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Legal Environment of Business Notes

by: Cole Blake

Legal Environment of Business Notes BLAW 1050

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Cole Blake


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Theory of Law, 4 Written sources, Jurisdiction, Federal Courts, Arbitration and Mediation, Jurisdiction, Plaintiff and Defendant, Crimes and Tortes
Legal Environment of Business
Theory of Law, 4 Written sources, Jurisdiction, Federal Courts, Arbitration and Mediation, Plaintiff and Defendant, Crimes and Tortes
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This 9 page Bundle was uploaded by Cole Blake on Monday February 22, 2016. The Bundle belongs to BLAW 1050 at Robert Morris University taught by Waldman in Spring 2015. Since its upload, it has received 35 views. For similar materials see Legal Environment of Business in Business at Robert Morris University.

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Date Created: 02/22/16
Chapter 2 Notes 1. Theory of Law a. Society needs rules and regulations to keep order i. Without them there would be chaos and violence b. 3 goals of law in society i. Harmony ii. Stability iii. Justice c. Civil and Criminal Court i. Wealth isn’t a definite advantage for an easy sentence ii. Not all Civil case lawyers can do criminal cases (vice versa) iii. Contingency agreements can be made d. Overall justice is reached in our court system i. There are small pockets of injustice ii. Our legal system is moving in the right direction in establishing MORE JUSTICE for MORE PEOPLE under MORE CIRCUMSTANCES 2. The 4 Written Sources of Law a. Constitutional Law i. Most powerful and important source of law ii. U.S. Constitution (aka Federal Constitution) 1. Ben Franklin 2. George Founding Washington 3. John Adams Fathers 4. James Madison iii. Bill of Rights 1. First ten amendments in the Constitution iv. State Constitutions 1. Every state has a state constitution 2. Most powerful and important state law in the state is its own state constitution b. Statutory or Legislative Law i. Comes from legislative branch of government ii. Typically for a law to become effective, the U.S. President will sign it iii. U.S. President can veto the law also 1. Congress can over ride the veto iv. State statutory law 1. 49 out of 50 states have a congress and senate 2. State Congress votes on it a. Typically for it to become effective, the state governor has to sign it i. Can also veto it 3. Uniform Commercial Code (UCC) a. State statutory law that was passed in its entirety in all of the states except Louisiana which passed part of it and it is the law of commercial transactions c. Case Law i. Court or Judge made law ii. Comes from the Federal Courts iii. State Case Law iv. Discounts from the state courts v. Precedent- entails previous similar cases to the case at hand vi. Staredecisis- A court follows precedent when making a decision for the case at hand vii. 3 Points about precedent 1. When a court is deciding case at hand, it first must determine which cases are the precedent cases and once this determination is made, the court will almost always follow a precedent when making a decision for the case at hand thereby following the doctrine of staredecisis. When a court does this, it is following a tradition in the law and showing certain in the law 2. When a court is deciding a case at hand, on a rare occasion in order to show flexibility in the law due to changing times and circumstances, the court could decide to overturn precedent and make a decision in a different direction for the case at hand 3. Sometimes when a court is deciding a case at hand, there is no precedent. In which case, a court must use some type of reasoning to help decide this case at hand and once a decision has been made for this case, a precedent will be established viii. Sometimes when a court is deciding a case at hand, there is present a relevant statutory law. The meaning of which must be determined by the court in order to help decide this case at hand ix. The Doctrine of Judicial Review- sometimes when a court is deciding a case at hand it is necessary to exercise its power under the doctrine of judicial review and if so, this entails a court determining whether a statutory law/executive action/administrative rule and regulation is constitutional and if so, it is legally valid and if not, it is legally invalid and will have no legal effect d. Administrative Law- entails rules/ regulations/ decisions of administrative organizations/agencies. Everyone in society has to follow it i. U.S. Administrative Law 1. Comes from federal administrative agencies ii. State Administrative Law 1. Comes from state administrative agencies 3. Jurisdiction a. General Jurisdiction-When the court has the authority to hear a wide variety of legal subject matter cases. Family, civil, criminal, etc. b. Special Jurisdiction- This type of court can hear a limited type or types of legal subject matter cases c. Original