These accounts portray justice as having a fairly narrow ambit, taking a backseat to notions of efficiency and the freedom of exchange.
Common Law Our English Tradition Even before legislatures met to make rules for society, disputes happened and judges decided them. In England, judges began writing down the facts of a case and the reasons for their decision hundreds of years ago. They often resorted to deciding cases on the basis of prior written decisions.
In relying on those prior decisions, the judge would reason that since a current case was pretty much like a prior case, it ought to be decided the same way.
This is essentially reasoning by analogy. Contract law deals with what kinds of promises courts should enforce. For example, should courts enforce a contract where one of the parties was intoxicated, underage, or insane?
Should courts enforce a contract where one of the parties seemed to have an unfair advantage? What kind of contracts would have to be in writing to be enforced by courts? Tort law deals with the types of cases that involve some kind of harm and or injury between the plaintiff and the defendant when no contract exists.
Thus if you are libeled or a competitor lies about your product, your remedy would be in tort, not contract. If you slipped and fell in the neighborhood store- your remedy would be in tort for personal injury. The thirteen original colonies had been using English common law for many years, and they continued to do so after independence from England.
Early cases from the first states are full of references to already-decided English cases. As years went by, many precedents were established by US state courts, so that today a judicial opinion that refers to a seventeenth- or eighteenth-century English common-law case is quite rare.
Courts in one state may look to common-law decisions from the courts of other states where the reasoning in a similar case is persuasive. But if the supreme court in a particular state has already ruled on a certain kind of case, lower courts in that state will always follow the rule set forth by their highest court.
Equitable Remedies versus Legal Remedies What do we mean by a remedy in terms of law? A remedy is what you as the plaintiff are asking the court to do for you. Do you want monetary damages? Do you want the defendant to be prohibited from doing something, such as playing their radio at Do you want the defendant to have to do something, such as complete their agreement to sell you their house?
The action you are asking a court to take is what lawyers refer to as remedies. There are two main categories of remedies — legal and equitable. Legal are the easiest to understand — this is money.
You are asking the court to award you monetary damages. For example, assume you were involved in a car accident. In filing suit against the plaintiff for these amounts you are asking the court to award you legal damages — aka money. If money is legal damages, then what are equitable damages?
Equitable damages is where you are asking the court to have the defendant do something or to stop from doing something. Equitable damages are typically used when money alone will not make the plaintiff whole or compensate them for the harm they are claiming.
Everything seems fine and you are ready to settle on the property. Suddenly the defendant changes his mind and tells you he does not want to sell you his house- he has decided not to move.
You had your heart set on the house and still want to buy it. You can sue the defendant and ask the court for the equitable remedy called specific performance.
Specific performance is where the court will order the defendant to attend settlement and sell you the property. Another type of equitable remedy is an injunction.
This is used to stop the defendant from doing something.
For example, your neighbor decides he is going to practice with his heavy metal band every night from You can file suit asking the court to issue an injunction to prevent your neighbor from practicing at this hour as it violates local noise ordinances.
Other types of equitable damages include contract reformation and contract rescission which will be covered more in the section on Contract Performance, Breach and Remedies.
Legal and Political Systems of the World Other legal and political systems are very different from the US system, which came from English common-law traditions and the framers of the US Constitution. Our legal and political traditions are different both in what kinds of laws we make and honor and in how disputes are resolved in court.
Although there are differences among common-law systems e.Examples include most criminal law and procedural law before the 20th century, and even today, most contract law and the law of torts.
(b) interstitial common law Common law as a foundation for commercial economies. The reliance on judicial opinion is a strength of common law systems, and is a significant contributor to the. A comprehensive overview of contract law written and published by San Diego Attorney William Markham.
An Overview of Contract Law (By William Markham, ) paying special attention to the common problems that arise in their formulation.
I will also discuss how contracts are enforced or avoided, and how a wronged party to a contract . will discuss common-law and federal tax definitions, distinctions, and rules regarding trusts, with a focus on charitable trusts and IRC (c)(3), and some discussion of IRC This contract law course, with new materials and updated case examples, is designed to introduce the range of issues that arise when entering and enforcing contracts.
It will provide an introduction to what a contract is and also analyze the purpose and significance of contracts. Foundations of the Modern Law of Contract; The Rise of the Will Theory; The Decline of the Will Theory: Legal Regulation and Contractual Fairness English lawyers to the fact that there were not several sets of rules applicable to different forms of action in Common law and Chancery, but a single body of definable rules that could be.
Philosophical Foundations of Contract Law Edited by GREGORY KLASS, GEORGE LETSAS, and * Thanks to my Philosophical Foundations of the Common Law classes at Oxford over the years.
Thanks also to Prince Saprai, participants of The Philosophical Foundations of Contract Law Conference.