Definition of Law
Definition of Law –
A rule of civil conduct prescribed by the supreme power in a state, commanding what is right, and prohibiting what is wrong.
Nature of Law
Functions of Law
- To maintain stability in the social, political, and economic system through dispute resolution, protection of property, and the preservation of the state, while simultaneously permitting ordered change.
Law and Morals
* Are different but overlapping; law provides sanctions, while morals do not
“You must drive on the right side the road.”
“You should not silently stand by and watch a blind man walk off a cliff.”
Law and Justice
* Are separate and distinct concepts; justice is the fair, equitable, and impartial treatment of competing interests with due regard for the common good.
Classification of Law
Substantive- law creating right and duties
Public Law-> Constitutional law, criminal law, administrative law,
Private Law-> Torts, Contracts, Sales, Commercial paper, Agency, Partnerships, Corporations, Property
Procedural- rules for enforcing substantive law
Substantive law and procedural law are the two main categories within the law. Substantive law refers to the body of rules that determine the rights and obligations of individuals and collective bodies. Procedural law is the body of legal rules that govern the process for determining the rights of parties.
Public and Private Law
Public - law dealing with the relationship between government and individuals. Private - law governing the relationships among individuals and legal entities.
Civil and Criminal Law
Civil - law dealing with rights and duties the violation of which constitutes a wrong against an individual or other legal entity * Private party
* Individual sues
* Purpose: Compensation, deterrence
* Burden of Proof: preponderance of the evidence
* Outcome: liable/ Not liable
* Principle Sanctions: monetary damages/ equitable remedies * Two remedies- at law money damages
* Equitable relief- injunctions, specific performance
Criminal - law establishing duties, which, if violated, constitute a wrong against the entire community. * Government and people
* State or Federal
* Government prosecutes
* Purpose: Punishment, Deterrence, Rehabilitation, Preservation of peace * Burden of Proof: beyond a reasonable doubt
* Outcome: Guilty/ Not guilty
* Principle Sanctions: Capital punishment, Imprisonment, Fines * Public law
Sources of Law
Constitutional Law- “supreme court of the land”
* Fundamental law of a government establishing its powers and limitations and its structure.
Judicial Law- The interpretation of the written law by the courts. Decisions are often based on stare decisis, the doctrine that allows the court to follow the decision made in a previous case in the same jurisdiction. A departure from the legal precedents is known as a landmark decision.
* Common Law- body of law developed by the courts – “Judge made law.” Dependent on “stare decisis” following prior decisions
* Equity Law- body of law based upon principles distinct from common law and providing remedies not available at law. Still “Judge made Law” and dependant on “stare decisis”
Legislative Law - statutes adopted by legislative bodies; includes Treaties and Executive Orders. - Can be federal or state
Administrative Law - rules, regulations, orders, and decisions made by administrative agencies. - Public Law
Hierarchy of Law
Treaties or Federal Statutes
Federal Administrative Law
Federal Common Law
State Administrative Law
State Common Low
-Decisions in State trial courts are generally not reported or published. -Reports - Decisions of State courts of appeals are published in consecutively numbered volumes....