Class Rreflection 1

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ACC 150
THE LEGAL ENVIRONMENT OF BUSINESS

With Doreen Smith, Esquire

Chapter 1

LAW

  • Definition of “law”?
  • The order or pattern of rules that society establishes to govern the conduct of individuals and the relationships among them.
  • Functions of the law:
  • Keeps the peace
  • Maintains order
  • Facilitating planning
  • Providing a basis for compromise

Chapter One

NATURE OF LAW AND LEGAL RIGHTS

Legal Rights: legal capacity to require another person to do or not do an act.

  • Our rights flow from the U.S. Constitution, state constitutions, federal and state statutes, local laws.

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NATURE OF LAW AND LEGAL RIGHTS

Individual Rights:

Include freedom of speech, due process, right to vote.

Right of Privacy.

  • Right to be secure against unreasonable searches and seizures.
  • Includes right to protection against intrusion by others.

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NATURE OF LAW AND LEGAL RIGHTS

Privacy and Technology.

  • Technology has changed the way we interact with each other and allows easier intrusion into another’s privacy.
  • Courts and Congress have said that right to privacy also exists in electronic form and the internet.

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SOURCES OF LAW

  • Constitutional Law
  • Case Law or Common Law
  • Statutory Law
  • Administrative Law

CONSTITUTIONAL LAW

  • Body of principles that establishes the structure of government and the relationship of that government to the people who are governed.
  • Certain checks and balances are built into the Constitution to ensure that no one branch of federal government becomes too strong.
  • Commerce Clause
  • A clause in the Constitution that allows Congress to regulate commerce between foreign nations or among several states.

Chapter One

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STATUTORY LAWS

  • Passed by Federal or State Legislatures
  • Must comply with US and State Constitution or the law will be struck down
  • Example
  • Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was passed by Congress governs employers across the country
  • Local governments also pass laws which govern conduct within a particular municipality (often called ordinances).

ADMINISTRATIVE LAW

  • Administrative Law
  • Rules and regulations created by an agency to carry out the mandates of a statute.
  • Example:
  • Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
  • Has been charged with the task of creating rules and regulations to advance federal environmental protection laws.

PRIVATE LAW

  • The rules and regulations parties agree to as part of their contractual relationship.
  • Example:
  • A lease between a tenant and landlord will set forth all the various rules that must be followed by each party based on the agreement. For example, the lease may set forth which party will clear the sidewalk of ice and snow should there be inclement weather.

CASE LAW OR COMMON LAW

  • Definition
  • Laws made by Judges in Court decisions
  • Precedent
  • A past judicial decision that stands as the law for a particular problem in the future.
  • Stare Decisis
  • This means “let the decision stand.” The principle that the decision of a court should serve as a guide or precedent and control the decision of a similar case in the future.

EXECUTIVE ORDERS (E.O.)

  • These are typically ordered by the President.
  • Example: E.O. 11246 requires federal contractors who have contracts over a certain monetary value with the federal government to create an affirmative action plan.
  • Executive Orders have the power of laws but do not require Congressional action.
  • Some recent Executive Orders are considered controversial and beyond the power of the President.

SOURCES OF LAW

Chapter One

Common Law – made up of tradition and court precedent; may be repealed or strengthened by case law and statutory law.

Case Law– laws made by decisions of a court; also courts may enforce common law rules

Constitutional Law

Administrative Law

Statutory Law

Federal (U.S) Constitution

State Constitution

Federal (U.S. Congress)

State Legislatures

Local Government (City, County)

Federal Administrative Agencies

State Administrative Agencies

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Chapter 1

UNIFORM STATE LAWS

  • National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws has drafted model statutes. Best example is the Uniform Commercial Code which regulates sale of goods, leases, banking, and letters of credit.

Other examples include: Model Business Corporations Act and Uniform Partnership Act.

Uniform laws are considered sample laws that states can adopt. These laws do not have any power until adopted by each individual state.

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CLASSIFICATION OF LAW

Substantive law

Creates, defines and regulates rights and liabilities.

Example-

Laws that apply to contracts are substantive law.

Procedural law

Specific steps that must be followed in enforcing rights and liabilities.

Example-

The time frame given to a defendant to respond to a civil complaint (more of this in Chapter 2).

Chapter One

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CRIMINAL AND CIVIL LAW

  • Criminal law
  • The laws that define wrongs against society. These actions are brought by the government.
  • Example: You see your former spouse walking behind your car. You intentionally run them over! This would be a criminal situation. Although a civil case can also be brought by the injured spouse for damages.
  • Civil law
  • The laws that define the right of one person against another.
  • Example: You are in the college parking lot backing up. You don’t notice a fellow student walking behind you. You mistakenly hit them with your vehicle. This would be a civil case because there was no intent.

EQUITY

  • Definition of Equity:
  • The body of principles that originally developed because of the inadequacy of the rule then applied by the common law courts of England.
  • Examples of equitable relief (also referred to as remedies or damages)
  • Injunctions
  • Stopping someone from doing something….Such as stopping a union from picketing.
  • Specific performance
  • Forcing a party to do something… Such as forcing a seller (who has breached a sales agreement) to sell their house.

Chapter One

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