BL-Chapt1 - Print Chapter Page 1 of 34 Introduction to Law...

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Introduction to Law and Legal Reasoning Chapter Introduction 1-1 Schools of Jurisprudential Thought 1-1a The Natural Law School 1-1b The Positivist School 1-1c The Historical School 1-1d Legal Realism 1-2 Business Activities and the Legal Environment 1-2a Many Different Laws May Affect a Single Business Transaction 1-2b Ethics and Business Decision Making 1-3 Sources of American Law 1-3a Constitutional Law 1-3b Statutory Law 1-3c Administrative Law 1-3d Case Law and Common Law Doctrines 1-4 The Common Law Tradition 1-4a Early English Courts 1-4b Legal and Equitable Remedies Today 1-4c The Doctrine of Stare Decisis 1-4d Stare Decisis and Legal Reasoning 1-4e There Is No One 'Right' Answer 1-5 The Common Law Today 1-5a The Continuing Importance of the Common Law 1-5b Restatements of the Law 1-6 Classifications of Law 1-6a Civil Law and Criminal Law 1-6b Cyberlaw 1-7 How to Find Primary Sources of Law 1-7a Finding Statutory and Administrative Law 1-7b Finding Case Law 1-8 How to Read and Understand Case Law 1-8a Case Titles 1-8b Terminology 1-8c A Sample Court Case Chapter Recap Page 1 of 34 Print Chapter 2010-8-29 ..
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Chapter Introduction One of the important functions of law in any society is to provide stability, predictability, and continuity so that people can be sure of how to order their affairs. If any society is to survive, its citizens must be able to determine what is legally right and legally wrong. They must know what sanctions will be imposed on them if they commit wrongful acts. If they suffer harm as a result of others' wrongful acts, they must know how they can seek redress. By setting forth the rights, obligations, and privileges of citizens, the law enables individuals to go about their business with confidence and a certain degree of predictability. The stability and predictability created by the law provide an essential framework for all civilized activities, including business activities. What do we mean when we speak of "the law"? Although this term has had, and will continue to have, different definitions, they are all based on a general observation: 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 a law code, such as the Code of Hammurabi in ancient Babylon (c. 1780 B.C.E.) or the law code of one of today's European nations. They may consist of written laws 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 consistent with the values and beliefs of their society or its ruling group. Those who embark on a study of law will find that these broad statements leave unanswered some important questions concerning the
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BL-Chapt1 - Print Chapter Page 1 of 34 Introduction to Law...

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