The American Legal System: Perspectives, Politics, Processes, and Policies / Edition 2

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Firmly anchored in social science concepts, the second edition of The American Legal System demonstrates the relationships among private law, the business legal environment, and public law issues, as well as related subjects of interest. This fifteen-chapter book is divided into three parts. Part I places the legal system in a political perspective centering on the origins of the law, schools of jurisprudence, branches and functions of law, legitimacy of law, how the judiciary functions in the federal system of government, and judicial interpretation and decision making. Part II contrasts legal processes: civil suits for money damages, criminal processes, equity justice, administrative processes, and alternative dispute resolution. Part III centers on the legal norms or rules governing both civil and criminal conduct, property law, family law, contract law, and government regulation of business. Throughout, the text features edited court opinions—many new to this edition—illustrating lively and thought-provoking controversies that are certain to spark student interest. Among the many compelling issues addressed are the legal and constitutional controversies surrounding the Bush Administration's "War on Terror," and the socially explosive developments concerning same-sex marriage. In addition, each chapter includes at least three comparative notes showing how other legal cultures in different nation-states treat legal matters. A wealth of pedagogical features—chapter-opening objectives; key terms, names, and concepts; a glossary, discussion questions, and appendices—are included to aid student comprehension. The authors have prepared an Instructor's Manual and Test Bank to facilitate the book's use in the classroom.

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Editorial Reviews

Donald P. Kommers
This introduction to the American legal order sets a new standard of excellence in the field. It views the legal order with a wide-angle lens, covering all major phases of American public and private law within the framework of our constitutional and political system. Its clear goals and lucid prose, not to mention its lively discussion questions, simply add to its luster as an effective–and student-friendly–teaching tool.
Lawrence B. Radine
An accessible and comprehensive introduction to the American legal system that is useful for gateway courses and, indeed, anyone who wishes to understand American law.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780742547537
  • Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
  • Publication date: 12/24/2007
  • Edition description: Second Edition
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 720
  • Product dimensions: 7.43 (w) x 10.43 (h) x 1.93 (d)

Meet the Author

Albert P. Melone is professor emeritus of political science at Southern Illinois University Carbondale. Allan Karnes is the KPMG Tax Research Professor at Southern Illinois University Carbondale.

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Table of Contents

Part 1 The Legal System in Perspective Chapter 2 Law in Perspective Chapter 3 Legitimacy and the Limits of Authority Chapter 4 The Judiciary and the Federal System Chapter 5 Judicial Interpretation and Decision-Making Part 6 Contrasting Legal Processes Chapter 7 Civil Suits for Money Damages Chapter 8 Equity Processes Chapter 9 Criminal Processes Chapter 10 Administrative Processes Chapter 11 Alternative Dispute Resolution Part 12 Legal Norms: Law Governing Conduct, Property, and Relations among Individuals, and Business Regulation Chapter 13 Torts Chapter 14 Property Chapter 15 Family Law Chapter 16 Criminal Law Chapter 17 Contracts Chapter 18 Government Regulation of Business Part 19 Appendices Chapter 20 Appendix I: Constitution of the United States Chapter 21 Appendix II: Excerpts from ALI's Model Penal Code and Article 3 of the Uniform Commercial Code Chapter 22 Appendix III: Guide to Legal Citations 23 Appendix IV: Guide to Internet Sites Part 24 Glossary of Selected Legal and Foreign Language Terms

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