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Business Law - Class notes, start of Fall 2016 Semester through September 4th, 2016

by: Winston

Business Law - Class notes, start of Fall 2016 Semester through September 4th, 2016 BLAW 2013

Marketplace > University of Arkansas > Business Law > BLAW 2013 > Business Law Class notes start of Fall 2016 Semester through September 4th 2016
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Notes from every class of business law from the start of the Fall 2016 Semester through September 4th (2nd week of class), 2016.
Business Law
Class Notes
Law, blaw, Tort Law, Intro to criminal justice, shaira, executive functions, courts, state courts, court cases, Contract Law, clauses, Case Study, precedence, punitive




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This 7 page Class Notes was uploaded by Winston on Saturday September 3, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to BLAW 2013 at University of Arkansas taught by Norwood in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 333 views. For similar materials see Business Law in Business Law at University of Arkansas.


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Date Created: 09/03/16
1. Common law a. Law of England i. All states except Louisiana use common law ii. Louisiana is Civil Law (Europe)  b. Based upon prior decisions by judges i. Precedents  ii. Law evolves iii. NOT based on set rules ­ based on decisions by judges 2. Civil Law a. Based on code  i. NOT legal precedents  b. Civil law used in about 150 countries  i. Most prominent example: the Napoleonic Code (1804) 3. Sharia Law a. Religious based i. Judges are religious leaders b. Popular in Middle­East 4. Criminal Law a. Citizen vs State (government) b. The “burden of proof” in a criminal case (criminal law) must be “beyond a  reasonable doubt” 5. Civil Law a. Citizen vs Citizen b. Can sue for damages (monetary) i. No jail c. Civil Case requires “by a preponderance of the evidence” (very little)  6. Double Jeopardy a. Cannot be charged (tried) for the same crime twice i. Can be charged by another sovereignty  ii. Someone who is found ‘not guilty’ in criminal court CAN be sued in civil  court 1. Ex: OJ Simpson 7. Constitutional Law a. State b. Federal c. The constitution doesn’t apply unless there is “state action” i. No right to free speech in private sector 8. Statutory Law a. Federal (Congress) i. U.S. Code (find online if want actual code) b. State (State Legislatures) i. Ark. Code Ann., Sec. 4­4­403 9. Administrative Law a. Subservient to statutory law 10. Executive Orders a. They are considered law i. Congress won’t overrule executive orders because he will veto and then  they need ⅔ of the vote in BOTH The House and The Senate 11. Case Law “Common Law” a. Case rulings become legal precedents i. Out of court settlements are NOT legal precedents  ii. Trial court opinions have VERY LITTLE (if any) legal precedents and are  in the national reporter system and ARE law iii. Trial court judges in one state are NOT required to follow precedents of  trial court judges in other states iv. On matters of federal law a trial court judge is going to look at the ruling of the supreme court > if none then they will look at a ruling by a judge in  their own state 1. Arkansas is in the 8th federal circuit > St. Louis is where the 8th  circuit federal court is > Arkansas judge would look to the 8th  circuit for a prior ruling > if none then they can look at other  circuits, but they are only required to follow rulings by the 8th  circuit and the supreme court v. On matters of state law, the state courts are SUPREME 1. Example > State v. Brown, Arkansas Supreme Court, 156 S.W.3d  722, March 25, 2004 a. To look up i.  1. LexisNexis Academic a. Enter case number b. 155 S.W.3d 722 i. Pulls up case b. DEA pulls up on guy’s house, tells him they need  permission to search his house, he signs i. Do they need to tell him he has the right to say no? 1. Supreme court ruling = yes 2. State of Arkansas rules = no a. Cite state law  b. A precedent CAN be overturned 1. Example: Brown v. Board ii. “Stare of decisis does not demand that we follow law that shipwrecked  justice” 12. Civil courts have an “open door” policy a. No initial screening process i. Anyone can file a lawsuit ii. Leads to “frivolous lawsuits” 1. No foundation  b. A trial judge CAN throw out a case  c. 90%­95% of lawsuits are settled i. Settling is a normal process d. In a civil lawsuit, each side has a right to know the witnesses and evidence that  the other side will be presenting e. Discovery i. Plaintiffs’ lawyer has a right to know of evidence and witnesses that will  be presented, they can obtain this information from the defendant, the  defendant can also do the same f. Deposition  i. Each side may interrogate potential witnesses ii. Both lawyers and court reporter are there 1. Considered under oath iii. Taken PRIOR to trial iv. The witnesses that gave a deposition can be called upon at the trial 1. Have to justify in front of jury v. Fresh evidence ­ cases take a long time to get to trial, might forget  g. Compensatory damages i. What jury awards to make the victim whole and compensate the victim 1. Lost wages 2. Pain and suffering h. Comparative negligence i. Might be partially the plaintiff's fault i. Punitive damages i. May in certain cases be awarded by the jury in cases where the jury feels  the defendant is extremely negligent j. Tort reform i. Associated with efforts in some state to reduce the number of frivolous  lawsuits k. Judgement notwithstanding the verdict i. In a civil case the trial court judge can modify the jury's verdict 1. Reducing 2.7M to 640k 