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Common Law Essay

1739 words - 7 pages

Common Law
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Common Law
Introduction
In order to effectively interact with the legal department and staff, everyone must have some knowledge in respects to various areas of the law and the legal concepts that one will encounter on a day to day basis. Concepts and examples of common law, when it began, how it is used and where it is used as well as the sources will be discussed. The importance of precedent to the judicial decision-making process is also tied in with common law and how it is used when making court decisions and lastly, but just as important, knowing what equitable remedies means and how it is used in court decisions so as the ...view middle of the document...

The precedents are kept over time via the records of the courts as well as historically documented in collection of case law which are referred to as yearbooks and reports (Schwartz, 2013).  Therefore a lower court must follow the established guidelines of the higher court and all federal or state courts.
In U.S precedents given by the U.S Supreme Court are followed in deciding an individual’s case. “With all of this said, the courts do not have the last word on the common law. Eventually, a state legislature may change or abolish a rule of the common law with a stroke of the pen; a governor's pen signing a state statute into law. Legislatures change the common law by enacting statutes. Once a statute is enacted, any prior common law that conflicts with it is no longer binding. Courts also have the ability to overturn laws enacted by the legislature if they are found to be unconstitutional, which helps to strike a balance of power between the legislature and the courts so that too much power does not rest with either branch of government as it pertains to lawmaking” (Lecture, 2014) . The Legislature are also not the only one to change common Law either being that the highest court in each state has the right to change a rule of the common law in that state if the court believes that the rule no longer serves public policy.

Sources of American law
There are various sources of American law which are primary sources of law, or sources that establish the law and secondary sources of law which are in books and articles that summarize and clarify the primary sources of law. Legal encyclopedias, collations such as Restatements of the Law, which summarize court decisions on a particular topic, official comments to statutes, treatises, articles in law reviews published by law schools, and articles in other legal journals, are examples of secondary sources of law (Alexander & Alexander, 2011).
Legislative branch of the government makes the laws. Article I of the U.S. Constitution begins, "All legislative Powers...shall be vested in a Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and the House of Representatives." The U.S. Congress and all that is under its purview, then, make up the legislative branch of the federal government. The U.S. congress is divided into the House of Representatives (also referred to as the lower house) and the Senate (also referred as the upper house). Each state legislature has a structure similar to the U.S. Congress.
Common Law, (Case Law) The accumulated body of court decisions that form an important part of the law of a particular subject. Common law is based on the concept of precedence where the ruling of a case is compared and determined by a previous case which is similar to the case at hand.
Civil Law issues involve wrongs against the state. Civil law systems have broad, constantly efficient legal codes that specify all matters accomplished of being brought before a court, applicable...

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