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The handy law answer book - David L. Hudson Jr.


Year 2010

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AcknowledgmentsIntroductionCONSTITUTIONAL LAWTHE U.S. CONSTITUTION What is the primary source of law in the United States?What exactly does the U.S. Constitution do?How is the U.S. Constitution composed?How many constitutional amendments have been enacted?What does the Supremacy Clause of the U.S. Constitution say?HISTORY OF THE CONSTITUTIONWhat was the pressing need for the Constitution?What were the problems with the Articles of Confederation?Who were some of the leaders of the Philadelphia Convention of 1787?Who were the 55 Founding Framers of the Philadelphia Convention of 1787Did all of the 55 delegates sign the final product of the Philadelphia Convention?Why did Elbridge Gerry, Edmund Randolph and George Mason refuse to sign the Constitution?What were the professions of the Founders?Why was James Madison a key person in the Convention?What did the new Constitution say about slavery?What was the Fugitive Slave Clause?After the Constitution was signed, what happened during the ratification process?What were the principal objections of the Anti-Federalists to the Constitution?What were the Federalist Papers and what was their importance?Did the Anti-Federalists have their own published writings?How did the battle between the Federalists and Anti-Federalists conclude?In what states was the ratification debate most intense and close?What happened in the large state of Virginia with respect to ratification?KEY CONCEPTS AND STRUCTURE OF THE CONSTITUTIONWhat is federalism?What is separation of powers?What is an example of a separation of powers problem?LEGISLATIVE BRANCHHow did the U.S. Constitution structure the legislative branch?What was the Virginia Plan?With what plan did the Virginia Plan compete?What was the Great Compromise?How precarious was the Great Compromise and its ultimate success?What does the Constitution say about the composition of Congress?What are the requirements for someone to serve in the U.S. House of Representatives?What are the requirements for someone to serve in the U.S. Senate?What are the terms of office for representatives and senators?How many members are there in the House and the Senate?What is the speaker of the House?Who was the first speaker of the House?Who became the first woman to serve as speaker of the House?Who was the only speaker of the House also to become president of the United States?How does the Constitution give Congress the power to impact law?How did the necessary and proper clause affect a famous case involving a U.S. bank?How is a law created?What happens after a bill is introduced?What are the various House Committees?What are public hearings?What are some other powers of Congress mentioned in the U.S. Constitution?Why is the Commerce Clause so important?What are the categories of Congress' powers in regulating interstate commerce?What does the Constitution say about ex post facto laws?What is the full faith and credit clause?THE EXECUTIVE BRANCHWere all the Founders convinced that the executive branch should consist of one person?How are presidents elected?How does the Constitution give the executive branch a role in the law?What are the powers of the president?What are some famous executive orders in American history?Can the president veto only a portion of a law after it is passed by Congress?What is "impeachment"?Can presidents be impeached?What happened in the Clinton impeachment hearings?JUDICIAL BRANCH How does the Constitution give the judicial branch a role in the legal system?Why is judicial review celebrated and criticized in the democracy?What was the leading framer James Madison's opinion of judicial review?What were some important precursors to Marbury v. Madison?Is judicial review an American invention?What did Alexander Hamilton have to say about judicial review?Why do some consider the judicial branch the least powerful branch of government?Does the Constitution specify the number of U.S. Supreme Court justices?STATE CONSTITUTIONS Are state constitutions based on the U.S. Constitution?Who determines the meaning of a state constitution?THE BILL OF RIGHT AND THE 14TH AMENDMENTWhy were the first ten amendments—the Bill of Rights—added to the U.S. Constitution?Who was primarily responsible for proposing the Bill of Rights?What did James Madison say in his speech to Congress on June 1789, when he argued for the Bill of Rights?Where did James Madison look for possible proposals that eventually became included in the Bill of Rights?Isn't it true that the original Constitution (before the Bill of Rights) was already a bill of rights of sorts?Some have said James Madison used the Bill of Rights to save the Constitution. Is there truth to this?What is an example of an ex post facto