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SPRING2011LAW INAMERICANSOCIETYSYLLABUS TEMPLE UNIVERSITY THE FOX SCHOOL OF BUSINESS AND MANAGEMENT Department of Legal Studies KATHLEEN L. DAERR-BANNON Law in American Society Law 0856 SPRING 2011 SYLLABUS ______________________________________________________________________ Objectives: Law is one of the most important forces that shapes and regulates conduct in both an individual and society setting. The legal system in the United States is unlike any other in the world so this course will examine the development, complexity and diversity of the laws in America. By establishing a framework that dictates the relationships between individuals and society, the law influences most aspects of life and creates social norms. It is a work in progress; in more than 200 years, it has evolved to encompass waves of political, economic, and social change. Those who depart from established norms are subjected to a variety of punishments ranging from civil lawsuits to criminal prosecution. Understanding the American legal system—its history, structure, and conceptual basis—is essential to becoming a fully participatory member of society. Indeed, educated citizens should be aware of the ways in which the law is structured and impacts their lives in both an individual and society setting. Topics include the history and development of the law, the structure of the American government, the types of laws that regulate behavior in both a public and private setting as well as the political, social, ethical, and economic forces that influence the changing nature of the law. This course will also have a local focus and will exam the laws in Pennsylvania and Philadelphia. Book: Law and American Society, Hodge, McGraw Hill Publishing Company, First Edition (2008). 1
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PART ONE LAW AND AMERICAN SOCIETY The United States is a country of laws that govern must aspects of the lives of its citizens. This segment of the course will explore some of the building blocks that make up the American legal system. I. CHAPTER ONE ---AN OVERVIEW A. Modern System – Who makes the laws and rules that govern society? 1) Common Law – Judge made law 2) Statutory Law – Law made by the legislature B. Historical Development – Where did the legal system in the United States originate? 1) Egypt – The first written legal system 2) Roman Civil Law – The origins of statutory law 3) English Common Law – The origins of judge made law C. Case Analysis – How to understand court decisions. 1) Statutory v. Common Law 2) Elements of a Judicial Opinion 3) How to brief a court case D. Status and Process- How peer pressure and social status shapes the law. 1) Protection of children 2) Protection of the government 3) Protection of the family unit E. Stare Decisis – Precedent 1) Provides predictability and uniformity in the law 2) Changing precedent to reflect changing social norms F. Legal Research 1) Locating case law and statutes 2) Applying a legal concept to a given problem i. Current event research
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