Chapter 2 – The Legal System

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Laws that are passed by federal or state legislatures are part of: a. common law b. statutory law c. constitutional law d. case law
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b. statutory law
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After a bill passes in one house of the legislature, it becomes a/an: a. act b. bill c. amendment d. law
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a. act
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The type of law that concerns relationships between individuals or between individuals and the government is called: a. tort law b. battery law c. fraud law d. civil law
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d. Civil Law
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Medical professionals have a duty to report any unusual occurrence to the police including: a. rape b. child abuse c. elder abuse d. all of the above
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d. all of the above
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Law are classified as: a. private and public b. case and common c. intentional and unintentional d. major and minor
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a. private and public
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Fraud
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Promising that a miracle cure will work
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False Imprisonment
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Not allowing a patient to leave before completing a procedure
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Battery
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Performing a procedure without a signed consent
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Assault
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Threatening to harm a patient if he or she does not cooperate with a treatment regimen
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Defamation of Character
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Saying something negative about another physician to a patient
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Invasion of Privacy
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Publicizing private information about a patient
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Under tort law, if a wrongful act has been committed against another person and there is no harm done then there is no tort. True or False
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True
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Civil law includes tort law and contract law. True or False
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True
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Constitutional law applies to private entities, including businesses and individuals. True or False
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False
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Legislatures sometimes authorize agencies to make law. True or False
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True
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The threat or attempt to strike another, whether successful or not, provided the target is aware of the danger. The assaulter must be reasonably capable of carrying through the attack.
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Assault
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The actual intentional striking of someone, with intent to harm, or in a rude and insolent manner even if the injury is slight
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Battery
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The act of making untrue statements about another which damages his/her reputation.
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Defamation of Character
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Duress is defined as making someone do something against his will, or making someone perform an illegal act, by using threats, coercion or other illicit means
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Duress Fraud
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The intrusion into the personal life of another, without just cause, which can give the person whose privacy has been invaded the right to bring a lawsuit for damages against the person or entity that intruded
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Invasion of Privacy
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Referring to a civil action against a person who allegedly said or did something so outrageous or insulting to the plaintiff that he or she suffered subsequent emotional damage
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Tort of Outrage
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Influence by which a person is induced to act otherwise than by their own free will or without adequate attention to the consequences
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Undue Influence
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A branch of law that covers regulations set by government agencies
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Administrative Law
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Imminent apprehension of bodily harm
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Assault
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Bodily harm and unlawful touching (touching without consent of patient)
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Battery
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Evidence that is almost an absolute certainty that a person did commit a crime
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Beyond a Reasonable Doubt
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Neglect of an understanding between two parties; failing to perform a legal duty
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Breach
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The failure, without legal excuse, to perform any promise or to carry out any of the terms of an agreement; failure to perform a contractual duty
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Breach of Contract
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Also called common law, case law is based on decisions made by judges
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Case Law
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Designed by the framers of the Constitution so that no one branch of government would have more power than another and so that each branch of government is scrutinized by other branches of government
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Checks and Balances
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Relationships between individuals or between individuals and the government, which are not criminal
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Civil Law
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Lawsuit filed by one or more people on behalf of a larger group of people who are all affected by the same situation
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Class Action Lawsuit
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Closing speech or summary made by the attorneys for both the plaintiff and the defendant
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Closing Argument
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Also called case law, common law is based on decisions made by judges
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Common Law
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Capable of making a decision without mental confusion due to drugs, alcohol, or other reasons
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Competent
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In contract law, consideration is something of value given as part of the agreement
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Consideration
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The inviolable rights, privileges, or immunities secured and protected for each citizen by the Constitution of the United or by the constitution of each state
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Constitutional Law
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The division of law that includes enforceable promises and agreements between two or more persons to do or not to do a particular thing
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Contract Law
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One in which court action is brought by the government against a person or groups of people accused of committing a crime, resulting in a fine or imprisonment if found guilty
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Criminal Case
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Set up to protect the public from the harmful acts of others
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Criminal Laws
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Making false and/or malicious statements about another person; includes libel and slander
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Defamation of Character
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Person or group of people sued civilly or prosecuted criminally in a court of law
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Defendant
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Oral testimony that is made before a public officer of the court to be used in a lawsuit
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Deposition
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The legal process by which facts are discovered before a trial
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Discovery
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The illegal appropriation of property, usually money, by a person entrusted with its possession
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Embezzlement
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A medical practitioner or other expert who, through education, training, or experience, has special knowledge about a subject and gives testimony about that subject in court, usually for a fee
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Expert Witness
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An agreement that is entered into orally or in writing
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Expressed Contract
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A serious crime that carries a punishment of death or imprisonment for more than on year. Ex. Murder, rape, robbery, and practicing medicine without a license
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Felony
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Deceitful
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Fraudulent
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An agreement that is made through inference by signs, inaction, or silence
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Implied contract
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A written charge presented to the court by the grand jury against a defendant
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Indictment
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Occur when a person has been intentionally or deliberately injured by another
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Intentional Torts
