Just like most of New York, if not the whole state, the legal system in the Village of Montgomery is based on the English common law. What this means is that law is developed by the judges through the various decision they make in the courts and other similar tribunals. In this particular system, weight is given towards common law where the main principle is that it is unfair to treat any similar facts differently when given different occasions. This law is a binding law for any future decisions.
With respect to practice, the legal system of New York can be very complicated. There are decision made in court that are only binding in certain jurisdictions for example. Sometimes, with jurisdictions, there are courts with more power than another court. For instance, a decision is made by the appellate court. These decisions are binding if they are made in lower courts but in the presence of a persuasive authority, decisions of lower courts are deemed nonbinding. Besides having to deal with its own complexities, the interaction this law has with laws like constitutional law and regulatory law among others makes it even more complex.
The basic principles then of the New York legal system is that there needs to be several stages of research done in a particular situation to define what the law is. Of course, it all begins with make sure of the facts. After this, statutes and cases relevant to the issue have to be located. The principles in these statues and cases have to be extracted and together with this, other analogies and statements of various courts. Lastly, whatever reasons are given and whatever lines that are drawn are integrated into one thought that defines the law. The law can then be applied to the facts.
Another characteristic of the legal system in New York is that it’s continuously evolving. The needs of society keep changing and if the law doesn’t evolve with it, it’s going to be difficult to understand. Since it’s not absolutely bound by precedent and it evolves in gradual steps, the legislative process can be very difficult to start. When we take for example liability for negligence, it had to go through change little by little to be the law that it is now. It can be seen then that with the New York legal system changing and evolving, it’s a law that caters to people’s needs.