About

Welcome to Arizona Common Law!

Fiat justia ruat caelum – “Let justice be done though the heavens fall.”

Strictly speaking, the common law refers to statutes and case law that governed England and the American Colonies prior to the American Revolution.  Sir William Blackstone’s Commentaries on the Laws of England (1769) is often cited when describing the how the common law of England was applied to the American Colonies.   The state of Arizona uses common law courts which focuses on prior judicial decisions, unless an applicable statute is directly on point.  One feature of the common law is to promote judicial consistency by courts relying on past decisions when making future decisions.

This blog will attempt to explain and highlight, case law and current events that have legal ramifications in Arizona.  This blog will try to cover the biggest cases that impact Arizona in both state and federal courts.  Specifically, it will focus on what rights are protected by the Arizona Constitution, free speech rights (protected by the federal and Arizona Constitutions), religion and religious freedoms (protected by the federal and Arizona Constitutions), and emerging issues of the law.

This flexibility and capacity for growth and adaptation is the peculiar boast and excellence of the common law.

— Holden v. Hardy, 169 U.S. 366, 388 (1898) (quoting Hurtado v. People of State of Cal., 110 U.S. 516, 530 (1884)).

About the Author

My name is Joe Thomas.  I graduated law school in April 2014, received my Juris Doctor and sat for the July 2014 bar examination.  I am not a lawyer and cannot give legal advice.  Nothing on this blog is intended to be legal advice.  If you need legal advice please find a licensed attorney.

All of the opinions and analysis expressed through this site are my own.

I find legal jargon like ‘stipulations’ funny, especially when my girlfriend uses it.  Why not just use the word agreement?  Seriously.  On the other hand, I find internet terms of service becoming increasingly disturbing with all of the rights they presume to have over users who merely visit the website — such as LexisNexis’ Terms of Service just to read the state laws of Colorado.

When not studying the law I like to play chess, snap photos, camp in tents at national parks, and cook southwestern foods.  I grew up in Colorado and moved to Arizona for law school — I have spent most of my life out west. I enjoy the outdoors and the environment, but I like living in a big city.

My legal interests are shaped by life experiences, both personal and professional.  During law school I have interned at the Arizona Justice Project, Federal Public Defender for the District of Arizona — Capital Habeas Unit, and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) Phoenix District Office.

I also run the website Colorado Common Law.

To contact me send me an email to: Joe.Thomas@gmail.com.

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A Discussion About the Law in Arizona