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Archive for the ‘Law’ Category
How much legal information is available online now?
What do we mean by an annotated code?
How do you cite a statute or law?
How does a person keep track of all the abbreviations and requirements for legal citations?
What is a citation for a judicial opinion?
Where are judicial opinions located?
What is a judicial opinion?
How are legal authorities identified?
What was the Ford Pinto problem?
What types of problems cause product liability actions?
Why would it be fair to impose strict liability on the manufacturer of a product?
What is breach of warranty?
What is products liability?
What is the tort of nuisance?
Do all states recognize the different sub-torts of invasion of privacy?
What is an example of false light invasion of privacy?
What if the press reports on the sex life of a famous politician? Is that invasion of privacy?
What is a famous tort case of involving intrusion?
How did the invasion of privacy tort originate?
What tort protects a person from being photographed in the bathroom?
What happened in New York Times Co. v. Sullivan?
What are examples of public officials and public figures?
What is a public figure and why is that important to defamation law?
What are common defenses to defamation claims?
What if an editorial writer uses strong language to describe a person?
What are the required elements of a defamation claim?
What is defamation?
What is a statute of repose?
What is the discovery rule and how does it impact statutes of limitations in tort cases?
What are statutes of limitations?
Are all attorney or legal malpractice claims based on negligence law?
What is an example of attorney malpractice?
What is the standard of care for a physician?
Is expert testimony required in medical malpractice cases?
What are examples of professional negligence claims?
What is medical malpractice?
What is professional negligence?
What is the concept of deep pockets?
What is a frolic and detour ?
What is vicarious liability?
Are awards in tort cases taxable?
What is the difference between a lump sum settlement and a structured settlement?
Can states cap punitive damage awards?
Are there limits to punitive damage awards?
What factors does a court consider in determining the amount of punitive damages?
What is the role of punitive damages in bifurcated tort cases?
What are some examples of frivolous lawsuits?
What was the McDonald’s hot coffee case?
Why are punitive damage awards considered controversial?
What types of damages are most common in tort cases?
What is the duty to mitigate damages?
Which states still do have contributory negligence?
Why is comparative fault considered fairer than contributory negligence?
Who determines the percentages of fault of the parties?
What are the different forms of comparative negligence?
What happens if both parties (plaintiff and defendant) are negligent?
If you fall on a slippery floor in a store, can you sue for negligence?
Where does the term good Samaritan come from?
Can a Good Samaritan be held liable if he or she acts negligently even though they are trying to help?
What if some unexpected event causes damage to a plaintiff after a defendant’s negligent act?
Can an employer be held negligent if it retains or hires an employee who is dangerous to the public?
Can a business be liable for injuries caused to its patrons by third parties?
What was the case of Palsgraf v. Long Island Railroad Company concerning proximate causation?
What are the two types of causation in tort cases?
What is res ipsa loquitur?
What is negligence perse?
Are children held to the same standard of care as adults?
What is a reasonable person ?
What is negligence and what are the elements of a negligence claim?
What are some defenses to intentional torts?
Is there a tort that you can use or sue under if someone files false criminal charges against you?
What are some other examples of intentional infliction of emotional distress?
What is a famous intentional infliction of emotional distress case involving Hustler Magazine?
What is intentional infliction of emotional distress?
Does a person have a tort claim if they are wrongfully detained for shoplifting in a major department store?
Are punching and kicking the only acts that are regarded as battery?
Can an injury in a sports contest constitute a battery?
What was the famous plate snatching case?
What are some examples of intentional torts?
What are the basic types of torts?
How does tort law differ from contract law?
Can the same conduct form the basis for both a crime and a tort?
How does tort law differ from criminal law?
What types of cases are examples of tort cases?
Where does the word tort come from?
What is a tort?
Can stepparents adopt their spouse’s biological children?
Does a biological father have the right to notification that his child may be placed for adoption by the child’s mother?
