1-2 Law – What is It? Law is a body of rules of action or conduct prescribed by controlling authority and having legal binding force.
1-3 Primary Sources of Law Constitutional law Statutory law Common law Administrative law
1-4 Constitutional Law The U.S. Constitution is the supreme law of the land. –Structure for federal and state governments –Enumerated powers –Federalism Arizona v. United States, 132 S. Ct. 2492 (2012) –Civil rights and procedural protections Exists at state and federal levels
1-5 Statutory Law Created by a legislative body Approved or disapproved by the executive branch (i.e. governor or president) Also known as “codes”
1-6 Common Law Made by appellate courts Based on the fundamentals of previous cases that had similar facts Also known as “case” law
1-7 Stare Decisis The doctrine of stare decisis, one of the most important concepts in American law, is the principle that similar cases with similar facts and issues should have the same judicial outcome.
1-8 Case Precedent Once an appellate court has decided a particular case, the decision becomes a case precedent. Precedent is usually only binding within the jurisdiction of the court setting the precedent.
1-9 Administrative Law Source of law that regulates the exercise of authority by government agencies Also known as “regulations”
1-10 Restatements of the Law Collections of uniform legal principles in a specific area of law that are designed to reduce the complexity of judicial decisions Common examples of widely used restatements include torts and contracts
1-11 Criminal Law versus Civil Law Civil laws are designed to compensate parties for losses as a result of another’s conduct. Criminal laws are a protection of society, and the violation of criminal laws results in penalties to the violator such as fines or imprisonment.
1-12 Substantive Law vs Procedural Law Substantive laws provide individuals with rights and create certain duties. Procedural laws provide a structure and set out rules for pursuing substantive rights.
1-13 Law vs Equity We use the terms law and equity when describing the appropriate measure of judicial action intended to compensate an injured party in a civil lawsuit. These measures are known as legal or equitable remedies.
1-14 Types of Remedies Remedies at law generally take the form of money damages. Equitable remedies or relief generally includes an injunction or restraining order (a judicial order requiring a party to cease a certain activity, or perhaps to take a specific action).
1-15 Important Equitable Maximums These maxims have been developed by early American courts. –Equity aids the vigilant –Substance over form –Clean hands doctrine Broad statements of rules that are based on notions of fairness and justice in applying the law.