Case Of First Impression Definition and Legal Meaning

On this page, you'll find the legal definition and meaning of Case Of First Impression, written in plain English, along with examples of how it is used.

What is Case Of First Impression?

(phr) Case of First Instance is the situation when an issue or dispute connected with a new or previously undecided legislation comes before the court where precedence and case laws are not available to aid the judge.

History and Meaning of Case Of First Impression

A "Case of First Impression" is a legal term that refers to a legal case where a judge must make a decision about a question of law that has not been previously addressed by any higher court. This means that the judge must determine the legal rule or principle that should be applied to the specific circumstances before them. As there is no prior precedent or judicial decision to rely on, the judge must review the relevant legislation or legal codes and use their interpretation of it to make a decision.

The term "Case of First Impression" has been used in legal context since the early 1900s in the United States, but variations of the concept can be traced back to medieval English common law.

Examples of Case Of First Impression

  1. A judge in a small claims court is asked to interpret a new statute that has not been addressed in any previous case. The judge must make a decision about the meaning and application of the statute, setting a legal precedent for future cases.

  2. A federal court hears a case about a newly enacted federal law, and must determine how it should be interpreted in light of the Constitution and any relevant legal precedent.

  3. A state court is presented with a novel issue regarding a new area of technology, and must determine how existing legal rules and principles apply to the facts of the case.

Legal Terms Similar to Case Of First Impression

  1. Precedent - Prior court decisions or legal rulings that serve as a guide for future cases with similar issues.

  2. Stare Decisis - A legal doctrine that requires courts to follow prior decisions in cases with similar legal issues.

  3. Legal Interpretation - The process of interpreting and applying laws and legal codes to specific situations or facts.