What age restrictions are imposed on prospective adoptive parents?
What expenses do adoptive parents pay to the birth mother?
Can prospective adoptive parents advertise that they wish to adopt a child?
Can adoption agencies consider the race of the adoptive parents or children when making decisions?
What is a foreign adoption?
What is the court or judge’s role in the adoption process?
What information does an adoption agency consider when determining whether to place a child with prospective adoptive parents?
Can birth mothers withdraw consent to an adoption?
Who must consent to an adoption?
What methods of adoptions are there?
What is adoption?
If you think you are the father of a child, but you are not married and the mother refuses to let you see the baby, is there anything you can do?
If you are a pregnant and unmarried woman, and the father refuses to acknowledge paternity, what can you do?
Can courts modify child support obligations?
What happens if a person refuses to pay child support?
How does a court determine the amount of child support?
Can a court require a parent to pay child support?
Can grandparents have visitation rights?
What if one parent refuses another parent’s visitation rights?
Can courts modify custody arrangements?
Can a court require parents to attend counseling sessions before awarding custody?
What is supervised visitation?
In those states that examine the relocation of a parent under a best interests of the child analysis, what are the factors that courts consider?
Can a parent with custody move out of state with a child without permission of the other parent?
Can a parent have child custody if he or she has committed a crime?
Arizona Law on Best Interests of the Child § 25-403
How do courts determine custody for a child?
What different types of child custody are there?
What is child custody?
What happens if your former spouse to whom you are paying alimony remarries?
What are the factors a court considers in deciding whether and how much to award in alimony?
What are the different types of alimony?
What is alimony
How does a court determine how to apportion marital property?
Can separate property be converted to marital property during the course of a marriage?
How can a spouse ensure that property remains separate?
How does a court determine whether property is marital/community property or separate property?
Are divorces no fault or fault based?
Can you file for divorce in a state that is not the state in which you were married?
Can persons separate without filing for a divorce?
What is recrimination?
What is condonation?
What types of crimes committed by a spouse give the other spouse grounds for divorce?
If your spouse leaves and doesn’t come back, is that grounds for divorce?
What are irreconcilable differences ?
What are typical grounds for divorce?
How can a marriage be annulled?
Can you be liable for the debts your spouse acquired prior to marriage?
What can parties contract to in a pre marital agreement?
Are prenuptial agreements, or pre marital agreements, valid?
Is a marriage in a foreign country recognized as valid in the United States?
Who can perform marriages?
Can a person have multiple spouses?
When did the law allow interracial marriages?
Can parties of the same sex marry?
At what age can a person legally marry?
What are the differences between civil unions and marriages?
What are civil unions?
What states still recognize common law marriages?
Can cousins legally marry?
What does the law say about limiting marriages between family members?
Can parties who enter into a regular marriage change or convert that marriage into a covenant marriage?
What states allow covenant marriages?
What is a covenant marriage?
Must you take a blood test before getting married?
How much does a marriage license cost?
What is a common law marriage?
How can people be married?
How is marriage defined by the law?
What types of issues are covered by family law, or the law of domestic relations?
Can your employer force you to take a polygraph test?
What if you test positive for drugs, but you really believe that the test was wrong? Is there any recourse?
Can your employer require you to take a drug test?
How does the unemployment benefits process work?
If you are fired from your job can you obtain unemployment benefits coverage?
Must an employer do anything to accommodate employees who wish to breast feed their children?
Must employers give employees time off for lunch and for rest periods?
Are employment discrimination awards taxable?
Can an employer fire an employee for filing a workers compensation claim?
Are there time limits and notice requirements on filing worker compensation claims?
What if an employee suffers a permanent disability?
What does the employee receive in workers’s compensation benefits?
What if you suffer a heart attack due to stress on the job? Are you compensable under workers compensation?
When does an injury arise out of and in the course of employment?
What is considered a work related injury?
What entity handles worker compensation claims?
