"fact patterns" - is that new, or did I miss the birth of that phrase? (draft)

From reddit (regarding mandatory sentencing in the US):
As a lawyer I'll say that when it comes to the legal (criminal or civil), honesty is not always the best policy. But silence usually is.

People unfamiliar with the system often mistake truthful statements, arguments of honest mistake or justification, acceptance of responsibility, etc., as doing the "right thing" and pay dearly for doing it.

This issue is especially troubling in instances where the legal system has set up a no-tolerance rule, mandatory reporting, or otherwise deprive responders of "discretion." This happens a lot on the criminal side: domestic abuse (i.e., mandatory arrest), some sex and gun crimes, vehicle-alcohol laws, etc. The domestic abuse one in particular, while well-intentioned, can result in some very bizarre fact patterns for police.

It appears that this guy/gal is a lawyer-speaking, but using the phrase to
mean "sequence of events", or more likely a kind of predictable cascade of institutional response to... (well the fact that I can't define it, suggests it has utility, because I certainly know what they are getting at)

they continue...
For a great many otherwise honest, good people, the first run-in with the legal system, they learn that trying to be helpful, doing the right thing, etc. is some times the wrong thing for them personally.

 The closest definition I am thinking of, is that it functions in a much more precise way as does "story" in something like "it was the same [familiar] story"