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Legal research review

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This slide show is to review basic legal research ideas.

This slide show is to review basic legal research ideas.

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Legal research review Legal research review Presentation Transcript

  • Sources of Law THE UNITED STATES CONSTITUTION
  • Find it here…
    • http://www.gpoaccess.gov/constitution/browse.html
  • Article. I.
    • LEGISLATIVE BRANCH
    • Section 1.
    • All legislative Powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and House of Representatives.
    • What word describes an entity, such as our legislature, that is split into two houses?
  • Bicameral
    • http://jurist.law.pitt.edu/dictionary.htm
    • http://dictionary.reference.com/
    • Composed of or based on two legislative chambers or branches: a bicameral legislature.
  • Article. II.
    • THE EXECUTIVE BRANCH
    • Section. 1.
    • Clause 1: The executive Power shall be vested in a President of the United States of America.
  • Article. III.
    • THE JUDICIAL BRANCH
    • Section. 1.
    • The judicial Power of the United States, shall be vested in one supreme Court, and in such inferior Courts as the Congress may from time to time ordain and establish.
  • The Bill of Rights
    • First Amendment--Religion and Expression
    • Second Amendment--Bearing Arms
    • Third Amendment--Quartering Soldiers
    • Fourth Amendment--Search and Seizure
    • Fifth Amendment--Rights of Persons
    • Sixth Amendment--Rights of Accused in Criminal Prosecutions
    • Seventh Amendment--Civil Trials
    • Eighth Amendment--Further Guarantees in Criminal Cases Ninth Amendment--Unenumerated Rights
    • Tenth Amendment--Reserved Powers
  • First Ten Amendments: Limits of Federal Power
    • TENTH AMENDMENT RESERVED POWERS
    • The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people
  • THIRTEENTH through FIFTEENTH-Increase federal power
    • THIRTEENTH AMENDMENT SLAVERY AND INVOLUNTARY SERVITUDE Section 1. Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction. Section 2. Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.
  • The Fourteenth Amendment INCREASED FEDERAL POWER
    • Fourteenth Amendment--Rights Guaranteed: Privileges and Immunities of Citizenship, Due Process, and Equal Protection
  • First Amendment
    • Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
    • FOURTEENTH AMENDMENT SECTION 1. RIGHTS GUARANTEED Section 1. All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.
  • Federal Court
    • What Federal Circuit would you research if you wanted mandatory authority for our area?
  • The Fourth Circuit
    • http://www.law.emory.edu/4circuit/feb2001/006540.P.html
    • http://www.uscourts.gov/links.html
    • http://www.law.emory.edu/4circuit/
  • So…Our federal government
    • Has three branches. What are they?
  • We also have state governments,
    • Which may or may not also have three branches.
    • (dual sovereignty)
    • And we haven’t even talked about county and local governments. With so many sources of law, is it any wonder that good legal researchers are in demand?
  • Judicial review
    • The process by which a court determines the constitutionality of a statute or regulation; also the process by which a regular court hears an appeal of an administrative ruling or regulation.
  • Administrative regulation
    • A pronouncement or rule issued by an administrative agency that implements, clarifies, or carries out the law that created the agency, or that furthers the purpose of the agency.
  • For further research…
    • http://www.vsb.org/sections/ad/96winter4.htm
  • If federal law and state law conflict,
    • Which prevails?
    • A valid federal law preempts a conflicting state law.
    • Also, a state law may be preempted when federal law “occupies the field.”
  • Do you remember the definition for
    • Common law?
    • The body of court decisions that become precedent and generally must be followed in later similar cases
  • Who knows the difference
    • Between a statute and an ordinance?
    • Both are legislative enactments, BUT
    • An ordinance is specifically a legislative enactment of a municipality.
  • Check this site…
    • http://www.municode.com/
  • With so many sources of law,
    • Who has the power to declare what the law is?
    • (Don’t worry, it’s a rhetorical question.)
  • Key word: Jurisdiction
    • The etymology of this word:
    • juris = law
    • diction = speech, declaring or speaking
  • Personal Jurisdiction
    • The power of a trial court to hear a case and impose its judgment on the parties to a case, generally based on the parties' relationship or connection to the particular jurisdiction of the court.
    • So personal jurisdiction is power over the parties.
  • Subject Matter Jurisdiction
    • Is power over the subject matter.
    • Can a divorce case be heard in federal court?
    • Can a ten-million dollar class action suit be heard in Virginia’s general district courts?
  • What is the difference between a court of general jurisdiction and a court of limited jurisdiction?
    • http://www.courts.state.va.us/cib/cib.htm
  • Virginia Courts: Do you know what happens on appeal?
    • From general district court?
    • From circuit court?
  • New vocabulary:
    • de novo adj. Latin for "anew," which means starting over, as in a trial
  • Trial & Error
    • Definition: remand
    • An order made by an appellate court to send a case back to the trial court level for further proceedings or retrial.
    • Definition: reverse
    • A decision of an appellate court that reaches the opposite conclusion of the trial court
    • affirm v. what an appeals court does if it agrees with and confirms a lower court's decision
    • judgment notwithstanding the verdict (J.N.O.V.)
    • A judgment in which the judge ignores or modifies the jury's verdict.
  • Procedural issues can be boring, but pay attention… they can make or break your case!
    • burden of proof
    • The degree to which the plaintiff or prosecution most prove its case to win; different in civil and criminal cases.
  • Know which source of law is more authoritative
    • Primary or secondary?
    • Statute or case law?
    • Ordinance or statute?
    • Constitution or charter? (State constitution)
  • Romer v. Evans
    • Colorado’s Amendment 2
  • How do you find a statute?
    • http://legis.state.va.us/Laws/CodeofVa.htm
  • How do you find a case by citation?
    • 274 S.E.2d 290
  • Renney v. Dobbs House, Inc.
    • Is this mandatory authority in Virginia?
    • Renney v. Dobbs House, Inc.
    • 275 S.C. 562 (1981)
    • 274 S.E.2d 290
    • Mark T. RENNEY, Appellant, v. DOBBS HOUSE, INC., Respondent.
    • 21367
    • Supreme Court of South Carolina.
    • January 8, 1981.
  • Procedural Aspect
    • Standard of Review:
    • Abuse of discretion
    • Law question: error of law
    • Fact question: without evidentiary support
  • Is this case still good law?
    • You won’t know unless you
    • UPDATE. I’ll say it again:
    • UPDATE.
  • What if a conflicting statute was enacted after your case was decided?
    • In Virginia, many laws changed July 1!