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Business Law 1 – Chapter 1

Law
A body of enforceable rules governing relationships among individuals and between individuals and their society.
Establish rights, duties and privileges that are consistent with the values and beliefs of a society or its ruling group.
Breach
The failure to perform a legal obligation.
Primary Source of Law
A document that establishes the law on a particular issue, such as the constitution, a statute, an administrative role, or a court decision
Secondary Source of Law
A publication (encyclopedia, legal treatise, law review articles, etc.) that summarizes or interprets the law.
Constitutional Law
The body of law derived from the U.S. Constitution and the constitutions of the various states. Sets forth the general organization, powers, and limits of their respective government.
Statutory Law
The body of law enacted by legislative bodies (as opposed to constitutional law, administrative law, or case law).
Citation
A reference to a publication in which a public authority – such as a statute or a court decision – or other source can be found.
Ordinance
A regulation enacted by a city or county legislative body that becomes part of that state’s statutory law.
Uniform Law
A model law created by the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Law and/or the American Law Institute for the states to consider adopting. Each state has the option of adopting or rejecting all or part of the uniform law. If a state adopts the law, it becomes statutory law in that state.
Administrative law
The body of law created by administrative agencies (in the form of rules, regulations, orders, and decisions) in order to carry out their duties and responsibilities.
Case Law
The rules of law announced in court decisions. Case law indicates the aggregate of reported cases that interpret judicial precedents, statutes, regulations, and constitutional provisions.
Common Law
The body of law developed from custom or judicial decisions in English and U.S. courts, not attributable to a legislature.
Precedent
A court decision that furnishes an example or authority for deciding subsequent cases involving identical or similar facts.
Stare Decisis
A common law doctrine under which judges are obligated to follow the precedents established in prior decisions. Helps the courts become more efficient by serving as a guides and makes the law more stable and predictable.
Binding Authority
Any source of law that a court must follow when deciding a case. Binding authorities include constitutions, statutes, and regulations that govern the issue being decided, as well as court decisions that are controlling precedents within the jurisdiction.
Persuasive Authority
Any legal authority or source of law that a court may look to guidance but on which it need not rely in making its decision. Persuasive authorities include cases from other jurisdictions and secondary sources of law.
Remedy
The relief given to an innocent party to enforce a right or compensate for the violation of a right.
Jurisprudence
The science or philosophy of law.
Plaintiff
One who initiates a lawsuit
Defendant
One against whom a lawsuit is brought; the accused person in a criminal proceeding
Equitable Principles and Maxims
General propositions or principles of law that have to do with fairness (equity). Provide guidance in deciding whether a plaintiff should be granted equitable relief.
Natural Law
The belief that government and the legal system should reflect universal moral and ethical principles that are inherent in human nature. The natural law school is the oldest and one of the more significant schools of legal thought.
Legal Positivism
AKA National Law – A school of legal thought centered on the assumption that there is no law higher than the laws created by a national government. Laws must be obeyed, even if they are unjust, to prevent anarchy.
Historical School
A school of legal thought that emphasizes the evolutionary process of law and looks to the past to discover what the principles of contemporary law should be.
Statute of Limitations
A federal or state statute setting the maximum time period during which a certain action can be brought or certain rights enforced.
Legal Realism
A school of legal thought of the 1920s and the 1930s that generally advocated a less abstract and more realistic approach to the law, an approach that takes into account customary practices and the circumstances in which transactions take place. This school left a lasting imprint on American jurisprudence.
Sociological School
A school of legal through that views the law as a tool for promoting justice in society
Substantive Law
Law that defines, describes, regulates, and creates legal rights and obligations.
Procedural Law
Law that establishes the methods of enforcing the rights established by substantive law.
Cyberlaw
An informal term used to refer to all laws governing electronic communications and transactions, particularly those conducted via the Internet.
Civil Law
The branch of law dealing with the definition and enforcement of all private and public rights, as opposed to criminal matters
Civil Law System
A system of law derived from that of the Roman Empire and based on a code rather than case law; the predominant system of law in the nations of continental Europe and the nations that were once their colonies. In the United States, Lousiana, because of its historical ties to France, has, in part, a civil law system.
Criminal Law
Law that defines and governs actions that constitute crimes. Generally, criminal law has to do with wrongful actions committed against society for which society demands redress.
National Law
Law that pertains to a particular nation (as opposed to international law).
International Law
The law that governs relations among nations. National laws, customs, treaties, and international conferences and organizations are generally considered to be the most important sources of international law.

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