Fun_People Archive
5 Jun
Just wait 'till my next parking ticket...

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From: Peter Langston <psl>
Date: Wed,  5 Jun 96 11:39:39 -0700
To: Fun_People
Subject: Just wait 'till my next parking ticket...

Forwarded-by: Keith Bostic <>
Forwarded-by: (David C Lawrence)
Forwarded-by: "Jim Freely" <>
From: (MJG)
Subject: Re: Modern applications of ancient precedents

There is a Judge of our local District court (who taught me Tort Law at
the local College) who is of the opinion that Trial By Combat remains a
valid form of Ajudicating disputes in MD and as a lawyer he actually
entered a prayer for trial by combat (it was denied, and his client was
acquited so he never bothered the appeal).  His reasoning is thus:

1) A part of the Maryland Constitution defines the common law of Maryland
as the Common Law of England as of July 4, 1776

2) In A celebrated case in England in the 1850's a litigant who was due
to lose a huge case in desperation issued a challenge for trial by combat
to his opponents and showed up in front of the courthouse in full armor
at the appointed time.  When the other side failed to show up he demanded
(and got) a victory by default.  A reluctant judge concluded that since
it never been altered by statute, trial by combat was still a valid part
of English Common Law.  An emergency session of Parliment was called the
next week to formally outlaw the practice once and for all.

3) Maryland however, never followed suit, so technically Trial by combat
remains "on the books" of MD Common Law...

I can't wait to try this sometime....

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