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Conducting Transatlantic Business

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Conducting Transatlantic Business

The difference between the law in the US and in Europe goes beyond the generally accepted distinction between common law and civil law. legal traditions find their roots in a country’s own national past. Cultures with a history of feudal or centralized government often enjoy uniform legislation. Countries with a tradition of decentralized government enjoy laws that are more divers. Consequently, the cultural approach toward legal issues is different as well. The law on the European continent is not just “civil law”. Both Roman and Napoleonic law have strongly affected the legislations of most western European countries. But not all to the same degree.

Notably German law has its own school of thought. Napoleonic systems typically think in terms of obligations of the defendant. Germanic laws think in terms of rights or claims of the claimant or plaintiff. The relevant statutes, or acts, center on the rights of a trades person. Whereas in Napoleonic systems the duties of a trades person are the focus of the law. Additional EU regulations often focus on the rights of the consumer. German law is also structure and clear, which is not something . E.g. the laws of Belgium, a Napoleonic country, where a long tradition of compromise between deeply divide political camps is reflect in the national legislation.

Legislative Process:

In the United States legislative power is not only shared between state and federal governments. Within those it is share between legislators, courts and stakeholders of all sorts. Lobbyists try to educate law makers about the consequences of legislation, thereby also becoming part of the process. As a result, legislation can be an incoherent product of power wrestling that includes issues which are not at all related to the area that it is trying to regulate.


In conclusion European parliamentary majorities draft laws with less concern for momentary political follies or interest groups. Like its politics, which is almost always base on coalitions and other forms of cooperation, lawmaking in Europe is a process in which the interests of all parties that can be affect are balance. When a statute is drafted more attention is paid to the opinion of experts in the held, sometimes even independent ones.

Table of Contents:

1:Introduction 7
2:Cross-Atlantic Legal Styles
3:Business Organization
4:Contracts
5:Torts and Liability
6:Human Resources
7:Litigation
8:Intellectual Property
9:Select Other Business Matters
10:Conclusion

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