BLAW1 - REVIEW: INFORMAL/FORMAL LAW INFORMAL = laws of...

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REVIEW: INFORMAL/FORMAL LAW INFORMAL = “laws of nature”, “unwritten laws”, customs, FORMAL: Laws made by the governing or power-wielding entity of a society. We will be concerned w/”formal laws” in this course. FORMAL laws – 1--define the rights and duties of citizens, 2--dictate acceptable and unacceptable behavior and ramifications of violating these rules, and 3--define legal relationships. The FUNCTION of the COURTS is to interpret the law and apply the law to the particular facts in individual cases decided by a given court. CLASSIFICATIONS OF LAW CIVIL LAW VS. CRIMINAL LAW CIVIL LAW defines and enforces the duties or obligations of persons to one another --Usually in civil cases an individual (Plaintiff) sues another individual (Defendant) and, if P prevails (“wins”), then D is found liable ” (as opposed to “guilty”) and ordered to pay “ damages ” to P for harm caused by D. 1
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CRIMINAL LAW , by contrast, defines and enforces the obligations of persons to society as a whole . --in criminal cases the State (or federal govt) brings an action against an individual on behalf of the other members of society. There may or may not be a “victim.” - Person is found “ guilty ” of violating criminal laws and punishment involves incarceration , probation , and/or fine (penalty) paid to govt, not victim, if any. - BIGGEST DIFFERENCE = BURDEN OF PROOF (BOP) CIVIL : By a preponderance of the evidence (50%+). CRIMINAL : Beyond a reasonable doubt. For that reason, even if govt fails to get a conviction , the victim may still bring a civil suit and recover damages b/c of different BOP. SUBSTANTIVE VS. PROCEDURAL SUBSTANTIVE = refers to the “ substantive ” rights, remedies, and duties of citizens conferred in a law. PROCEDURAL = Defines the “ process of obtaining or enforcing legal rights, remedies and duties. --Procedural laws govern the conduct of legal proceedings. --EXs: laws regarding causes of action, service of process, witnesses, evidence --involves what are sometimes called “ technicalities COMMON LAW [Common Law is covered in more detail in Ch. 4—there is some overlap, but there is also some additional material here.] 2
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In order to understand our legal system, you have to go back and understand the origins of the English Common Law , from which it is derived. FIRST:
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This note was uploaded on 01/27/2011 for the course BLAW 1 taught by Professor Pomeroy during the Fall '09 term at Texas State.

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BLAW1 - REVIEW: INFORMAL/FORMAL LAW INFORMAL = laws of...

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