MT211_Chapter1_eBook

MT211_Chapter1_eBook - CHAPTER 1 The Legal and...

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and court decisions created by modern legislative and judicial bodies, as in the United States. Regardless of how such rules are created, they all have one thing in common: they establish rights, duties, and privileges that are consis- tent with the values and beliefs of their society or its rul- ing group. In the study of law, often referred to as jurisprudence, this broad statement about the nature of law is the point of departure for all legal scholars and philosophers. Business Activities and the Legal Environment As those entering the world of business will learn, laws and government regulations affect virtually all business activities—from hiring and firing decisions to workplace safety, the manufacturing and marketing of products, and business financing, for example. To make good business decisions, a basic knowledge of the laws and regulations governing these activities is beneficial, if not essential. In today’s world, though, a knowledge of “black-letter” law is not enough. Businesspersons are also pressured to make ethical decisions. Thus, the study of business law necessar- ily involves an ethical dimension. CHAPTER 1 The Legal and Constitutional Environment of Business LEARNING OBJECTIVES After reading this chapter, you should be able to answer the following questions: What is the Uniform Commercial Code? What is the common law tradition? What is a precedent? When might a court depart from precedent? What are some important differences between civil law and criminal law? How does the U.S. Constitution affect business activities in the United States? 5 4 3 2 1 2 T he law is of interest to all persons, not just to lawyers. Those entering the world of business will find themselves subject to numerous laws and gov- ernment regulations. A basic knowledge of these laws and regulations is beneficial—if not essential—to anyone con- templating a successful career in today’s business world. In this introductory chapter, after a brief look at the nature of law, we describe the relationship between busi- ness activities and the legal environment, the basic sources of American law, the common law tradition, and some important classifications of law. We conclude the chapter with a discussion of the U.S. Constitution as it affects business. The Nature of Law There have been, and will continue to be, different defini- tions of law. Although the definitions vary in their partic- ulars, they all are based on the general observation that, at a minimum, law consists of enforceable rules governing relationships among individuals and between individuals and their society. These “enforceable rules” may consist of unwritten principles of behavior established by a nomadic tribe. They may be set forth in an ancient or a contemporary law code. They may consist of written laws
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M ANY D IFFERENT L AWS M AY A FFECT A S INGLE B USINESS T RANSACTION As you will note, each chapter in this text covers a specific area of the law and shows how the legal rules in that area
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This note was uploaded on 05/18/2010 for the course MT Marketing taught by Professor Jgh during the Spring '10 term at Kaplan University.

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MT211_Chapter1_eBook - CHAPTER 1 The Legal and...

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