"Law / Legal / Jurisprudence" Essays

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Second Circuit Should Affirm the District Court Term Paper

Term Paper  |  2 pages (639 words)
Bibliography Sources: 0


¶ … Second Circuit should affirm the District Court's decision for several reasons. In order for a state to acquire personal jurisdiction over a litigant, generally that litigant must have done something to subject himself to the laws of the jurisdiction in question. It is possible for a litigant to become subject to jurisdiction without being physically present in a state. For example, a litigant who conducts business within a state, regardless of personal presence, will be subject to the laws of that jurisdiction. The first thing that a court looks at when determining jurisdiction in a diversity case is the long-arm statute of the forum state. Therefore, the Second Circuit must look at New York's long-arm statute to determine whether or not it has personal jurisdiction over King. The long-arm statute provides for jurisdiction when a litigant, personally or through an agent, causes a litigable action to occur within New York. The fact that King's website could be accessed by people in New York was not sufficient to say that he acted within the jurisdiction. Because neither King nor any of his agents ever took any action in the state of New York, New York lacked jurisdiction. Furthermore, King's website contained a disclaimer that his website was targeted to the Columbia, Missouri audience, only. In addition, King took steps to ensure that visitors to his website would not confuse him with the club owned by Bensusan.

8. Complete diversity means that none of the plaintiffs can be from the same jurisdiction as any of the defendants, but does not mean that plaintiffs or defendants can not share the same jurisdiction. In addition, one must keep in mind that corporate litigants are considered citizens of the jurisdiction that contains their principal places of business and of the jurisdiction in which they have been incorporated. Because all of the possible defendants, Pappy's Auto Sales, National Motors Corporation, and Tom Jones…… [read more]

Trial by Jury Term Paper

Term Paper  |  3 pages (1,100 words)
Bibliography Sources: 1+


There could be special courts for medical malpractice and complex fraud cases, for example, heard by judges, so that inexperienced juries would not have to give up years of their life to hear about cases difficult for indivdiuals unfamilar with medical minutiae, or technical jargon in the case of some patent law, to understand the details about particular drug trials. "Trial lawyers love drug companies: With deep pockets, poor reputations, and a customer base composed largely of people who are already sick and dying, they make the perfect targets for big-money lawsuits," wrote The National Review in an editorial about the recent conflicting verdicts received by the medical company Merck, about its painkiller Vioxx. (The National Review, 2005)

However, to do away with all juries suggests that the American system of justice does not trust the common decenct and morality of the common individual. Barbara Gunnell offers an alternative, interesting perspective about the jury system from the point-of-view, not of an attorney or client, but a juror. "Being on a jury is many people's only experience of active citizenship, and of having a genuinely important role to play in society. Increasingly accustomed to being dispensable at work and exercising no power at all as voters, few of us have much experience outside family life of being asked our views on matters of importance." (Gunnell, 2000)

The jury system thus has a larger role in encouraging an active and engaged form of citizenship that is the glue that keeps America together. True, France, Germany and many other democratic European countries have an entirely different legal system that only occasionally uses juries. (Grenier, 1994) But America has always had an especially inclusive tradition of democratic opinion. Moreover, so-calledoccasional use is not no use at all. In cases where some emotion should come into play, such as matters of life and death when allocating the death penalty, including the voices of one's peers in the debate seems appropriate, to add an additional and more expansive note of emotional understanding to the legal procedings. Likewise, in a rape case, several opinions rather than a single judge's opinion might be a better way of determining a victim's credbility on the stand. However, in other cases, where the facts must hold sway yet the defendants are unsympathetic -- look to a judge.

Works Cited

Grenier, Richard. "Trial by Jury is a Scourge on U.S. Courts." Insight on the News. 14 Dec 1994.http://www.findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m1571/is_n50_v10/ai_15981086

Gunnell, Barbara. "A tale of the power of ordinary folk -- trial by jury." The New Statesman. 2000.http://www.findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0FQP/is_4474_129/ai_60136934

Potch, Howard & Jacqueline Doyle. "Trial by jury -- a rarity that can take you by surprise." Real Estate Weekly. March 15, 1995.


Rottenberg, A. The Elements of Argument. Seventh Edition. New York: Bedford, 2000.

"Trial Lawyers Love Drug Companies." The National Review. Editorial. Sept 26, 2005.

http://www.findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m1282/is_17_57/ai_n15674733… [read more]

Rights of Aliens in U.S. Courts Term Paper

Term Paper  |  1 pages (470 words)
Bibliography Sources: 0


Rights of Aliens in U.S. Courts

Rights of Aliens in United States Courts

The Alien Tort Claims Act, ATCA, allows foreign nationals to seek relief in Federal court for actions that violate the "law of nations" or a United States treaty (International pp). American courts have interpreted these violations to include crimes against humanity, war crimes, genocide, torture, rape, and summary execution (International pp). The Torture Victim Protection Act, TVPA, permits U.S. Or foreign nationals to bring action against a person who, acting under "actual or apparent authority or color of law, of any foreign nation," subjects an individual to torture or extra-judicial killing (International pp).

The Alien Tort Claims Act was drafted in 1789 to deal with piracy and to allow sailors press-ganged into the British Navy to sue Britain in American courts, and gradually through the years, lawyers representing clients from the developing world began using the statute to sue foreign individuals in American courts for human rights abuses committed abroad (Kurlantzick pp). The Act reads: "The district courts shall have original jurisdiction of any civil action by an alien for a tort only, committed in violation of the law of nations or a treaty of the United States" (Antoniolli pp). In many cases, allowing foreigners to access and use U.S. courts through the ATCA may have the effect of providing a sort of representation on the international plane that is not afforded…… [read more]

Sophocles Antigone Term Paper

Term Paper  |  3 pages (1,072 words)
Bibliography Sources: 1+


¶ … Sophocles Antigone

In Sophocles play Antigone, human law is contrasted with love, and in this case the strong divine love and sense of duty Antigone has for her family. The play also concerns itself with divine love opposed with man's reliance on the law for order and justice. In Antigone law is not better than or more evil than love, and love is not better than the law. However both are presented as oppositional, represented in the thoughts and actions of the two main characters, Creon and Antigone. Creon represents human law as that which maintains order and righteousness on earth, and Antigone asserts that divine law and subsequently love should overcome human law in the face of controversy. The play also addresses love as a side effect of being human and a necessary aspect of humanity, but also emphasizes mans reliance on the law for order and justice. The play reveals how sometimes love and law oppose one another, which in this case results in tragedy.


Love and law are contrasted as opposite ends of the spectrum in Antigone. Neither is wrong nor right however, rather love is portrayed as representative of that which is human, and law is represented as something humanity needs to maintain order. Hegel (1991) suggests that the tension existing between Creon and Antigone is the result of "higher laws" or divine intent (1). Further he asserts that existence in itself is "an empty task" and that people will go through periods of activity without opposition but also periods where opposition occurs as necessary for history (Hegel 1).

His ideas suggest that both Antigone and Creon were one-sided and too stubborn but both held good points that must be considered; that divine love is just as important as law is to mankind's health and well being (Hegel 1). For Hegel Antigone was the ultimate representation of a tragic collision between love and law, a conflict between "one-sided positions" each of which held valid points and represented some good (Gonzales 1). Both Antigone and Creon at times are correct, but Creon must defend human law by defying divine law and love and Antigone defends the diving but must defy human law to do this (Gonzales 1). In this respect the play almost represents a battle of good against good (Gonzales 1).