law?Where are constitutional amendments placed in the Constitution?FIRST AMENDMENT What freedoms does the First Amendment protect?What does freedom of religion mean?How does the U.S. Supreme Court determine if something violates the Establishment Clause?When did Justice Sandra Day O'Connor introduce her endorsement test?If the government places a Ten Commandments monument on government property, does that violate the Establishment Clause?What explained the difference between the two 2005 decisions by the U.S. Supreme Court?Does school prayer violate the Establishment Clause?What was the prayer at issue in the Engel v. Vitale case?Is a moment of silence law constitutional?What opinions were rendered by the U.S. Supreme Court concerning Wallace v. Jaffree.Does the First Amendment protect graduation prayer?What was the Santa Fe Independent School District v. Doe case on school prayer and what did the U.S. Supreme Court decide?Does the First Amendment protect all forms of free speech?What is obscenity?How does the notion of community standards affect obscenity cases?When does speech cross the line into unprotected incitement?When does speech cross the line and become a true threat?What was the U.S. Supreme Court's definition of a true threat in Virginia v. Black (2003).Does the First Amendment protect advertising?Does the status of a speaker affect First Amendment freedoms?What is the level of free speech protection for public employees?What level of First Amendment rights do students possess?What happened in Garcetti v. Ceballos?What expression was involved in the Tinker case?SECOND AMENDMENT What makes the Second Amendment controversial?Which interpretation—collective or individual—has the U.S. Supreme Court adopted?What happened in the Heller case?THIRD AND FOURTH AMENDMENTS What was the purpose of the Third Amendment?What is the Fourth Amendment?What is the fundamental purpose of the Fourth Amendment?What is the meaning of probable cause?Must government officials always obtain a warrant before conducting a search or a seizure?Must school officials have probable cause before searching a student in a public school?Do school officials have unfettered authority to conduct strip searches?What is plain view?How does a court determine if someone's Fourth Amendment rights have been violated?What is the exclusionary rule?In what decision did the Court extend the exclusionary rule requirement to the states?Who was Dollree Mapp?FIFTH AMENDMENTWhat freedoms does the Fifth Amendment protect?What is double jeopardy?What is an example of the double jeopardy clause prohibiting multiple punishments for the same offense?What is the protection against self-incrimination?In what famous decision did the U.S. Supreme Court establish certain rights to persons facing interrogation and questioning from police?Who was Miranda in the famous case?What happened to Ernesto A. Miranda after the U.S. Supreme Court decision?What is due process?What is just compensation?What recent decision on eminent domain and just compensation outraged many?SIXTH AMENDMENT What freedoms does the Sixth Amendment protect?What is the right to a speedy trial?What does it mean for a trial to be public?What is an impartial jury?What is the Confrontation Clause?What is the importance of compulsory process?What does assistance of counsel mean?Who was the defendant in Gideon v. Wainwright?How does the court determine if a defendant received effective assistance of counsel?SEVENTH AMENDMENT What freedom does the Seventh Amendment protect?EIGHTH AMENDMENTHow does the Court determine whether punishment is cruel and unusual?Is the death penalty considered cruel and unusual?What caused the U.S. Supreme Court to change course and uphold death penalty statutes only a few years after its Furman decision?What are some major death penalty decisions since Furman v. Georgia (1972)?What did the Court decide with respect to criminal three-strikes laws?NINTH AND TENTH AMENDMENTSWhat rights does the Ninth Amendment protect?What is the Tenth Amendment?What type of law creates a Tenth Amendment issue?What is an example of power that should be "reserved" to the states under the Tenth Amendment?What does the Tenth Amendment have to do with the concept of federalism?FOURTEENTH AMENDMENT Why is the Fourteenth Amendment sometimes called a Second Bill of Rights?What exactly is incorporation and how does this work?Are all freedoms in the Bill of Rights extended to the states?What are the two core clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment?What are the two types of due process?What is an example of an equal protection violation?THE COURT SYSTEMWhat does the U.S. Constitution say about the U.S. Supreme Court?Where did the U.S. Supreme Court first meet?When did the U.S. Supreme Court get its own building?What is the nickname of the Supreme Court Building?How long do justices