legal theory


A complete statement of positive law, usually arranged by topic and sub-topic.

Promulgated codes contain the laws, rules, and/or regulations currently in force in a given jurisdiction.

Model codes, such as the UCC, are written so that...

Compare With

A signal encouraging readers to compare at least two cited sources. Comparing the sources should either support or illuminate the author's preceding statements.

This signal gets used as follows: Compare [source 1] with [source 2].


Comparison Signal

See Compare with.

Constitutional Avoidance

Constitutional Avoidance is the principal that, if possible, the Supreme Court should avoid ruling on constitutional issues, and resolve the cases before them on other (usually statutory) grounds. In practice, what this often means is that if the...


Construction refers to the process of interpreting a law or a legal document, such as a contract or will. Construction is necessary when the plain language of a law or legal document is ambiguous, or the intent of its authors is unclear or...


To construe means to determine the meaning of the text of a written document (a statute, regulation, court decision, etc.) based on the rules of legal interpretation.

Under the tripartite structure of the U.S. federal...


Latin, "against." A signal indicating that the cited source directly states the opposite of whatever the author just said. In other words, assuming an objective truth, the two claims are mutually exclusive and one must be false.

See Negative...

Contra Proferentem

A Latin term used in contract law referring to the principle that a judge will construe an ambiguous term against the party that imposed the inclusion of the term in the contract during negotiation or drafting.

Controlling Law

In contracts, trusts, or other documents, controlling law refers to the laws of the state which will be relied upon in judging disputes.

In contracts, the parties often agree on a choice of law clause that...


The provisions of the U.S. Constitution setting out the powers of the Federal judiciary, define those powers in using two different but related words "cases" and "controversies". See U.S Constitution, Article III, section 2. In framing judicial...