Creon attempts to overcome Antigone's assertion that love should dictate mankind's actions throughout the place. He for example, in the play tries to turn Antigone's loyalty, suggesting that Antigone's brothers made her father unhappy and that her brother Polynices was actually a cruel and vicious voluptuary (Tan 1). Too "cowardly" to imprison his own son, Creon suggests that Oedipus let his son join the army, however asserts that Polynices then proceeded to attempt to kill Oedipus. Creon further suggests that Eteocles is no better, a gangster at best also attempted to usurp his father's authority (Tan 1).

Creon establishes one essential fact regarding law in the play, that "society does depend on… [read more]

Alternative Dispute Resolution Term Paper

Term Paper  |  5 pages (1,430 words)
Bibliography Sources: 1+


Alternative dispute resolution can provide important advantages over taking legal action, but only under specific conditions. While the advantages of dispute resolution are often touted, a careful look reveals that these advantages are not universal and automatic. Advantages like saving time and money, and improving the satisfaction of litigants, depend upon specific conditions like choosing the correct method of resolution… [read more]

USA Patriot Act Term Paper

Term Paper  |  10 pages (4,099 words)
Bibliography Sources: 1+


S.A. Patriot Act) It is clear that the support from a party which was involved with passing the law in the first place. If there is a complaint about a robbery, is the thief expected to be the main witness in the court when the case comes up? Earlier the process needed the minimum of a warrant and a probable… [read more]

Criminal Processing Officer Jim Rawlins Term Paper

Term Paper  |  4 pages (1,815 words)
Bibliography Sources: 1+


During that time, the one thing he knew he could count on was that most children who got into trouble did so because of problems in their home lives. Therefore, he accepted Martin's plea, but added the condition that the family submit to two random home visits by Liz Sanders. This way the judge could make sure that Martin's living conditions had not contributed to his violations of the law.

When Martin walked out of the courtroom, he felt like his mistake was behind him. However, that illusion was shattered when he had to report to his probation officer, Janine Frances within the week. At her office he was instructed to submit urine and hair samples, so they could determine whether he was still abusing substances. She also made arrangements so that he could begin his community service hours. Martin was dismayed to see that two Saturdays a month for the next year would be spent picking up trash on the side of the road. However, Ms. Frances seemed like she actually cared about Martin's future and he realized that getting caught may have been the best thing that could have happened to him.








Works Cited

De La Garza, Diana. "Drug Dogs Sniff Out School Campus." Laredo Morning Times 18 Apr.

2002: A1.

'Inmate Handbook." TCSOAL.org. 2005. Tuscaloosa County Sheriff's Office. 26 Jun. 2005


'Juvenile Law." DCBA.org. 2005. Du Page County Bar Association. 26 Jun. 2005


Mears, Daniel. "Key Issues in Assessing the Impact of State-Level Juvenile Justice Sentencing

Reforms." The Center for Criminology and Criminal Justice Research. 1999. The

University of Texas at Austin. 26 Jun. 2005

.… [read more]

Right to Die Cases Term Paper

Term Paper  |  5 pages (1,475 words)
Bibliography Sources: 1+


"It then decided that the Missouri Living Will statute, Mo Rev. Stat. § 459.010 et seq. (1986), embodied a state policy strongly favoring the preservation of life" (Cruzan pp). The court also found that Nancy's statements to her roommate "unreliable for the purpose of determining her intent ... And thus insufficient to support the co-guardians' claim to exercise substituted judgement… [read more]

ACLU V Reno: A Definitive Term Paper

Term Paper  |  7 pages (1,937 words)
Bibliography Sources: 1+


(ACLU, 1996)

The Supreme Court also mentioned the amazing speech-enhancing qualities of the internet, opining that "the growth of the Internet has been and continues to be phenomenal. As a matter of constitutional tradition, and in the absence of evidence to the contrary, we presume government regulation of the content of speech is more likely to interfere with the free exchange of ideas than to encourage it."

"This is one of the most important free speech cases in many, many years," said Steven R. Shapiro, Legal Director of the national ACLU. "The Courts today recognized what Congress did not -- that speech cannot flourish under the shadow of censorship." (ACLU, 1996)

The Supreme Court's decision came just three days after federal district judges in New York and Georgia struck down Internet censorship laws in those states -- indicating a massive trend towards freedom of speech.

The New York case, American Library Association v. Pataki, dealt with a law almost identical to the federal CDA law. Judge Loretta A. Preska in the New York court opined that the law violated the Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution because it attempted to regulate activity beyond the state's actual borders, therefore infringing on Congress' territory.

In the Georgia case, ACLU v. Miller, Judge Marvin Shoob determined that a law prohibiting anonymous speech on the Internet was an unconstitutional restriction on free speech that "affords prosecutors and police officers with substantial room for selective prosecution of persons who express minority viewpoints."

The ACLU v. Reno "Supreme Court ruling, together with the New York and Georgia decisions, creates a body of law that will help ensure that the free speech principles embodied in our Constitution apply with the same force on the Internet as they do in the morning paper, in the town square, and in the privacy of our own homes," said Ann Beeson, an ACLU attorney and member of the Reno v. ACLU legal team as well as the ACLU v. Miller and ALA v. Pataki teams. (ACLU, 1996)

The Georgia and New York cases were indeed the first substantial challenges to state attempts to regulate the Internet. Currently, more than 20 states have passed or are considering such laws, Beeson added.


ACLU v. Reno established a trend of recognizing the vast merits of freedom of speech as it translates to this new medium, the internet. The Supreme Court took a lower court's opinion and recognized that the internet is a better opportunity for free thought.

That is why it refused to constitutionalize broad laws that may serve to mitigate free speech on the…… [read more]

Police Courts and Prisons Term Paper

Term Paper  |  4 pages (1,404 words)
Bibliography Sources: 1+


Martin Rudy and the Criminal Justice System

Sixteen-year-old Martin Rudy has been arrested for possession of cocaine. He was arrested on the street outside of a popular hangout for teenagers. He was handcuffed, placed under arrest at the scene by the arresting officer and read his Miranda rights. Martin was immediately transported to police headquarters, where he was strip searched,… [read more]

Bill of Rights Term Paper

Term Paper  |  5 pages (1,588 words)
Bibliography Sources: 0


¶ … Bill of Rights is one of the important ten amendments that became part of the Bill of Rights in 18th century. This article is commonly known as the seventh amendment which grants citizens a right to jury trial in civil cases according to common law procedures. This ninth article states:

In Suits at common law, where the value… [read more]

Civil Rights Term Paper

Term Paper  |  2 pages (853 words)
Bibliography Sources: 1+


" With the passage of time, the expression "Jim Crow" frequently linked with minstrel events wherein white actors clad with black faces depicted laws and customs that isolated black citizens. (Topic Overview Unit 5 - Civil Rights: Demanding Equality)

Based upon the 1954 Supreme Court verdict in Brown v. Board of Education, that reversed the distinct but similar principle avowed in the Plessy case, the civil rights crusade started to breakdown dejure as well as defacto isolation in several locations. The progression of impartiality beyond the classroom needed various means of political mobilization inclusive of traditional behaviors. (Topic Overview Unit 5 - Civil Rights: Demanding Equality) The foremost major civil rights enactment since restructuring is the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Verdicts of the Supreme Court, during that period restricted enforcement by the Congress of the 14th amendment to action by the state. Thus, to attain the actions of persons, Congress, exercising its authority to control business among the states, ratified the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Inequity based on "ethnic status, complexion, religion, or citizenship" in public organizations which had a linkage to interstate business or was backed by the state is forbidden. (Civil Rights: An Overview)

