Statutory and Common Law
Two major approaches to the creation of law
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What is Statutory Law?
State contract law comes in two forms, statutes and common law.
Statutory law, as the name implies, is determined by statutes (or regulations) passed by the state government.
What is the Common Law?
Common law, on the other hand, is the law that arises pursuant to judicial interpretation of a given situation or statute.
How is the Common Law developed?
When a trial court's decision goes up for appeal, the appellate court may review the law to determine whether it was applied correctly and whether the law is constitutional.
The court's analysis of how the law should be applied in order to meet the legislative intent and remain within constitutional boundaries becomes part of the contract law. This legal interpretation is known as "common law" and becomes a part of the law of contracts for that jurisdiction.
Together these laws make up the body of contract law that applies within a given state's jurisdiction.