What are the purposes of law in society?
To provide stability, predictability, and continuity
Constitutions, statutes, administrative rulings, court cases
Books and articles that clarify primary authority
What is the basis of American law?
English Common Law
At common law, what were the two separate court systems with two different types of remedies?
Courts of law (monetary relief)
Courts of equity (non-monetary relief/ specific performance, injunction)
Courts of Law
From common law that deals with monetary relief
Courts of Equity
From common law that deals with specific performance and injunction
What is another name for courts of law?
In courts of law, judges resolved disputes by:
application of rules of law to the facts of the case before the court
In courts of equity, judges resolved disputes when:
a strict application of the law to the facts compelled a legal, but unjust outcome
What are the three equitable maxims?
“Whoever seeks equity must do equity.”
“Equity regards substance over form.”
“Equity aids the vigilant.”
Stare decisis advantages
Makes the law predictable and stable;
increases judicial efficiency
Stare decisis is:
judge-made law based on precedent
Precedents and other forms of POSITIVE law, such as constitutions, statutes, and regulations that must be followed
When to depart from precedent:
Decision is incorrect and/or technology or social changes have rendered the precedent inapplicable
In cases of “first impression” what can the court refer to to set a precedent?
Positive law, public policy, and social values
Issue, Rule, Application, Conclusion
3 forms of legal reasoning
Deductive reasoning, linear reasoning, and reasoning by analogy
makes use of syllogism, a type of logical relationship involving a major premise and a minor premise
Proceeds from point to point, with the final point being the conclusion
Reasoning by analogy
Analysis that compares facts of present case with facts of similarly previously-decided cases
Common law today
governs transactions not covered by statutory law
Schools of Jurisprudential Thought
Natural Law, Positivist, Historical, Legal Realism
Natural Law school
Assumes that law, rights, and ethics are based on universal moral principles inherent in nature and discover-able through the human reason;
oldest view of jurisprudence dating back to Aristotle;
unjust laws should not be followed
The Declaration of Independence uses what jurisprudence school of thought?
Law is the supreme will of the State that applies only to the citizens of that nation at that time.
Law, rights and ethics are NOT universal.
The morality of a law is irrelevant; the law MUST be obeyed.
Emphasizes the evolutionary process of law.
Concentrates on the origins and history of the legal system.
Law derives its legitimacy and authority from standards that have withstood the test of time.
Law is not simply a result of the written law.
Law is a product of the views of judicial decision makers, as well as social, economic, and contextual influences.
Law should PROMOTE SOCIAL JUSTICE;
Law should change with the times; willingness to depart from precedents
5 classifications of law
Civil or Criminal; Substantive or Procedural; Public or Private
defines that rights between individuals or individuals and governments (public and private)
defines an individual’s obligations to society as a whole (public)
defines or creates the rights and obligations of persons and governemtns
provides the steps one must follow in order to avail oneself of one’s legal rights or enforce another’s legal obligations
Cyber law is a new form of law.
Cyber law traditionally applied to online transactions
Cyber law is important in today’s economy.
Finding statutory law:
United States Code (USC)
State Statutes, Nevada Revised Statutes
Finding Administrative Law
Code of Federal Regulations (CFR)
Nevada Administrative Regulations
Per Curiam Opinion
Anonymous opinion from an appellate court judge
Concurring: judge agrees with decision
Dissenting: judge disagrees with decision
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