The enforcement of the civil rights laws ratified by the Congress is the responsibility of the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice. (Civil Rights: Law and History) Moreover, the judiciary, especially the Supreme Court, has an important role to play in understanding the scope of the civil rights. Just one verdict of the Supreme Court is enough to transform the fundamental characteristic of a right across the nation. The decision of the Supreme Court has the potential to impact how Congress passes civil rights regulation, as took place with the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The federal court were/are central in authorizing and administering school desegregation programs and other programs set-up to amend state or local inequity. The continuation of civil rights and liberties are accepted throughout the world through a lot of pacts and announcements. The U.S. has of late has abided by the most remarkable global concord on civil rights i.e. The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. (Civil Rights: An Overview)


"Civil Rights: An Overview" Legal Information Institute. Retrieved from http://www.law.cornell.edu/topics/civil_rights.html Accessed on 11 May, 2005

'Civil Rights: Law and History" Retrieved from http://www.usdoj.gov/kidspage/crt/crtmenu.htm Accessed on 11 May, 2005

'Topic Overview Unit 5 - Civil Rights: Demanding Equality" Retrieved from http://www.learner.org/channel/courses/democracyinamerica/dia_5/dia_5_topic.html Accessed on 11 May, 2005… [read more]

Human Rights Violations at Guantanamo Term Paper

Term Paper  |  3 pages (1,113 words)
Bibliography Sources: 1+


The prisoners were chained to the floor of the aircraft for the entire duration of the 22-hour flight, with no access to a toilet. According to the testimony of former prisoner Shafiq Rasul to Amnesty International, "during the plane journey the shackles had been on so tight that they really cut into me. I still have scarring on my left arm from them and I lost the feeling in my right hand for a long time because they were on so tight." ("Guantanamo: Detainees Account," 2004, pp 4-5) The mistreatment and torture of the prisoners has continued unabated since their transfer. The detainees have been forced into inhuman living conditions such as the tiny wire-mesh cages at Camp X-Ray and the maximum security blocks in Camp Delta which are even smaller, and have been subjected to third degree interrogation methods such as sleep deprivation, repeated interrogations, and mock beatings.

Recent revelations about the human rights abuse at Guantanamo Bay are even more shocking. A former U.S. soldier who had been a translator during interrogation sessions at the Camps, has revealed that prisoners were physically assaulted by "snatch squads" and subjected to sexual interrogation techniques

reminiscent of the Abu Gharib prison scandal. (Davis, 2005) A recent report in Newsweek recounts that the Qu'ran (the Muslim Holy Book) was deliberately kept in toilets and on one occasion, flushed down the toilet, by the guards to insult and provoke the prisoners. The report has enraged Muslims in countries such as Afghanistan and Pakistan, resulting in violent demonstrations against the U.S. government.


The holding of prisoners without trial and charges at Guantanamo Bay by the U.S. authorities is not only illegal and a violation of international and U.S. law; it undermines the image of United States as an upholder of law, justice, and freedom. If the U.S. administration is interested in restoring its credibility, it should put the Guantanamo prisoners on trial under the due process of law or release them immediately.


Davis, Matthew. (2005). "Soldier lifts lid on Guantanamo abuse." BBC News. May 9, 2005. Retrieved on May 11, 2005 from http://newswww.bbc.net.uk/2/hi/americas/4523825.stm 'Guantanamo Bay -- a human rights scandal." (2004). Amnesty International. Retrieved on May 11, 2005 from http://web.amnesty.org/pages/guantanamobay-background-eng 'Guantanamo: Detainees Account." (2004). Human Rights Watch. Retrieved on May 11, 2005 from http://hrw.org/backgrounder/usa/gitmo1004/gitmo1004.pdf

Welsh, Steven C. (2004). "Supreme Court Guantanamo Decision." International Security Law. Retrieved on May 11, 2005 from http://www.cdi.org/news/law/gtmo-sct-decision.cfm

The exact numbers are not disclosed by the U.S. authorities; the numbers also keep changing as some prisoners are periodically released and others added. Most estimates place the number between 500 and 600.

Guantanamo Bay was obtained on perpetual lease by the U.S. from Cuba after the Spanish-American War of 1898; sovereignty over the territory, however, lies with Cuba -- although the Cuban government under Fidel Castro considers the U.S. control of Guantanamo as illegal.

The U.S. soldier, Eric Saar recalls some shocking abuses: Some female interrogators stripped down to their underwear and rubbed themselves against their prisoners; in one… [read more]

Torts Tort Is a Wrongful Act Term Paper

Term Paper  |  5 pages (1,838 words)
Bibliography Sources: 1+


Torts tort is "a wrongful act other than a breach of contract that injures another and for which the law imposes civil liability: a violation of a duty (as to exercise due care) imposed by law as distinguished from contract for which damages or declaratory relief (as an injunction) may be obtained" ("Tort"). There are two types of acts that… [read more]

Discrimination Complaint Term Paper

Term Paper  |  3 pages (1,182 words)
Bibliography Sources: 1+


Discrimination Complaint

One of the recent famous cases is the Waffle case now doing the rounds at the U.S. legal authorities. The case was finally fought by the lawyers for Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in the Supreme Court for Scotty Baker. He was hurt by an accident in November 1992 when his car overturned due to rain on a highway near his house. Apparently he just had a bump on his head, but later started having seizures. In 1994, he applied for a job at Waffle House, got it and turned it down. Then he got a similar job at Waffle House in West Columbia. He was hired immediately, and did not even have to fill out an application. Baker had mentioned his seizures and when he had it, he was fired from the job. Eight months later he consulted a lawyer about Waffle House discriminating against a disabled employee.

To protect their backs, Waffle House had put in an arbitration clause at the bottom of the application form. This mentioned that in the event of any disputes, the employee will have to go to an arbitration panel. This was compulsory like many other instances now. In the arbitration, baker would have to pay half the costs, and he was unemployed, and even when employed was getting only $5.50 an hour. This led him to Equal Employment Opportunities Commission and they sued Waffle House in the District Court in Columbia, S.C. They claimed that the company had violated the Americans with Disabilities Act as they had fired Baker due to the seizures he was getting. The company tried to move the case into arbitration, and the concerned judge ruled that Baker did not have to go to arbitration. (Millions are losing their legal rights)

As we can now see that this case was taken up by EEOC. That organization has now been authorized by the government to take charge of litigation under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, Equal Pay Act of 1963, Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967, Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Titles I and V of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and Civil Rights Act of 1991. (Laws Enforced by the EEOC) the charges of discrimination may be filed with EEOC by the person who believes that his or her employment rights have been violated, or even any individual, organization or agency may file the charge for the individual, so that the identity of the person who has suffered is able to protect the identity. The process of filing the charge may be by mail or directly at the nearest office of EEOC.

Individuals who do not have an accommodation at the place of filing may even inform the EEOC office so that the needed facilities can be provided. This accommodation is in terms of language interpreter, print materials, etc. The arrangement is for non-federal employees and the employees of the federal government should see the Federal Sector Equal Employment Opportunity Complaint Processing. The… [read more]

On May 17, 1954 Term Paper

Term Paper  |  5 pages (1,631 words)
Bibliography Sources: 1+


Ending this behavior as a legal practice caused far reaching social and ideological implications, which continue to be felt throughout our country. The Brown decision inspired and galvanized human rights struggles across the country and around the world.