Jurisdiction- When the court has the authority to hear the case for the first time on a full-blown basis. That is to say a court that has this type of authority is the trial court, where trials are held d. Appellate Jurisdiction- When the court has the authority to review a case for substantial errors of law/errors of fact, and then make 1 of 4 decisions: i. Confirm lower court decision ii. Reverse decision iii. Modify decision iv. Send the case back down to the court of original jurisdiction for a new trial 4. Federal Courts a. U.S. District Court i. Court has original jurisdiction as it is the federal trial court where trials are held and it also has general jurisdiction b. U.S. Court of Appeals i. Has appellate jurisdiction c. U.S. Supreme Court i. 9 judges on the Supreme Court ii. 5 or more judges in favor determine a decision iii. Generally speaking, this court exercises appellate jurisdiction, however, there are two situations when the U.S. Supreme Court exercises original jurisdiction and they are the following: 1. Cases involving foreign ambassadors 2. Cases where states or parties to a lawsuit d. State Courts i. In PA, there are district justice and magistrate courts and 2 important reasons go into there type of courts: 1. In criminal cases, soon after the defendant is arrested, he has a right to a hearing to determine if there’s enough evidence against the defendant to hold the case over for a criminal trial in the state trial court 2. In lawsuits where an injured party is seeking a small amount of money damages ii. State Trial Court 1. Has original jurisdiction and it also has general jurisdiction iii. State Appeals Court 1. Has appellate jurisdiction iv. State Supreme Court 1. Has appellate jurisdiction 5. Differences between Arbitration and Mediation a. Arbitration i. Listens to the case and makes a decision ii. The decision made is binding b. Mediator i. Listens to case and tries to work with parties to try and settle the case ii. The decision is nonbinding 6. Plaintiff and Defendant a. Plaintiff i. Writes a complaint 1. A complaint is a legal document filed by the plaintiff that will start the lawsuit and the original of this document will go to the court and a copy will go to the defendant. In it the plaintiff is stating that he/she was harmed through the fault of the defendant and therefore the plaintiff is seeking some type of relief from the defendant ii. Defendants can make counter-claims which can be replied to by the plaintiff 1. A reply ONLY exists IF there is a counter-claim. It responds to the counter-claim and the plaintiff files it. The original document goes to the court and a copy goes to the defendant b. Defendant i. Writes an answer to the complaint 1. This is a legal document that responds to the complaint filed by the plaintiff. The original document goes to the court and a copy goes to the plaintiff. In it the defendant almost always denies liability although on a rare occasion the defendant can admit liability but contest the compensation requested ii. Can write a counter-claim c. Pleadings i. Legal documents filed by both parties at the beginning of a lawsuit. They include the complaint, answer, counter-claim, and reply d. Discovery Stage i. Discovery Procedure- attempt to find more info on the case and hopefully avoid surprise at the trial ii. 3 types of discovery procedure 1. Deposition- this entails a verbal questioning and answering environment wherein the person who answers does so while under oath and the preceding is recorded by a court reporter 2. Interrogatory- written questions sent to a party and the party who responds to these questions does so while under oath 3. Inspection of Exhibits- when a side of the case can examine physical evidence that is in the possession of the other side and this is done before the trial e. Pretrial Conference i. Involves the judge, the lawyers, and the parties to the case attempting to settle all/part of the case thereby avoiding a trial on all/part of the case ii. Held before the trial (BUT NOT THE SAME DAY) f. Jury Selection i. Voir dire- to determine whether or not they will become of a jury ii. Challenges for Cause- this entails some type of legal justifiable reason to prevent a person from becoming a member of a jury and some possible examples are being related to someone involved in the case, being prejudice, 1. Are unlimited in number 7. Crimes and Tortes a. Crimes i. Wrong against society wherein a law is violated and the party who commits the crime is subject to criminal sanctions such as imprisonment b. Tortes i. A private wrong where a person is harmed from another person in ii. 3 main categories of tortes 1. Intentional tortes- intent is always involved a. Various types of intentional tortes i. Assault- when a person intentionally, without privilege or consent, threatens to do bodily harm to another person placing fear in the mind of this other person of this bodily harm and the person making the threat has the present ability to actually/apparently carry it out