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Law in the United States

Law in the United States

Law of America > Law of the United States > Federal law. Common and collective state law Individual states > Criticism. Legal reform. General administration of justice > KF385

Edition Details

  • Creators or Attribution (Responsibility): Peter L. Murray, Arthur Taylor Von Mehren
  • Biografical Information: Arthur T. von Mehren (1922-2006) was Professor of Law Emeritus at Harvard Law School. He represented the United States for 38 years in the Hague Conference of Private International Law. He wrote 210 publications in English, French, Spanish, Italian, German, and Japanese. They include the groundbreaking Civil Law System, his pioneering two books and nine articles on Japanese law, his highly original Law of Multistate Problems, his foundational monographs on contract formation and form, his articles on jurisdiction, and his award-winning Hague lectures.
  • Language: English
  • Jurisdiction(s): New York (State)
  • Publication Information: New York, NY : Cambridge University Press, ©2007
  • Material: Internet resource
  • Type: Book, Internet Resource
  • Permalink: (Stable identifier)

Short Description

XV, 325 pages ; 24 cm

Purpose and Intended Audience

Useful for students learning an area of law, Law in the United States is also useful for lawyers seeking to apply the law to issues arising in practice.

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Bibliographic information

  • Responsable Person: Arthur T. von Mehren, Peter L. Murray.
  • Publication Date: 2007
  • Copyright Date: 2007
  • Location: New York, N.Y.
  • Country/State: New York (State)
  • Number of Editions: 23 editions
  • First edition Date: 1987
  • Last edition Date: 2008
  • Languages: US English, German
  • Library of Congress Code: KF385
  • Dewey Code: 349.73
  • ISBN: 9780521852067 0521852064 9780521617536 0521617537
  • OCLC: 71223272

Publisher Description:

Law in the United States, Second Edition, is a concise presentation of the salient elements of the American legal system designed mainly for jurists of civil law backgrounds. It focuses on features of American law likely to be least familiar to jurists from other legal traditions, such as American common law, the federal structure of the U.S. legal system, and the American constitutional tradition. The use of comparative law technique permits foreign jurists to appreciate the American legal system in comparison with legal systems with which they are already familiar. Chapters in the second edition also cover such topics as American civil justice, criminal law, jury trial, choice of laws and international jurisdiction, the American legal profession, and the influence of American law in the global legal order.

Main Contents

Sources of American law
American common law
Comparative perspectives on American contract law
American federalism
American constitutional law and the role of the United States Supreme Court
American civil justice
American criminal justice
American trial by jury
Choice of law, international civil jurisdiction, and recognition of judgments in the United States
The American legal profession
The United States and the global legal order.

Summary Note

This book is about the American legal system for jurists of civil law backgrounds.

Table of Contents

Chapter I — Sources of American Law
A. Historical Roots
B. Allocation of Authority to Create and Adapt Legal Rules and Principles
1. The Judicial Decision
2. Legislation
3. Court Rules
4. Secondary Sources
C. Finding American Law
Chapter II — American Common Law
A. The Two Western Legal Traditions
B. The Reception of the Common Law on the North American Continent
C. The Post-Revolution Development of American Law
D. Common Law Reasoning and Analysis
1. Public Policy and Legal Decision-Making
2. Precedent and Case Distinction
3. Overruling and Departing from Precedent
E. American Common Law at the Beginning of the Third Millennium
F. An Example of the Common Law in Action
Chapter III — Comparative Perspectives on American Contract Law
A. Looking at Law Comparatively
B. Comparative Law Methodology
C. Contract Law — Offer and Acceptance
1. The Common Law of Offer and Acceptance
2. Comparative Analysis
D. The Doctrine of Consideration
1. The Common Law Doctrine of Consideration
2. The Problem of Unenforceability, Relative and Absolute
a. Delineating Transaction Types Unenforceable in Their Natural States
b. Classifying Individual Transactions to Determine Whether They Fall Within an
Unenforceable Transaction Type
c. Determining and Devising Extrinsic Elements Capable of Rendering Enforceable
Otherwise Unenforceable Transactions
3. The Problem of Abstractness
4. The Screening of Individual Transactions for Unfairness
5. Conclusion
Chapter IV — American Federalism
A. The American Governmental Scene Prior to the Constitution of 1789
B. The Federal System Established by the United States Constitution
C. The Spheres of Federal and State Authority — Interstate Commerce
D. The Federal and State Judicial Systems
E. Interaction Between the State and Federal Systems of Justice
F. American Federalism Compared
Chapter V — American Constitutional Law and the Role of the United States
Supreme Court
A. Introduction
B. The Supreme Court's Threefold Role
C. The Supreme Court's Institutional Character
D. The Founding Fathers' Understandings With Respect to the Supreme Court's
E. The Court as Balance Wheel of the Federal System: The Commerce Clause
F. The Court as Guardian of Individual Rights
G. The Court as Arbiter of the Allocations of Powers Among the Branches of the
Federal Government
H. The Court's Standing in American Society
I. American Constitutional Law Compared
Chapter VI — American Civil Justice
A. The Role of Civil Justice in American Society
B. Civil Procedure and Adversarial Legalism
C. American Civil Procedure and the Continuous Trial
1. Fundamental Principles and Basic Institutional Arrangements
2. The Significance for First-Instance Procedure of Concentrated Trials
D. Further Procedural Characteristics Associated with Concentrated and with
Discontinuous Trials
E. Civil Justice as Punishment?
E. Collective Litigation
Chapter VII — American Criminal Justice
A. American Federalism and Criminal Law
B. Criminal Constitutional Review
C. The Adversary Criminal Justice System
D. The Prosecution Function
E. Criminal Justice and Jury Trial
F. The Death Penalty in the United States
Chapter VIII — American Trial By Jury
A. Historical Background of American Jury Trial
B. The Jury as Fact Finder and Case Decider
1. Selection and Composition of Juries
2. Function of the Jury at Trial
3. Rules of Evidentiary Admissibility
4. The Application of the Law in Jury Proceedings
5. Jury Deliberations
C. Accountability of the Jury and Review of Jury Determinations
D. The Role of the Judge in Jury Trials
E. The Role of Lawyers in Jury Trials
F. The Future of American Trial by Jury
Chapter IX — Choice of Law, International Civil Jurisdiction and Recognition of
Judgments in the United States
A. Introduction
B. Choice of Law
C. Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Judgments
D. Jurisdiction to Adjudicate
E. European-Ameican Problems of Discovery and Taking of Evidence Abroad
Chapter X — The American Legal Profession
A. American Legal Education
1. The American Law School
2. The Law School Curriculum
3. American Legal Pedagogy
4. Clinical Legal Education and Law reviews
5. Examinations and Grading
6. Transitions to Law Practice
7. Admission to the Bar
B. The American Legal Profession
1. Private Law Firms
2. Bar Associations and Regulation of the Bar
3. Legal Aid and Access to Justice
4. Lawyers' Fees and Compensation
5. The American Judiciary
Chapter XI — The United States and the Global Legal Order
A. The American Legal System in World Context
B. American Provate Law in the Modern World
C. American Litigation Abroad
D. American Public Law and the Modern Democratic World
E. America and the World language of Law
F. American Legal Culture on the World Scene
G. America and World Public Law
H. America and the Legal World of the Future

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  • Article Name: Law in the United States
  • Author: Tawandra L. Rowell
  • Description: Law in the United States Law of America > Law of the United States > Federal law. Common and collective state law [...]

This entry was last updated: June 18, 2016

Arthur Taylor Von Mehren

Cambridge University Press

Cambridge, U.K

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