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Fundamentals of American Law

Fundamentals of American Law

by Alan B. Morrison, William J. Brennan Jr.

ISBN-10: 0198764049

ISBN-13: 9780198764045

Pub. Date: 10/10/1996

Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA

The American legal system is the most significant in the world today, yet until the publication of Fundamentals of American Law, there has been no book that provides both the basic rules and the theoretical understanding necessary to comprehend it. This book is not simply the work of a single author, but a collection of especially written essays, each by an expert in


The American legal system is the most significant in the world today, yet until the publication of Fundamentals of American Law, there has been no book that provides both the basic rules and the theoretical understanding necessary to comprehend it. This book is not simply the work of a single author, but a collection of especially written essays, each by an expert in the field, all of whom are on the faculty of New York University School of Law, which is recognised as one of the elite law schools in America and which offers this book as an element of its unique Global Law School Program.

The book is written specifically for lawyers and law students all over the world who have a need to deal with American Law generally, but are not seeking to become specialists in any one area. For them, it is vital to understand the basic principles of a wide range of American legal fields so they can act as informed intermediaries between their public or private clients and their American counterparts. The book not only provides the reader with a solid foundation in American law, but will also serve as a basic reference book for the fundamentals, even as some of the details change over the years. It will also be an ideal course text for students of business, accountancy, political science, or public administration, where the enquiring student will constantly find intersections with the law.

Product Details

Oxford University Press, USA
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
6.81(w) x 9.50(h) x 1.55(d)

Table of Contents

List of Contributorsxxv
Table of Casesxxxiii
Table of Legislationliii
I.General Principles7
1.Common Law Systems9
II.The Reception of the Common Law in America12
III.The Growth of Legislation and Regulation14
IV.The Continued Vitality of the Common Law15
V.Precedent and the Growth of the Law18
VI.The Institutions and Method of the Common Law21
VII.Interpretation of Statutes23
VIII.The Future of the Common Law25
2.The Sources and Limits of Legal Authority27
I.Introduction: Federalism and Separation of Powers27
II.The Basic Allocation of State Federal Authority28
III.Protection from the Burdens of Multi-State Legal Authority36
IV.The Distinct Character of Separation of Powers Issues in the United States41
V.The Robust Constitutional Judiciary52
II.Methods of Selecting Judges57
III.Division of Judicial Workload58
IV.Parallel Systems of Adjudication60
I.Starting a Lawsuit62
II.Responses to the Complaint64
III.Multi-Party Actions67
V.Summary Judgment73
5.An Overview of the Bill of Rights83
II.The First Amendment: The Founders' Ideal Commonwealth86
III.The Fourth Through Eighth Amendments: Control of the Law Enforcement Function104
IV.The Ninth and Tenth Amendments: the Enigma of the Closing Amendments112
V.The Thirteenth, Fourteenth, and Fifteenth Amendments: Equality and the Second Bill of Rights115
6.Administrative Law129
I.Administrative Agencies130
II.Independent Agencies and Separation of Powers132
IV.Administrative Procedure136
V.Judicial Review143
VI.Freedom of Information148
7.The American Legal Profession151
I.A Statistical Portrait151
II.Entering the Profession152
III.Regulating the Profession154
IV.Malpractice and Related Claims157
V.Court Sanctions159
VI.Right to Counsel160
VII.Conflicts of Interest161
IX.Adversary Justice166
X.Legal Fees168
XI.Lawyers Employed by Corporations170
XII.Marketing Legal Services171
XIII.The Judiciary173
XIV.The Future: More Competition175
8.Conflict of Laws177
I.Personal Jurisdiction178
II.Choice of Law184
III.Judgments Enforcement193
II.State Based Laws199
9.Contract Law201
II.Sources of Obligation204
III.Contract Formation207
IV.Identifying the Contract213
V.Defenses Against Enforcement217
VII.Remedies for Breach of Contract228
II.Negligence Principles Applied to Some Common Activities252
III.Intentional Torts257
IV.Strict Products Liability259
I.The Nature of Ownership in America264
II.Taxation of Real Property266
III.The Power of Eminent Domain268
IV.Government Regulation of Land270
V.The Ultimate Protection of Property Rights291
12.Criminal Law, Criminal Procedure, and Criminal Justice293
I.Overview of the Systems293
II.Substantive Criminal Law295
III.Criminal Procedure305
13.Corporations and Other Business Organizations331
I.Forms of Business Association331
II.The Process of Formation334
III.Raising of Capital338
IV.Control Structure--Stockholders342
V.Control Structure--Directors and Officers346
VI.Fiduciary Obligations and Standard of Care350
VII.Corporate Distributions353
VIII.Major Corporate Changes356
14.Commercial Law365
II.The Uniform Commercial Code369
III.The Common Law of Suretyship and Guaranty391
IV.Special Treatment of Consumer Transactions394
15.Family Law397
II.Constitutional Principles of Family Law--The Relationship of the Family and the State399
III.'Public Family Law'--Child Protection, Foster Care, Termination of Parental Rights, and Adoption403
IV.Private Family Law--Marriage, Separation, Divorce, and Related Matters413
III.Federal Law425
16.Antitrust Law427
I.Overview: Antitrust Statutes and Enforcement427
IV.Horizontal Agreements444
V.Distribution Restraints450
17.Bankruptcy and Other Insolvency Remedies459
II.Some General Considerations462
III.Introduction to Chapter 11464
IV.The Plan of Reorganization473
18.Environmental Law481
I.The Origins of Contemporary Environmental Law482
II.The Subjects of Environmental Law and Regulation486
III.Distinctive Elements of United States Environmental Law491
IV.Current Topics in United States Environmental Law501
19.Intellectual Property Law507
I.Introduction to Intellectual Property507
II.Sources of Intellectual Property Law510
III.Patent Law513
IV.Copyright Law521
V.Trademark Law528
20.Labor and Employment Law535
I.Rationales for and Structure of Employment Regulation535
II.Substantive Employment Protections539
III.Employment Discrimination Law543
IV.Union Organization and Collective Bargaining Law552
21.Regulation of Banks563
II.Policy Overview564
III.The Allocation of Regulatory Responsibility566
IV.The Chartering Process568
V.Regulation of the Bank's Business569
VI.Regulation of Banks' Affiliates576
VII.International Banking577
VIII.Examinations and Enforcement579
IX.Bank Failures580
22.Federal Regulation of Securities583
I.Introduction to the United States Securities Markets583
II.The Systems of Regulation586
III.Federal Regulation of Companies Under the 1933 and 1934 Acts591
IV.Antifraud Liability for Reporting Companies600
V.Insider Trading: A Species of Antifraud Liability606
I.Overview of the United States Tax System611
II.Sources of the Law612
III.General Framework for Taxing 'Citizens' and 'Aliens'613
IV.Federal Income Taxation of United States Individuals614
V.Federal Taxation of United States Corporations626
VI.Federal Taxation of United States Partnerships632
VII.Federal Taxation of Other Flow Through Entities635
VIII.Taxation of United States Persons with Foreign Income637
IX.Taxation of United States Corporations with Foreign Income639
X.Anti-abuse Rules640
XI.Taxation of Foreign Persons with United States Income642
XII.Federal Estate and Gift Taxes645

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