Tag Archives: logical fallacies

SC Supremes: Cite the Entire Ruling

Last month, I posted on attorneys who create accidents with contextomy. Sounds weird, I know, without defining the terms.

“Accident,” in this sense, is a logical fallacy in which one advocates a general rule without acknowledging any exceptions. Contextomy means taking something out of context. The post noted that the two often go together. Continue reading

Facing the “You Too” Fallacy on Appeal

(Sony Pictures 1989)

(Sony Pictures 1989)

This post continues the series on fallacies that I have faced while handling South Carolina appeals. The last one discussed ad hominem or personal attacks and suggested how to deflate them. This one covers a particular type of personal attack and when it may properly work.

In the “tu quoque” attack, one charges the opposing party with  hypocrisy. The argument is “Yeah, you’re another” or “you’re one to talk.” It is fallacious because two wrongs do not make a right. Continue reading

Fighting Circular Reasoning on Appeal

20089505_100x100_padThis post is one in a series on the logical fallacies that I have run across in handling South Carolina appeals. This one is on circular reasoning and begins with petitio principii, literally meaning “assuming the initial point.” It is better known as begging the question. Continue reading

Refuting Fallacies on Appeal – One Way v. Only Way

This post begins a series on logical fallacies that I have run across in handling South Carolina appeals. My thanks to D.Q. McInerny and his book, Being Logical, for naming these fallacies and for its clear examples.

A statute that I dealt with a while back applied when a child is harmed.  Counsel for one of the parents cited cases applying the statute to parental beatings, arguing that the statute did not apply because the parent did not beat the child. Problem was that the statute did not limit who it applied to or the type of harm required. Continue reading