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Glossary of Business Law for McCabe Exam I

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Law
A body of enforceable rules governing relationships among individuals and between individuals and their society.
Breach
To violate a law, by an act or an omission. Or to break a legal obligation that one owes to another person or to society.
Constitutional law
Law that is based on the U.S. Constitution and the constitutions of the various states.
Statutory law
The body of law enacted by legislative bodies.
Ordinance
A law passed by a local governing unit, such as a municipality or a county.
Uniform Law
A model law created by the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws and/or the American Law Institute for the states to consider adopting. If the state adopts the law, it becomes statutory law in the state. Each state has the option of adopting or rejecting all or part of a uniform law.
Administrative Law
The body of law created by administrative agencies in order to carry out their duties and responsibilities.
Administrative Agency
A federal, state or local government agency established to perform a specific function.
Executive Agency
An administrative agency within the executive branch of government.
Case Law
The rules of law announced in court decisions.
Common Law
That body of law developed from custom or judicial decisions in English and U.S. courts, not attributable to a legislature.
Defendant
One against whom a lawsuit is brought; the accused person in a criminal proceeding.
Plaintiff
One who initiates a lawsuit.
Statute of limitations
A federal or state statute setting the maximum time period during which a certain action can be brought or certain rights enforced.
Stare decisis
A common law doctrine under which judges are obligated to follow the precedents established in prior decisions within their jurisdictions.
Binding authority
Any source of law that a court must follow when deciding a case.
Civil law
The branch of law dealing with the duties that exist between persons or between citizens and their government, excluding the duty not to commit crimes.
Criminal Law
Law that defines and governs actions that constitute crimes.
Judicial review
The process by which courts decide on the constitutionality of legislative enactments and actions of the executive branch.
Venue
The geographical district in which an action is tried and from which the jury is selected.
Writ of certiorari
A writ from a higher court asking the lower court from the record of a case.
Rule of four
A rule of the United States Supreme Court under which the Court will not issue a writ of certiorari unless at least four justices approve the decision to issue the writ.
Discovery
A phase in the litigation process during which the opposing parties may obtain information from each other and from third parties prior to trail.
Pretrial conference
A conference between the judge and the attorneys litigating the suit. The parties may settle the dispute, clarify the issues, and so on during the conference.
Voir dire
In jury trails, the phrase refers to the process in which the attorneys question prospective jurors to determine whether they are biased or have any connection with a party to the action or with a prospective witness.
Motion for a new trail
A motion asserting that the trail was so fundamentally flawed (because of error, newly discovered evidence, prejudice, or other reason) that a new trail is necessary to prevent a miscarriage of justice.
Checks and Balances
Each branch of the government exercises a check on the actions of the others.
Preemption
A doctrine under which certain federal laws take precedence over, conflicting state or law laws.
Bill of Rights
The first ten amendments of the U.S. Constitution.
Symbolic speech
Nonverbal conduct that expresses opinions or thoughts about a subject.
Product liability
The legal liability of manufacturers, sellers, and lessors of goods to consumers, users, and bystanders for injuries or damages that are caused by the goods.
Tort
A civil wrong not arising from a breach of a legal duty that proximately causes harm or injury to another.
Intentional tort
A wrongful act knowingly committed.
Assault
Any word or action intended to make another person fearful of immediate physical harm; a reasonably believable threat.
Battery
The unprivileged, intentional touching of another.
Trespass to land
The entry onto, above, or below the surface of land owned by another without the owner’s permission or legal authorization.
Disparagement of property
An economically injurious false statement made about another’s product or property. A general term for torts that are more specifically referred to as slander of quality or slander of title.
Negligence
The failure to exercise the standard of care that a reasonable person would exercise in similar circumstances.
Negligence per se
An act (or failure to act) in violation of a statutory requirement.
Strict liability
Liability regardless of fault.

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