Week Two Reflection

November 16, 2015
Kurt Lofland

American law consists of several types of laws. Some laws serve to define one’s rights or standards for transactions. Other laws serve to set consequences or to indicate what steps must be taken to collect on damages owed. The constitution is the foundation for these laws and the amendments have developed over time to evolve the constitution as society changes.
Substantive Law
Substantive law is the written law or statutory law that defines rights and responsibilities. The common law that states the victim of a crime may recover damages from the wrongdoer is a substantive law. The same can be said for the civil law that entitles a spouse to seek alimony.
Civil Law
Civil law, civilian law or Roman law is a legal system originating in Europe, intellectualized within the framework of late Roman law, and whose most prevalent feature is that its core principles are codified into a reliable system which serves as the primary source of law (Wikipedia, n.d.). Civil law deals with disputes between private parties, and or negligent acts that cause harm to others. An example of civil law in the business world would be: if a person feels that they were fired for the wrong reason, they could take it to court and have the court make the deciding decision on who is right.
Common Law
Common law has no comprehensive compilation of legal rules and statutes. While common law does rely on some scattered statutes, which are legislative decisions, it is largely based on precedent, meaning the judicial decisions that have already been made in similar cases. These precedents are maintained over time through the records of the courts as well as historically documented in collections of case law known as yearbooks and reports. An example of common law is common law marriage, if a couple have been together (not married) for 10 or more years they have earned the right to share their assets.
Amendments that Protect Business
The first amendment was not intended to protect the rights of businesses and organizations, however it has evolved to include the rights to commercial speech including advertisement. This protection also is extended to businesses that choose to fund political speeches or candidates. The fourth amendment has extended to protect businesses against illegal search of worksites without probable cause or a warrant. The firth amendments provides for the rights of corporate officers and employees to remain silent when facing criminal charges or investigation. The Fourteenth Amendment states that due process protection requires that employees have a fair procedural process before they are terminated if the termination is related to a “liberty” like the right to free speech, or property of interest (FindusLaw, 2006)
Statutory Law
Statutory Law is the term used to define written laws, which then is passed by executive agencies and common law or the law created by prior court decisions. Now let’s break this down so we can get a clear understanding of statutory law which is also referred to as statute law, first keep in mind that it “is a written law established by enactments expressing the will of the legislature, as distinguished from the unwritten law or common law” (Melvin, 2011). These are laws written by a legislature and are usually put in place clarify a need of society or the government. It is and actual written law that is developed by a legislatures.
Let’s take one of the most common situations we have all been in you are on the highway and you see the sigh that clearly states speed limit is 55mph, however this particular day is a late to work day and you just happened to be going about 75mph and of course you get pull over and by a high patrol officer a ticket for violation the speed limit. You have broken the vehicle and traffic law, these laws are established by legislature as a statute. As a result the law you broke was a statutory law.
Team reflections

FindusLaw. (2006). finduslaw.com. Retrieved from finduslaw.com/us-constitution-5th-14thamendments: finduslaw.com/us-constitution-5th-14thamendments
Wikipedia. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://en.wikipeda.org/wiki/Civil_law_(legal_system): https://en.wikipeda.org/wiki/Civil_law_(legal_system)
Melvin, S. P. (2011). The legal environment of business: A managerial approach: Theory to practice (1st Ed.). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill/Irwin.