Jurisdiction is a term used to define the powers of a court. Personal jurisdiction refers to the power of a given court to give judgments against a particular defendant while subject-matter jurisdiction refers to the power of a court to hear and make judgments on a particular type of case (Chao and Christine, 9). Parties to a contract have considerable freedom in formulating terms of a contract. This includes resolution of disputes arising from the contract. Minimum contract law can be used to determine if a court in one state has personal jurisdiction over a defendant from another state. The relevance of the minimum contract rule is that it determines the forum in which litigation may be commenced.
The commerce clause (Article 1, Section 8, Clause 3 of the Constitution) gives the US Congress power to regulate foreign commerce, interstate commerce and Indian commerce including determination of who a US citizen should trade with and preventing discrimination. The Commerce clause also takes precedence over several other laws. For instance, it gives the Congress power to control navigable waters taking precedence over common law and riparian rights (Adler, 1).
Three common causes of action are intentional tort, negligence and strict liability. Intentional torts refer to civil wrongs that result from intentional acts on the part of the tortfeasor. Under negligence civil wrongs occur as a result of the tortfeasor failing to take sufficient care and precautions when performing a duty. Strict liability is the class of torts in which liability for civil wrongs and injuries exist despite taking proper precautions. The three can be distinguished based on intent. Under intentional torts and negligent torts it should be proved that the defendant acted with intent to perform the act which is a proximate cause of the plaintiff’s injury (Ellis, 46). Common intentional torts include battery, assault and false imprisonment. Negligence is invoked when there harm is reasonably foreseeable but the defendant failed to prevent it. Strict liability is best described by the example of a zoo; no matter how strong the animal cages are, if an animal escapes, the owner is liable for the damage and injuries arising.
The elements of negligence are duty, breach, causation and damages. A plaintiff must prove all the elements in order to make out a claim of negligence. Duty refers to a legal obligation which requires people to maintain reasonable standards while performing acts. For instance, a can of processed meat that contain a lizard indicate failure of duty of care by the manufacture. Breach of duty can be a subjective (knowingly exposing the plaintiff to harm) or objective (failing to realize substantial risks) and indicates if the defendant failed in the duty owed to the plaintiff. Causation proves that particular acts and omissions by the defendant are the cause of the sustained loss, damage and injuries. Damages are prove that the plaintiff actually sustained joss and injuries due to the defendants acts and omissions.
The elements of a contract are, offer, acceptance, consideration, capacity of the parties to contract, intent and the object of the contract. An offer can be made orally or in writing, must not be ambiguous and it is the initiating action in the contract. Acceptance of the offer made by one party to another party is what creates the contract between the parties. Acceptance but be pursuant to the terms of the offer. Consideration must be expressly implied by the terms of the contract and may be a promise to do or not to do an applicable action. In most contracts consideration is usually a right, interest or benefits. For the contract to be legally binding, all the parties must have capacity to contract. In general, minors, mentally ill people and bankrupt people lack a capacity to contract. Intent can be oral or written and represents the mutual assent of the parties’ top do all that pertains to the contract. The object of the contract must be legal and pro-public policy for the contract to be enforceable.
The UCC is an Act that seeks to harmonize interstate trade on personal/movable property on a national scale but allow flexibility on a state level to meet local circumstances. Article 2 of the UCC deals with sales while Article 2A deals with leases. The provisions of Article 2 are based on common law and include contract formation, offer and acceptance, contract repudiation and breach. The Article provides conformity to state law and states such as Louisiana which base their civil code on civil law and not common law have not adopted it. Gap fillers provided for in Article 2 section 2-307 to 2-310 are default provisions determined by the court when a contract exist but is not explicit on certain provision. These includes price terms, mode of delivery, shipment by seller, time provisions, place of delivery and risk of loss in the absence of breach.
Security interest is interest on a property created through an agreement or operation of a law in order to ensure a duty owed is performed. For example selling a debtors property to offset a debt. For a creditor to have security interest priority over other secured parties, the creditor must file a notice of debt lien before other secured creditor. For example, when IRS files a notice of tax lien, it gains precedence over all other subsequently-perfected security intrest.
Adler, Jonathan H. "Wetlands, Waterfowl, and the Menace of Mr. Wilson: Commerce Clause
Jurisprudence and the Limits of Federal Wetland Regulation." Envtl. l. 29 (1999): 1.
Chao, Cedric C., and Christine S. Neuhoff. "Enforcement and Recognition of Foreign
Judgments in United States Courts: A Practical Perspective." Pepperdine Law Review 29.1 (2012): 9.
Ellis Jr, Dorsey. "An economic theory of intentional torts: A comment." International Review of
Law and Economics 3.1 (2012): 45-57.