Why is workers compensation considered a form of compromise?
What is the purpose of workers compensation?
What is the key factor in determining whether employees may be included in a valid tip pool?
What about employees receiving tips and how they are treated under FLSA?
What is a Belo contract?
What is the taxicab exemption ?
In an FLSA case, who has the burden of proof to show that an employee is exempt from the overtime pay benefit?
Do computer programmers and computer system analysts qualify as professionals and exempt from FLSA’s overtime provisions?
Do blue collar workers who have great expertise in their respective jobs fall under the professional overtime exemption under FLSA?
What are some of the exceptions to the overtime pay requirement?
What state has the highest minimum wage law?
Do all states have separate laws dealing with minimum wages?
What is the major federal law regulating compensation for employees?
What is the Lily Ledbetter Act?
If your employer is not covered by the FMLA, are there any state laws that could help?
What happens to an employee’s job when he or she returns from FMLA leave?
For what other reasons can an employee take FMLA leave?
Are there other laws that allowed injured employees to receive time off from work?
How did Congress change the ADA in 2008?
Does the ADA prohibit disability based harassment in the workplace?
Can an employer refuse to hire an employee whose disability would present a health risk to himself or others?
What does the court do if a reasonable accommodation conflicts with a seniority system?
How does a court handle the issue of reasonable accommodations and undue hardships?
Are there limitations as to what are reasonable accommodations?
What is a reasonable accommodation in the ADA?
Findings of Congress in the ADA
The ADA mentions a qualified individual with a disability. What is such a qualified individual ?
Are mental conditions cognizable under the ADA?
What are some examples of disabilities under the ADA?
How is a disability defined within the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)?
What major laws prohibit discrimination based on disability or handicap?
Are mixed motive claims cognizable under the ADEA as they are under Title VII?
Does it violate the ADEA for an employer to provide a date of birth question on an employment application?
Can an employer establish mandatory retirement limits?
My supervisor made comments like you’re too old for the job. Is that evidence of age discrimination?
Can young people even those under 40 sue for age discrimination under state laws?
Can a younger person in the protected class sue for age discrimination?
What if an employer fires one employee who is 65 and replaces him or her with someone who is 47. Does this constitute age discrimination since both employees are over 40?
How old must an employee be to qualify for protection under the ADEA?
What sorts of employer actions can constitute unlawful retaliation?
How does an employee prove retaliation?
If an employee files both a sex or race discrimination claim and a retaliation claim, can the retaliation claim survive even if the underlying sex or race claim is dismissed?
Does Title VI I’s retaliation clause protect an employee who participates not in a court proceeding or EEOC investigation but in an employer’s internal investigation of sexual harassment?
What does Title VII say about retaliation?
What is an example of a discrimination case involving religion in which it was ruled that the employer did not accommodate the employee adequately?
If the employee establishes a prima facie claim, what must the employer do?
How does an employee prove a claim of religious discrimination?
Title VII also prohibits religious discrimination by covered employers. What is the law’s definition of religion?
Does Title VII prohibit discrimination against transsexuals?
Does Title VII protect employees who are harassed by members of the same sex?
Can employers assert any defense to supervisory harassment?
If a supervisor commented on an employee’s physical anatomy a few times and made several sexual jokes in her presence, is that sexual harassment?
Does Title VII apply to harassing behavior on the part of employers?
If an employer does present a legitimate, nondiscriminatory reason for the discharge then what must the employee do to prove his or her case?
If an employee presents a prima facie (or basic) case of discrimination, what must the employer show?
Would a negative performance evaluation constitute an adverse employment action?
What is an adverse employment action?
How should and employer determine if an employee is qualified?
What is a protected class?
What happened to Percy Green after McDonnell Douglas v. Green?
What was the McDonnell Douglas case about?
Under the McDonnell Douglas framework, how does an employee establish a prima facie case of discrimination?
How does a court determine whether an employee suffers discrimination?
