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What is law?Rules that must be obeyed which regulates individuals, businesses, and other organizations and violaters will be sanctioned by the controlling authorityIt protects people and their property against unwanted interferenceLaw forbids persons from engaging in certain undesirable activitiesFunctions of lawKeeping the peaceIncluding making certain activities crimesShaping moral standardse.g., enacting laws that discourage drug and alcohol abusePromoting social justicee.g., enacting statutes that prohibit discrimination in employmentMaintaining the status quoe.g., passing laws preventing the forceful overthrow of the governmentFacilitating orderly changee.g., passing statutes only after considerable study, debate, and public inputProviding a basis for compromiseapproximately 90 percent of all lawsuits are settled prior to trialFairness of the Law•The American legal system is one of the most comprehensive, fair, and democratic systems of law ever developed and enforcedFlexibility of the Law•U.S. law evolves and changes along with the norms of society, technology, and thegrowth and expansion of commerce in the United States and the worldPrimary source of law: A document that establishes the law on a particular issue, such as a constitution, a statute, an administrative rule, or a court decision.Secondary source of law: A publication that summarizes of interprets the law, such as a legal encyclopedia, a legal treatise, or an article in a law review.Constitutional Law.•U.S. Constitution is the supreme law of the land. The U.S. Constitution is the supreme law of the land•The U.S. Constitution establishes the federal government and enumerates its powers•Powers not given to the federal •Codified law: statutes and ordinances•Statutesare enacted by Congress and state legislatures•Ordinancesare enacted by municipalities and local government agencies•They establish courses of conduct that must be followed by covered Treaties: The president, with the advice and consent of the Senate, may enter into treaties with foreign governmentsExecutive ordersIssued by the president and governors of statesThey regulate the conduct of covered Administrative Law.Rulemaking--Rules, orders and decisions of administrative agencies, federal, state and local.Administrative agencies can be independent regulatory agency such as the Food and Drug Administration.Adjudication--agencies make rules, then investigate and enforce the rules in administrative hearingsAdministrative Law.Early English Courts.King’s Courts established the common law—body of general legal principles applied throughout the English empire. King’s courts used law.Precedentexample involving identical or similar factsStare decisiswhich judges are obligated to follow the precedents established in prior decisions.The Importance of Precedents in Judicial Decision MakingStare Decisis and Legal StabilityDepartures from PrecedentWhen There is No Precedent