article 7 (1968)


We Americans are beneficiaries of the English Common law. Much Common law…

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