Today’s Class • Background on Professor • Student Backgrounds – Using Texting Tool • Expectations for Class (Syllabus) • Law Exercise – In Groups (get to know the people next to you)
If not MN, what state or country Don’t forget: You can copy-paste this slide into other presentations, and move or resize the poll.
Question 1-9 On Page 21 Regina v. Dudley and Stephens On July 3, 1884, Dudley, Stephens and Brooks – “all able-bodied English seamen” – and a teenage English boy were cast adrift in a lifeboat following a storm at sea. They had no water with them in the boat, and all they had for sustenance were two one-pound tins of turnips. On July 24, Dudley proposed that one of the four in the lifeboat be sacrificed to save the others. Stephens agreed with Dudley, but Brooks refused to consent – and the boy was never asked for his opinion. On July 25, Dudley killed the boy, and the three men then fed on the boy’s body and blood. Four days later, the men were rescued by a passing vessel. They were taken to England and tried for murder of the boy. If the men had not fed on the boy’s body, they would probably have died of starvation within the four-day period. The boy, who was in a much weaker condition, would likely have died before the rest. • As Judge What Would You Do? • How Do You Arrive at a Decision? • Ability to Look Beyond “Letter of the Law,” yes or no?
Why did you rule that way? Start here thursaay – go through paper assignment – syllabus a bit first – show website explain slides
Nature of Law • Natural Law - Universal law applicable to all human beings of a higher order than positive law. • Legal Positivism - No higher law than the laws created by the government. Laws must be obeyed, even if they are unjust, to prevent anarchy. • Legal Realism - Popular school of thought in the 20s and the 30s. Less abstract and more realistic approach to the law, an approach that would take into account customary practices and the circumstances in which transactions take place. Each case is unique - no two judges or cases are the same. UCC. • Historical School. Looks to doctrines that have withstood the passage of time for guidance in shaping present laws.
Constitutional Law Federal State Administrative Law Sources Of American Law Statutory Law Federal State Local Case Law and Common Law Doctrines
The Common Law Tradition • King’s Courts. The Common Law originated in medieval England with the creation of the king’s courts and the development of a body of rules that were applied throughout the land. • Year Books • Stare decisis.A doctrine under which judges “stand on decided cases,” or follow the rule of precedent, in deciding cases. This is the cornerstone of the common law tradition. • Discuss - Why so important to U.S. system?
Constitutional Law • Supreme Law of the Land • States have Constitutions • State constitutions are supreme within state borders to the extent that they do not violate the U.S. Constitution or a federal law.
Statutory Law • Created by Legislative Bodies. Laws or ordinances created by federal, state, and local legislatures and governing bodies. • Cannot Violate U.S. Constitution. None of these laws can violate the U.S. Constitution or the relevant state constitutions.
Administrative Law • Federal Administrative Agencies. Federal administrative agencies are created by enabling legislation enacted by the U.S. Congress. • Administrative Law. The rules, orders, regulations, and decisions of federal, state, or local government administrative agencies. • Agency functions include: • Rulemaking • Investigation and enforcement • Adjudication
US Constitution Federal Law State Constitution State Law Case Law Which source of law takes priority in the following situations, and why? A federal statute conflicts with the U.S. Constitution. A federal statute conflicts with a state constitution. A state statute conflicts with the common law of that state. A state constitutional amendment conflicts with the U.S. Constitution. A federal administrative regulation conflicts with a state constitution. Authority HierarchyWhich law wins?
US Statutes at Large/ USC Federal Case Law (federal reporters based on location) State Statutory and Case Law (see right) Regulatory Law (CFR) Plaintiffs and Defendants Appellants and Appellees Opinions (unanimous, majority, concurring, dissenting) Case Cite Meaning Williams v. Dominion Technology Partners, LLC, 576 S.E.2d 752 (Virginia, 2003). Williams is the Plaintiff. Dominion Technology is the Defendant. Case was decided by the Virginia Supreme Court. Reported in Volume 576, page 752 of the Southeast 2nd Reporter. Symbols for Plaintiff = π Defendant = Δ Finding and Analyzing the Law- terminology you will need to know
Classifications of Law • Substantive vs. Procedural law • Civil vs. Criminal law • Federal vs. State law • National vs. International law • Private vs. Public law
International Law • Defined. A body of written and unwritten laws observed by independent nations and governing the acts of individuals as well as governments. • Sources of international law include: • National laws • Customs • Treaties • International organizations and conferences • Treaties • NAFTA • GATT • EU • International Organizations • UN • NATO
Review • What is the common law tradition? • Legal Positivism • Legal Realism • Natural Law • Historical School • What is a precedent? When might a court depart from precedent? • Hierarchy of laws • Constitution • Statutory Laws • Common Law • What is the Uniform Commercial Code? • What is the difference between civil law and criminal law? • Court Rulings – Supreme Court Opinions