Learn About the Law on FindLaw


Law is the study of rules and regulations that govern a system of government. It is a very broad subject, covering the entire range of legal issues that exist in a society.

Law (nomos) means “a principle, rule, or ordinance.” It is often used to refer to the laws that are imposed by a sovereign authority. It also can be used to refer to the moral and ethical obligations owed by individuals or groups to others.

In the United States, laws can be enacted by state and federal legislatures or through court decisions. The word law is also used in a more technical sense to refer to the specific regulations that govern the business environment.

There are many different areas of law, including constitutional law and criminal law. These areas are important in determining how the government can operate and how citizens must behave.

Civil law covers the rights and duties that people have toward each other in relationships such as marriage, divorce, custody and property ownership. Other aspects of civil law include family law, immigration and nationality law and human rights.

Common law is the type of legal system that originated in England and is in use in most states today. It is based on court decisions rather than statutes.

Jurisprudence is the study of law and the structure of courts, as well as their functions and powers. It involves a number of professionals, such as lawyers and judges.

Law can be a complex subject, so it can be difficult to understand everything about it. However, there are several resources available to help you learn more about it.

FindLaw’s Learn About the Law section features articles on a wide variety of topics, including how to hire an attorney and how to read your state’s laws.

You can also find information on specific topics, such as employment law or landlord-tenant law. Click on the topic you are interested in to find out more about it.

A lawsuit is a court action in which a plaintiff files a complaint against a defendant for breaking the law. A prosecutor or public defender will usually try the case on behalf of the government.

In the US, a trial is a hearing in which witnesses testify about the facts of a lawsuit. During the trial, the judge decides if the evidence is sufficient to prove the claims of the plaintiff.

jury – A group of people chosen by the lawyers to serve on a jury in a lawsuit. They are randomly selected from a pool of potential jurors.

record – A written account of the events in a lawsuit.

objection – A protest by an attorney that is challenged during the trial and must be allowed by the judge before the question or statement is heard.

prosecution – To charge someone with a crime; a prosecutor or public defender tries the case on behalf of the government.

oath – A promise to tell the truth; an attorney may give a sworn testimony or make a statement that is known to be hearsay (such as a witness making a statement that was not recorded).

plea bargain – The terms of a plea bargain in a criminal case essentially require the defendant to admit guilt but not for any other purpose.

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