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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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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


learning objectives
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?
natural law tradition
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.
legal positivism
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.
historical school
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.
legal realism
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.
business activities and the legal environment
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.
sources of american law
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).
sources of american law10
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.
the common law tradition
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.
stare decisis
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.
equitable remedies
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).
classifications of law
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.
classifications of law16
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.
  • Finding Statutory Law.
    • United States Code (USC).
    • State Statutes.
  • Finding Administrative Law.
    • Code of Federal Regulations (CFR).
  • Finding Case Law (Case Citations).
  • 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.

  • 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.