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Laws are the set of legal rules issued by a legislator, that is, by a competent authority in the matter. Its function is to order, prohibit or allow something specific and concrete. Its compliance is mandatory for those who live under the rule of the...

The American legal system is a sprawling beast with numerous components. Cases can broadly be divided into two categories — tort (or civil) cases and criminal cases — though that of course understates the complexity of the situation. Although criminal cases tend to get more attention to their often sensationalistic nature and the fact that the liberty of the accused is often at stake, both criminal and civil cases can have an impact far beyond those involved.