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Common Features of US law and its Fifty State Laws

HomeCommon Features of US law and its Fifty State Laws

It was time for Leroy and Joyce and their teenage children to return to California after spending twenty five years abroad. It was a homecoming with mixed feelings. Leroy and Joyce were keen to settle down soon and familiarize themselves with the laws of the land.

It would be only fair if they understood the structure of the United States Federal System learnt about the federal government, the constitution and the common laws of the fifty states.

The federal system:

The federal system endeavours to find a balance between the national government and the fifty states’ governments. The national and the state governments are made of their own executive, legislative and judicial branches. Power is distributed between the government and the states. The constitution defines the power given to each; in ambiguous situations, conflicts are resolved by the Supremacy Clause that declares Federal law supreme over state law.

The constitution of the United States is its most basic but supreme law. The legislative branch forms the laws, the executive branch has administrative and regulatory powers and the judicial branch interprets the laws.

Fifty state laws:

Leroy and Joyce will move into their own home after a couple of years. All states have provisions for landlord/tenant disputes. The Uniform Residential Landlord and Tenant Act is followed in all states. A Model Residential Landlord- tenant code consists of anti discrimination provisions. States may be liberal with security deposits whereas the city council may be stricter.

Auto accident can culminate into legal issue depending on the severity and the kind of accident. Drivers may face civil or criminal liability. In the event of an auto accident, the two groups must apply for insurance. The insurance company decides which one is responsible for the accident. In a hit and run case, the driver will be charged with criminal liability. For serious offences, the state will charge the driver of murder, drunken driving or manslaughter.

The defective products come under the preview of “products liability” which imposes the liability on manufacturers and suppliers. This law protects consumers against defective design, defective manufacture and marketing defects. The liability charged on the manufacturer or the retailer varies with the jurisdiction.

The employer/ employee issues affect the workplace. It becomes imperative for an employee to know their laws concerning wages, hours of work, safety standards and benefits. The US law has laws against discrimination in the work place.