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Chapters 1 and 2

The nature and sources of law &The court system and dispute resolution

What is the definition of law? The order or pattern of rules that society establishes to govern the conduct of individuals and the relationships among them.
What is a duty? An obligation of la imposed on a person to perform or refrain from performing a certain act.
What is a constitution? A body of principles that establishes the structure of a government and the relationship of the government to the people who are governed.
What is a private law? The rules and regulations parties agree to as part of their contractual relationships.
What is procedural law? The law that must be followed in enforcing rights and liabilities.
What is equity? The body of principles that originally developed because of the inadequacy of the rules then applied by the common law courts of England.
What does jurisdiction mean? The power of a court to hear and determine a given class of cases; the power to act over a particular defendant.
What is an appeal? Taking a case to a reviewing court to determine whether the judgement of the lower court or administrative agency was correct.
What is a reversible error? An error or defect in court proceedings of so serious a nature that on appeal the appellate court will set aside the proceedings of the lower court.
What are federal district courts? A general trial court of the federal system.
What is an en banc? The term used when the full panel of judges on the appellate court hears a case.
What is small claims court? Courts that resolve disputes between parties when those disputes do not exceed a minimal level; no lawyers are permitted; the parties represent themselves.
What is attorney-client privilege? Right of individual to have discussions with his/her attorney kept private and confidential.
What is a motion to dismiss? A pleading that may be filed to attack the adverse party's pleading as not stating a cause of action or a defense.
What does a motion for summary judgement mean? Request that the court decide a case on basis of law only because there are no material issues disputed by the parties.
What is an expert witness? One who has acquired special knowledge in a particular field as through practical experience or study, or both, whose opinion is admissible as an aid to the trier of fact.
What is cross-examination? The examination made of a witness by the attorney for the adverse party.
What is a directed verdict? A direction by the trial judge to the jury to return a verdict in favor of a specified party to the action.
What is a mistrial? A court's declaration that terminates a trial and postpones it to a later date;commonly entered when evidence has been of a highly prejudicial character or when a juror has been guilty of misconduct.
What is arbitration? The settlement of disputed questions, whether of law or fact, by one or more arbitrators by whose decision the parties agree to be bound.
What is a mediation? The settlement of a dispute through the use of a messenger who carries to each side of the dispute the issues and offers the case.
What is an association tribunal? A court created by a trade association or group for the resolution of disputes among its members.
What is a minitrial? A trial held on portions of the case or certain issues in the case.
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