What this legal challenge represents is at the core of United States history and the freedoms we enjoy. The U.S. Supreme Court decision in Brown began a critical chapter in the maturation of our democracy. It reaffirmed the sovereign power of the people of the United States in the protection of their natural rights from arbitrary limits and restrictions imposed by state and local governments. These rights are recognized in the Declaration of Independence and guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution.

The Brown decision initiated educational and social reform throughout the United States and was a catalyst in launching the modern Civil Rights Movement. Bringing about change in the years since the Brown case continues to be difficult. However, the Brown v. Board of Education victory brought this country one step closer to living up to its democratic ideas.

Works Cited

Clark, K.B., I. Chein, and S.W. Cook. "The Effects of Segregation and the Consequences of Desegregation: A (September 1952) Social Science Statement in the Brown V. Board of Education of Topeka Supreme Court Case." Am Psychol 59.6 (2004): 495-501.

Fine, M. "The Power of the Brown V. Board of Education Decision: Theorizing Threats to Sustainability." Am Psychol 59.6 (2004): 502-10.

Hogan, T.D. "Evaluating the Demographic Impact of Societal Events through Intervention Analysis: The Brown Vs. Board of Education Decision." Demography 21.4 (1984): 673-82.

Pettigrew, T.F. "Justice Deferred a Half Century after Brown V. Board of Education." Am Psychol 59.6 (2004): 521-9.

Weaver, W.L. "Fifty Years after Brown Vs. Board of Education De Facto Segregation in Medical Societies Is Alive and Well." J. Natl Med Assoc 97.2 (2005): 288-9.

Weinstein, R.S., A. Gregory, and M.J. Strambler. "Intractable Self-Fulfilling Prophecies Fifty…… [read more]

Terry vs. Ohio Term Paper

Term Paper  |  5 pages (1,773 words)
Bibliography Sources: 1+


¶ … Terry vs. Ohio:

police officer saw two doubtful men standing in a street corner in October of 1963. One of the persons was Terry. He had never noticed the men in the area before, and his police intuition drew them to his eye. According to him, they were not in the right place at the right time. Due… [read more]

Restrictive Covenants the Case Term Paper

Term Paper  |  3 pages (908 words)
Bibliography Sources: 0


However, on July 23, 2001, Huckleberry recorded a second amendment to the original CC& Rs (second amended CC& Rs), which contained the same provisions as the first amended CC& Rs, but was approved by over 75% of the existing lot owners, as required by the original CC& Rs. The Shawvers did not contest the validity of the second amended CC& Rs.

The district court found that Huckleberry had breached the parties' sale agreement by making an invalid amendment to the original CC& Rs. However, the Supreme Court agreed with Huckleberry's contention that the first amended CC& Rs, although invalid, did not violate the terms of the sales agreement. The language in the sales agreement was clear and unambiguous. The original CC& Rs, which were incorporated by reference into the parties' sales agreement, provided that the original CC& Rs could be amended by written consent of 75% of the property owners. The express terms of the sales agreement provided that the Shawvers were purchasing property governed by restrictive covenants. Restrictive covenants are valid under the law. The Supreme Court determined that the Shawvers had not right under the parties' agreement to override the amendment provision.

Furthermore, the Supreme Court disagreed with the Shawver's contention that Huckleberry's conduct constituted a breach of the covenant of good faith and fair dealing. No covenant of good faith and fair dealing could be implied where to do so would be contrary to the express terms of the contract negotiated and executed by the parties. Under the express provisions of the sale agreement, amendments to the original CC& Rs were permissible. To imply that Huckleberry was obligated to perform the sale agreement subject only the original CC& Rs would have been contrary to the terms of the parties' contract.

Furthermore, the second amended CC& Rs were also applicable to the parties' sales agreement. The second amended CC& Rs were adopted in accordance with the requirements of the original CC& Rs, and the district court's decision granting specific performance of the sales agreement, subject only to the original CC& Rs, effectively prevented the adoption and enforcement of future amendments to the existing CC& Rs with regard to the Shawvers, which violated the express terms of the parties' agreement.

There was no ambiguity in the plain language of the restrictive covenants in question. In fact, both parties agreed that the original CC& Rs were applicable when the sale agreement was executed. Therefore, the Supreme Court was required to apply those covenants as a matter of law.… [read more]

Court Order, Discusses When Court Orders Term Paper

Term Paper  |  2 pages (650 words)
Bibliography Sources: 1+


¶ … court order, discusses when court orders are used and what are they used for?

What is a Court Order?

"court order" is a decision issued by a court or an official proclamation by a judge (or a panel of judges) that typically demands the performance of or refrains from an action. It may also define the legal relationships between the parties before the court and require or authorize the carrying out of certain steps by one or more parties to a case. The term is usually different from and does not describe the final decision in a case, which is usually termed "judgment," "ruling," or "holding." Compliance with a court order is obligatory, i.e., it is legally binding on the parties, and failure to comply with a court order could result in contempt of court leading to imprisonment and/or fines.

Examples of a "court order" range from a simple command such as ordering a reluctant witness to answer a legitimate question or setting a date for a trial to a complicated and reasoned decision made by a court after a proper hearing, directing a party either to do or to refrain from an act.

Most orders are written, and are signed by the judge. Some orders, however, are spoken orally by the judge in open court, and are only reduced to writing in the transcript of the proceedings. ("Court Order-Legal Definition"; "Court Order")

When is a Court Order Used?

Court orders are typically issued by a judge at the beginning of (or during the course of a trial) whenever he or she feels that the performance of an action (or its prevention) is necessary for fair proceedings of a case or for protecting a party from possible harm before the judgment of a case. Such orders or injunctions are often temporary, although permanent injunctions / court orders are sometimes also issued at the end of a trial. A temporary order (called the Temporary…… [read more]

Alexander Williams Term Paper

Term Paper  |  4 pages (1,305 words)
Bibliography Sources: 1+


Alexander Williams



Alexander Williams was 17 years old when he abducted, robbed, raped, and shot 16-year-old Aleta Bunch. Mr. Williams was also mentally ill at that time. In his trial for the crime, his history and background was never brought up and therefore the jury never knew about his severe mental illness and chronic childhood abuse. It also appeared that the lawyer that was hired to represent Mr. Williams was generally unconcerned about the welfare and well-being of his client. This was naturally a concern for those that cared about Mr. Williams, and for those that simply wanted to see justice done correctly. However, the problems that Mr. Williams faced during his trial were compounded by several factors that were beyond his control. Those factors will be discussed here.


The background of anyone that is accused of a crime can be very important when the case goes to trial. Often, things about the individual can be brought to light that could sway the jury in one direction or another. In the case of Mr. Williams, none of his background was ever discussed at trial. That background included a history of mental illness and a diagnosis of schizophrenia (Georgia, n.d.). He believed that Sigourney Weaver talked to him and was God, he talked to imaginary frogs on the floor of the prison, and believed that insects replaced one of his eyes with a shell (Georgia, n.d.).

Williams was also severely abused as a child, which was something that none of the jurors knew about during the trial (Georgia, n.d.). Many of his family members abused him repeatedly, and he was sexually abused by his father (Georgia, n.d.). At one point, his mother also hammered a screwdriver into his toes (Georgia, n.d.). Out of the original jurors from his trial, eight of them are still living and five of them have signed affidavits stating that they would not have sentenced Williams to death if they had known about his past history of mental problems (Georgia, n.d.). Because a background examination into William's past was never performed, however, those that sat on the jury for that trial did not have the necessary information to make a decision as to whether he should live or die. They went off of the information that they had available, which was not the whole story, and sentenced Williams to death.