Does the EEOC’s finding of no discrimination prevent a subsequent court proceeding?
What if the EEOC does not find there has been discrimination?
What is a right to sue letter?
What if the EEOC finds there has been discrimination?
What happens once an employee files a charge of discrimination?
What are the time limits for filing an Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charge?
How does an employee file a claim under Title VII or other federal employment law?
What if an employer has multiple reasons for taking adverse action against an employee a discriminatory reason and a lawful reason?
Who was Griggs in the Griggs v. Duke Power case?
When did the U.S. Supreme Court first recognize that Title VII included disparate impact claims?
What is an example of an employer policy that would be considered disparate impact?
What are the two main types or theories of discrimination?
Does Title VII apply to just intentional discrimination?
Which states prohibit employment discrimination based on sexual orientation for public employees only?
What states have laws that prohibit discrimination against employees (public and private) because of sexual orientation?
Since Title VII does not protect employees from discrimination based on sexual orientation does that mean these employees have no protection?
TitleVII protects individuals based on their gender, but does it protect people because of their sexual orientation?
Does Title VII protect individuals of all races?
What types of discrimination does Title VII prohibit?
Does Title VII apply to all employees?
What is Title VII?
Does my state also have anti discrimination laws that protect me as an employee?
What are some of the major anti discrimination laws at the federal level?
Can employers really discriminate against employees for any reason?
What state passed a law that repealed the employment at will doctrine?
What are some of the most common types of public policy exceptions to the employment at will doctrine?
How does a court determine a public policy exception to the at will doctrine?
How did the employment at will doctrine originate in the United States?
Can the employee handbook that an employer hands out to you constitute a valid contract that binds the employer?
What broad categories of workers are not subject to the employment at will doctrine?
What legal doctrine still provides the baseline rule that employees have little protection in the employment relationship in the United States?
What is a 341 meeting?
Is there a way to keep certain property by working out a deal with creditors?
Are there exemptions under state laws?
What are exempt assets?
What is the means test?
What is a bankruptcy trustee?
What does it cost to file for bankruptcy?
What must a consumer do before filing bankruptcy?
What is bankruptcy?
Can consumers sue for violations of the FDCPA?
What other conduct does the FDCPA prohibit?
What is considered harassing behavior under the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act (FDCPA)?
Are there limitations when debt collectors can call consumers?
What is the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act?
What is a reverse mortgage?
What are home equity loans?
What are payday loans?
What is predatory lending?
What is a credit freeze?
How does the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act (FACTA) help consumers fight identity theft?
What is phishing?
What are some ways to prevent identity theft?
How can you protect yourself from identity thieves?
What is identity theft?
What is credit insurance?
How long does negative information stay on my credit report?
Can companies purchase copies of credit reports?
If a credit reporting agency unfairly refuses to correct a mistake, can you sue?
If there is an error on your credit report, what do you do?
If a consumer disputes information on his or her credit report must that be included in the credit report?
Do credit reports contain credit scores?
Can a credit report include bankruptcies, lawsuits, and arrests?
Can a consumer reporting agency send a credit report to prospective employers?
Does the Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA) prohibit credit discrimination based on sexual orientation?
How do you prove credit discrimination?
Recently a creditor denied me credit for what I believe was because of my race or gender. Do I have any recourse?
What is the difference between a secured and unsecured creditor?
What is the Fair Credit Reporting Act
Can consumers view their credit scores?
What is a credit score?
What is a credit report?
What can you do if there is an error on your credit card bill?
Do credit cards always have annual fees?
What is a variable rate?
Where do you go to select the right credit card?
How can you build good credit?
What factors determine whether you will receive credit?
Didn’t the U.S. Congress just pass a new law on credit cards?
What should you do if you have too much debt?
How do you know if you have too much debt?
Are there different types of credit?
What is APR?
Why is credit expensive?
What is credit and why is it so important?
