B. Classifications of Law

Legal subject indices can be found at Findlaw and Washlaw.

  1. Substantive/Procedural

    Subject Matter of Substantive and Procedural Law

    Substantive (Policy) Procedural (Method of Enforcement)
    Administrative Law
    Agency
    Bailments
    Commercial Paper
    Constitutional Law
    Contracts
    Corporation Law
    Criminal Law
    Insurance
    Partnerships
    Personal Property
    Real Property
    Sales
    Taxation
    Torts
    Trusts and Wills
    Administrative Procedure
    Appellate Procedure
    Civil Procedure
    Criminal Procedure
    Evidence

  2. Civil/Criminal

    Legal subject indices can be found at Findlaw and Washlaw.

    An important feature distinguishing criminal and civil law is the sanction imposed on the wrongdoer. Criminal sanctions may include imprisonment while civil sanctions emphasize payment of money.

    Criminal and Civil Law

    Criminal Law Civil Law
    Administrative Law
    Antitrust
    Constitutional Law
    Criminal Law
    Environmental Law
    Labor Law
    Securities Law
    Agency
    Bailments
    Bankruptcy
    Business Organizations
    Commercial Paper
    Contracts
    Insurance
    Property
    Sales
    Secured Transactions
    Torts
    Trusts and Wills

    Criminal versus Civil Law

    Issue Criminal Law Civil Law
    Who initiates the legal action? The government, on behalf of the people. The plaintiff or petitioner.
    Reason for the legal action. Punishment, deterrence, rehabilitation. Compensation for wrongful act and/or deterrence.
    Burden of proof. Beyond a reasonable doubt. Preponderance of the evidence.
    Major sanctions available. Fines, incarceration, capital punishment. Various equitable remedies (injunction, specific performance, etc.) and/or monetary damages.
    Result of trial. Conviction/acquttal. Judgment or decree/dismissal.
    Trial by jury. Yes. Yes, in actions at law. No, for actions in equity.

  3. Public/Private

    Legal subject indices can be found at Findlaw and Washlaw.

    Examples of Public and Private Laws

    Public Law Private Law
    Administrative Law
    Civil, Criminal, and Appellate Procedure
    Constitutional Law
    Criminal Law
    Evidence
    Taxation
    Agency
    Commercial Paper
    Contracts
    Corporation Law
    Partnerships
    Personal Property
    Real Property
    Sales
    Torts
    Trusts and Wills

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Legal Procedure