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Chapter 1. Introduction to Law. Quotes of the Day. True human goodness, in all its purity and freedom, can come to the fore only when its recipient has no power. Milan Kundera, Czech author

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Chapter 1

Chapter 1

Introduction to Law

Quotes of the day
Quotes of the Day

True human goodness, in all its purity and freedom, can come to the fore only when its recipient has no power.

Milan Kundera, Czech author

What is good? All that heightens the feeling of power, the will to power, power itself in man.

Freidrich Nietzsche, German Philosopher

Role of law in society
Role of Law in Society

  • Power

    • Strong reach of the law touches nearly everything we do

    • Everyone will influence and be affected by the law

  • Importance

    • Every society with a historical record has had some system of laws

    • Many societies contributed ideas

      • Solved the problem of federalism

Role of law in society1
Role of Law in Society

  • Fascination

    • Television - Offers at least one new courtroom drama to a national audience

Origins of our law
Origins of Our Law

  • English roots

    • Land - Most valuable commodity

    • Statute of frauds

    • Landlord-tenant law

    • Precedent:Tendency to decide current cases based on previous rulings

    • Common law: Judge-made law

Origins of our law1
Origins of Our Law

  • Law in the United States

    • Some laws were irrelevant in a world that was socially and geographically so different

    • Changing conditions raised new legal questions

Sources of contemporary law
Sources of Contemporary Law

  • United States Constitution - Supreme law of the land

    • Establishes the national government of the United States – Legislative, executive, judicial power

    • Creates a system of checks and balances among the branches

    • Guarantees many basic rights to the American people

Sources of contemporary law1
Sources of Contemporary Law

  • Statute:Law created by a legislative body

    • Bill - Idea for a new law

  • Common law

    • The principle that precedent is binding on later cases is called stare decisis - “let the decision stand”

Sources of contemporary law2
Sources of Contemporary Law

  • Court orders

    • Judges have the authority to issue court orders

    • Place binding obligations on specific people or companies

  • Administrative law

    • Day-today work

  • Treaties

    • Constitution authorizes the president to make treaties with foreign nations


  • Criminal and civil Law

    • Criminal law: Prohibits certain behavior

    • Civil law:Regulates the rights and duties between parties

  • Law and morality


  • Philosophy of law

  • Legal positivism – Law is what the sovereign says it is

    • Sovereign: Recognized political power whom citizens obey

    • No room for questions of morality


  • Natural law

    • Unjust law is no law at all

  • Legal realism

    • Who enforces the law counts more than what is in writing

Case analysis
Case Analysis

  • Kuehn v. Pub Zone

    • Karl Kuehn – Plaintiff

      • Plaintiff: The party who is suing

    • Pub Zone – Defendant

      • Defendant: The party being sued

    • Issue – Question being decided

      • Did the Pub Zone have a duty to protect Kuehn from the Pagans’ attack?

    • Excerpts - Called the holding, meaning a statement of who wins and who loses

“We depend upon the law to give us a stable nation and economy, a fair society, a safe place to live and work.…But while law is a vital tool for crafting the society we want, there are no easy answers about how to create it. ...Legal rules control us, yet we create them.”