serve on the Supreme Court?Which justices have served the longest in history?How many women have served as Supreme Court justices?Did any of the recent justices on the Supreme Court previously serve as a judge in some capacity?Is it a requirement for a Supreme Court justice to have prior judicial experience?Can U.S. Supreme court justices be removed from office?Have any U.S. Supreme Court justices been impeached?What happened with the Chase impeachment proceedings?Which federal judges have been impeached?THE SUPREME COURT TERM When does the U.S. Supreme Court meet?When did the Court originally begin its new terms?Does the Court ever meet outside of its traditional term time?How do justices get on the U.S. Supreme Court?Who was the greatest Supreme Court justice?What type of jurisdiction does the U.S. Supreme Court have?How often does the Supreme Court hear cases?What determines when the U.S. Supreme Court will hear a case?What types of attorneys argue cases before the U.S. Supreme Court?JUDICIARY ACT OF 1789 When did Congress establish the lower federal courts?Who was the principal author of the Judiciary Act of 1789?What type of federal court system did Congress create in the Judiciary Act of 1789?Who were the original federal district court judges in these thirteen districts?What part of the Judiciary Act of 1789 gives the Supreme Court the power to review state laws?What was circuit duty?When did Congress create separate judges for the circuit courts?Which federal judges lost their jobs because of the Judiciary Act of 1802?How many federal district courts and federal appeals courts are there?When did Congress create the circuit courts in their present form?What was the Evarts Act?Who was William Evarts?How does the federal court system created by the Founding Fathers compare and contrast with the current federal court system?How do circuit courts of appeal hear cases?How many judges serve on the circuit courts?Has there been recent movement in Congress to change the circuit court structure?Who are some of the nation's leading federal appeals court judges?Who was the most famous federal appeals court judge to never make it to the U.S. Supreme Court?What are some famous quotes by Learned Hand?How many different districts are there?What Is the main difference between a federal district court and the other federal courts?When can a federal judge become a senior judge?What does the Federal Magistrates Act do?Are there other federal courts that are not Article III courts?What is the work product of judges and courts?If the majority opinion becomes the law of the land, are concurring and dissenting opinions important?What opinions have precedential value?Is there a difference between mandatory authority and persuasive authority?Do courts always follow their past decisions?STATE COURTS How are state court systems established?How are state court judges picked?Which states do not have elections for any type of judges?Are all state high courts called supreme courts?Do all state high courts have the same number of justices or judges?Are all state court systems based on the three-tiered model of trial court, intermediate appellate court, and final appellate court?What is the relationship between state high courts and state constitutions?Do many states have family courts?LAWYERS AND LAWSUITSBECOMING A LAWYER What does it take to become a lawyer?What is the American Bar Association?Can all law school graduates take the bar exam?If a person passes the bar exam, is he or she automatically entitled to practice law?What can disqualify a person from sitting for a bar exam?How many bar exams are there?What is tested on the bar exam?Do all states require individuals to take a bar exam to practice law?If a lawyer passes a state bar exam can he or she then practice in any state?What is continuing legal education?FINDING A LAWYER Where does a person go to find a lawyer?What are the lawyer ratings provided for by Martindale-Hubbell?What should you look for in an attorney?A famous celebrity endorsed a lawyer, but does that mean this is a superior lawyer?Can attorneys advertise in any way they want?How much can you expect to pay a lawyer?How is a lawyer paid?Are contingency fees available for all types of cases?Do some lawyers work on retainer?What types of jobs do lawyers have?What is a public interest law firm?What advantage is it for a person to have representation from a public interest law firm?Do private attorneys take cases pro bono?Are there limitations on the amount of attorney's fees?What if you are charged with a crime and don't have enough money for an attorney?If your lawyer does a lousy job on your case, for what reasons can you sue for malpractice?Are public defenders good lawyers?Can a judge appoint attorneys to represent someone?Are all lawyers litigators?Can your attorney settle a case without your approval?What