a broad proposition (usually stated in a fixed Latin form), a number of which have been used by lawyers since the 17th century or earlier. Some of them can be traced to early Roman law. Much more general in scope than ordinary rules of law, legal maxims commonly formulate a legal policy or ideal that judges are supposed to consider in deciding cases. Maxims do not normally have the dogmatic authority of statutes and are usually not considered to be law except to the extent of their application in adjudicated cases. In California some maxims have been incorporated into the civil code; one example is, "Anyone may waive the advantage of a law intended solely for his benefit. But a law established for a public reason cannot be contravened by a private agreement." (Thus, an agreement not to invoke the statute of limitations is binding, but an agreement not to plead that a certain contract constitutes an illegal restraint of trade is not.) Another example is, "The law never requires impossibilities": Lex non cogit ad impossibilia. (Thus, an actor who becomes ill is excused from performing even though his contract does not so state.
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|a gadget; dingus; thingumbob.|
|a fool or simpleton; ninny.|
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