American Legal System: Foundations, Processes, and Norms / Edition 1

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This text is designed to introduce students to both private and public law and to the nature of the judicial system. Anchored in social science concepts, The American Legal System demonstrates the relationships between private law and public law issues, the business legal environment, as well as related subjects of interest.

Part I introduces students to terms and concepts necessary for understanding the legal system, the jurisdiction and authority of courts, the organization of courts in the United States, judicial interpretation and decision-making, and the U.S. constitutional system. Part II centers on legal processes--the world of civil and criminal procedure, explained in ordinary language. Subjects include civil suits for money damages; criminal, equity, and administrative processes; and the various modes of alternative dispute resolution. Along the way, students gain a working knowledge of process and procedural rights. Part III provides chapters on the substantive legal topics of criminal law, torts, property, and family law. Part IV treats the law governing the world of business: contracts, business regulation by government, and taxation. All of these substantive law chapters include a section tracing modern substantive law to its common law roots. We also include sections on evolving legal issues including product liability, tort reform, copyright infringement, victimless crimes, youthful offenders, artificial conception of human life, and same-sex marriages.

Every chapter features edited court opinions illustrating many lively and interesting controversies that will capture the interest of students regardless of their academic major. At the beginning of each chapter, students will find chapter objectives designed to guide their reading. A glossary of selected legal and Latin terms will also prove useful to the reader, as will the end-of-chapter discussion questions, lists of key names, terms, and concepts, and listings of selected books and articles for further reading. A table of cases as well as name and subject indices provides even greater detail, so that readers may also use the book as a reference. A comprehensive Instructor's Manual/Testing Program (which includes complete lecture outlines, suggested answers to the discussion questions at the end of each chapter, briefs of court opinions, and suggested films for classroom use) is available, either in book or electronic form. A Student Study Guide, written by Bradley Best (Buena Vista University), is also available.

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Editorial Reviews

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"The textbook's approach is solid. While the coverage is comprehensive, it is not presented in an overly complex or complicated fashion. The discussion of theoretical concepts and issues is very good--it is clear without being overly long or too short."--Craig Hemmens, Boise State University

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781891487927
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • Publication date: 4/1/2003
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 495

