This is an article of first impression, the very essence of which is to explore the meaning of Missouri’s reception statute of the common law as embodied within the four corners of Missouri Revised Statutes Section 1.010. How we think of our reception statute and the meaning of the “common law” will, to a degree, shape the future of the law, its institutions, and ultimately our lives. Missouri’s reception of the common law is codified under Missouri Revised Statutes Section 1.010 (2000). This Article discusses the significance of the phrase “fourth year of the reign of James the First” in Missouri’s reception statute of the common law.

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