In the state of Georgia, where this took place, the attorney that was assigned to Mr. Williams was known by many to be incompetent (Georgia, n.d.). The attorney failed to mention that there were problems with abuse and mental illness, and simply appeared to be unconcerned as to whether his client would live or die (Executing, 2002). The attorney, O.L. Collins, spent only 15 minutes talking to the jury, during which he instructed them to do what they would with his client (Mr.… [read more]

Code of Hammurabi -- Exodus Term Paper

Term Paper  |  6 pages (1,965 words)
Bibliography Sources: 1


Thus, for the Israelites, the murder of one's father or mother (patricide and matricide) is one of the few deadly sins that will result in death. Obviously, the Israelites had a much more conservative viewpoint when it came to criminal acts that did not result in a person's premature death.

A number of the codes of Hammurabi focus on abuse and negligence related to farming, agriculture and crops. For example, "if anyone be too lazy to keep his dam in proper condition,


and does no so keep it; if then the dam breaks and all the fields flooded, then shall he in whose dam the break occurred be sold for money, and the money shall replace the corn which he has caused to be ruined" (Code 53); "If anyone open his ditches to water his crop, but is careless, and the water flood the field of his neighbor, then he shall pay his neighbor corn for his loss" (Code 55). In the Book of Exodus, a similar law reads "And if a man shall open a pit, or if a man shall dig a pit, and not cover it, and an ox or an ass fall therein; the owner of the pit shall make it good and give money unto the owner of them. . . " (21:33-34). These laws and codes were obviously put in place to keep the peace between those that lived and worked in an agrarian setting, for during ancient times, the growing and harvesting of food and the maintenance of livestock was pivotal to the existence of the community. Thus, the farmers and harvesters had to get along with each other in order to maintain many societal necessities.

In conclusion, the codes of Hammurabi and the laws stated in the Book of Exodus are a collection of basic judgments aimed at the common man and woman of the period. It must be realized that ancient Mesopotamia and Israel were incapable of formulating abstract and truly universal principles, i.e. true laws. Therefore, they created instructions for an orderly society by using examples from a broad cultural base. In other words, the codes of Hammurabi and the laws in Exodus serve as manuals on the art of judgment and how to mete out punishment for various crimes and misdemeanors. Thus, the codes of Hammurabi and the laws of Exodus are significant milestones in ancient history and can be seen as precursors to other civilizations that came into existence long after the Babylonians and the…… [read more]

Miranda Rights Miranda the Pros Term Paper

Term Paper  |  10 pages (2,877 words)
Bibliography Sources: 1+


Conversely, the Court decided that if a suspect who was in a police station but had come voluntarily, was not under arrest and was allowed to leave freely at the end of any interrogations despite the fact that he/she had confessed to a crime, this suspect was not in custody and therefore Miranda warnings were not required. Overall, the aspect… [read more]

Jurisdiction Occurs Term Paper

Term Paper  |  2 pages (666 words)
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Discovery then occurs by means of interrogatories and depositions.

Discovery refers to obtaining information regarding the opposing parties. This mostly occurs by the above-mentioned techniques of interrogatories and depositions. This means that written questions are drawn up that demand written answers, and parties and witnesses are examined before the trial.

The first step in a civil trial is jury selection (if it is chosen that a jury should be present). Preliminary instructions are then given to the selected jury in order to assist the jurors in their role. The parties are then given the chance for their opening statements. The Plaintiff's case is heard first, during which the Defendant can follow up the Plaintiff's examination of witnesses with questions of his or her own. The Defendant may then present evidence, after which the Plaintiff receives the opportunity for rebuttal evidence. Closing arguments are then heard, after which final instructions are offered to the jury, who then deliberate regarding the case. After the verdict is given, dissatisfaction may lead to an appeal.

Appellate courts hear only appealed cases, and these have to be valid in order to be heard.

Once a case is deemed valid, steps are followed to hear the case, after which the parties once again have the option of appeal.

A criminal prosecution begins with an investigation. Once enough evidence is gathered, charges are filed. An arraignment involves a guilty or not guilty plea, after which a pre-trial hearing and pre-trial motions take place. The pre-trail hearing occurs to determine whether the parties are ready for trial. The purpose of pre-trial motions is to determine what evidence will be presented during the trial. After these steps, a trial takes place.


City of Federal Way. "Steps in a Criminal Case." http://www.cityoffederalway.com/Page.aspx?view=388

"Structure of New York State Courts." http://www.courts.state.ny.us/admin/stateofjudiciary/stofjud8/struct.htm

"Trial Process." http://www.sc.co.pima.az.us/civil/Trial.htm… [read more]

Criminal Procedure Term Paper

Term Paper  |  10 pages (2,648 words)
Bibliography Sources: 1+


The U.S. Supreme Court said that the 'information and deliberate determinations of magistrates empowered to issue warrants are to be preferred over the hurried action of officers who may happen to make arrests'" Ferdico (2004) citing Aguilar v. Texas 378 U.S. 108, 110-11, 84 S. Ct. 1509, 1512, 12L.Ed.2d 723, 726, (1964) According to Ferdico if a "proper" warrant has… [read more]

Find a Case Term Paper

Term Paper  |  2 pages (609 words)
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¶ … Virginia "Good Samaritan" law is Chapter 493, Section 8.01-225 of the Code of Virginia. It was amended and passed most recently on April 9, 2000.It is divided into four sections. It includes this subtitle: "PERSONS RENDERING EMERGENCY CARE, OBSTETRICAL SERVICES EXEMPT FROM LIABILITY."

Section A describes the types of actions that fall under the "Good Samaritan" law. They include anyone who "In good faith, renders emergency care or assistance, without compensation, to any ill or injured person..." In any life-threatening emergency, It specifically exempts assistance to women in labor unless gross negligence is present, and specifically notes a doctor in that situation would not have access to the woman's medical records. It covers anyone who gives epinepherine for life-threatening allergy reaction, and to anyone who helps when asked to by police or other emergency personnel, including handling dangerous substance such gasoline or other hazardous materials. It specifically protects licensed medical workers, as well as anyone who has cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) training and uses those skills, including using a defibrillator, describing these protections in great detail. It includes National Ski Patrol volunteers.

It specifically addresses school employees, and authorizes those trained to do so to administer insulin or glucagon to students with diabetes, either as scheduled or in a diabetic emergency.

Section B. specifically emphasizes the protections afforded to licensed physicians and other trained medical personnel who render emergency aid in good faith. It includes dispatchers, medical instructors and advisors. It protects any agency that keeps a defibrillator available in case of emergency. The only way a person can sue is for gross negligence or carelessness and recognizes that in an emergency, those rendering aid may not know everything it would be useful to know about the person being helped.

Section C. specifically protects people in specific occupations: telecommunications, when those skills are…… [read more]

Run Away Jury Term Paper

Term Paper  |  3 pages (872 words)
Bibliography Sources: 0


¶ … Runaway Jury

The movie the Runaway Jury tells the story of a lawsuit for wrongful death made against a gun manufacturer. As the story unfolds, the viewer sees that both the defense attorney team and two people not directly related to this lawsuit are trying to manipulate the legal process in order to get the outcomes they prefer to see. The movie suggests that our jury selection process, and hence our legal system, can be corrupted in a variety of ways.

The movie illustrates potential ways to corrupt the trial process in several ways. While the efforts of the jury expert hired by the plaintiff's lawyers seem to work within the guidelines of the law, the viewer is given many indications that he cares little for staying within legal boundaries. He has a list of potential jurors before the jury selection process has begun, and he and his subordinates put tremendous effort into finding out all they can about them prior to jury selection. While this may not be illegal, the character, Mr. Finch, says, "Trials are too important to be left up to juries," and "Everybody has a secret they don't want you to find." After the jury has been selected, his team begins to dig to try to find personal secrets they can use against the jurors to influence their votes.

