Amendment of pleadings

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Amendment of pleadings is the process by which a party to litigation may add, subtract, or modify causes of actions and other matters set forth in the pleadings.

Public policy concerns the body of principles that underpin the operation of legal systems in each state. This addresses the social, moral and economic values that tie a society together: values that vary in different cultures and change over time. Law regulates behaviour either to reinforce existing social expectations or to encourage constructive change, and laws are most likely to be effective when they are consistent with the most generally accepted societal norms and reflect the collective morality of the society.

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The Dictionary of Legal Quotations (1904)[edit]

Quotes reported in James William Norton-Kyshe, The Dictionary of Legal Quotations (1904), p. 10-12.
  • Blessed is the mending hand.
    • Twisden, J.
  • Whatever at common law might be amended in civil cases, was at common law amendable in criminal, and so it is at this day.
    • Holt, C.J., Powell and Powis, JJ., The Queen v. Tutchin (1704), 1 Salk. 51 pl. 14.
  • The rule is "that whilst all is in paper, you may amend."
    • Lord Mansfield, Bondfield v. Milner, (1760) 2 Burr. Part IV., p. 1099.
  • Mr. Attorney, I have often heard say, ' Blessed is the mending hand.'
    • Sir George Jefferies, L.C.J., Trial of Sir S. Barnardiston (1684), 9 How. St. Tr. 1,366, 1,637.
  • Amendments ought not to be made, except in cases where the alteration is of such a nature as that no one can be misled by it.
    • Lord Alvanley, C.J., Ex parte Motley et uxor (1801), 1 Bos. & Pull. 456.
  • We must judge upon the case as stated. If it is mis-stated, you must apply to amend it.
  • I am very free to own that the strong bias of my mind has always leaned to prevent the manifest justice of a cause from being defeated or delayed by formal slips, which arise from the inadvertence of gentlemen of the profession; because it is extremely hard on the party to be turned round, and put to expense, from such mistakes of the counsel or attorney he employs. It is hard, also, on the profession.
  • It is between the stirrup and the ground, Brother; but you may amend by replying.
    • Tindal, C.J., Spincer v. Spincer (1841), 5 Jur. (0. S.) 102.
  • The test as to whether the amendment should be allowed is whether or not the defendants can amend without placing the plaintiff in such a position that he cannot be recouped, as it were, by any allowance of costs or otherwise.
    • Pollock, B., Steward v. Metropolitan Tramways Co. (1885), 16 Q. B. D. 180.
  • However negligent or careless may have been the first omission, however late the proposed amendment, the amendment should be allowed if it can be made without injustice to the other side. There is no injustice if the other side can be compensated by costs.
    • Brett, M.R., Clarapede & Co. v. Commercial Union Association (1883), 32 W. R. 262.
  • My practice has always been to give leave to amend unless I have been satisfied that the party applying was acting mala fide, or that by his blunder, he had done some injury to his opponent which could not be compensated for by costs or otherwise.
    • Bramwell, L.J., Tildesley v. Harper (1878), L. R. 10 C. D. 396.
  • I have said frequently, and I repeat it, that there is no Judge on the bench who is more willing to allow amendments, even at the last moment, than I, provided there is no surprise.
    • Kekewich, J., James v. Smith (1890), L. R. 1 C. D. [1891], p. 389.
  • I do not think I ought to allow an amendment for the mere purpose of enabling the defendant to raise a purely technical objection to the plaintiff's title to sue.
    • Fry, J., Collette v. Goode (1878), 7 C. D. 847.
  • An amendment ought not to be allowed if it will occasion injustice; but if it can do no injustice, and will only save expense, it ought to be made.
    • Lord Esher, M.R., Roberts v. Plant (1895), L. R. 1 Q. B. D. [1895], p. 603.
  • And we will conclude with the aphorisme of that great lawyer and sage of the law. Edm. Plowden (which we have heard him often say) Blessed is the amending hand.
  • Vitium clerici nocere non debet: A clerical error ought- not to hurt.
    • Jenk. Cent. 23.
  • Between the stirrup and the ground
    He mercy sought and mercy found.
  • I do not mean to say that the Court could not give leave to amend, but I cannot conceive that the Court would listen to an application for leave to amend after the trial. That could not have been intended: it would be opposed to all principles of justice.

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