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Business Law Week one

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Week One Student Guide

This week introduces the structure of the United States system of government and the American court system, emphasizing constitutional provisions that affect business conduct. Weekly readings explain jurisdictional concepts and the steps involved in a lawsuit from filing to appeal, and emphasize methods of dispute resolution outside of the courtroom.

This week's topics provide a foundational basis for concepts learned in the course, including aspects of the law that must be factored into managers' decision-making in a business.

Legal Environment

OBJECTIVE: Explain the relationship between business and the legal environment.

Resources: Ch. 1, 3, & 5 of The Legal Environment of Business and Online Commerce


* Legal Heritage and the Information Age:

o What is Law?

Law most be obyed by the people, if not he or she will be subject to sanctions or legal consequences. Rules or actions conduct by controlling authority and having force. The law goes for individuals with businesses and other organizations within society.

o Schools of Jurisprudential Thought:

Natural Law: Postulates that law is based on what is "correct." It emphasizes a moral theory of law, that is, law should be based on morality and ethics.

Historical: Believes that law is an aggragate of social traditions and customs.

Analytical: Believes that results are reached by applying prinicples of logic to the specific facts of a case. Shaped by logic.

Sociological: Purpose of law is to shape social behavior. Acheving and advancing certain sociological goals.

Command: Laws are set and rules developed, communicated and enforced by thr ruling party rather than a reflection of the society's morality, history, logic or sociology.

Criticial Legal Studies: Legal rules are unnecessary and are used as an obstacle by the powerful to maintain the statues quo, also be solved by applying arbitrary rules based on fairness.

Law and Economis: believes that promoting market efficiency should be the central goal of legal decision making.

o History of American Law:

When the American colonies were first settled, the English system of law was generally adopted as the system of jurisprudence. This was the foundation from which American judges developed the common law in America.

English common law: The English common law can be divided into cases decided by the law courts, equity courts, and merchant courts. This law was developed by judges who issued their opinions when deciding cases. The priniciples announced became precedent for later judges similar cases.

Law court: Prior to the Norman Conquest of Endland in 1066, serveral locality in England were subject to local laws as established by the lord or chieftain in control of a area. No countryman system law was invented. After 1066, William the Conqueror and his successors to the throne of England began to replace the various local laws with one uniform laws. By doing thais, the judges were charged with administering the law in uniform manner, that were called law courts.Law at that time tended to emphasize the form legal procedure over the substance merit.

Chancery (Equity) court: Because of the unfair and the limited remedy available in the law courts, a second set of courts the Court of Chancery or equity court was established. The Chancery court was under the authority of lord chancellor. Persons who believed the decision of the law vourt was not fair or believed the law court could not grant an appropriate remedy would seel relief in the Court of Chancery. The chancellor's remedies were called equitable remedies because they were shaped to fit each sisuation.

Merchant Court: Developed in the Middle Ages, traveled to England and Europe to develop certain rukes to solve commercial disputes. The rukes, known as the law of merchants or the law merchant, were based on common trade practices and usage. However, a separate set of courts were established, this court was to administer rules. The name of this court was merchant court. In the early 1900's, the merchant court was absorbed into the regular law court system of England.

o Sources of Law in the United States:

Constitutuons: State constittutions establish state and federal governments and enumerate their powers.

Treaties: President, two thrids of the senate, but only with the advice from them senants may enter treaties together with the foreign countries.

Codified law: Statutes and ordinances: Establish courses of conduct that covered parties must follow. They are enacted by Congress and state legislatures. Ordinances are enacted by municiplaties and other local government bodies.

Executive orders: Executive orders regulate the conduct of covered parties, they are issued by the president and governors of states. They also create legislative and executive braches for government.

Regulations and orders of administrative agencies: Administrative agencies may adopt rules and regulations that regulate the conduct of covered parties as well as issue orders.

Judicial decisions: Courts decide cobntroversies. In doing so, a court issues a decision that states the holding of the case and the rationale the court used in reaching that decision.

* Court Systems and Administrative Law

o State, District of Columbia, and Territory Court Systems:

Limited jurisdiction trail court: A court that hears matters of a specialized or limited nature. Also known as an inferior trail court.

Small claims court: A court that hears civil cases involing small dollar amounts.

General jurisdiction trail court: A court that hears cases of a general nature that is not within the jurisdiction of limited jurisdiction trail courts. Testmony and evidence at trail are recorded and stores for future reference. Also known as a court of record.



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