The law in practice revolves around disputes and problems. The primary forum for dispute resolution is the court. Even though most disputes brought to lawyers do not result in trials, the courts, through their spokespersons, the judges, are the final arbiters of what the law is. Because courts are the last legitimate resort of disputants, judges must decide. No matter how difficult or complex a case, the judge may not plead ignorance, frustration, or indecision. In deciding a case, the judge must provide reasons and rules, the final product of the process of adjudication. Without reasons and rules, decision making is purely political. This is particularly true in the U.S. constitutional system, in which the lines between the judicial function and the administrative and legislative functions are relatively distinct.
Where does a judge find the rules? The judicial imagination is not sufficient authority, even though some judicial decisions seem to suggest otherwise. There are several sources of the law, the primary ones being the Constitution, legislation, and prior judicial decisions. This last is the subject matter of this session.
Date: March 3, 2017
Time: 10:00am to 10:15am PST
To learn more about Sources of Law purchase the text Foundations of Law: Cases, Commentary and Ethics, 6th Edition from Cengage Learning. Paralegal Power Breaks are short information packed sessions that provide useful career information to paralegals at all career levels.
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