LO 1-1:1-3 What is Business Law? --> Business Law is the enforceable rules of conduct that govern the actions of buyers and sellers in market exchanges. --> Buyers and sellers interact in market exchanges within the rules (constitutions, legislatures, regulatory bodies, and courts) that indicate the boundaries of legal business behavior. Private Law: --> Law that involves suits between private individuals or groups --> If a businessperson owns a computer equipment store and is delinquent in paying rent to the landlord, the dispute would be considered private law. Public Law: --> Law that includes suits between private individuals or groups and their government. --> If a computer store dumps waste behind its building in violation of local, state, or federal environmental regulations, it becomes a dispute of public law. Civil Law: --> The body of laws that govern the rights and responsibilities either between persons or between persons and their government. --> In 2009, Mississippi Valley Silica Co. was ordered to pay a plaintiff $9 million because the court ruled that it sold sand to the plaintiff's employer with the knowledge that using that sand on a regular basis would expose a worker to a form of cancer. Criminal Law: --> The body of laws that involve the rights and responsibilities an individual has with respect to the public as a whole. --> Several years ago, IBM secretary allegedly told her husband, who told several other people, that the company was going to take over operations of Lotus Development. Going against the prohibition against insider trading, the Securities and Exchange Commission filed charges against those who purchased stock (as they created an unfair trading environment for the public). LO 1-5 Constitutional Law: --> The general limits and powers of a government as interpreted from its written constitution. --> It is the primary authority when we are trying to identify the relationship between business organizations and government. Statutory Law: --> The assortment of rules and regulations put forth by legislatures. --> These legislative acts can be found in the U.S. Code when they are passed by Congress or in the various state codes when they are enacted by state legislatures. Model Laws: --> Laws created to account for the variability of laws among states. These laws serve to standardize the otherwise different interstate laws. --> The National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws regularly urges states to enact model laws to provide greater uniformity of the law. Case Law: --> The collection of legal interpretations made by judges. They are considered to be law unless otherwise revoked by a statutory law. Also known as common law. --> Because statutory laws are subject to interpretation, one court may have interpreted particular laws one way at one business location, and a second court may interpret a similarly worded statute differently at a second business location. These judicial opinions are "cases." Precedent: --> A tool used by judges to make rulings on cases on the basis of key similarities to previous cases. --> In the Air Wisconsin Airlines Corp. v. Hoeper (in which Hoeper -a pilot in distress- sued for defamation after being stopped and questioned by TSA about the whereabouts of his firearm) decision, was based off of the Masson v. New Yorker Magazine, Inc. case. In the Masson case, it was determined that a materially false statement would have to be one that would have had a different effect on the mind of the listener from that which the truth would have produced and, in this case, a reasonable TSA officer would have searched the pilot for a gun after hearing that the pilot was upset. Stare Decisis: --> "Standing by the decision" a principle stating that rulings made in higher courts are binding precedent for lower courts. --> Even though this practice is meant to create a consistent and reliable justice system, different judges may view the facts of a case in different ways. In addition, courts are sometimes presented with a new issue and do not have a binding decision to follow. In such instance, they may look to decisions made in similar cases by nonbinding courts in other states or jurisdictions. Restatements of the Law: --> Summaries of common law rules in a particular area of the law. Restatements do not carry the weight of law but can be used to guide interpretations of particular cases. --> In addition to Restatements, many influences are at work in the minds of judges when they interpret constitutions, statutes, and regulations. Administrative Law: --> The collection of rules and decisions made by administrative agencies to fill in particular details missing from constitutions and statutes. --> Businesses function within the rules established by agencies like these. An example of an agency would be the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, in which oversees health and workplace safety and makes sure employees are working in conditions that are not hazardous. Treaty: --> A binding agreement between two states or international organizations. --> In the United States, a treaty is generally negotiated by the executive branch. To be binding, it must then be approved by two-thirds of the Senate.