Chapter 1 Notes
Chapter 1 Notes ACCT 2700
Popular in Business Law
Popular in Business Law
This 7 page Class Notes was uploaded by Amanda Notetaker on Sunday September 11, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to ACCT 2700 at Auburn University taught by Robert Hollis Cochran in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 28 views. For similar materials see Business Law in Business Law at Auburn University.
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Date Created: 09/11/16
Business Law Chapter 1 Notes Definition of Law: - Law is a body of rules of conduct prescribed by controlling authority, and having binding legal force. That which must be obeyed and followed by citizens’ subject to sanctions or legal consequences is a law. Functions of Law: - Keeping the peace - Promoting social justice - Facilitating orderly change. - Encouraging compromise - Shaping moral standards - Maintaining the status quo. - Facilitating planning (facilitate dependable planning!) - Maximizing individual freedom. Business Activities and the Legal Environment: - Laws and regulations affect virtually all business activities. - Knowledge of “black-letter” not enough- business now assumes an ethical dimension. - Many different laws may affect a single business transaction. Sources of American Law: - Constitutional Law - Statutory Law (the law that Legislators make) o Ordinances o Uniform Commercial Code - Administrative Law o Federal agencies o State and local agencies - Case Law and Common Law Doctrines The Common Law Tradition: - American law is based largely on English Common Law which was based largely on traditions, social customs, rules, and cases dating back to 1066 A.D. - English Courts: at common law, there were two separate court systems: o Court of Law (monetary relief) o Courts of equity (non-monetary relied) bases on “notions of justice and fair dealing” Law Merchant: - For several centuries merchants were left to their own devices. o “Beneath the dignity of the King” o Merchants all around Europe handled their own affairs. They developed a system of laws to govern business activities (the Law Merchant). o The Law Merchant laws were very efficient because of the profit motive. - By about 1600 the Law Merchant had slowly become part of the Common Law and it was administered by both Legal and Equitable Courts. Courts Today: - By 1896 in the US and 1954 in the UK virtually all Law, Equitable and Law Merchant Courts were merged into a single system. In other words, General Courts today handle all of the functions formally handled in the different courts. - These are some minor exceptions; for instance, both Delaware and Tennessee have Chancery courts, but use it for very limited matters. The Doctrine of Stare Decisis: - “Stare Decisis” (stand on decided cases) is judge-made law. - Case Precedents and Reporters: o Each decision and interpretation becomes a legal precedent. - Judges are required to follow the precedent. - Stare Decisis and the Common Law Tradition o Courts are obligated to follow precedents within their jurisdictions. o Courts should not overturn their own precedents without compelling reasons. - Stare Decisis and Legal Stability o Stare Decisis helps courts be more efficient and makes the law more predictable, but Stare Decisis historically makes changing the law SLOW. - When there is no precedent the Courts will decide the case using their best judgement. (A case of first impression is a case without precedent). - Courts will change/overrule a precedent usually under one of the following conditions: o The precedent is clearly wrong o Times have changed and a new precedent is needed. - Plessy Vs. Ferguson o The common law is slow - “The Wisdom of the Ages” There is no one “Right” Answer: - good arguments are made for different sides. - Judges have personal beliefs that can affect decisions - Outcomes to lawsuits cannot be predicted with certainty. The Common Law Today: - Common Law governs transactions not covered by statutory law. o Courts interpret statutues. - 49 of 50 states have adopted the English common law upon joining the union. - In Alabama we adopted the English Common Law in the code of Alabama Schools of Jurisprudential Thought: - Jurisprudence is the philosophy of law - Schools: o Natural: oldest school o Historical: says the law has evolved over the centuries! o Sociological: the law is just another tool to be used to solve Social injustice and other problems. o Laws and Economics: misrepresented, Economics underlies virtually every law! o Command The Natural Law School: - Assumes law, rights and ethics are based on universal moral principles inherent in nature discoverable - Ex: MLK Historical School: - The common Law contains the wisdom of the ages. - Generations of judges and legal scholars have created our based laws on observations and needs of people. - We should not change the law until we understand why the law became the common law. - Ex: chief justice John Roberts and Clarence Thomas - Emphasizes the evolutionary process of law. - Concentrates on the orginis of the legal system. - Law derives its legitimacy and authrority from standards that have withstood the test of time. Sociological school: - The law is just another tool with which to correct social injustice. - Society should tailor the law to what is needed now instead of being wed to history. - Ex: Hilary Clinton, President Obama, Franklin Roosevelt Law and Economics School: - Economics underlie virtually all law - Many laws are created or changed with no understanding of the economics involved. - The economic impact should be studied and understood before a decision is made to change a law. - Often mischaracterized as “Free Markets Should Determine the Law”. - Ex: Richard Posner and Thomas Sowell. Command School: - Whoever holds power makes the law and everyone else must obey. - Alive and well throughout the world today. - Ex: Fidel Castro, Kim Juan Yen. Classifications of Law: - every type of law will be either: o civil or criminal o substantive or procedural (what we used to deal with substantive law) o Public (law that applies to everybody!) or Private law established, government doesn’t really know! The Pleadings: - Complaint () - Answer () - Counter Claim () - Reply () The answer: defendents reply to the plaintiff. Once the pretrials are over, there’s dismissals pretrial judgementsmotions Discoverey: - Discovery is the process by which parties obtain information from the opposing party prior to trial. - Each party must answer all relevant questions the other party asks. - Results in attornery’s at civil trials rarely hearing something that they don’t already know. Purposes for Discovery: - Prepare for trial - No “surprises” at trial. - Encourage parties to settle before trial - 95% of all cases settle before trial! Types of Discovery: - Depositions - Interrogations (written questions written under oath) - Requests for Admissions - Requests for Documents, Objects, and Inspections - Requests for Examination E-Discovery: electronic discovery! Ex: voicemails, emails, texts, etc. Pre-Trial Conference: - After discovery meeting between attorneys and judge. o Explore additional possibilities of settlement o Identify “issues in dispute” for the jury to consider. o Judges issues “behavior guidance” to attorneys o Judge sets/ confirms trial date. Jury Selection: - Seventh amendment right to a Jury trial (may be waived if both parties agree) - Voir dire - Jurors may be dismissed for no reason or for cause (bias) The Trial: - Opening statements - Introduction of evidence through witnesses o Evidence must be relevant (tends to prove or disprove) o Expert witnesses may be used. - Motions - Closing Arguments (longer than opening arguments) - Jury Instructions and Vredict The Appeal: - In a criminal trial only the (defendant) may appeal - In a civil trial either loser ( or ) may appeal - The loser as a time limit to file an appeal - The appeal considers only the “record” of the trial. Enforcing the Judgement: - Usually the determines if the has sufficient assets before the suit is filed - Often the doesn’t pay voluntarily.
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