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View Full Document Right Arrow Icon Chapter 1: Introduction The first chapter provides a historical overview of the law, a description of various legal theories, and an introduction to the legal process. American law is derived from four sources: (1) the common law (decisions by judges), (2) the United States Constitution and individual state constitutions, (3) federal and state statutes, and (4) administrative regulations. You will discover that law and society are inextricably linked; laws constantly change in response to a developing society. A description of the case study method, the science of studying law by analyzing judicial decisions, and an explanation of basic legal terminology are included to prepare you for analyzing the cases discussed in each chapter. Through this process, you will learn to identify the critical elements of a case and develop an understanding of the relationship between real-life issues and judicial remedies. The remainder of the chapter examines the distinctions between criminal and civil law, and tort and contract law. Chapter 2: Ethics and Law Chapter II explores the relationship between law, the legal system, and ethics. The study of ethics concerns itself with morality; that is, what conduct is right and what conduct is wrong. Ethics is a branch of philosophy, and the chapter discusses the various schools of thought on morality. Law and the legal system attempt to give society and its members certain guidelines as to what is acceptable behavior. Many times courts are the final arbiter as to whether a certain law or a certain conduct is "wrong." The chapter goes on to touch upon such topics as professional responsibility and the ethical dilemmas facing the various participants in the legal system. The chapter offers a glimpse into the ethical considerations that must be considered by each person in a lawful society and, hopefully, will cause you to examine the necessary role ethics and morality have in the legal system. Chapter 3: Institutional Sources of American Law American law is derived from many sources. Primary among these are the federal and state constitutions, legislation, court decisions, and the decisions of administrative agencies. This chapter describes the contributions of each source, and explains some of the doctrines that courts use in making decisions. Chapter 4: The Judicial System Chapter III describes the judicial system of the United States and explores the doctrines affecting the relationship between the state and federal courts. The bases for jurisdiction over the subject matter of the dispute, the parties and, at times, over the property involved, are examined, along with the propriety of venue, or the location of the court in which the complaint was filed. A more detailed look at the federal court system and the specific functions performed by the U.S. district courts, the courts of appeal, and the Supreme Court are presented, along with doctrines concerning removal of a suit from state to federal court
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