Did the U.S. Supreme Court rely on international law in reaching its decision against the death penalty for juvenile offenders?
Can a juvenile defendant receive the death penalty or life in prison without the possibility of parole?
Do juveniles in juvenile court receive all of the same rights as adults charged in criminal court?
If you’re convicted of a crime as a juvenile can you be tried as an adult?
What is ineffective assistance of counsel?
If a direct appeal process and the state post-conviction process both fail, are there any other legal avenues?
What is a post-conviction proceeding?
If an appellate court reverses a trial court, what happens next?
What is the direct appeal?
What is an appellate brief?
What is the record?
Is there a time limit on appeals?
What are some commonly alleged errors in criminal trials?
What further legal options are available to a person once convicted?
What factors does a judge consider in determining sentencing?
How does a judge determine whether sentencing is concurrent or consecutive?
What is the difference between serving sentences concurrently or consecutively?
What is time served?
If a defendant is sentenced to three years, how much time will the defendant actually serve?
What is a suspended sentence?
Does it matter if a person has prior convictions?
What happens after a person is convicted?
If the jury convicts the defendant, what are the defendant’s options?
Why are jury instructions important?
Can the jury receive written copies of the judge’s instructions?
What happens with the attorneys proposed jury instructions?
Where do attorneys obtain proposed jury instructions?
What happens in the jury instruction phase of the trial?
Is there a set time for closing arguments?
What is the order of argument with respect to closing arguments?
What does each side hope to accomplish with closing arguments?
What happens in the closing argument phase?
After the prosecution finishes its case, can the defense immediately file for dismissal?
During the prosecution’s case, is there a chance at cross-examination?
What happens at the start of a criminal trial?
What are jury consultants?
Can a judge declare a mistrial?
Must a criminal defendant testify on behalf of himself or herself?
How do criminal trials proceed?
Can a court use an anonymous jury?
Can judges sequester juries?
Do jury verdicts have to be unanimous?
Who was the defendant Ballew?
Can a state conduct a criminal trial with only five jurors?
Do trial juries have to be composed of 12 jurors?
Are there an unlimited number of peremptory challenges?
What is a Batson challenge?
What is voir dire?
Can a defendant waive his or her right to a jury?
Is a defendant entitled to a jury trial?
If the case proceeds to trial what happens next?
If the grand jury refuses to indict can the prosecutor re-file?
What are other distinguishing features of a grand jury?
What is a grand jury?
Can a defendant waive a preliminary hearing?
What does a defense attorney hope to accomplish at a preliminary hearing?
Does a defendant have a right to a preliminary hearing in state court?
What is a preliminary hearing?
What is an information?
Does a judge have to accept a plea bargain and give the defendant the sentence offered by the prosecution?
Once a prosecutor offers a plea bargain can he or she renege on the deal?
What are possible disadvantages of plea bargaining?
What are the benefits of plea bargaining?
What is the process of plea bargaining?
What happens if the defendant pleads guilty?
Does the defendant have to physically appear before a judge at the initial appearance and the arraignment?
What else takes place at the arraignment?
Can a person choose to waive or decline counsel and represent himself or herself?
Why does a criminal defendant need an attorney?
How do you qualify for a court-appointed attorney?
Are all criminal defendants entitled to a court-appointed attorney?
What is the right to counsel?
Who was Gideon and who eventually was his appointed counsel?
Who appoints an attorney for a criminal defendant?
What is a bail bondsman?
How does a court determine if bail is excessive?
What factors do courts use to determine whether someone is entitled to bail and what amount?
Are all persons charged with crimes entitled to bail?
What are the purposes or reasons for bail?
What is bail?
Is there a difference between the initial appearance and the arraignment?
After a person is booked, what happens next?
Is a person entitled to an attorney during the booking process?
When a person is arrested and taken into custody, what happens next?
What warnings must the police give you when they arrest you and place you in custody?
What is an arrest?
How does the criminal process begin?