can people do when they feel their lawyers have been unethical or unprofessional?Can you find out if a lawyer has faced discipline?How are lawyers punished for misconduct?What are some common grounds for attorney discipline?LAWSUITS What is the document called that starts a lawsuit?When served with a complaint, what is the legal responsibility of a defendant?What types of relief do plaintiffs seek?What happens after a plaintiff files a complaint and a defendant files the answer?What are the common tools of discovery?What happens if a party will not respond to discovery requests?What is summary judgment?What are the rules of civil procedure?What is a pre-trial conference?What happens at the trial process?Can attorneys challenge certain jurors?Are there other limits on who can be dismissed and not selected as jurors?Are there any limitations on peremptory challenges?What happens during a trial?What are expert witnesses?What are briefs?What are jury instructions?What are closing arguments?If a party loses, what are his or her legal options?Why is legal language sometimes hard to understand?CRIMINAL PROCEDURESWhat is a crime?What distinguishes criminal law from civil law?What exactly does "beyond a reasonable doubt" mean?Is a trial judge required to give a definition of beyond a reasonable doubt?What are the basic types of crimes?Who determines whether conduct constitutes a felony or a misdemeanor?What are examples of crimes that constitute felonies?What are the legal results of a felony conviction?What is a wobbler?What felonies can lead to the death penalty?THE CRIMINAL PROCESS How does the criminal process begin?What is an arrest?What warnings must the police give you when they arrest you and place you in custody?When a person is arrested and taken into custody, what happens next?Is a person entitled to an attorney during the booking process?After a person is booked, what happens next?Is there a difference between the initial appearance and the arraignment?What is bail?What are the purposes or reasons for bail?Are all persons charged with crimes entitled to bail?What factors do courts use to determine whether someone is entitled to bail and what amount?Are there constitutional limitations to bail?How does a court determine if bail is excessive?What is a bail bondsman?Who appoints an attorney for a criminal defendant?Who was Gideon and who eventually was his appointed counsel?What is the right to counsel?Are all criminal defendants entitled to a court-appointed attorney?How do you qualify for a court-appointed attorney?Why does a criminal defendant need an attorney?Can a person choose to waive or decline counsel and represent himself or herself?What else takes place at the arraignment?Does the defendant have to physically appear before a judge at the initial appearance and the arraignment?What happens if the defendant pleads guilty?What is the process of plea bargaining?What role does a judge have with respect to plea bargaining?What are the benefits of plea bargaining?What are possible disadvantages of plea bargaining?Once a prosecutor offers a plea bargain can he or she renege on the deal?Does a judge have to accept a plea bargain and give the defendant the sentence offered by the prosecution?What is an information?What is a preliminary hearing?Does a defendant have a right to a preliminary hearing in state court?What does a defense attorney hope to accomplish at a preliminary hearing?Can a defendant waive a preliminary hearing?What is a grand jury?What are other distinguishing features of a grand jury?If the grand jury refuses to indict can the prosecutor re-file?TRIAL PROCESS If the case proceeds to trial what happens next?Is a defendant entitled to a jury trial?Can a defendant waive his or her right to a jury?What is voir dire?What types of challenges are available to strike jurors?What is a Batson challenge?Are there an unlimited number of peremptory challenges?Do trial juries have to be composed of 12 jurors?Can a state conduct a criminal trial with only five jurors?Who was the defendant Ballew?Do jury verdicts have to be unanimous?Can judges sequester juries?Can a court use an anonymous jury?How do criminal trials proceed?Must a criminal defendant testify on behalf of himself or herself?Can a judge declare a mistrial?What are jury consultants?What happens at the start of a criminal trial?During the prosecution's case, is there a chance at cross-examination?After the prosecution finishes its case, can the defense immediately file for dismissal?What happens in the closing argument phase?What does each side hope to accomplish with closing arguments?What is the order of argument with respect to closing arguments?Is there a set time for closing arguments?What happens in the jury instruction phase of the trial?Where do attorneys obtain proposed jury instructions?What happens with the attorneys' proposed jury