Legal Environment of Business Exam 1

Flashcard maker : Lily Taylor
Sources of law
Primary: sources that establish the law (Constitution, court cases)
Secondary: summarize primary law
Supremacy clause
The federal law will always trump state law if there is conflict
Brown vs. Board of Education
Separate is inherently not equal
“All deliberate speed” was too vague
Due process
Procedural: government decision to take life, liberty or property must be made fairly.
Substantive: Protects life, liberty, and property against certain actions regardless of procedural fairness.
Equal protection
People must be similarly treated by the government.
Commerce clause
National government regulates interstate commerce (Gibbons v. Ogden)
Heart of Atlanta Motel v. US
Made Civil Rights Act constitutional because hotels are considered part of interstate commerce.
Dormant commerce clause
States are not allowed to regulate interstate commerce because the federal government already does
Judicial Review
Marbury v. Madison made courts able to use judicial review
Common law
Derived from English law, a body of rules that apply to the whole realm of a country
Civil law
Roman tradition of codifying law by laying out every possible issue with rules to govern every situation
Stare decisis, the way that cases are decided tells you how to decide similar cases in the future.
Law vs. Equity courts
Equity court is used when a monetary remedy will not solve the problem.
Example- Someone is polluting and you want them to stop polluting, not just pay you for the damages.
Natural law
Belief that a higher set of human rights should dictate written law (Oldest school of legal thought)
There is no higher law than a nation’s positive law and human rights only exist due to laws
Legal realism
Law is shaped by social forces and needs that must be considered in individual cases
Court Structure: State court
Trial courts, appellate courts, highest state court
Court Structure: Federal court
District/trial court (94), US Court of Appeals (13), US Supreme Court
New York state courts
Supreme court (trial), Intermediate (appeals), Court of Appeals (Supreme)
Personal jurisdiction
Jurisdiction over people in that geographical area
Subject matter jurisdiction
The type of case can dictate which court hears it (ex., family court, traffic court, etc.)
In Rem jurisdiction
“The thing”, the issue at hand happened in a certain area so that area has jurisdiction
Federal question jurisdiction
The federal court has jurisdiction if the case is questioning the constitution (Brown)
Diversity jurisdiction
Federal government can have jurisdiction if the parties are from two different states and the issue is greater than $75,000
Long arm statute
Defendant can be brought back to the state if they have minimum contacts with that state
Concurrent jurisdiction
Two or more different courts have jurisdiction over the issue
Exclusive jurisdiction
One court is the sole option to try a case
Removal jurisdiction
Right of the defendant to move from a state court to a federal district court
Most appropriate physical place for a trial
Stages of a Lawsuit
Pleadings: each party informs the other of their claims and specify the issues (complaints, summons, answer, motion to dismiss)
Discovery: Obtaining information from other parties to prepare for trial
Pretrial conference: hearing between judge and attorneys to explore possibility of settlement
Trial: Jury selection, motion for directed verdict (decision without jury), award
Appeal: must have grounds that lower courts made an error
Res Judicata
Once appeals have been exhausted, there is a final decision. You cannot appeal indefinitely
Full faith and credit
States must enforce the judgments of other states
Alternative dispute resolution
Negotiation, mediation, and arbitration
Substantive law
Law that defines, regulates, and creates legal rights and obligations
Procedural law
Laws that establish methods of enforcing substantive law
Civil law vs. criminal law
Party who brings suit: person who suffered harm; state
Wrongful act: harm to a person; violating a statute
Burden of proof: preponderance; beyond a reasonable doubt
Verdict: 3/4 majority; unanimous
Remedy: damages or decree; punishment
Criminal Procedure
Indictment: grand jury majority vote
Plea: defendant pleads guilty for a lesser charge
Arraignment: defendant brought before court and asked for plea
Writ of Habeas Corpus: appeal to the case
Constitutional protections
Required to have a search warrant and probable cause to obtain it
Defendant has due process of law and can object charges and go to trial
No double jeopardy
Exclusionary rule: illegally obtained evidence can’t be used
Miranda rights
Business crimes
RCOD: Responsible corporate officer doctrine, leaders of corp. responsible for actions
RICO: Racketeer influenced and corrupt organizations act, all levels of organized crime illegal (can be used against legal companies if they are acting illegally like cigarettes)
Miranda v. Arizona
Accused people must be informed of their rights
Exclusionary rule
Any evidence illegally obtained by the state must be thrown out and cannot be used in the case
Intentional torts
Purposeful attack on someone
Intentional tort, the fear of imminent battery
Elements of a plaintiff’s intentional tort case
Act, intent, causation, damages
Intentional tort, violent act that causes harm
False imprisonment
Intentional tort, confined against your will without consent
Conditional privilege
Limited ability to detain people to ascertain what happened (shoplifters and stores)
Intentional tort, injury to someone’s reputation through libel or slander
Defamation of public figures
Higher burden of proof needed for a public figure to sue for defamation.
Actual malice: making a comment knowing it is false or reckless disregard for the truth
Invasion of privacy
Intentional tort, everyone has the right to privacy
Intentional tort against property, essentially theft
Intentional tort against property, you or something you own (pets, pollution) entering another’s private property without consent
Elements of plaintiff’s negligence case
Duty: demonstrate that the defendant owed a duty to avoid foreseeable harm
Breach of duty: the defendant acted in a negligent manner (negligence per se, res ipsa loquitor)
Proximate cause: what leads to the reckless behavior which a reasonable person could expect
Injury: reckless behavior has to affect plaintiff
Negligence per se
The negligent action actually breached a law
Res ipsa loquitor
“The thing speaks for itself”, the event proves a breach (train derailment, clearly negligent on the part of the train)
Contributory negligence
Defense of negligence. Defendant can argue that the plaintiff’s own negligence also contributed to the harm they suffered.
Comparative negligence
Defense of negligence. If the plaintiff was also at fault, the award can be reduced.
Assumption of risk
Defense of negligence. The plaintiff knew the risk and entered the risky situation anyway.
Strict liability
Some activities are naturally dangerous so there can be liability without fault.
Ex.: Dynamite is fundamentally dangerous so the person who benefits from the use of the dynamite would be responsible for any injury that occurred even though it was not necessarily their fault.

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