Lemuel Shaw

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Shaw, Lemuel,

1781–1861, American jurist, b. Barnstable, Mass. After a career in the Massachusetts state legislature, Shaw served as chief justice for the supreme judicial court of Massachusetts (1830–60). In Commonwealth v. Hunt (1842), Shaw provided an important precedent in labor relations by arguing that members of labor unions were not engaging in criminal conspiracies against their employers. In Roberts v. City of Boston (1849), a forerunner of Plessy v. FergusonPlessy v. Ferguson,
case decided by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1896. The court upheld an 1890 Louisiana statute mandating racially segregated but equal railroad carriages, ruling that the equal protection clause of the 14th amendment to the U.S.
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 (1896), he ruled that the segregation of black schoolchildren was not a violation of the Massachusetts state constitution. His decision in Commonwealth v. Alger (1851) was an early and influential attempt to define the limits of state police powerpolice power,
in law, right of a government to make laws necessary for the health, morals, and welfare of the populace. The term has greatest currency in the United States, where it has been defined by the Supreme Court as the power of the states to enact laws of that type even
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. In Brown v. Kendall (1850), Shaw established negligence as the dominant standard of tort law, and ruled that injured plaintiffs have the burden of proving that the defendant was negligent.
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Shaw, Lemuel

(1781–1861) judge; born in Barnstable, Mass. The son of a Congregational minister, he was educated at home and worked as a journalist while he read law. Admitted to the bar in 1804, he established a lucrative practice in Boston. As chief justice of the Massachusetts Supreme Court from 1830 to 1860, his rulings on railroad, utility, and other commercial cases had a major impact on the development of the nation's commercial and constitutional law. In 1850 he presided over the sensational trial of Harvard professor John W. Webster, convicted of murdering Dr. George Parkman. His daughter married the novelist Herman Melville.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.
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'Typee' was dedicated to Chief Justice Lemuel Shaw of Massachusetts, an old friendship between the author's family and that of Justice Shaw having been renewed about this time.
Chief Justice Lemuel Shaw presided and his jury instructions became standard instructions in Massachusetts until 2015.
Duca's notes leave open the slight possibility that LS stands for Lemuel Shaw, a Supreme Judicial Court justice, instead of, or in addition to, Lemuel Shattuck.
In Melville's "Letter to Lemuel Shaw", one reads: "Nay, I do not oscillate in Emerson's rainbow, but prefer rather to hang myself in my own halter that swing in any other man's swing" (103).
He leads off with Massachusetts Chief Justice Lemuel Shaw's pivotal decision in Farwell v.
Judge Lemuel Shaw's jury instructions in the 1850 murder trial of John White Webster included a definition of "proof beyond a reasonable doubt" that the state Supreme Judicial Court has all but insisted Massachusetts judges continue to use to this day.
The decision of Lemuel Shaw in the Farwell case, which firmly established the fellow-servant rule, made it clear that the reason why workers could not sue their employers for the negligence of fellow servants was that workers were presumed in law to have assumed the risk of being injured by their co-workers.
Herman's father, Allan, was close friends and at one time business partners with Lemuel Shaw, who was also engaged to be married to Allan's sister, Nancy.