13. Adversary system a. Civil and criminal cases i. Civil  1. Lawyers not allowed to argue points of law which are incorrect 2. Payment  a. Defendant ­ hourly b. Plaintiff ­ contingency i. No win = no fee (30%+ is not uncommon) c. Some countries do not recognize this payment system i. Reduces dumb suits d. “Loser pays” rule i. Plaintiff loses = they pay for defendant legal fees ii. This is rule in Arkansas ONLY for breach of  contract suits e. “Rule 11” i. Judge can charge plaintiff for dumb suit 14. Role of the Jury a. Jury is possible upon request, not required b. Rules on matters of fact c. Rules on the matters of law d. Don’t make a decision based on sympathy or anything besides the evidence  presented in court 15. Classification of courts a. Trial courts and appellate courts i. Trial courts 1. Original jurisdiction a. judge, witnesses, jury (if requested) ii. Appellate courts 1. Reviews what trial court (original jurisdiction) did a. Between 3 and 9 judges b. No witnesses c. No jury d. No new evidence 16. How are judges chosen? a. State judges i. Elected ii. Appointed b. Missouri plan i. Appointed 1. Serve for a little while a. Retained by vote i. No opponent in race 1. Needs majority of votes or kicked out of  office c. Federal i. Appointed by president 1. Confirmed by senate a. Serve for as long as willing and able i. Can be thrown out if not showing “good behavior” 1. *breaking the law 17. Jurisdiction over the person a. Defendant is a resident of the state in question i. If a non­resident, then “long arm statute” might give jurisdiction 1. Examples a. Doing business in a state b. Being served while in a state c. The U.S. constitution requires “limited contact” b. You cannot sue a business in your state unless they have a physical location in  your state i. Many businesses have a “Forum Selection Clause” in the agreement you  check that says you will go to them if you want to sue and won’t bring  them to you 18. Jurisdiction over the subject matter a. Federal or state court i. The structure of federal courts 1. District Courts 2. Court of Appeals 3. U.S. Supreme Court ii. The structure of state courts 19. The Arkansas Supreme Court a. Seven (7) judges i. Elected 1. Current Chief Justice was NOT elected a. Old one died, current is a stand in ii. All fairly new 1. Oldest was elected in 2006 iii. Some (3 or 4) either attended or currently teach at the University of  Arkansas 20. Federal courts and jurisdictions over “subject matter” a. Limited by both constitutional and statutory b. Exclusive i. U.S. is a party ii. Bankruptcy iii. Copyrights iv. Patents c. Concurrent i. Federal question ii. Diversity (if ALL on one side are from different state than other side) and  more than $75,000 is in question  1. Then it can go to federal court  a. If either party wants that 2. In a diversity case federal judges apply state law  iii. Usually federal judges will apply state law for the state in which the  incident occurred 21. Pretrial Court Procedures (p. 46­53) a. Complaint b. Service of process c. Answer i. Counterclaim and cross complaint 1. Defendant says “I didn't do that”  a. It starts poppin off d. Discovery  i. Gather evidence 1. Depositions, files, facts, evidence, etc.. 22. Trial procedures a. The jury i. Not always 12 ii. Does not always require a unanimous vote for a verdict b. Jury selection and “voir dire” i. Definition ­ Voir dire  1. To see and to say ii. Challenges for cause and peremptory challenges iii. 12 people considered “first wave” are drawn and sat in box 1. Asked many questions a. After questions are asked the lawyers can question  specific potential juror  b. Some will be dismissed i. Either for cause or peremptory 1. Lawyers can dismiss as many as they want 2. Lawyer says “juror 1 is dismissed with the  thanks of the court” a. Judge can undo the lawyer’s  dismissal if they feel it illegitimate  3. Cause = legitimate cause for not wanting  them 4. Peremptory = doesn’t have to have a  reason a. Amount allowed varies 23. Supreme court ruled can’t be because of race 24. Then gender 25. 9th circuit recently ruled that it can NOT be because of sexual orientation 26. On one else has to follow this yet a. Once the jury is selected i. Opening statements ­ NOT EVIDENCE 1. Testimony a. Direct vs. cross examination b. Hearsay c. Criminal cases i. Prior convictions generally not admissible d. Jury must make their decision based SOLELY on the  evidence instructions 27. How does the trial judge exercise control over the jury? a. Summary judgement b. Directed verdict i. Overwhelmingly evident that one will win ii. Tells jury they don’t have to rule 28. The Appeal ­ civil cases a. Notice of appeal filed with the trial court i. Court will hear the case within 1 to 2 years b. Brief filed by lawyers i. Summary c. Oral argument i. Judges listen to lawyers d. NO NEW EVIDENCE IS CONSIDERED e. Action  i. Affirm ii. Reverse iii. Remand 1. New trial iv. Modify  29. Class Action Lawsuit a. Many people similarly situated  i. Interest of efficiency  30. Collection of judgement a. “Non­exempt” assets can be seized b. Garnishment of debtor's wages  c. You can go to jail for not paying alimony or child support 31. Alternative DR a. Mediation i. Neutral third party 1. Cannot rule in a binding way 2. Helps parties settle dispute 3. Many judges require this before they will hear the case b. Arbitration i. Neutral third party ii. BINDING iii. Ways it is agreed to 1. After the dispute arises 2. In the contract  a. Many, many contracts have arbitration clauses Bonus ­ if you see Norwood off campus and you have the constitution in your hand then he will  give you $5


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