Business Law Definitions

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Legislation adopted by Congress or a state legislature.
Administrative Law
The legal principles involved in the workings of administrative agencies with the regulatory process
Breach of Contract
A party’s failure to perform some contracted-for or agreed-upon act, or failure to comply w/ a duty imposed by law.
the reference identifying how to find a case
Civil Law
The area of law governing the rights and duties between private parties as compared w/ the criminal law. This term also describes the system of codifying law in many countries as compared w/ the judicial orientation of the common law system.
a compilation of legislation enacted by a federal, state, or local gov’t
Common Law
that body of la deriving from judicial decisions as opposed to legislatively enacted statutes and administrative regulations.
Compensatory Damages
usually awarded in breach-of-contract cases to pay for a party’s losses that are direct and foreseeable result of the other party’s breach. The award of these damages is designed to place the non-breaching party in the same position as if the contract had been performed.
Conflicts of Law
rules of law the courts use to determine that substantive law applies when there is an inconsistency between laws of different states or countries.
Constitutional Law
the legal issues that arise from interpreting the U.S. Constitution or a state constitution
Constitutional Relativity
the idea that constitutional interpretation is relative to the time in which the constitution is being interpreted.
Contract Law
the law of legally enforceable promises.
Corporate governance
a term that has at least two meanings. one relates to how business organizations are created and managed. A second concerns how the various levels of government regulate business organizations as they transact business.
an artificial, but legal, person created by state law. As a business organization, the corporation’s separation of owners and managers fives it a high level of flexibility.
Criminal Law
that area of law dealing w/ wrongs against the state as representative of the community at large, to be distinguished from civil law, which hears cases of wrongs against persons.
statements made in a judicial opinion that are not essential to the decision of the case.
Exemplary Damages
punitive damages. Monetary compensation in excess of direct losses suffered by the plaintiff that may be awarded in intentional tort cases where the defendant’s conduct deserves punishment.
the precise legal response in an opinion by an appellate court on an issue of law raised on appeal.
Intentional Torts
Non-contractual legal wrong caused by one who desires to cause the wrong or where the wrong is substantially likely to occur from the behavior.
the science of the law; the practical science of giving a wise interpretation of the law.
laws passed by an elected body such as Congress, a state legislation, or local council/commission. Those laws enacted at the federal and state levels are called statutes. At the local level, such laws are often referred to as ordinances.
a person’s failure to exercise reasonable care that foreseeably causes another injury.
the decision of a judge, usually issued in a written form.
the legislative enactment of a city, county, or other municipal corporation.
a prior judicial decision relied upon as an example of a rule of law
Private Law
a classification of legal subject matters that deals most directly w/ relationships between legal entities. The law of contracts and the law of property are two examples of this classification.
Procedural Law
the body of rules governing the manner in which legal claims are enforced.
a bundle of private, exclusive rights in people to acquire, possess, use, and transfer scarce resources.
Property Law
the law of the legal fence that establishes exclusive right in someone called an owner.
Public Law
a classification of legal subject matters that regulates the relationship of individuals and organizations to society.
Punitive Damages
monetary damages in excess of a compensatory award, usually granted only in international tort cases where defendant’s conduct involved some element deserving punishment. Also called exemplary damages.
the action or procedure that is followed in order to enforce a right or to obtain damages for injury to a right; the means by which a right is enforced or the violation of a right is prevented, redressed, or compensated.
Rule of Law
the general and equal application of laws, even to lawmakers.
penalties imposed for violation of a law.
Specific Performance
equitable remedy that requires defendants in certain circumstances to do what they have contracted to do.
Stare decisis
the doctrine that traditionally indicates that a court should follow prior decisions in all cases based on substantially similar facts.
a legislative enactment
Uniform Commercial Code (UCC)
the most successful attempt to have states adopt a uniform law. This code’s purpose is to simplify, clarify, and modernize the laws governing commercial transactions.