However, there are two other important influences on the trial: the plaintiff's attorney and two outsiders who are apparently willing to throw the jury's decision either way, offering to sell the jury decision to the highest bidder. The male in this team, Nicholas Easter, gets himself placed on the jury while his female partner works on the outside, negotiating with both attorney teams. After demonstrating several times that she does have the power to influence some jury actions, she offers up the verdict to the first legal team ready to pay her $10 million price.

Everyone is corrupted, at least temporarily, in this story. The defense jury consultant openly accepts money from the gun manufacturer being sued. Easter takes actions that communicate to both lawyers that this jury is up for grabs, although they don't know at first who on the jury is working with the woman who repeatedly contacts them. The defense attorney carefully considers Easter and his friend's offer to throw the case for $10 million, and acquires the money from his firm.

Some of the actions Easter and his partner take seem innocuous. He leads the jury to suddenly stand up in the courtroom and recite the Pledge of Allegiance. However, this was a pre-arranged communication to both…… [read more]

Sales Packaging Manufactured Cellophane Wrapping Term Paper

Term Paper  |  2 pages (772 words)
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(Must a Contract Be in Writing? 2004)

However, in this case, there was no 'real property' in terms of land or durable goods, nor were any of the other typical examples met. However, a contract can be verbal and need not be held before a notary public although there is a requirement that some documents be notarized, such as a real property deed. (Need a Contract be Notarized? 2004) But unless specifically required by state or municipal law, a contract does not have to be acknowledged before a notary public and it could be argued that performance to contract specifications was implied. Implied means the acts of the parties show that the offer has been accepted, such as when both parties to a contract begin to perform the terms of the contract. (Need a Contract be in writing? 2004)

When an order is requested in specific, numerical terms from a packaging company, the presumption is that the dimensions are correct -- it is not the paper product company's responsibility to make sure the dimensions are accurate, merely to produce the product. Thus, although the contract was verbal, the bill of sales with the dimensions of the order specified is an implied contract of good faith, and also indicates that the order was performed to the best of the company's ability. If he is capable of paying for the order, the individual in question must pay for all of the packaging and cellophane even if the goods are not of immediate use to him

Work Cited

Are there different kinds of acceptance? (2004) Retrieved November 22, 2004 at http://law.freeadvice.com/general_practice/contract_law/kind_acceptance.htm

Does a Contract have to be notarized? (2004) Retrieved November 22, 2004 at http://law.freeadvice.com/general_practice/contract_law/contract_notarized.htm

What is the performance of a contract -- Must a Contract Be in Writing? (2004) Retrieved November 22, 2004 at http://law.freeadvice.com/general_practice/contract_law/performance_contract.htm

M… [read more]

Federal Taxation Term Paper

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Hence, disclosure was not necessary. (U.S. Supreme Court UNITED STATES v. BAGGOT, 463 U.S. 476 (1983) 463 U.S. 476.)

In the case of the United States vs. Baggot, the judicial subpoena that was issued against him by the IRS was in fact meant to be used more as an investigative tool than as a genuine subpoena. This was why the… [read more]

Till Death Do US Term Paper

Term Paper  |  1 pages (331 words)
Bibliography Sources: 1


¶ … Til Death Do Us Part, Nancy Gibbs highlights the plight of victims of domestic abuse who finally resort to murder to save themselves from a life of slow but sure self-destruction. By doing so, Gibbs effectively raises the issue of whether justice is being served when such women are convicted for their crimes.

Gibbs makes several valid arguments in her attempt to elicit sympathy for women who suffer from domestic violence. Indeed, the statistics she presents are, by themselves, sufficient to establish that this should be an issue of increasing social concern. However, Gibbs seems to imply that one solution to the problem may lie in a more sympathetic legal system, while simultaneously acknowledging that juries need to find a way to express outrage at the brutality without accepting murder as a reasonable response. On this point, it appears that Gibbs may be pursuing a line of fallacious thinking on the grounds that the law has always made room for killers in the…… [read more]

International Crime Rates Term Paper

Term Paper  |  10 pages (2,783 words)
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The actual trial phase in the Saudi court is a "three-tiered" structure and is inclusive of both trial and appellate courts.

A pardon may be given by the King of Saudi and may be present to serve in the capacity of the final court hearing appeals in determining verdict conformation to the Shari'a courts. The Ministry of Justice presides over… [read more]

Interrogations and the 6th Amendment Term Paper

Term Paper  |  3 pages (940 words)
Bibliography Sources: 1+


¶ … Sixth Amendment [...] interrogations and the Sixth Amendment, including answering the questions: Why is a statement sometimes inadmissible under the Sixth Amendment, although Miranda did not apply or was complied with? When does the Sixth Amendment attach? How is it violated? What are the precautions? The Sixth Amendment is complicated for both justices and law enforcement personnel, and so, it must be fully understood and enacted in order to protect the rights of the suspect and the rights of the law enforcement personnel.

The Sixth Amendment is very intricate. Often, a statement is inadmissible in court for the smallest of reasons, such as an officer forgetting to administer the Miranda rights to a suspect, or not getting a lawyer fast enough when a suspect becomes "the accused." A suspect should not be able to incriminate himself by compulsory questioning, and often this happened, and so, judges took on and defined the Sixth Amendment so suspects and police departments both had more rights. Even when Miranda is complied with, there are other situations that can hinder Sixth Amendment rights, such has having an attorney present, and not questioning a suspect until an attorney is present. In addition, even though Miranda has been correctly administered, law enforcement personnel can threaten, coerce, or frighten a suspect into self-incriminating themselves, and this would make the information inadmissible in court. Even if the suspect voluntarily gives information, if they have not specifically waived their rights, they cannot incriminate themselves, and the evidence will not stand. This is why law enforcement personnel must be completely aware of the Sixth Amendment and all its' implications.

The Sixth Amendment attaches when a suspect becomes "the accused," and formal charges have been initiated. In fact, the Supreme Court decided that "a person's Sixth Amendment right to counsel attaches only at or after the time that adversary judicial proceedings have been initiated against him" (Chapter 9). In addition, even if a suspect waives his Miranda rights, he still falls under the Sixth Amendment when he notes that he does want counsel, even after waiving that right earlier. The only exception is if the suspect actually requests to talk to officers, even after requesting an attorney.

The Amendment can be violated by a number of situations. For example, the suspect cannot waive his rights, but the police consider a waiver gives them the right to further interrogate the suspect. Alternatively, the suspect requests an attorney, and is still questioned before the attorney arrives, which violates the right to have an attorney present. Thus, the suspect has to voluntarily waive his right to counsel, or to questioning, and the waiver must be valid, or the Sixth Amendment will be violated. This applies also in other situations, such as "bugging, eavesdropping, or contact by an informant" (Chapter 9). These situations apply…… [read more]

France Rural Society in Early Term Paper

Term Paper  |  6 pages (1,951 words)
Bibliography Sources: 1+


Indirectly there are other insights into the political nuances such as France's boarder disputes with Spain, conscription and even medical capabilities of the time as the subject of the story survives amputation and war.

Another insight is that we humans repeat history over and over. One example of this phenomena can demonstrated by how we in the twenty-first century fear being the victim of personality theft as was the case in Davis' story. I feel she did an excellent job of taking the historical facts and working them into the story and then modernizing the thought process so the story becomes timeless. Davis' thoughts and beliefs were created from historical fact and that made the plot enjoyable.

