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Spengler chap01


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Spengler chap01

  1. 1. chapter 1 U.S. Legal System
  2. 2. Chapter ObjectivesAfter reading this chapter, you will know the following:• The primary sources of law in the U.S. legal system• The function and process of the federal and state court systems• The key types of law in the United States• Common legal resources
  3. 3. Why Is This Important?• To understand legal consequences of decisions• To use legal knowledge to aid in management decision making• To understand legal terminology and concepts• To gain an interest in law
  4. 4. Sources of U.S. Law• English common law• Constitutional law• Statutory law• Administrative law
  5. 5. Common Law• Tradition began in medieval England• Employs a system of precedents, known as stare decisis, to assist in deciding future cases – Prior court decisions serve as a guide to similar future cases• Serves as a basis of the legal systems of most English-speaking nations
  6. 6. Constitutional Law• Derives from U.S. Constitution and state constitutions• Set forth the basic organization, powers, and limits of their respective governments• Any statute, court ruling, or administrative rule cannot contradict the constitution• Bedrock to the legal system
  7. 7. Statutory Law• Statutes are enacted by state and federal legislatures• Ordinances are laws created by local (e.g., city) governments• Under the Supremacy Clause of the U.S. Constitution, federal law supersedes conflicting state law• Common statutory law that applies to sports: – Title IX – Americans with Disabilities Act – Volunteer Immunity Act
  8. 8. Administrative Law• Involves rules promulgated by specialized bodies created by local, state, and federal governments – Given the power by local, state, and federal governments to create and enforce their own laws, often termed rules and regulations• Examples of administrative agencies: – IRS – OHSA – FTC
  9. 9. Court Systems• State system – State trial courts – State courts of appeal – State supreme court• Federal system – U.S. (federal) district courts – U.S. (federal) courts of appeal• United States Supreme Court – Nine justices – Chief Justice is John Roberts
  10. 10. Trial Courts and Appellate Courts• Trial courts – Decide cases based on evidence presented – Juries serve as fact finders• Appellate courts – Do not review new evidence, listen to witnesses, make different or new determinations of fact, or use a jury – Focus on questions of law: application, interpretation, constitutionality – Often remand cases back to trial courts based on their legal interpretation
  11. 11. Jurisdiction of Courts• State courts: Usually hear cases involving state law• Federal courts: More limited jurisdiction – Federal law – Federal question – Diversity of citizenship – Federal specialized courts hear particular types of cases: • Military • Tax • Bankruptcy
  12. 12. Anatomy of a Lawsuit• Complaint (allegations by P)• Answer (response by D)• Discovery: depositions and interrogatories• Motions: dismissals and judgments• Trial: jury selection, opening and closing arguments, direct and cross examinations (P, then D), closing arguments• Appeals
  13. 13. Legal Resources• Primary sources: actual law – U.S. and state constitutions – Federal and state statutes – Court rulings (common law) – Regulations (continued)
  14. 14. Legal Resources (continued)• Secondary sources: scholarship• Examine, inform, or review law; legal issues and topics – Law review articles – Professional journals – American Law Institute (Restatement series) – Journal of Legal Aspects of Sport – This textbook
  15. 15. Locating Legal Resources• Lexis-Nexis database• Lexis-Nexis academic universe• Westlaw database• Sports Law Blog• For additional legal information, go to
  16. 16. Legal CitationsDoe vs. XYZ Corp. 555 F .2d 777Case name Volume Name of Page number reporter number