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41 Cards in this Set

  • Front
  • Back

Primary Authority

Authorities that actually constitute law.

Constitution, Statutes, Regulations, Case Law

Secondary Authority

Authorities tat merely explain or comment on primary authority.

Treatises, hornbooks

Persuasive Authority

Authority that a jurisdiction can choose to follow

Binding / Controlling / Mandatory

Primary authority that a jurisdiction must follow

Weight of Authority

Has to do with the chain of appeal and type of authority, and date of decision.

Constitution, Statutes, Regulations, Case Law

Highest Court Rule

The ruling of the highest court in a jurisdiction controls the decisions of the other courts in that jurisdiction.

Federal Trial Level Court

District Court

California Trial Level Court

Superior Court

Intermediate Federal Court

Circuit Court of Appeal

Intermediate California Court

Court of Appeal

Federal Level Court of Last Resort

United States Supreme Court

California Court of Last Resort

California Supreme Court


Concludes a Case


Decides one aspect of the case


party bringing appeal


party responding to appeal

Enacted Law

Statutes, regualtions

Common Law

Case Law

Stare Decisis

"Let the decision stand" - courts are bound by their own decisions.

Purposes - consistency, judicial efficiency, flexibility

weight of authority

the value of the particular authority, depends on the jurisdiction and on the court

hierarchy of authority

Consititutions, Regualtions, Statutes, Case Law

Shows what is more deciding, what holds the most weight

Chain of Appeal

Trial Court, Intermediate Appellate Court, Court of Last Appeal


the questions asked by the court to see whether a specific rule applies to specific facts


How the court decided

Legally Relevant Facts

facts that apply to the issue being discussed that make in difference in the outcome.

Procedurally significant facts

What the trial court ruled


the analysis or the reasons the court ruled the way it did


rules are legal commandments or requirements


Social Rationale - the reasons society would want a particular result

The standard that the reviewing court (higher in the chain of appeal) uses to decide the case


anything that isn't the holding

Standard of Review

the standard of the court used from the court below


where statutes and regulations are published

Annotated Statutes

gives legislative history and references to cases


requirement of the statutes


considerations of the statutes

Words of Authority

Must, Shall, Always

Plain Meaning of the Statute

Read the statute the way its read/written

Legislative Intent

what the legislature intended when the wrote the statute (policies)

Canons of Construction

Enacted Law

Legislative History

Documents the legislature prepares when it is enacting a bill