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Take a look at the concept of the law, which is defined as the system of rules established by a particular country or community to regulate the actions of its citizens or members and which may be enforced by the imposition of penalties. Laws can be created at the federal, state, or local levels. In the United States, the Constitution is the foundational legal document on which all other laws are based.

There are two broad categories of law: criminal law and civil law. Criminal laws are established to protect society from wrongful actions, including traffic and road violations (e.g., drunk driving or speeding), public order violations (e.g., rioting or indecent exposure), property crimes (e.g., arson or littering), and crimes committed against people (e.g., murder or rape). Civil laws are designed to help solve problems that occur between individuals or groups that don’t require police intervention but do involve the court system or trained legal personnel. These laws include contract laws (e.g., issuing marriage licenses or settling disputes related to contracts), employment laws (e.g., wrongful dismissal or employer discrimination), family law (e.g., child custody issues), and tort laws (e.g., dog bite cases or accidents).

Because the system of laws is so vast, lawyers often specialize according to a specific type of law practice. The major categories of practice include maritime law, bankruptcy law, business law, civil rights law, criminal law, entertainment law, family law, health law, immigration law, intellectual property law, international law, labor (employment) law, military law, personal injury law, real estate law, and tax law.

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Gale Primary Sources offers journals and legal periodicals that provide researchers with firsthand content.

Gale eBooks

Gale offers a variety of law eBooks covering a wide range of topics, including state laws, legislative history, and more. Users can add Gale eBooks to a customized collection and cross-search to pinpoint the article most relevant to the topic. Workflow tools help users easily share, save, and download content.

  • Ask the Constitution: Can States Make Their Own Laws?, 1st Edition

    Ask the Constitution: Can States Make Their Own Laws?, 1st Edition

    Enslow Publishing | 2020 | ISBN-13: 9781978508422

    America is a complex tapestry of laws, from the local ones passed by your city council to national laws made by Congress. Sometimes Congress passes a law to build a program, such as the Affordable Care Act, and then hands some or all of its administration over to the states. Was it always like this? What happens when a state and the national government disagree? Readers find out how these issues have evolved since before the Constitution was signed.

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  • The Cambridge Companion to Hume’s Treatise, 1st Edition

    The Cambridge Companion to Hume’s Treatise, 1st Edition

    Cambridge University Press | 2015 | ISBN-13: 9781316147108

    Revered for his contributions to empiricism, skepticism, and ethics, David Hume remains one of the most important figures in the history of Western philosophy. His first and broadest work, A Treatise of Human Nature (1739–40), comprises three volumes concerning the understanding, the passions, and morals. He develops a naturalist and empiricist program, illustrating that the mind operates through the association of impressions and ideas. This Companion features essays by leading scholars that evaluate the philosophical content of the arguments in Hume’s Treatise while considering their historical context. The authors examine Hume’s distinctive views on causation, motivation, free will, moral evaluation, and the origins of justice, which continue to influence present-day philosophical debate. This collection will prove a valuable resource for students and scholars exploring Hume, British empiricism, and modern philosophy.

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  • Gale Encyclopedia of American Law, 4th Edition

    Gale Encyclopedia of American Law, 4th Edition

    Gale | 2021 | ISBN-13: 9780028677590

    Within the Gale Encyclopedia of American Law, researchers will find diverse content covering the gamut of law topics, including current information on 5,500 legal topics across 14 volumes, making it one of the most comprehensive legal encyclopedias available. Biographies of interesting and influential people who’ve played a part in creating or shaping U.S. law, along with a portrait, a timeline, and a quote from the biographer. Increased coverage of women and minorities. Definitions of legal terms. “In Focus” pieces that provide additional facts and details on important issues. Photographs and other visual aids further enhance the text. Full text of many documents and legal forms. Cross-referencing within articles to related entries, extensive indexing, and much more.

    The title fully illuminates today’s leading cases, major statutes, legal terms and concepts, notable persons involved with the law, and important documents. Legal issues are fully discussed in easy-to-understand language, including such high-profile topics as the Americans with Disabilities Act, capital punishment, domestic violence, gay and lesbian rights, physician-assisted suicide, and thousands more.

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  • U.S. Government: The Separation of Powers: The Legislative Branch of the Federal Government: Purpose, Process, and People, 1st Edition

    U.S. Government: The Separation of Powers: The Legislative Branch of the Federal Government: Purpose, Process, and People, 1st Edition

    Britannica Digital Learning | 2010 | ISBN-13: 9781615300679

    The legislative branch, created by Article I of the Constitution, is comprised of the House of Representatives and the Senate, which together form the United States Congress. This book not only studies the powers of the legislative branch and the organization of both houses of Congress but also examines the legislative process and how a bill ultimately can become a law. This book gives readers a detailed look at how their government really works to both create and pass lasting legislation.

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