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The power to hear a case
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Jurisdiction
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Any publication in print, writing, pictures, or sign that injuries the reputation of another person
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Libel
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A dispute that has resulted in one party suing another
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Litigation
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Less serious offenses that felonies; punishable by fines or imprisonment of up to one year. These include traffic violations and disturbing the peace
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Misdemeanors
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A person or group of people suing another person or group of people; the person who instigates the lawsuit
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Plaintiff
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Formal written statements
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Pleadings
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Evidence showing that more likely than not the incident occurred
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Preponderence of Evidence
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A person who brings a criminal lawsuit on behalf of the government
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Prosecutor
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Rules or laws made by agencies
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Regulations
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Speaking false and malicious words concerning another person that brings injury to his or her reputation
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Slander
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Let the decision stand
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Stare decisis
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Laws enacted by state and federal legislatures
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Statutues
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Court order for a person or documents to appear in court
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Subpoena
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Under penalty take with you, a court order requiring a person to appear in court and to bring certain records or other material to a trial or a deposition
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Subpoena duces tecum
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Judge’s ruling to end a lawsuit without a trial based on a matter of law presented in pleadings
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Summary Judgment
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A civil injury, or wrongful act, committed against another person or property that results in harm and is compensated in money damages
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Tort
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Such as negligence, occur when the patient is injured as a result of the healthcare professional’s not exercising the ordinary standard of care
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Unintentional Torts
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Give up a right
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Waive
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Legislative Branch:
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Lawmaking body (Senate and House) originates legislation
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Executive Branch:
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President, cabinet, and advisors enforces the law
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Judicial Branch:
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Judges and Federal Courts; interprets the law
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Sources of the Law:
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Constitutional Law Statutory and Regulatory Law Common or Case Law
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Address relationship between individual and their government
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Constitutional Law
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Passed by legislative bodies; either Congress or State Legislature
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Statutory and Regulatory Law
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Established from court decisions
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Common or Case Law
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Classification of Laws:
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Private/Civil or Public
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Private/Civil Law are made up of:
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Tort, Contract, Property, Inheritance, Family, and Corporate
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Public Law is made up of:
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Criminal, Admin, Constitutional, and International
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Civil (Private) Law:
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– Concerns relationships between individual or between individual, businesses, and government – Awards monetary damages – Includes tort law and contract law
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Tort Law:
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– Civil injury or wrongful act committed against another person or property – Results in harm – Compensated by monetary damages – Can be intentional or unintentional
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Intentional Torts:
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– Assault – Battery – False Imprisonment – Defamation of Character – Fraud – Invasion of Privacy
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Unintentional Tort:
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Involves performing carelessly or failing to perform a task
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Negligence:
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An unintentional action that occurs when a person either performs or fails to perform an action that a “reasonable” person would or would not have committed in a similar situation
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Contract Law:
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Addresses breach or neglect or legally binding agreement between two parties
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Contract:
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– Voluntary agreement between two parties with intent of benefiting each other – Something of value (consideration) is part of agreement – Both parties must be competent
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Expressed Contract:
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Agreement entered into orally or in writing; all components of contract must be clearly stated
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Implied Contract:
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Agreement shown through inference by signs, inaction, or silence
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Abandonment:
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Withdrawing medical care from a patient without providing sufficient notice
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Breach of Contract:
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Either party fails to comply with terms of agreement
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Class Action Lawsuit:
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– Filed by one or more people on behalf of a larger group of people – The members of the group are all affected by
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Public/Criminal Law
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– Protects public from harmful acts of others – Defines socially intolerable conduct that is punishable by the law – Government prosecutes person or institute that violates the law – Penalties are fine, imprisonment, or both – Felony or Misdemeanor
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Two Court Systems in the U.S.:
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– State – Federal – Each has specific responsibility: Exclusive/Concurrent – Depends on type of case committed
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Types of Court – Federal:
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-District – Court of Appeals (circuit court) – U.S. Supreme Court
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Types of Court – State:
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– District (municipal) – State Court of Appeals – State Supreme Court
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Trial Process:
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– Grand Jury consists of 12-23 private citizens – Hears evidence about case – Determines if case merits court hearing – Serves as filter – Votes on whether to move indictment to trial court
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The Procedure:
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– Litigation may result when two parties are unable to solve a dispute by themselves – Plaintiff: The person or institution who brings an action into litigation – Defendant: The person or institution who is being sued – Settling out of court occurs when attorneys for both sides work out a settlement – Waive: Both parties give up their rights to a jury trial – Trial: Begins with opening statements made by attorney for each side of the case – Closing Argument: Attorneys for the plaintiff and defendant making closing speeches or summaries of their case – Appeal: Plaintiff or defendant may ask a higher court to review the decision
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Summary Judgment:
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– Request made by attorney – Takes place in a civil trial
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Discovery:
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Process by which facts are discovered
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Deposition:
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Oral testimony before officer of the court
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Subpoena duces tecum :
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Court order to appear in court and bring records
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Standard of Proof: Civil Case:
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– Court looks at “preponderance of evidence” – Civil cases place weight on evidence that is more credible and convincing
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Standard of Proof: Criminal Case:
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Needs proof beyond a reasonable doubt
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Expert Witness:
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– Professional who has special knowledge or experience – Assists jury or judge in determining accuracy of facts of case – Often testifies to what standard of care

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