1. Define the term law and describe the three sources from which law is derived
Law is a system of principles and processes by which people handle disputes and problems with the aim of settling them. In other words, laws are rules of conduct that government enforces and if these are violated, it imposes penalties to violators. There are two kinds of law: public law (which deals with the relationships between individuals and government) and private law (which deals with relationships among individuals).
The three sources of law are:
Common law refers to a body of principles stemming from judicial decisions which in turn arise from trials of court cases. The common law in the United States was based on the English common law system .
Statutory law is written law emanating from a legislative body, where for instance the US Constitution is considered the “highest level of enacted law.” A statute can abolish any rule of common law. It also can be expanded, repealed or amended by action of the legislature or Congress.
Administrative law is issued either by state or federal agencies so as to implement administrative rules and regulations of state and federal governments. Administrative agencies enforce administrative laws and each state has its own system of administrative law.
2. Describe the four objectives of tort law
Tort law seeks to provide remedy for a civil wrong done to a person through the court which in turn award damages to the aggrieved. There are four objectives of tort law. First, it seeks to ensure peace is preserved between two individuals by providing a substitute for retaliation; in this case the court is the venue to settle the problem between the parties concerned. Secondly, it also seeks culpability for wrongful acts. This is done when the court determines responsibility for the wrongful act done to a person. Thirdly, tort law seeks deterrence or prevents those committing wrongful acts from doing so again because it provides a penalty system for which hopefully an offender would think twice about commiting a wrongful act again. Tort law, lastly, seeks compensation for the aggrieved party. This entails the court to determine what and how much damages should be awarded to the person who suffered a wrongful act (Pozgar, 2012).
3. Describe the four elements that must be proven in order to be successful in a negligence suit.
First, duty to care or one must observe a recognized standard of care to another. Secondly, breach of duty or nonconformity from the recognized standard of care and failure to observe and obligation. Thirdly, the plaintiff also has to prove injury where actual damages must be determined and if there are no injuries, he is not due for any monetary damages. Lastly, the element of causation should be present or it should be proven the deviation from the standard of care must be the cause of the injury and the injury must be foreseeable or anticipated (Pozgar, 2012).
4. Describe the four objectives of criminal law
There are four objectives of criminal law. First, it seeks to ensure that public order and safety are maintained as criminal law basically provides a system to regulate behaviors of people in accordance to social norms. In other words, break the law and you suffer consequences for your actions. Criminal law, secondly, seeks to protect people as it deals with crime and provides punishment for those committing such offenses. Thirdly, criminal law uses punishment to deter crimes. In this case, criminal law provides penalties to prevent or discourage a person from committing them or they have to face consequences for the wrongful acts they have committed. Lastly, criminal law seeks to rehabilitate the criminal so he could be able to return to society. When an individual is convicted of a crime, he has to serve jail time. The time he would spend in the penitentiary or correctional facility will allow him to reform and help him get back to the outside world when he has finally served his time.
5. Describe the three elements of a contract.
In order for a contract to be enforceable, there are three elements required: There should be an “offer” made by one party to another to do something or not. This offer needs to be communicated to the other person in order to be accepted or rejected. There should also be “consideration” or each party must give something of value to get something in exchange for the same value. Lastly, there should be “acceptance” of an offer for a contract to be established (Pozgar, 2012, p. 73). And for the acceptance of the offer to be valid, there are three requirements – there should be a “meeting of minds” between the two parties where they understand what they’ve agreed upon; the acceptance must be “definite and complete;” there is a duration of the acceptance or where an offer can be revoked by the one who made it only after he informs the other party who then either agrees or not and lastly, the acceptable should be complete and conforming or must comply with the terms offered in the contract (Pozgar, 2012, p. 73).
6. Describe the nine defenses a defendant can present in order to refute a plaintiff’s evidence
a. Assumption of the risk – The plaintiff has prior consent, relieving the defendant from any obligation. The plaintiff basically is aware of the danger or harm he will be exposed to and his choice to incur the risk must be free and voluntary.
b. Contributory Negligence – A defendant can invoke contributory negligence against the plaintiff when the latter has knowledge of a dangerous situation and ignores it. But in order to use this defense of contributory negligence, the defendant needs to show that it was the negligence of the plaintiff that caused the latter’s injury.
c. Good Samaritan laws – A plaintiff can invoke the Good Samaritan legislation where doctors, nurses or laypersons can be protected from liability for ordinary negligence in the course of rendering help to a person in an emergency situation .
d. Borrowed Servant Doctrine – This applies to an employer whose employee commits a negligent act. The employer can invoke the Borrowed Servant Doctrine which makes him not liable for a negligent act committed by an employee “while in the special service of another (Pozgar, 2012, p 113).”
e. Captain of the Ship Doctrine – This is a variation of the Borrowed Servant Doctrine but applied in the context of the operating room where the surgeon is established as the one “in command” of the operating room and thus responsible for any negligent act committed there (Pozgar, 2012, p 113).
f. Comparative Negligence – This is applied when a plaintiff was also partly negligent that caused his injury and thus his damage claim in a lawsuit would be take into consideration his own liability as well.
g. Statute of Limitations –A defendant can invoke the statute of limitations if the case against him was filed later than the period of time prescribed or had already lapsed. There are statutes that set a period of time for which malpractice suits and other personal injury cases can be filed.
h. Intervening Cause – A defendant can invoke this when the negligent act of a third party was determined to be the cause of the injury of the plaintiff.
i. Sovereign Immunity – This doctrine allows federal and state governments immunity from liability for negligent acts by their employees. But this doctrine had already been abolished for the most part by both state and federal governments.
Pozgar, G. D. (2012). Legal aspects of health care administration (11th ed). Sudbury, MA: Jones and Bartlett.