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Learning Objectives PowerPoint PPT Presentation

What is the difference between remedies at law and remedies in equity? ... civil law and criminal law? Copyright 2008 by West Legal Studies in Business A Division ...

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Learning Objectives

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BUSINESS LAW TODAY Standard 8th Ed.Roger LeRoy Miller - Institute for University Studies, Arlington, TexasGaylord A. Jentz - University of Texas at Austin, Emeritus

The Legal Environment of Business


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Learning Objectives

  • What are the theories of jurisprudence?

  • What is the Uniform Commercial Code?

  • What is the common law tradition?

  • What is a precedent? When might a court depart from precedent?

  • What is the difference between remedies at law and remedies in equity?

  • What are some of the important differences between civil law and criminal law?

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Natural Law Tradition

  • The Natural Law Tradition

    • Oldest and most significant view of law.

    • Government and legal system should reflect universal moral and ethical principles.

    • These principles are inherent in human nature.

    • They can be discovered through right reason.

    • Basis for natural rights.

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Legal Positivism

  • Legal Positivism (or Positive Law)

    • Applies only to citizens of that nation or society.

    • No higher law than the nation’s highest governing body or court.

    • Laws must be obeyed regardless of whether they are just or unjust.

    • No view of “natural” rights.

    • Morality of a law is irrelevant.

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Historical School

  • The Historical School

    • Emphasizes the evolutionary process of law.

    • Concentrates on the origin and history of legal system.

    • Looks to the past to determine laws for present.

    • Law derives legitimacy from precedent.

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Legal Realism

  • Legal Realism

    • View of law started in 1920’s.

    • Law must be viewed within the social context.

    • Judges should take economic and social realities into account.

    • Sociological jurisprudence tends to be activistic, e.g., civil rights decisions.

    • Do not feel bound by past decisions.

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Business Activities and the Legal Environment

  • Knowledge of “black letter” law is not enough.

  • Many different laws affect a single business transaction.

  • Ethics and business decision making.

    • Ethics: what constitutes right or wrong behavior.

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Exhibit 1-1

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Sources of American Law

  • Constitutional Law.

    • Found in text and cases arising from federal and state constitutions.

    • U.S. Constitution is the supreme law of the land.

  • Statutory Law.

    • Laws enacted by federal and state legislatures.

    • Local ordinances.

    • Uniform Laws (e.g.,Uniform Commercial Code).

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Sources of American Law

  • Administrative Law.

    • Rulemaking--Rules, orders and decisions of administrative agencies, federal, state and local.

    • Administrative agencies can be independent regulatory agency such as the Food and Drug Administration.

    • Adjudication--agencies make rules, then investigate and enforce the rules in administrative hearings.

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The Common Law Tradition

  • Early English Courts of Law.

    • King’s courts started after Norman conquest of 1066.

    • Established the common law—body of general legal principles applied throughout the English empire.

    • King’s courts used precedent to build the common law.

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Stare Decisis

  • Stare Decisis

    • Practice of deciding new cases based on precedent.

    • A higher court’s decision based on certain facts and law, is a binding authority on lower courts.

    • Helps courts stay efficient.

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Equitable Remedies

  • Remedy: means to enforce a right or compensate for injury to that right.

  • Remedy at Law: in king’s courts, remedies were restricted to damages in either money or property.

  • Equitable Remedy: based on justice and fair dealing a chancery court does what is right: specific performance, injunction, rescission.

  • Plaintiffs (injured party initiating the lawsuit), Defendants (allegedly caused injury).

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Exhibit 1-2

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Classifications of Law

  • Substantive vs. Procedural Law

    • Substantive: laws that define and regulate rights and duties.

    • Procedural: laws that establish methods for enforcing and protecting rights.

  • Civil Law and Criminal Law

    • Civil: private rights and duties between persons and government.

    • Criminal: public wrongs against society.

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Classifications of Law

  • National and International Law

    • National: laws of a particular nation.

    • Civil vs. Common Law: Civil law countries based on Roman code (e.g., Latin America).

    • International: body of written and unwritten laws observed by nations when dealing with each other.

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Comparision of Legal Systems

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  • Finding Statutory Law.

    • United States Code (USC).

    • State Statutes.

  • Finding Administrative Law.

    • Code of Federal Regulations (CFR).

  • Finding Case Law (Case Citations).

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Exhibit 1A-1

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  • Reading & Understanding Case Law

    • Legal cases are identified by a “legal citation” (or a “cite”) as the example below:

      Nunez v. Carabba’s Italian Grill, Inc., 448 Mass. 170, 859 N.E.2d 801 (2007).

Title: One party is Plaintiff, Appellant or Petitioner, other party is Defendant, Appellee or Respondent. The parties are either italicized or underlined.

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  • Reading & Understanding Case Law

    • Legal cases are identified by a “legal citation” (or a “cite”) as the example below:

      Nunez v. Carabba’s Italian Grill, Inc., 448 Mass. 170, 859 N.E.2d 801 (2007).

This is a State Supreme Court Case found in volume 448, page 170 of the Massachussets Reports, OR volume 859, page 801 of the NorthEastern Reporter 2nd.

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