This type of work is very important in the sense that it makes learning history more interesting and enjoyable. Understanding that the legal system throughout history was a viable source for authors and historians never made it any easier to obtain facts or those facts easier to understand. Throughout history the victor held the pen. In other words, to the victor go the history books instead of the spoils. Davis, in her approach, simplified both the legal process, early modern French life and societal intricacies of peasantry even though the it was a world for the rich and they dictated historical entries.


In conclusion, the main purpose of this report was to first demonstrate my ability to understand and analyze historical works and secondly to compare how the authors Natalie Zemon Davis and George Huppert presented rural society of early modern day France. The report used comparison as a tool to show how the two authors emphasized similar features and traits of the rural society but each author made important distinctions in their works. The authors attempted to present their version of the characteristics of early modern French rural society members by writing about the essential traits of family life, peasantry and how those individuals could be affected by the legal system of the time. The report also honed in on Natalie Zemon Davis to see how convincing her case was in regard to rural life and what explicit evidence she used to bolster her argument. It was apparent that both authors were well read on the topic of rural society in early modern France and I provided my interpretation of how important a contribution these books make in our understanding of the lives of the poor in the early modern French society.

Works Cited

Davis, Natalie Zemon. "The Return of Martin Guerre" Add Journal or book publisher name (Add Year).

Huppert, George. "After the Black Death: A Social History of Early Modern Europe." Add Journal or book…… [read more]

Ashcroft v. American Civil Liberties Term Paper

Term Paper  |  7 pages (1,795 words)
Bibliography Sources: 1+


Agreeing with Justice Breyer, but in a separate opinion, Justice Scalia stated:

"There is no doubt that the commercial pornography covered by COPA fits this description. The statute applies only to a person who, "as a regular course of such person's trade or business, with the objective of earning a profit," 47 U.S.C. § 231(e)(2)(B), and "with knowledge of the character of the material," §231(a)(1), communicates material that depicts certain specified sexual acts and that "is designed to appeal to, or is designed to pander to, the prurient interest," §231(e)(6)(A). Since this business could, consistent with the First Amendment, be banned entirely, COPA's lesser restrictions raise no constitutional concern" (Legal 2004).

The Court's decision to affirm the preliminary injunction and remand for trial allows both parties to update and supplement the factual record in order to reflect current technology (Legal 2004). Moreover, remand will allow the District Court to take account of a changed legal landscape because since the time that court made its fact-findings, "Congress has passed at least two further statues that might qualify as less restrictive alternatives to COPA: a prohibition on misleading domain names, and a statue creating a minors-safe 'dot-Kids' domain" (Legal 2004).

Given the evidence, the Court's decision seems to be fair and practical and will allow for trial and appeal processes. Moreover, the Court's endorsement of using filtering software seems a better alternative than those posed in COPA.

Work Cited

OLR Research Report. August 10, 2004.


Legal Information Institute. 2004.





Supreme Court…… [read more]

Universal Commercial Code Term Paper

Term Paper  |  3 pages (919 words)
Bibliography Sources: 1+


However, because Jeff had use of the automobile and was making payments on it, it is unlikely he will be awarded any of his money back. He has 'consumed' a certain amount of the car's useful life and, if anything, he had proceeded in a fraudulent manner. Had he not lost his job, however, it is unlikely he would have wanted to disaffirm the contract, and would have continued to pay for the car, so it is unlikely that he could be charged with fraud as there was no intent to defraud.

4. Grocery's rights under contract law are limited to securing the best outcome in the current circumstances. The reason for this is that "The idea of contract flexibility is embedded in general contract law theory....(which) leads to a preference for laws that provide background rules, playing a default or gap-filling function in a contract relationship. A default rule applies if the parties do not agree to the contrary" (Tasini, 1998). In the case of the Cereal/Grocery dispute, it is apparent that neither party can agree to what should be done. Further, in this case, Cereal actually could rely on the principle of commercial impracticability; it was not through its own fault that a flood damaged a great amount of its product. It would, therefore, be within its legal rights to cancel the contract altogether, or, if it saw fit, to substitute a different product for the one that was ruined in order to fulfill the terms of its contract. The fact that Grocery had requested a different shipment than originally contracted does not mean that Cereal was obligated to do so, especially as the exact components of each case to each store had been left to further discussion. By leaving it unspecified in the contract, however, it may be that Cereal does not even need to claim commercial impracticability. Under common law, it would have been up to Cereal to decide what products to ship to fulfill the contract in the first place. At the very least, Cereal does have a good claim to modify the number of boxes shipped under the commercial impracticability rule.


Commercial impracticability. Insurance CCH Web site. Retrieved 8 August 2004 at http://insurance.cch.com/rupps/commercial-impracticability.htm

Forum. Free Advice Web site. Retrieved 8 August 2004 at http://forum.freeadvice.com/showthread.php?s=f4bbb3a767a023c2e52ee4f4fbd776e3&p=682153#post682153

Mallor. (2003) Business law: The ethical, the global & ecommerce environment. New York: McGraw-Hill Companies.

Tasini, Jonathan. (1998) What planet are you on? The working lives of writers and the UCC2B. April. Retrieved 8 August 2004 at http://www.law.berkeley.edu/institutes/bclt/events/ucc2b/tasini.html… [read more]

Buffalo Creek Disaster in February Term Paper

Term Paper  |  3 pages (961 words)
Bibliography Sources: 0


At first, Stern started high, aiming for criminal charges to be filed against Pittston as well as claiming over $30 million in collective damages (punitive and psychological), and individual property claims. The figures were pulled out of the air in large part to the inability of anyone to place monetary values on personal possessions that hold more sentimental than material worth. For instance, in the chapter entitled "They Wasn't for Sale," one of the plaintiffs and victims of the disaster notes that the defendant cannot possibly attempt to place a value on a special tree that flanked his yard.

Calling the Buffalo Creek disaster an "act of God" was, according to Stern, "A public relations blunder," (11). That, along with a report issued by an ad hoc commission of inquiry into the incident by the state claiming Pittston was guilty of "flagrant disregard" placed public opinion squarely on the side of the plaintiffs. However, as Stern emphasizes, lawsuits cannot be tried in the press, and Stern did his utmost to remain ethical in his proceedings. He admits he was "a little nervous" when the case first began," as he had never encountered anything quite like it, but in the end succeeded due to sound legal strategy and patience. The case took years to be resolved and Stern went through numerous depositions as well as a number of failed settlement attempts.

Stern struggled with several pressing strategic questions throughout the case. For example, at first he had to decide who to sue exactly: the Buffalo Mining Company, owner of the dam itself, or Pittston, the sole shareholder in the Buffalo Mining Company and the real brain behind the disaster. Moreover, Stern had to choose whether to file in state or federal court; he wisely chose to sue Pittston in the federal court. The suit would entail having to "pierce the Buffalo Mining Company corporate veil," but the efforts proved worthwhile (51). A grand jury decided for Stern that no criminal charges would be filed.

