Q: Precise criteria, definitions. Citation of cases.

Persuasive cases are not precedents. Other then art of selecting cases, what are the scientific definitions? Seminal can be either precedent or persuasive?

1 Lawyer Answer
James L. Arrasmith
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A: In the realm of legal jurisprudence, cases are typically categorized as either precedent or persuasive. Precedent cases are those that establish a legal rule or principle that must be followed by lower courts within the same jurisdiction. In California, this includes decisions by the California Supreme Court and the California Courts of Appeal. These cases set binding legal standards.

On the other hand, persuasive cases are those from other jurisdictions or lower courts that judges may consider but are not obligated to follow. These cases can be influential in shaping a judge's decision, especially when there is a lack of binding precedent or when the case presents a novel issue.

A seminal case, whether it be precedent or persuasive, is one that significantly influences the law and sets forth new legal principles or clarifies existing ones. These cases often have a profound impact on legal thought and practice, regardless of their jurisdictional origin.

When selecting cases to support legal arguments, it's important to distinguish between these types. Precedent cases from California courts carry more weight in California legal proceedings, while persuasive cases can be used to suggest a direction for the court in absence of a clear precedent or to argue for a change in the law.

Remember, the effectiveness of citing cases depends on their relevance, the authority of the court, and the similarity of the legal issues and facts to the case at hand. It's essential to evaluate each case's applicability and strength in the context of your specific legal situation.

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