Legal System - The Legal System Every year nearly...

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The Legal System Every year, nearly twenty-five million cases are tried in American courts and one in every nine Americans is directly involved in litigation. Cases can arise from disputes between citizens, from efforts by government agencies to punish wrongdoing, or from citizens' efforts to prove that a right provided them by law has been infringed upon as a result of government action or inaction. Heavy use of the courts serves to resolve conflict and disputes in American society. I. Within what broad categories of law do cases arise? Courts have evolved from the power of the sovereign to settle disputes into a separate institution of government to resolve conflicts; in the United States, the Constitution and law are the basis for the legal system. Cases can arise under criminal law, civil law, and public law. Criminal law involves the violation of a statute enacted to protect the public's health, safety, welfare, or morals. Civil law involves the breach of some duty or obligation that individuals owe each other (e.g., breach of contract, personal injury). Public law involves the violation of constitutionally or legally protected rights (e.g., the Fourth Amendment right of citizens to be secure in their person, place, or things). A plaintiff brings charges against a defendant in each type of case. II. How is the U.S. court system structured?
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This note was uploaded on 10/26/2009 for the course POLISCI 50830 taught by Professor Stevens during the Spring '09 term at MATC Madison.

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Legal System - The Legal System Every year nearly...

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