Table of Contents

Part I: The Legal System in Perspective
Chapter 1: Law in Perspective
Origins of Law
Schools of Jurisprudence
Natural Law
Historical School
Analytical Jurisprudence
Sociological Jurisprudence
Legal Realism
Critical Legal Studies
Branches of Law
Functions of Law
Defining Relationships
Allocation of Authority in Society
Resolution of Conflict When It Arises
Redefine Relations of Individuals and Groups in Society
The Method of the Common Law
Board of Regents v. Southworth
Reading and Briefing Court Opinions
Chapter 2: Legitimacy and the Limits of Authority
Legitimacy and Legalism as Ideology
Bush v. Gore and Legitimacy
Jurisdiction and Common Law Courts
Specialized Royal Courts
Court of Common Pleas
Court of King's Bench
Exchequer of Pleas
Court of Chancery-Equity
Star Chamber Court
Impact of Royal Courts
Jurisdictional Questions
Compelling Court Appearances
Long Arm Statutes and Minimum Contacts
Ben & Jerry's Homemade, Inc. v. Coronet Priscilla Ice Cream Corp.
Chapter 3: Court Organization and Jurisdiction in the Federal System
State Courts
Federal Courts
Problems of Federalism
National Supremacy
McCulloch v. Maryland
Tenth and Eleventh Amendments
National Common Law
Erie R.R. Co. v. Tompkins
Full Faith and Credit Clause
Travelers Indemnity Company v. Lake
New Judicial Federalism
Power and Justice
Chapter 4: Judicial Interpretation and Decision Making
Method of the Common Law
Lake v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.
Statutory Interpretation
Caminetti v. United States
Other Statutory Canons
Constitutional Interpretation
Consequence of the Debate
Saenz v. Roe
Empirical Theories of Decision-Making
Judicial Attitude Approach
Judicial Role Approach
Social Background Approach
Small Group and Strategic Interactions
Empirical Theories in Perspective
Part II. Contrasting Legal Processes
Chapter 5: Civil Suits for
Money Damages
Legal Profession
Stratified Bar
Hiring a Lawyer
Kroff v. Larson
Pleadings, Answers, and Replies
Pretrial Conference
Trial Phase of Litigation
Jury Selection
Opening Statements
Parties and the Burden of Proof
Rules of Evidence
Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
Motion for a Non-Suit
Defendant's Presentation
Plaintiff's Rebuttal and Defendant's Answer
Request for a Directed Verdict
Jury Summations
Judge's Instructions to the Jury
Jury Deliberation and Verdict
Remedies in Civil Suits for Money Damages
Nominal Damages
Compensatory Damages
Exemplary Damages
Liquidated Damages
Comparing Compensatory and Exemplary Damages
Hampton v. Dillard's Department Stores, Inc.
Post-Trial Motions
Appeal Phase of Litigation
Res Judicata
Enforcing Judgments
Chapter 6: Equity Processes
Equitable Remedies
Pleadings, Answers, and Replies
Johnson v. North American Life & Casualty Co.
Pretrial Conferences
Trial Phase of Litigation
Equitable Maxims
Finke v. Woodward
Judicial Decrees
Doe v. Anderson
Chapter 7: Criminal Processes
Values and the Criminal System
Pleading Phase: Commencing Prosecution
Grand Jury Indictment
Arrest and Arraignment
Discovery in Criminal Cases
Trial Phase of Criminal Processes
Right to Counsel
Right to a Fair and Impartial Trial
Sheppard v. Maxwell
Right to a Jury Trial
Right to a Speedy and Public Trial
Privilege Against Self-Incrimination
Confrontation of Witnesses
Maryland v. Craig
Jury Selection
Case Presentation to the Jury
Final Arguments
Jury Instructions and Deliberations
Sentencing the Convicted
Appealing Convictions
Res Judicata Exception
Stone v. Powell
Juvenile Justice
Due Process Rights
Recent Trend in Juvenile Justice
Chapter 8: Administrative Processes
Creating Administrative Agencies
Constitutional Limitations
Congressional Delegation of Law-Making Power
Flue-Cured Tobacco Cooperative Stabilization Corp. v. United States
Environmental Protection Agency
Presidential Powers and Constraints
Information and Investigation
In re Gary Kohn v. Minnesota
Agency Hearings and Judicial Review
Jackson Mobilphone Co., Inc. v. Tennessee Public Svc. Commission
Chapter 9: Alternative
Dispute Resolution
Phases of Arbitration
Pick v. Discover Financial Services, Inc.
Conciliation, Facilitation, and Mediation
Phases of Mediation
Ombuds Programs
Regulatory Negotiation
Court-Centered ADR
Private Trials
Summary Jury Trials
Court-Annexed Arbitration
Part III. Law Governing Conduct, Property, and Relations Among Individuals
Chapter 10: Torts
What Is Tort Law?
Evolution of Modern American Tort Law
Intentional Torts
Cohen v. Smith
Cullison v. Medley
False Imprisonment
Taylor v. Gilmartin
Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress
Blair v. LaFrance
Intentional Intrusions on Land
Trespass to Chattel and Conversion
CompuServe, Inc. vs. Cyber Promotions, Inc.
Defenses and Privileges
The Interest Invaded
Negligent Conduct
Legal Cause of Damage
The Damaged Party's Conduct
Product Liability
A New Era--The Restatement (Third) of Torts, Product Liability
Hudgens v. Interstate Battery
Tort Reform
Chapter 11: Property
Roots of American Property Law
Interests in Real Property
Present Possessory Interests in Real Property
Methods of Joint or Concurrent Ownership
Premier Property Management, Inc. v. Chavez
Future Interests
In the Matter of: Albright
Personal Property
Finders of Property
Bailments, Thieves and Innocent Third Parties
Digital Barbarians at the Gate:
Copyrighted Property Under Siege
Entertainment Industry Reaction to Technology Advances
Federal Copyright Statutes
A&M Records, Inc. v. Napster, Inc.
Chapter 12: Family Law
Who May Marry?
Baehr v. Lewin
Common Law Marriage
In Re Estate of Wagner
Antenuptial (Premarital) Agreements
Ending a Marriage
Division of Property
O'Brien v. O'Brien
Spousal Support, Maintenance or Alimony
Dependent Children of Divorcing Parents
Other Issues Involving Children
Children Born out of Wedlock
Science and Family Law
Chapter 13: Criminal Law
Criminal Law Roots
Sources of Police Power
The Requirement of an Act and State of Mind
Nevada v. Richard
Crimes Against Persons
Common Law Murder and Modern Variations
Swafford v. State
State v. Thompson
Battery and Assault
Crimes Against Property
Common Law Larceny
Receiving Stolen Property
Extortion or Blackmail
Victimless Crimes
Attempt Crimes
United States v. Hair
Necessity and Duress
Part IV: Law Governing Conduct of Business
Chapter 14: Contracts
Historical Evolution of Modern American Contract Law
Basic Elements of Contract Formation
Shields v. Gross
Accepting Offers
Whitten v. Greeley-Shaw
Oral and Written Contracts, and the Statute of Frauds
The Land Contract and One-Year Provisions
Acceptable Writings and Effect of Statute of Frauds Violations
Contract Interpretation
The Problem of Language and the Plain Meaning Rule
Rules of Interpretation
The Parol Evidence Rule
Grove v. Charbonneau Buick-Pontiac, Inc.
Contract Performance, Conditions, and Breach
Chapter 15: Business and Government
Historical Perspective of Governmental Regulation of Business
Federal Power to Regulate Business
Taxing and Spending Power
Commerce Clause
Katzenbach v. McClung
Contracts Clause
Negotiable Instruments
Requirements of Negotiability
Effects of Negotiability
Holders in Due Course
Secured Transactions
Employment Discrimination
The Federal Discrimination Statutes
Oncale v. Sundowner Offshore Services, Inc.
Security Regulation
33 Act Offerings
34 Act Filings and Regulations
United States v. Falcone
Antitrust Law
Analysis of Allegations of Antitrust Violations
Specific Activities
The Debate Behind the Law
Other Examples of Governmental
Regulation of Business
Chapter 16: Taxation
Federal Tax Authority
Administration of Tax Law
Uses of the Federal Tax System
Political Nature of Tax Legislation
Income Taxation of Individuals: The Tax Formula
Gross Income
Woody v. United States
Olk v. United States
Taxable Income, Tax Rates, Filing
Status, and Tax Credits
Limitations and Two Vital Planning Concepts
Income Shifting and Capital Gains
Entities for Business Activities
Individual Proprietorships
Partnerships and Limited Liability Companies
I. United States Constitution
II. Excerpts From Uniform Commercial Codes
III. Taxation Appendix
Glossary of Selected Legal and Latin Terms
Name Index
Subject Index

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