The federal government did initially provide the survivors of the Buffalo Creek disaster with rent-free trailers, which though at first were appreciated, "soon felt like concentration camps," (48). Stern's efforts were all the survivors had in rebuilding their lives with dignity and in assuring that such a disaster would not happen in the future. The lawyer's personal impressions and compassion for the people of Logan County are remarkable, given the difficult nature of such a trial. The author speaks about the specifics of the case: about the various stages in its developments, of setbacks such as Pittston's ability to refute the use of several "absent plaintiffs." However, most of the case was a series of boons for the plaintiffs, who succeeded in securing sufficient financial compensation for their hardships. Readers unfamiliar with legal terminology need not be frightened by The Buffalo…… [read more]

Status Offenders Throughout Modern History Term Paper

Term Paper  |  4 pages (1,256 words)
Bibliography Sources: 1+


Eventually the juvenile system could not meet the original goals of rehabilitation; there were just too many youths. Treatment moved to group settings such as juvenile facilities (O'Connor & Treat, 1996). Individual treatment became sporadic or completely absent. This resulted in a juvenile system that often gave out lesser sentences for crimes that would have been dealt with more severely had the person commiting the crime been an adult (O'Connor & Treat, 1996).

As the system got bogged down under its own weight, the actual ability of the courts to act as parens patriae diminished. The courts could no longer act as counselor or therapist, and locking up a youth in a juvenile facility for sexual activity or for truancy from school made no sense, was expensive, and often was counter-productive. At the same time, rulings by the Supreme Court required due process rights fo juveniles, such as the right to have a parent present while being questioned, the right to an attorney if charged, and other legal protections given to adults (O'Connor & Treat, 1996). One unanticipated result of this was that the standards in juvenile courts became tied to the standards for adult criminal court. The juvenile courts were now far less parens patriae and much more a second legal system for younger offenders.

Today, the juvenile court system is mostly a milder version of the adult criminal court system (Feld, 1997). The youth who appear before it typically are charged with serious crimes, and status offenses are no longer treated as a reason for the courts to intervene. Some municipalities have passed law to codify some behaviors as illegal. For instance, where in the past, youth could be brought before a judge because a parent or police officer felt the person was out too late with no good reason, today many municipalities have legally-enforced curfews. In such municipalities, youth charged with curfew violation have broken a specific law and have specific standing in that regard when they go to court. Likewise, most municipalities have laws regarding truancy, although when a youth is found to be truant, it may be the parents who are judged in violation, as many municipalities view it as the parents' responsibility to make sure their children attend school.

One place where the policy of parens patriae still applies is in the foster care program. When parents are deemed unfit to raise their children, the court can step in, remove the children from that home and place them in a foster home. However, this takes place through some sort of family court, and the parents of the children are deemed responsible for any lack of care. parens patriae applies in family court, where the court can order counseling or other therapy for a youth in need.

Thus, juvenile court is no longer an institution designed to protect youths from a more punitive adult system, nor as a vehicle for social change. Due to court rulings and changes in society view of court roles, status… [read more]

Media Coverage of Trials Term Paper

Term Paper  |  1 pages (439 words)
Bibliography Sources: 1+


In spite of these rules, we have seen media frenzies over such cases as O.J. Simpson and currently, Scott Peterson, on trial for the murder of his wife and unborn son.

Some experts give lawyers advice for revealing information to the press, such as "Be careful about language. Any blatant, snooty, or insulting remarks may backfire and result in adverse litigation publicity" (Staff writers, 2000).

Perhaps what is needed is stricter adherence to the 1983 rules based on judgments of what the likely impact of statements would be. If the media reports that rags found in Peterson's home may have been used to clean up blood, that statement could reasonably be interpreted as strongly suggesting guilt. We may not need more rules, but closer adherence to the ones already in existence.


Bruschke, Jon, and Loges, Willam E. 1999. "Relationship Between Pretrial Publicity and Trial Outcomes." Journal of Communication, Vol. 49.

Dixon, Travis L., and Linz, Daniel. 2002. "Television News, Prejudicial Pretrial Publicity and the Depiction of Race." Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media, Vol. 46.

Lassiter, Christo. 1996. "TV or Not TV - That Is the Question." Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology, Vol. 86.

Staff writers. 2000.…… [read more]

Media Coverage of the Scott Term Paper

Term Paper  |  4 pages (1,740 words)
Bibliography Sources: 1+


" (June 1, 2004) CNN.com. Retrieved on June 15, 2004 at http://www.cnn.com/2004/LAW/06/01/peterson.trial/index.html

8.Spilbor, Joanna. (June 11, 2004) Why doubt over Scott Peterson's guilt seems more reasonable. CNN.com. Retrieved on June 15, 2004 at http://www.cnn.com/2003/LAW/06/11/findlaw.analysis.spilbor.peterson/index.html

9."Stepsister describes last sighting of Laci Peterson."(June 7, 2004) CNN.com. Retrieved on June 15, 2004 at http://www.cnn.com/2004/LAW/06/03/peterson.trial/index.html

10.Suspicions from different stories Laci Peterson relative recalls conflicting tales from husband (June 10, 2004) CNN.com Retrieved on June 15, 2004 at http://www.cnn.com/2004/LAW/06/09/peterson.trial.ap/index.html

11.Ryan, Harriet. (June 10, 2004) "Dread of fatherhood could be Peterson's motive, witnesses suggest." CNN.com Retrieved on June 15, 2004 at http://www.cnn.com/2004/LAW/06/10/peterson.case/index.html

12."Prosecutors ask jurors to use common sense to convict Scott Peterson: Trial over slain pregnant wife begins." (June 2, 2004) CNN.com Retrieved on June 15, 2004 at http://www.cnn.com/2004/LAW/06/01/peterson.trial.ap/index.html

13."Peterson attorney Mark Geragos lives in limelight." (May 31, 2004) CNN.com Retrieved on June 15, 2004 at http://www.cnn.com/2004/LAW/05/31/peterson.geragos.ap/index.html

14."Peterson prosecutor shies from cameras. (May 31, 2004) CNN.com Retrieved on June 15, 2004 at http://www.cnn.com/2004/LAW/05/31/peterson.distaso.ap/index.html

15."Victim's clothing key in Peterson case." (June 4, 2004) CNN.com Retrieved on June 15, 2004 at http://www.cnn.com/2004/LAW/06/04/peterson.trial.ap/index.html… [read more]

Distinguish Between the Jurisdiction Term Paper

Term Paper  |  1 pages (446 words)
Bibliography Sources: 1+


This court reviews trial-court decisions and correct what it considers to be legal errors. The district courts hear most federal cases, and most decisions by them are not appealed to a higher court. Other special U.S. Courts include Claims Court, Court of International Trade, and the Court of Military Appeals.

Each individual state has its own court system which are largely independent of federal court supervision. In each state, the trial courts are at the bottom level and the appellate courts are the top. Each state decides how to select its own justices. Some states prefer short appointments, or the merit plan, and others use general elections. More than 95% of the nation's legal cases are decided in state courts, and it is a myth that the federal judiciary is the most significant part of the judicial system. Cases may be appealed to the Federal courts if they are of a national or constitutional matter.


Chapter 14 Outline.

Deaton, John. "Lesson Three: Relationship of State Courts to Federal Courts." Northland Pioneer College. http://www.northland.cc.az.us/Pos221/Content/module03/m3_l03.htm

Knowledge & Information Services. "State-Federal Relations: Frequently Asked Questions." The National Center for State Courts. January 5, 2004. http://www.ncsconline.org/WC/FAQs/KIS_StaFedFAQ.pdf… [read more]

Clarence Thomas and Special Interest Term Paper

Term Paper  |  7 pages (2,407 words)
Bibliography Sources: 1+


Since the leaks happened just two days before the Senate was scheduled to vote on the nominee, they appeared to be politically motivated, specifically timed to derail the nomination. The leaks caused the Senate to delay their confirmation vote for one week, giving the committee time to look at the charges. The committee was also under attack for not having… [read more]