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In order to understand any legal system it is necessary to consider the purely physical facts of life apart from the legal relations that are consequent upon such facts. Legal relations are merely mental concepts which are useful in enabling us to foresee the physical facts of the future. Disregarding the multitudes of facts that have no effect whatever upon existing legal relations, those that remain-the operative facts-must be considered and classified. In any case, the best method of procedure is to consider each operative fact separately, and in chronological order, and to determine the legal relations that exist after such single fact.

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