Clients will often inform me of a case from a remote state and think that it is case law in the state they are in. That is not the case! In order for a case to have an impact on the state where the case is located, the case usually has to be from that state. When we are in a federal court, the case ruling should be either in that circuit, or ideally from the US Supreme Court. Additionally, when a state is involved, the decision should preferably be from a higher court from that state. This gets a bit involved, but suffice it to say, that a judge’s ruling in Nebraska usually has minimal if any impact on a case in say, Florida. Sometimes, the judge’s ruling on the same point is so cogent, that even from a remote state, it may have some effect on a different state. The problem is, is that each state has its own law. Each state interprets and executes its own law. With today’s internet searches by non-attorneys, that is a good thing to keep in mind.
Larry Kobak, Esq., DPM