enabling the injured party to sue for money damages ii. Battery- when a person intentional without consent touches another person in an offensive manner, enabling the injured party to sue for money damages iii. False Arrest- When law enforcement intentionally without privilege/consent arrests another person without probable cause enabling the injured party to sue for money damages 1. Probable Cause- probability that a particular person has committed a particular crime iv. False imprisonment- when non-law enforcement without privilege or consent deprives a person of his freedom of movements enabling the injured party to sue for money damages v. Deformation- when a person intentionally without privilege/consent falsely communicates in such a manner as to harm another person’s reputation/character and this communication is made to a third party enabling the injured party to sue money damages 1. 2 types of deformation a. Slander- verbal/temporary deformation b. Libel- written/permanent deformation vi. Interference with a contract- when a person who is not a party to a contract intentionally without privilege/ consent unreasonably and in a mean spirited manner causes another person to breach a contract which involves other persons enabling the injured party to sue for money damages vii. Nuisance- A person whiteout privilege or consent unreasonably interferes with a persons use/enjoyment of land enabling the injured party to sue for money damages/obtain an objection to debate the nuisance viii. Trespass to real property- a person intentionally without consent on the real property of another enabling them to sue for money damages (ex. Land, things permanently attached to land, buildings, trees, ect.) ix. Trespass to personal property- when a person intentionally without privilege/consent unlawfully interferes with another person’s control and possession of personal property enabling the injured party to sue for money damages (personal property is all property that is not considered real property) 2. Torte of negligence- intent is never involved a. Necessary elements of negligence i. Duty- a person must exercise reasonable care. This is based upon a reasonable personable standard ii. Standard- This is determined by comparing what would be a reasonable course of conduct for a hypothetical person in the same category or classification as the person being sued for negligence and that of the actual course of conduct of the person being sued for negligence when both were involved in the same circumstances and the latter that exercise reasonable care if his conduct matches the former iii. Proximate Cause- a person fails to exercise reasonable care when this person has a legal duty to so toward another person. The direct cause of which is that the other person is harmed and there were no important intervening factors which caused such harm iv. Another person is harmed as to person/property v. The injured party can sue for money damages b. Negligence- when a person fails to exercise reasonable care. This person has a legal duty to do so toward another person. The proximate cause of which is that the other person is harmed enabling the injured party to sue for money damages c. Defenses to negligence i. Contributory to negligence- this is a negligence defense that is followed in some states and if so, this entails a typical contributory negligence statue being worded in such a manor that if the suing party contributed to any extent in causing his own harm, the result will be that the suing party will not be able to recover any monetary damages ii. Comparative Negligence- defense that is followed in most states and it entails determining and comparing the degree at fault (if any) of the party who is suing for his own harm that of the degree of fault of the other party. As long as the former is less at fault than the latter, they will recover monetary damages. However, if the former is at equal or greater fault than the latter, it is up to the comparative negligence statue and the state to give the former any money iii. The Assumption of Risk Doctrine- a negligence defense that entails the party who is bringing the negligence lawsuit placing himself in an environment of danger thereby assuming a risk of harm however it is up to whomever is deciding the case and to whether this negligence defense will be a total/partial/no bar to financial recovery by the suing party Two important types of cases wherein the law allows an injured party to bring a lawsuit involving a torte based upon strict liability a. Product Liability Cases- this entails attempting to prove that by the very nature and structure of a product it created an unreasonable risk of harm to its user and while this user was using the product in its proper manner, this user was harmed b. Hazardous Activity Cases- this entails attempting to prove that a party was harmed through no fault of their own by another party conducting a very dangerous and hazardous activity


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