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Legal Environment of Business Chapter 1-2

Law
Enforceable rules governing relationships among individuals and between individuals and their society
Natural Law
Moral and ethical principles that are inherent in human nature
Positive Law
National law; human rights exist because of laws
The Historical School
Focuses on the origin and history of the legal system
Legal Realism
Law is one of many institutions in society and is shaped by social forces and needs
Sociological School
Law is a tool for promoting justice in society
Breach
breaks or fails to perform a contract
4 sources of American Law
Constitutional Law, Statutory Law, Administrative Law, Case and Common Law Doctrines
Constitutional Law
The basis of all laws in the United States
Statutory Law
Laws enacted by legislative bodies at any level of government
Ordinance
Statutes passed by municipal/county governing units to govern matters not covered by federal/state law
Uniform Law
Model laws for the states to consider adopting
Administrative Law
Rules, orders and decisions of administrative agencies
Administrative Agency
Federal, state or local government agency established to perform a specific function
Case Law
Doctrines and principles announced in cases and governs all areas not covered by statutory or administrative law
Common Law
A body of general rules that apply throughout the country
Remedies
Legal means to enforce a right or redress a wrong
Courts of Law
Courts that award compensation to people that have been wronged by another person
Damages
Amount given to a party whose legal interests have been injured
Chancellor
Power to grant remedies
Specific Performance
Ordering a party to perform an agreement as promised
Injunction
Ordering a party to cease engaging in a specific activity or to undo some wrong or injury
Contract
Legally binding agreement
Equitable Maxims
Propositions or general statements of equitable rules
Laches
Negligent that can be used as a defense
Defense
Argument raised by the respondent indicating why the petitioner should not obtain the remedy sought
Respondent
Defendant, party being sued
Petitioner
Plaintiff, party suing
Statutes of Limitations
Time limit a lawsuit can still be brought to court
Precedent
A court decision that furnishes an example or authority for deciding subsequent cases involving identical or similar facts
Reporters
Cases are published in these, sometimes called reports
Stare Decisis
“To stand on decided cases”
Binding Authority
Source of law a court must follow when deciding a case
Public Policy
Governmental policy based on widely held societal values
Legal Reasoning
Process used by judges in deciding what law applies to a given dispute and them applying that law
Alleges
Claims
Cases on Point
Previous cases that are very similar to the current case
Syllogism
A logical relationship involving a major premise, a minor premise and a conclusion
Analogy
Comparing facts in a case at hand to facts in other cases and applying the same rule of law to that present case
Civil Law
Branch of law dealing with the definition and enforcement of all private or public rights
Criminal Law
Law that defines and governs actions that constitute crimes like wrongful actions committed against society
Citation
Reference to a publication in which a legal authority can be found
Appellant
Party appealing the case
Appellee
Party against whom the appeal is taken
Opinions
Contains the court’s reasoning for its decision
Substantial Law
Consists of all laws that define, describe, regulate and create legal rights and obligations
Procedural Law
Consists of all laws that delineate the methods of enforcing the rights established by substantive law
Cyberlaw
Legal principles that have been modified to fit situations that are unique to the online world
Judicial Review
Enables the judicial branch to act as a check on the other two branches of government
Jurisdiction
“The power to speak the law”
Personal Jurisdiction
Jurisdiction over any person/business that resides in a certain geographical area
Rem Jurisdiction
Jurisdiction over a thing
Long Arm Statute
When the court can exercise personal jurisdiction over certain out of state defendants based on activities that took place within the state
Minimum Contacts
The defendant must have enough of a connection to the state for the judge to conclude that it is fair for the state to exercise power over the defendant
Courts of Original Jurisdiction
Where lawsuits begin, trials take place and evidence is presented
Federal Question
Cause of action based on the US Constitution
Diversity of Citizenship
Wherever a federal court has jurisdiction over a case that doesn’t involve a question of federal law
2 Requirements of Diversity of Citizenship
1) Plaintiff and defendant must reside in different states 2) The dollar amount in controversy must exceed $75K
Concurrent Jurisdiction
When federal and state courts have the power to hear a case
Exclusive Jurisdiction
When cases can only be tried in either federal courts or state courts
The “Sliding-Scale” Standard
Helps determine when personal jurisdiction over an out-of-state internet based defendant is proper
Venue
The most appropriate location for a trial
Standing to Sue
The party bringing the lawsuit must have suffered a harm or been threatened with a harm by the action complaining about
Justiciable Controversy
Real/substantial controversy
Small Claim Courts
Inferior trial courts that hear only civil cases involving claims of less than a certain dollar amount
Question of Law
The application/interpretation of the law which only a judge (no jury) can rule
Question of Fact
What really happened in regard to the dispute being tried
Writ of Certiorari
Supreme court order issued to lower court requiring the latter to send it the record of the case for review
Rule of Four
A court won’t issue a writ unless at least 4 out of 9 judges approve of it
Discovery
The process of obtaining information from the opposing party or from witnesses prior to trial
Pleadings
Statements made by the plaintiff and defendant that detail the facts, charges and defense involved in the case (Complaint and answer)
Service of Process
Formally notifying the defendant of a lawsuit
Summons
Notice requiring the defendant to appear in court and answer the complaint
Default Judgement
When the defendant fails to respond to the allegations, the plaintiff is awarded alleged damages
Answer
When the defendant either admits or denies the allegations
Affirmative Defense
Admitting the truth but raising new facts to show that the defendant shouldn’t be held liable for damages
Counterclaims
Denying allegations and setting forth the defendants own claim
Motion
A procedural request submitted to the court by an attorney on behalf of their client
Motion to Dismiss
Requesting the court to dismiss the case for the reason stated in the motion
Motion for Judgement on the Pleadings
Asks the court to decide the issue solely on the pleadings without proceeding to trial
Motion for Summary Judgement
Asks the court to grant a judgement in that party’s favor without a trial
Affidavits
Sworn statements by parties or witnesses
Deposition
A sworn testimony by a party to the lawsuit or by any witness, recorded by an authorized court official
Interrogatories
Written questions for which written answers are prepared and then signed under oath
E-Evidence
Electronic Evidence
Pretrial Conference
Where attorney’s meet with the trial judge before the trial begins but after discovery
Voir Dire
The process of selecting and questioning jurors
Opening Statements
Setting forth facts that they expect to prove during the trial
Rules of Evidence
Created to ensure that the evidence presented is fair and reliable
Relevant Evidence
Evidence that tends to either prove or disprove a fact in question
Hearsay
Any testimony given in court about a statement made by someone else who wasn’t under oath at the time of the statement
Direct Examination
Calling the first witness for the plaintiff and examining and questioning this witness
Cross Examination
Questioned by the defendants attorney
Rebuttal
Additional evidence to refute the defendant’s case
Rejoinder
The defendant’s attorney can then refute that evidence
Closing Argument
Each attorney summarizes the facts and evidence presented during the trial and say why they’re supportive
Verdict
Specifies the jury’s factual findings
Motion for a New Trial
Only if the jury was in error but doesn’t feel it appropriate to grant judgement for the other side
Motion for Judgement N.O.V.
Notwithstanding the verdict
Brief
Formal legal document outlining the facts and issues of the case, the judge’s ruling or the jury’s findings that should be reversed or modified
Writ of Execution
Order directing the sheriff to seize and sell the defendant’s nonexempt assets or property
Remedies at Law
Compensation with money or items of value
3 Forms of Legal Reasoning
Deductive reasoning (syllogism), linear reasoning and reasoning by analogy
Linear Reasoning
Proceeds from one point to another with final point being the conclusion

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