CH01 - Introduction to Law

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Business Law and the Regulation of Business

Stare decisis

principle that courts should apply rules decided in prior cases in deciding substantially similar cases

Administrative law

law dealing with the establishment, duties, and powers of agencies in the executive branch of government

Adversary system

system in which opposing parties initiate and present their cases

Appellant

party who appeals

Civil law

the law dealing with the rights and duties of individuals among themselves

Civil law system

body of law derived from Roman law and based upon comprehensive legislative enactments

Common law system

body of law originating in England and derived from judicial decisions

Constitution

fundamental law of a government establishing its powers and limitations

Criminal law

the law that involves offenses against the entire community

Decree

decision of a court of equity

Defendant

the person against whom a legal action is brought

Definition of law

"a rule of civil conduct prescribed by the supreme power in a state, commanding what is right, and prohibiting what is wrong" (William Blackstone)

Duty

legal obligation requiring a person to perform or refrain from performing an act

Equity

body of law based upon principles distinct from common law and providing remedies not available at law

Executive order

legislation issued by the President or a governor

Functions of law

to maintain stability in the social, political, and economic system through dispute resolution, protection of property, and the preservation of the state, while simultaneously permitting ordered change

Injunction

decree ordering a party to do or refrain from doing a specified act

Inquisitorial system

system in which the judiciary initiates, conducts, and decides cases

Judicial review

authority of the courts to determine the constitutionality of legislative and executive acts

Law and justice

are separate and distinct concepts; justice is the fair, equitable, and impartial treatment of competing interests with due regard for the common good

Laws and morals

are different but overlapping: law provides sanctions while morals do not

Maxim

a general legal principle

Plaintiff

the person who initiates a civil suit

Private law

the law involving relationships among individuals and legal entities

Procedural Law

rules for enforcing substantive law

Prosecute

to bring a criminal proceeding

Public law

the law dealing with the relationship between government and individuals

Reformation

equitable remedy rewriting a contract to conform with the original intent of the contracting parties

Rescission

an equitable remedy invalidating a contract

Right

legal capacity to require another person to perform or refrain from performing an act

Specific performance

decree ordering a party to perform a contractual duty

Substantive law

the basic law creating rights and duties

Sue

to begin a lawsuit in a court

Treaty

an agreement between or among independent nations

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