instructions?Can the jury receive written copies of the judge's instructions?Why are jury instructions important?Can jury members discuss the case before deliberations?If the jury cannot agree and is deadlocked, what does a court do?Can juror misconduct lead to a mistrial?What happens if a jury cannot reach a decision?If the jury convicts the defendant, what are the defendant's options?When can a judge reverse a jury verdict?SENTENCING What happens after a person is convicted?Does it matter if a person has prior convictions?What is a suspended sentence?If a defendant is sentenced to three years, how much time will the defendant actually serve?What is time served?What is the difference between serving sentences concurrently or consecutively?How does a judge determine whether sentencing is concurrent or consecutive?What factors does a judge consider in determining sentencing?APPEALSWhat further legal options are available to a person once convicted?What are some commonly alleged errors in criminal trials?Is there a time limit on appeals?What is the record?What is an appellate brief?What is the direct appeal?If an appellate court reverses a trial court, what happens next?What is a post-conviction proceeding?If a direct appeal process and the state post-conviction process both fail, are there any other legal avenues?What is ineffective assistance of counsel?JUVENILE DEFENDANTS If you're convicted of a crime as a juvenile can you be tried as an adult?Do juveniles in juvenile court receive all of the same rights as adults charged in criminal court?What is a status offense?Can a juvenile defendant receive the death penalty or life in prison without the possibility of parole?Did the U.S. Supreme Court rely on international law in reaching its decision against the death penalty for juvenile offenders?CREDIT AND BANKRUPTCY LAWWhat is credit and why is it so important?Why is credit expensive?What is APR?Are there different types of credit?How do you know if you have too much debt?What should you do if you have too much debt?Didn't the U.S. Congress just pass a new law on credit cards?What factors determine whether you will receive credit?How can you build good credit?Where do you go to select the right credit card?What is a variable rate?Do credit cards always have annual fees?What can you do if there is an error on your credit card bill?What is a credit report?What is a credit score?Can consumers view their credit scores?What is the Fair Credit Reporting ActWhat is the difference between a secured and unsecured creditor?Recently a creditor denied me credit for what I believe was because of my race or gender. Do I have any recourse?How do you prove credit discrimination?Does the Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA) prohibit credit discrimination based on sexual orientation?Can a consumer reporting agency send a credit report to prospective employers?Can a credit report include bankruptcies, lawsuits, and arrests?Do credit reports contain credit scores?If a consumer disputes information on his or her credit report must that be included in the credit report?If there is an error on your credit report, what do you do?If a credit reporting agency unfairly refuses to correct a mistake, can you sue?Can companies purchase copies of credit reports?How long does negative information stay on my credit report?What is credit insurance?What is identity theft?How can you protect yourself from identity thieves?What are some ways to prevent identity theft?What is phishing?How does the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act (FACTA) help consumers fight identity theft?What is a credit freeze?LOANSWhat is predatory lending?What are payday loans?What are home equity loans?What is a reverse mortgage?DEBT COLLECTORS AND THE LAWWhat is the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act?Are there limitations when debt collectors can call consumers?What is considered harassing behavior under the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act (FDCPA)?What other conduct does the FDCPA prohibit?Can consumers sue for violations of the FDCPA?BANKRUPTCYWhat is bankruptcy?What are the basic types of bankruptcy?What must a consumer do before filing bankruptcy?What does it cost to file for bankruptcy?What is a bankruptcy trustee?What is the means test?What are exempt assets?Are there exemptions under state laws?Are all debts dischargeable under Chapter 7?What is a no-asset case?Is there a way to keep certain property by working out a deal with creditors?What is a 341 meeting?CHAPTER 13What is the main difference between Chapter 13 and Chapter 7?What are some advantages of filing Chapter 13 versus filing for Chapter 7?How does a Chapter 13 case begin?What types of consumers must file for Chapter 13?How long do Chapter 13 cases last compared to Chapter 7 cases?What eligibility requirements are there for