What felonies can lead to the death penalty?
What are some examples of how states define first degree murder?
What is a wobbler?
What are the legal results of a felony conviction?
What are examples of crimes that constitute felonies?
Who determines whether conduct constitutes a felony or a misdemeanor?
What are the basic types of crimes?
Is a trial judge required to give a definition of beyond a reasonable doubt?
What exactly does beyond a reasonable doubt mean?
What classic definition of beyond a reasonable doubt did Chief Justice Shaw provide?
What distinguishes criminal law from civil law?
What is a crime?
Why is legal language sometimes hard to understand?
If a party loses, what are his or her legal options?
What are closing arguments
What are jury instructions?
What are briefs?
What are expert witnesses?
What happens during a trial?
Are there any limitations on peremptory challenges?
Are there other limits on who can be dismissed and not selected as jurors?
Can attorneys challenge certain jurors?
What happens at the trial process?
What is a pre-trial conference?
What are the rules of civil procedure?
What is summary judgment?
What happens if a party will not respond to discovery requests?
What are the common tools of discovery?
What happens after a plaintiff files a complaint and a defendant files the answer?
What types of relief do plaintiffs seek?
What is the document called that starts a lawsuit?
What are some common grounds for attorney discipline?
How are lawyers punished for misconduct?
Can you find out if a lawyer has faced discipline?
What can people do when they feel their lawyers have been unethical or unprofessional?
Can your attorney settle a case without your approval?
Are all lawyers litigators?
Can a judge appoint attorneys to represent someone?
Are public defenders good lawyers?
If your lawyer does a lousy job on your case, for what reasons can you sue for malpractice?
What if you are charged with a crime and don’t have enough money for an attorney?
Do private attorneys take cases pro bono?
What advantage is it for a person to have representation from a public interest law firm?
What is a public interest law firm?
What types of jobs do lawyers have?
Do some lawyers work on retainer?
Are contingency fees available for all types of cases?
How is a lawyer paid?
How much can you expect to pay a lawyer?
Can attorneys advertise in any way they want?
LegalSpeak: Ohralik v. Ohio (1978)
A famous celebrity endorsed a lawyer, but does that mean this is a superior lawyer?
What should you look for in an attorney?
What are the lawyer ratings provided for by Martindale-Hubbell?
Where does a person go to find a lawyer?
What is continuing legal education?
If a lawyer passes a state bar exam can he or she then practice in any state?
Do all states require individuals to take a bar exam to practice law?
What is tested on the bar exam?
How many bar exams are there?
What can disqualify a person from sitting for a bar exam?
If a person passes the bar exam, is he or she automatically entitled to practice law?
Can all law school graduates take the bar exam?
What is the American Bar Association?
What does it take to become a lawyer?
Do many states have family courts?
What is the relationship between state high courts and state constitutions?
Are all state court systems based on the three-tiered model of trial court, intermediate appellate court, and final appellate court?
Do all state high courts have the same number of justices or judges?
Are all state high courts called supreme courts?
Which states do not have elections for any type of judges?
How are state court judges picked?
How are state court systems established?
Do courts always follow their past decisions?
Is there a difference between mandatory authority and persuasive authority?
What opinions have precedential value?
If the majority opinion becomes the law of the land, are concurring and dissenting opinions important?
What is the work product of judges and courts?
Are there other federal courts that are not Article III courts?
What does the Federal Magistrates Act do?
When can a federal judge become a senior judge?
What Is the main difference between a federal district court and the other federal courts?
How many different districts are there?
Who was the most famous federal appeals court judge to never make it to the U.S. Supreme Court?
Who are some of the nation’s leading federal appeals court judges?
Has there been recent movement in Congress to change the circuit court structure?
How many judges serve on the circuit courts?
How do circuit courts of appeal hear cases?
How does the federal court system created by the Founding Fathers compare and contrast with the current federal court system?
Who was William Evarts?
What was the Evarts Act?
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