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Legal Environment

Chapter 1

TermDefinition
Binding Authority Any source of law that a court must follow when deciding a case.
Breach The failure to perform a legal obligation.
Case Law The rules of law announced in court decisions.
Citation A reference to a publication in which a legal authority—such as a statute or a court decision—or other source can be found.
Civil Law The branch of law dealing with the definition and enforcement of all private or public rights, as opposed to criminal matters.
Common Law The body of law developed from custom or judicial decisions in English and U.S. courts.
Constitutional Law The body of law derived from the U.S. Constitution and the constitutions of the various states.
Criminal Law Law that has to do with wrongful actions committed against society for which society demands redress.
CyberLaw An informal term used to refer to all laws governing online communications and transactions.
Defendant One against whom a lawsuit is brought.
Equitable Principles and Maxims General propositions or principles of law that have to do with fairness (equity).
Historical School A school of legal thought that emphasizes the evolutionary process of law and looks to the past to discover what the principles of contemporary law should be.
Injunction A court decree ordering a person to do or refrain from doing a certain act.
International Law The law that governs relations among nations.
Jurisprudence The science or philosophy of law.
Law A body of enforceable rules governing relationships among individuals and between individuals and their society.
Legal Positivism A school of legal thought centered on the assumption that there is no law higher than the laws created by a national government.
Legal Realism A school of legal thought that generally advocates a less abstract and more realistic approach to the law, an approach that takes into account customary practices and the circumstances in which transactions take place.
National Law Law that pertains to a particular nation.
Natural Law The belief that government and the legal system should reflect universal moral and ethical principles that are inherent in human nature.
Ordinance A regulation enacted by a city or county legislative body that becomes part of that state’s statutory law.
Persuasive Authority Any legal authority or source of law that a court may look to for guidance but on which it need not rely in making its decision.
Plaintiff One who initiates a lawsuit.
Precedent A court decision that furnishes an example or authority for deciding subsequent cases involving identical or similar facts.
Primary Source of Law A document that establishes the law on a particular issue, such as a constitution, a statute, an administrative rule, or a court decision.
Procedural Law Law that establishes the methods of enforcing the rights -established by substantive law.
Remedy The relief given to an innocent party to enforce a right or compensate for the violation of a right.
Secondary Source of Law A publication that summarizes or interprets the law, such as a legal encyclopedia, a legal treatise, or an article in a law review.
Stare Decisis A common law doctrine under which judges are obligated to follow the precedents established in prior decisions.
Statute of Limitations A federal or state statute setting the maximum time period during which a certain action can be brought or certain rights enforced.
Statutory Law The body of law enacted by legislative bodies.
Substantive Law Law that defines, describes, regulates, and creates legal rights and obligations.
Uniform Law A model law created by the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws and/or the American Law Institute for the states to consider adopting.
Created by: mjgraham237