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n. a collection of legal truisms which are used as "rules of thumb" by both judges and lawyers. They are listed in the codified statutes of most states, and include: "When the reason of a rule ceases, so should the rule itself." "He who consents to an act is not wronged by it." "No one can take advantage of his own wrong." "No one should suffer by the act of another." "He who takes the benefit must bear the burden." "For every wrong there is a remedy." "Between rights otherwise equal, the earliest is preferred." "No man is responsible for that which no man can control." "The law helps the vigilant, before those who sleep on their rights." "The law respects form less than substance." "The law never requires impossibilities." "The law neither does nor requires idle acts." "The law disregards trifles." "Particular expressions qualify those which are general." "That is certain which can be made certain." "Time does not confirm a void act." "An interpretation which gives effect is preferred to one which makes void." "Interpretation must be reasonable." "Things happen according to the ordinary course of nature and the ordinary habits of life."

The People's Law Dictionary by Gerald and Kathleen Hill Publisher Fine Communications