Murphy's Laws of Legal Research

Murphy's Law for Scientific Research

With enough research, there is bound to be a trend to support your theory.

Fordham rule

The larger your law library, the longer it takes to discover that it does not have the material you need.

Gordon's Law

If some scientific research is not worth doing at all, then it should not be done well.

Felson's Law

Stealing ideas from one person is plagiarism; stealing from many is a scientific study.

Williams and Holland's Law

If enough data is collected, then using statistical methods you can prove anything.

Thompson's claim

Any fact can be tailored to fit any statement by including additional assumptions in the latter.

The first law of progress in jurisprudence

Advancement in jurisprudence can be measured by the rate at which exceptions to previously adopted laws accumulate.


1. There are always more exceptions than rules.

2. There are always exceptions to current exceptions.

3. By the time exceptions are mastered and widely applied, no one remembers the rules to which they apply.

Souder's Law

Repetition does not provide validity. Legal Exception - Use Case Ensures Accuracy.

Horwood's sixth law

If you have the correct data, then the task is wrong.

Basic rule of history

History is repeating itself - just historians repeat each other.

Rules for Paul.

1. Reject the last of the established truths that appear on the list of discoveries.

2. Add yours there.

3. Pass the list on.

Coilman's Commentary on Santayana's Observation

Those who fail to learn from the past are condemned to re-study the course of history.

Bates Legal Research Act

Scientific research is the process of walking around alleys to see if they are dead ends.

Persing's postulate

The number of reasonable hypotheses that can explain any given phenomenon is endless.

Valley Research Act

The library will have all the old issues of journals available - except for the one you need for your research.

Weiner's Law for Libraries

There are no answers here - just solid cross-references.

Hansen's library axiom

The nearest library does not have the material you need.

Jacobson's law

The less work an organization does, the more often it reorganizes.

Courtois rule

If people listened to themselves more often, they would speak much less.

Sweeney's Law

The size of the progress report is inversely proportional to the results achieved.

Morris law

The most interesting lecture will be scheduled simultaneously with another one, almost as interesting.

Trey's Law

Never drop a good idea on a meeting table. She will belong to this meeting.

Lockland's laws

1. Never be the first.

2. Never be the last.

3. Never volunteer in anything.

Collins Principle for Scientific Conferences

After a hearty dinner, the floor is given to the speaker with the most monotonous voice.

Stein's instructions

1. Knowledge based on external facts and evidence is unreliable.

2. Logic is never able to establish what is possible and what is impossible.

Feinberg's law

Memory serves only its master.

Young's Law

Only after you trip over your own shoes do you start to put them away.

Plutarch's rule

It is impossible to learn what a person already considers to be well learned.

Watch the video: Murphys Law Experiment!

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