Introduction to Law
I. Important Ideas about Law
US legal system heavily influenced by British roots.
1. When there was a dispute, parties would be represented by clergy, noblemen
Few professional lawyers. Each side produced 12 oath-helpers
Ethics in a business context; a consensus as to what constitutes right or wrong behavior in the
world of business and the application of moral principles to situations that arise in a business
The body of law created by administrative agencies (in the form of rules, regulations, orders,
and decisions) in order to carry out their duties and responsibilities.
Any source of law that a court must follow when dec
Bill of Rights
The first ten amendments to the U.S. Constitution.
The principle under which the powers of the national government are divided among three
separate branchesthe executive, legislative, and judicial brancheseach
Res Ipsa Loquitur A doctrine under which negligence may be inferred simply because an event occurred, if it is
the type of event that would not occur in the absence of negligence. Literally, the term means
the facts speak for themselves.
A guilty (prohibited) act. The commission of a prohibited act is one of the two essential elements
required for criminal liability, the other element being the intent to commit a crime.
Mental state, or intent. Normally, a wr
An Old French phrase meaning to speak the truth. In legal language, the process in which the attorneys
question prospective jurors to learn about their backgrounds, attitudes, biases, and other characteristics that
may affect their abi
A provision in a contract stipulating that certain unforeseen eventssuch as war, political
upheavals, or acts of Godwill excuse a party from liability for nonperformance of contractual
Act of State
A voluntary act by the offeree that shows assent, or agreement, to the terms of an offer;
may consist of words or conduct.
A meeting of two or more minds in regard to the terms of a contract; usually broken down
into two eve
Knowledge on the part of the misrepresenting party that material facts have been falsely
represented or omitted with an intent to deceive.
An assertion or action by a party indicating that he or she will not pe
The document filed with a designated state official by which a limited liability company is formed.
A written agreement that sets forth each partners rights and obligations with respect to the
A Latin term meaning beyond the powers; in corporate law, acts of a corporation that are beyond its express
and implied powers to undertake.
A designation in the United States for a corporation formed in another co
A mark used by one or more persons, other than the owner, to certify the region, materials, mode
of manufacture, quality, or other characteristic of specific goods or services.
A subscription-based or pay-per-u
Latin for let the master respond. A doctrine under which a principal or an employer is held liable
for the wrongful acts committed by agents or employees while acting within the course and scope
of their agency or employment
A card signed by an employee that gives a union permission to act on his or her behalf in
negotiations with management.
A firm that requires union membership by its workers as a condition of employment. The closed
A case in which the plaintiff has produced sufficient evidence of his or her claim that the case can
go to a jury; a case in which the evidence compels a decision for the plaintiff if the defendant
produces no affirmative defen
Case14-3: ZELNICK v. ADAMSS
In 1980, a minor whose name is Jonathan was born. But his mother Adamss was never
married with his father Hylton, Jr. In 1995, after highly contested litigation, Jonathan
was finally agreed by Dade County that his fath
Many investigations are resolved by settlements, rather than formal complaints and
Conducted by an administrative law judge. Parties represented by counsel but
informal rules of evidence.
Possible results include fi
1. Once legislation is adopted, its application isnt always clear.
Ex did the Civil Rights bill ban employment practices superficially
neutral but discriminatory in effect?
2. Rules of statutory interpretation
a. Plain meaning rul
Duties of the Branches of Government
Checks and balances
Constitution establishes rights in Bill of Rights
o Federal law and Constitution are supreme
o Note that powers not expressly given federal government are
reserved to the states.
Common Law Traditions:
Where possible, courts sought to use principles found in previous cases to resolve
current disputes. This meant cases began to be recognized as legal precedent.
Cases serving as precedent are reported.
Common law predominates in tor
Interstate Commerce Commission
The Interstate Commerce Commission was the first administrative agency. It was created
to oversee the railroads in the late 1800s.
o More arose during the administration of FDR.
Efforts were made to scale back agency power d
This is informal rulemaking with some elements of the formal procedure.
o Examples include notice and comment with limited cross examination on a small
number of issues.
Administrative conduct investigations, recommend new rules or legis
Example A sues B in New York, in a matter governed by New York law. B is unable
to find NY precedent on a particular point but is able to find a case from New
Hampshire. The New Hampshire decision would
be considered persuasive
The Powers of agencies
In general, agencies exercise administrative, rulemaking and adjudicative powers.
APA applies to legislative rules, not interpretive. Legislative rules function
like statutes. Interpretive regulations explain agencys in
To proceed in court, a party must show direct harm and not a theoretical complaint
o Also, exhaustion of appeals within the agency typically is required.
Courts reviewing agency actions generally defer to the agencys fact findi
Basic Business Law
Case Write-ups for Team F
Case 17-1 Silvestri v. Optus Software, Inc.
Optus Software, Inc. is a small computer software c