Categorical Imperative
A concept by the philosopher Kant… Golden Rule
an ethical system that concerns itself w/ the moral consequences of actions. Aka teleology
a legal obligation imposed by the law
a systematic statement of right and wrong together w/ a philosophical system that both justifies and necessitates rules of conduct.
an ethical system that affirms an absolute morality. aka deontology
Protestant ethic
a set of beliefs urging that human desire and indulgence be bent to God’s will through hard work, self-denial, and rational planning.
an entire industry’s regulation of itself, as opposed to gov’t regulation of the businesses in the industry.
Social Contract Theory
theory by John Rawls that proposes a way for constructing a just society.
Stakeholder Theory
ethical theory which asserts that in order to be ethical a business must take into consideration not only the making of a profit but the impact for the business on all interests that are affected by the business.
a form of consequentialist ethics.
Diversity of citizenship
the plaintiffs filing a lawsuit must be from states different from those of the defendants. This requirement, along w/ over $75,000 at stake, is one method a federal court gains jurisdiction over the subject matter of a lawsuit.
Federal question cases
Litigation involving the application or interpretation of the federal constitution, federal statutes, federal treaties, or federal administrative agencies. The federal court system has subject matter jurisdiction over these issues.
Judicial activism
an activist judge tends to abide by the following judicial philosophies:
1) the political process can’t adequately handle society’s difficult issues;
2) the courts can correct society’s ills through the decision-making process
3) following precedent is not crucial
4) “judge-made law” is often necessary to carry out the legislative intent of the law.
Judicial review
the power of courts to declare laws enacted by legislative bodies and actions by the executive branch to be unconstitutional.
Petit jury
the fact-finding body during a trial. aka a trial or traverse jury
Subject-matter jurisdiction
the authority of a court to hear cases involving specific issues of law
Writ of certiorari
a discretionary proceeding by which an appellate court may review the ruling of an inferior tribunal.
involves the seizure of the debtor’s property, a sale of the property, and the payment of proceeds to the creditor.
any claim filed by the defendant in a lawsuit against the plaintiff in the same suit.
the party involved in litigation against whom a counterclaim is filed. This party is the original plaintiff.
a legal proceeding whereby a creditor may collect directly from a third party who is obligated to the debtor.
Judgement notwithstanding the verdict
the decision of a court that sets aside the verdict of a jury and reaches the opposite result.
Jury instruction
a statement made by the judge to the jury informing them of the law applicable to the case the jury is bound to accept and apply.
Statute of Limitations
a statute that sets a date after which a lawsuit may not by brought. The statute begins running after the happening of a certain event, such as the occurrence of an injury or the breach of a contract.
Summary judgement
a judicial determination that no genuine factual dispute exists and that one party to the lawsuit is entitled to judgement as a matter of law.
an official notice to a person that a lawsuit has been commenced against him or her and that he/she must appear in court to answer the charges.
Dissenting opinion
an opinion in a legal case written by one or more judges expressing disagreement with the majority opinion of the court which gives rise to its judgment.
the concept used by states to divide a company’s taxable income so that no one state burdens a company w/ an unfair tax bill.
Commerce Clause
a provision in the Constitution that grants the federal gov’t the power to regulate business transactions.
the publication of anything injurious to the good name or reputation of another.
Due Process Clause
assures all citizen of fundamental fairness in their relationship w/ the gov’t
administrative actions involving factual determinations and the discretionary application of rules and regulations
describes the rule-making functions of administrative agencies.
property acquired by adding something to an owned object.
Adverse Possession
property ownership acquired through open, notorious, actual, exclusive, continuous and wrongful possession of land for a statutorily prescribed period of time.
Artisans Lien
the lien that arises in favor of one who has expanded labor upon, or added value to, another person’s personal property. The lien allows the person to possess the property as security until reimbursed for the value of labor or materials. If the person isn’t reimbursed, the property may be sold to satisfy the claim.
in a bailment, the person who takes possession of an object owned by another and must return it or otherwise dispose of it.
in a land based security interest, the amount of the loan which remains unpaid after the land has been sold
Categories: Business Law