What is General Law?

Q: I was wondering what is General Law? I have heard that it gives judges the right to act in cases. Is this true? Thank you. My friend’s father taught me about this program when he was in law school.

A: It is quite possible that such an institution provides the “life-line” one may need during periods of adversity, but is it not also true that General Law empowers a prosecutor to act in criminal as well as civil cases, if requested to do so by a client? In other words, General Law gives a prosecutor a “handshake” on cases. The lifepace argument rests upon a misunderstanding regarding the nature of the role played by prosecutors in such cases. As a professor of Criminal Law at Cornell University, one who strongly believes that a defendant should be able to determine his or her level of innocence or guilt, I do not believe a law that gives a prosecutor “extra” remedies is needed. What would be needed is a prohibition against the courts continuing to allow judges to exercise their discretionary power granting summary judgments. It is also important to note that although the framers of the Constitution intended that the burden of proof should rest with the jury, they did not intend for the courts to apply the “lesser burden” rule; so there would be no reason to limit the burdens of proof at trial to the state level.

In discussing the issue of what is general law, I do consider the power granted prosecutors in determining a defendant’s eligibility for relief under the statutes and we agree that the lifepace argument is flawed. Yes, the burden of proof should rest with the jury, but the jury must still be able to find that a defendant is not guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. And if that finding of fact is not enough to convince a jury beyond a reasonable doubt, then the defendant has not been found “not guilty,” the defendant should not be entitled to relief, and the case should be dismissed.

The second question that needs to be answered is whether there is a right to an Article III lawyer. Article III lawyers are lawyers who practice within the areas defined by the Constitution and are authorized by the Supreme Court to litigate lawsuits. Although not all practicing law students learn enough about Article III law to understand what Article III means, a knowledgeable article III lawyer can help answer the questions. A lawyer can also represent the party that wishes to sue another party not named in the complaint, but was included in the lawsuit. Once the plaintiff (the person filing suit) or the defendant (the person being sued) appears in a court-martial, a judge may order a military trial.

A third area that practicing law students may study is corporate law. Corporate law is primarily about managing business affairs and protecting the assets of business owners. A corporate lawyer can represent any corporation or partnership that is involved in a lawsuit. A lawyer in a corporate law firm can work with other lawyers and staff in handling a case, negotiating settlements, and organizing settlements and other proceedings. A corporate lawyer can be an invaluable asset to a company as it deals with complicated negotiations with government entities outside of the state. As part of their preparation for a corporate law case, law students will learn about property laws, corporate finance, and mergers and acquisitions.

Students who study criminal law and those entering the field of corporate law should make sure that they take the time to learn about the difference between civil and criminal law. While both are involved in the same types of cases, the lines of difference between civil and criminal law are important. Civil law involves disputes between private parties; criminal law involves disputes between individuals, businesses, and other entities. A student who is preparing to enter into this field should research widely on the different types of cases that are considered in the field of criminal law.