Law is a set of rules that regulate the way things work. It also describes the rules for good behavior and how things should be done.
The law serves many purposes: to keep the peace, maintain the status quo, protect individual rights, promote social justice, and provide for orderly social change. Different legal systems do these functions better than others.
Among the most common reasons for enacting laws are to protect individuals, prevent fraud, or ensure public safety. In addition, laws help people make decisions and solve problems.
Examples of laws include criminal, contract, and property laws. Other types of laws focus on health and safety issues, such as food safety.
Laws are based on the rule of law, which means that everyone should be treated equally under the law and held accountable for failing to follow it.
A person or group who violates a law can be sued for damages. These claims can be brought by either a plaintiff or a defendant.
The court decides whether the law has been violated and what remedy should be provided. The courts interpret and enforce the law based on their expertise in that area.
Lawyers can provide expert legal advice and represent the plaintiff or defendant in a lawsuit. They may also represent the government in a lawsuit.
Precedent – A court decision in an earlier case with facts and law similar to the one being decided in a current case. Some precedents are binding and must be followed by the court; other precedents can be influential, but not always.
Jury – A panel of people selected by the judge to hear and decide a trial case. A jury is chosen from the local community and usually consists of 12 to 15 people.
Discovery – The examination, before trial, of evidence and documents in possession of the opponents to help the lawyers prepare for trial.
Objections – A protest by an attorney, challenging a statement or question made at trial.
Record – A record of what is said in a trial.
In the United States, judges are usually elected for a term of office. Those who serve more than one term are known as “senators.”
Chief judge – A judge who has primary responsibility for the administration of a court. They also have the authority to decide cases and make decisions.
Clerk of court – An officer who works with the chief judge and oversees the day-to-day operations of a court. They also record and maintain the records of a court.
Courtroom – A room in a courthouse where the court proceedings are held.
A courtroom is often decorated with statues and other artifacts from the country or state in which the court resides.
Appellate – The lower courts review the case in higher courts. A court of appeal is usually composed of several judges and can expand to a larger number of judges in certain cases.
Law is a complicated subject, and it can be difficult to understand all the ins and outs. But you can learn more about the law by searching FindLaw’s Law section, which offers informational articles and detailed legal explanations on a wide variety of subjects. You can also find a law firm that specializes in your type of case by clicking on a practice area.