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Comm Law The Law in Modern Society Ch 1


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"Law" (three definitions)
1) the rules of conduct established and enforced by authority in a society 2)in reference to a particular law, usually an act or statute passed by a legislative body. 3) “jurisprudence” (the study of the law) the profession of lawyers and judges
the study of law
What are the sources of U.S. law?
common law, equity law, statutory law, constitutional law, administrative law, or international law.
"Case law"
A body of law in which courts have applied the principles established in precedents.
"Common Law"
Refers specifically to a body of law in which courts create precedential principles
“Stare decisis”
Once established, a legal decision shouldn’t easily be changed.
Scholarly collections (like Blackstone’s Commentaries) and analyses of law for use by lawyers and judges
Blackstone's Commentaries
Sir William Blackstone, the first professor law at Oxford University. Collated English common law, into volumes which organized the law according to subject matter, including the law of freedom of speech and press.
Common Law especially applies to....
libel and invasion of privacy
Bill of Rights
First 10 Amendments
When was the constitiution written? Ratified?
1787. 1789.
What does the US consitituion contain?
Preample, 7 articles, and 26 amendments
what are the federal and state courts of last resort called?
supreme court
what are the federal and state intermediate appellate courts called?
courts of appeals/court of appeal
what are the federal and state trial courts of general jurisdiction called?
district courts (fed) and circuit courts (state)
what are the federal and state Trial Courts of Limited Jurisdiction called?
Court of Federal Claims, Court of International Trade, Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims, Rail Reorganizational Court, Tax Court (fed) and IE Family Court, Small Claims Court, Traffic Court (state)
jursidiction refers to what?
the subject matter (the kinds of legal issues)on which a court is entitled to rule, or to geography, places or types of parties over whom a court has authority
How many US Circuit Courts are there?
12 (11, plus one for DC)
How many US District Courts are there?
94 (at least one in each state, PR, and DC. As many as four are located in each of the most populous states.)
How many judges are in US Distrct Courts?
ranges from 2-29, depending on the amt of work int he court
How many judgeships are there in the US District Courts?
In recent year, the US District Courts have heard an annual avg. of about ___________ civil cases and __________ criminal cases
275,000; 45,000
How long does it take to dispose of a criminal felony case and a civil case?
3.5 yrs for criminal and 7 yrs for civil
What is the only court mentioned in the Constitution? Where in the Constitution is it mentioned?
The US Supreme Court, in Article III.
How many mkembers are in the US Supreme Court?
a non-criminal wrong comitted by one party against another party (IE Libel and invasion of privacy)
what are the two major branches of civil law?
torts and contracts
what are the stages of legal procedure in a criminal case?
investigation, arrest, arraingment, complain, preliminary hearing, grand jury indictment, hearing and motions, trial, sentencing, appeal.
what are the stages of legal procedure in a civil case?
complaint filed, answer, discovery, hearings and motions, settlement conference, trial, appeal.
Who was the last Chief Justice apppointed to the Supreme Court?
John Roberts, in 2005. He is Conservative. A former private practitioner, lawyer in the Regan and Bush I administrations, and judge on the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. Harvard Law School. He is the 17th Chief Justice. He is the 109th justice to serve on the court.
Equity Law
Consists of orders by courts to resolve legal problems expeditiously
Statutory Law
law enacted by legislative bodies
Constitutional Law
Documents containing the supreme rules for a society and the interpretation of the documents by courts
Administrative Law
The rules and decisions of administrative agencies
International Law
Mainly treaties b/n nations
What do Trial courts do?
Find facts and apply the law.
What do Appellate courts do?
Review the application of the law by trial courts.
Civil and criminal legal procedure differs at both the _____ and ________- court levels.
trial & appellate
How are Federal judges nominated?
By the President and the "advice and consent" of Senate in order to protect them from politics, but the process of choosing a federal judge is political.
How did states choose judges?
They use variations of the appointive and electorla systems

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