What are the most prominent differences among the common law systems of the different states in the U.S.A.?

The question above was closed on the grounds that it needs to be more focused?

I could ask what the differences are between the nature of railroad easements in Minnesota and those in Wisconsin, and that would be more focused, but it would obvsiously not serve anything like the purpose of the linked question.

Is there such a thing as a version of the linked question that is more appropriate because it is more focused?

2 Answers 2


I'm not entirely sure what the purpose is of the linked question, but it sound like you are asking for an essay or encyclopedia article. Your questions should be reasonably scoped. If you can imagine an entire book that answers your question, you’re asking too much.


Ask about railway easements across 50 states

As asked, the question is asking about all areas of law across 50 jurisdictions. Given that it takes a lawyer 4 years of law school to get the basics of all law in one state, you’re asking for the equivalent of several dozen PhD theses.

A question focused on railway easements (or something similarly specific) is an appropriate way to focus the question. Similarly, a question about differences in the contra preference um rule or the reasonable person rule across many jurisdictions might work too.

  • 1
    This answer seems very silly. Obviously a question about railway easements would not be a more focused form of this question. And I was asking what kinds of things are typical, not for a complete report on all the differences. Such a report would not be an appropriate answer. Jan 28 at 2:10
  • @MichaelHardy Even limiting the question to what is "typical", it would still require a very intense effort to answer. To even begin to answer the question you would have to consider multiple areas of law (framed in the question as contract, tort, property, and "some other areas of law") across 50 different jurisdictions. And then you'd have to work out, in each area of law and in each jurisdiction, what is "typical" (or as it was phrased in the question, "prominent"). Finally, you'd have to consolidate all of that into a comparison.
    – JBentley
    Feb 23 at 12:20

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