Mass Comm Law Test 1

Mass Comm Law Test 1 - Introduction to Law Sources of law o...

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Introduction to Law Sources of law: o Where does law come from? U.S. Constitution U.S. Federal Laws State Constitutions State Laws Local laws Courts: o State and federal courts: U.S. Federal Court System (each state has its own system): U.S. District Courts (94) U.S. Circuit Courts Supreme Court (lowest to highest order) Supremacy clause in the U.S. Constitution: states are bound by the U.S. Constitution, and all federal laws, and even by federal regulatory agency decisions Congress may preempt the field : only Congress can make laws in a certain area (eg. Broadcasting, copyright) Congress may share the field (eg. Cable tv) Only if Congress or Federal agencies have not preempted the field and There is no conflict between the Fed and states Congress may decide to not be involved State courts Trial courts (city, county, state) Appellant courts o State laws: Common law (judge-made law) – eg. Libel laws Equity Gets folded into common law (no separate courts) o Trial courts The Fed system and all states have trial and appellate courts In the Fed called: District courts Consists of: Judge, lawyers, parties, ect. o Appellate courts (including the U.S. Supreme Court) Consists of: Judges, layers, briefs, oral argument NO parties or defendant, witnesses, evidence, cross examination, jury U.S. Supreme Court U.S. Appellate Court can only make appeals in your circuit (13 circuits) 2 Levels: i. Mid-level (intermediate) – usually called Supreme Court
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o MUST take an appeal o Supreme Court (established in 1789) ii. US Supreme Court: o NOT having to take an appeal (takes roughly 1% of cases) o Decision at midlevel stands if Supreme Court refuses case o Precedent: courts will follow previously decided cases with facts similar to the case before the judge Stare decisis: lets past decisions rule 2 kinds: i. mandatory: judge must follow decision of higher court in the same court system (if facts are similar) o ALL state and Fed courts must follow U.S. Supreme Court Decision ii. permissive: judge may follow decision (if facts are similar) of any other court o When courts don’t follow Precedent: o Courts may distinguish the case before it from a previously decided case o Courts may overrule its own previous decision Legal Vocabulary words discussed in class: o Law: is adopted by a legislative body and is usually signed by the top person in an executive branch o Regulatory agency: agency adopts rules and regulations, but not laws. o
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Mass Comm Law Test 1 - Introduction to Law Sources of law o...

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