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Chapter 4. Classification of the Law. Substantive and Procedural Law. Substantive Law Defines our legal rights and duties e.g. we have a duty to obey speed limits Procedural Law Rules that govern how the legal system operates

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chapter 4

Chapter 4

Classification of the Law

substantive and procedural law
Substantive and Procedural Law
  • Substantive Law
    • Defines our legal rights and duties
    • e.g. we have a duty to obey speed limits
  • Procedural Law
    • Rules that govern how the legal system operates
    • e.g. Statute of Limitations, Right to an Attorney, Jurisdiction
federal law
Federal Law
  • When do federal laws apply?
    • Constitutional issue
    • Federal Statutes (IRS, Immigration)
    • Regulations of a Federal Agency
  • What can the federal government regulate?
    • Anything that the Constitution specifically states
      • Lay and collect taxes, establish post offices
    • Interstate Commerce (under Art 1 §8)
      • Congress has the power to regulate interstate commerce and anything that has an “effect upon” interstate commerce
federal law4
Federal Law
  • Preemption
    • Allows the federal government to prevent the states from passing conflicting laws
state law
State Law
  • States can make any laws that are appropriate for the health, welfare, safety, and morals of their citizens
    • Criminal laws, contracts, torts, property, marriage, family issues
civil v criminal law
Civil v. Criminal Law
  • Civil Law
    • Between 2 private parties
  • Criminal Law
    • Violation against society
  • Standard of Proof
    • Civil: Preponderance of the Evidence
      • More likely true than not
    • Criminal: Beyond a Reasonable Doubt
      • Proof must be so conclusive and complete that all doubts regarding the facts are removed from the jurors’ minds
criminal law
Criminal Law
  • Felonies
    • Serious crimes that can be punished by a year or more in state prison
  • Misdemeanors
    • Less serious crimes served by less than one year in county jail
  • Prosecutors must establish a Prima Facie Case to support a guilty verdict
    • Establishes the elements of the crime
  • Defendants then present their defense
civil law
Civil Law
  • Plaintiff must establish valid cause(s) of action
    • A cause of action is a claim that based on the law and the facts is sufficient to demand judicial action
  • Defendant then establishes his/her defenses or affirmative defenses
damages
Damages
  • Compensatory Damages
    • Compensate the plaintiff for the harm done
    • E.g. medical bills, lost time off work, pan and suffering
  • Punitive Damages
    • Designed to punish the defendant
    • Typically awarded only for intentional torts
  • Nominal Damages
    • Awarded when the law has been violated but the plaintiff cannot prove monetary harm
areas of civil law
Areas of Civil Law
  • Contracts
    • Agreement between two or more parties
    • Offer, acceptance, consideration
  • Property Law
    • Real property
    • Personal property
  • Torts
    • A private wrong in which a person is harmed because of another’s failure to carry out a legal duty
      • Intentional Torts: battery, assault, defamation
      • Negligence: failure to act reasonably
      • Strict Liability
negligence
Negligence
  • Prima Facie Case
    • Duty: the defendant owed the plaintiff a duty of care
    • Breach: the defendant breached that duty
    • Causation: the breach caused
    • Harm: the plaintiff harm
  • Defenses:
    • Contributory Negligence
    • Assumption of the Risk