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Midterm #1- Study Guide

Midterm #1- Study Guide - 1 Chapter 1 a Sources of Law i...

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1. Chapter 1 a. Sources of Law i. United States Constitution 1. Law of the Land a. Rules over everything else. Nobody above. Broadly written and interpreted. There is such a thing as an interpretation of the constitution 2. Three basic tasks a. First, it establishes the national government of the US, with 3 branches b. Second, constitution ensures that the states retain all power not given to the national government. c. Third, The constitution guarantees many basic rights to the American people. Amendments (freedom of speech, free press,etc.) ii. State Constitutions 1. In addition to the Federal constitutions, each state has a constitution that establishes its own government. a. All states have executive, legislative and judicial systems. Everything not reserved to the U.S. constitution iii. Statutes 1. A law passed by Congress or by a state legislature iv. Common Law 1. Judge-made law; the body of all decisions made by judges. Established by precedent, or by earlier cases decided by courts a. Look at previous cases rulings b. Means “let the decision stand” v. Administrative Law 1. Created by agencies. a. Most administrative agencies are created by Congress or by state Legislature. b. Federal examples include… (FCC, IRS, etc.)
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c. At the state level… regulators set insurance rates for companies in the state, control property dev and land use, etc. vi. Other 1. Treaties and executive orders b. Precedent i. An earlier court case used to influence a court decision in a current case. c. Common Law i. Judge-made law; the body of all decisions made by judges. Established by precedent, or by earlier cases decided by courts 1. Look at previous cases rulings 2. Means “let the decision stand” d. Differences between Criminal and Civil Law i. Criminal Law Criminal Law 1. Concerns behavior so threatening that society outlaws it altogether 2. Protecting society 3. Guilt is determined only in criminal cases 4. Most are statutes, passed by Congress or state legislature. 5. Government is the prosecutor 6. District attorney, paid by government, brings the case to court. Seeking prison sentence, a fine, or 2. Regulates the rights and duties between parties 3. Victim, not government brings suits (suing) 4. Guilt no determined. It’s all about liability 5. Compensation is ordered
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both. If there is a fine, money goes to state, not to injured party. 7. If the accused is brought to court victim is witness. Not always your wish, can go either way. 8. Needs to be without a reasonable doubt. If found guilty of criminal case you are almost guaranteed to be found guilty of civil law 9. (steal car, sell cocaine, embezzling money, etc.) e. Differences between Legal and Morality rights i. The two are linked. Many instances when the law duplicates what all of us would regard as moral position however we have had laws that we now clearly regard as immoral. Then there are issues where the morality is not so clear.
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