Chapter 13?Do prior bankruptcy filings affect eligibility to file other bankruptcy petitions?What is disposable income?EMPLOYMENTAT-WILL EMPLOYMENTWhat legal doctrine still provides the baseline rule that employees have little protection in the employment relationship in the United States?What broad categories of workers are not subject to the employment-at-will doctrine?Can the employee handbook that an employer hands out to you constitute a valid contract that binds the employer?How did the employment-at-will doctrine originate in the United States?What if an employer offers lifetime or permanent employment? Does the employment-at-will doctrine still apply?How does a court determine a public policy exception to the at-will doctrine?What are some of the most common types of public policy exceptions to the employment-at-will doctrine?What is the story of Jason Little and how the public policy exception to employment at will protected him from physical assault?What state passed a law that repealed the employment at-will doctrine?EMPLOYMENT DISCRIMINATION Can employers really discriminate against employees for any reason?What are some of the major anti-discrimination laws at the federal level?Does my state also have anti-discrimination laws that protect me as an employee?TITLE VIIWhat is Title VII?Does Title VII apply to all employees?What types of discrimination does Title VII prohibit?Does Title VII protect individuals of all races?Title VII protects individuals based on their gender, but does it protect people because of their sexual orientation?Since Title VII does not protect employees from discrimination based on sexual orientation does that mean these employees have no protection?What states have laws that prohibit discrimination against employees (public and private) because of sexual orientation?Which states prohibit employment discrimination based on sexual orientation for public employees only?Does Title VII apply to just intentional discrimination?What are the two main types or theories of discrimination?What is an example of an employer policy that would be considered disparate impact?When did the U.S. Supreme Court first recognize that Title VII included disparate impact claims?Who was Griggs in the Griggs v. Duke Power case?What if an employer has multiple reasons for taking adverse action against an employee—a discriminatory reason and a lawful reason?How does an employee file a claim under Title VII or other federal employment law?What are the time limits for filing an Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charge?What happens once an employee files a charge of discrimination?What if the EEOC finds there has been discrimination?What is a right-to-sue letter?What if the EEOC does not find there has been discrimination?Does the EEOC's finding of no discrimination prevent a subsequent court proceeding?How does a court determine whether an employee suffers discrimination?Under the McDonnell Douglas framework, how does an employee establish a prima facie case of discrimination?What was the McDonnell Douglas case about?What happened to Percy Green after McDonnell Douglas v. Green?What is a protected class?How should and employer determine if an employee is qualified?What is an adverse employment action?Would a negative performance evaluation constitute an adverse employment action?If an employee presents a prima facie (or basic) case of discrimination, what must the employer show?If an employer does present a legitimate, nondiscriminatory reason for the discharge then what must the employee do to prove his or her case?Does Title VII apply to harassing behavior on the part of employers?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?Can employers assert any defense to supervisory harassment?Does Title VII protect employees who are harassed by members of the same sex?Does Title VII prohibit discrimination against transsexuals?RELIGIOUS DISCRIMINATIONTitle VII also prohibits religious discrimination by covered employers. What is the law's definition of religion?How does an employee prove a claim of religious discrimination?If the employee establishes a prima facie claim, what must the employer do?What is an example of a discrimination case involving religion in which it was ruled that the employer did not accommodate the employee adequately?RETALIATION What does Title VII say about retaliation?Does Title Vll'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?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?How does an employee prove retaliation?What sorts of employer actions can constitute unlawful retaliation?AGE DISCRIMINATION What federal law prohibits employment discrimination based on age?How old must an employee be to qualify for protection under the ADEA?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?Can a younger person in the protected class sue for age discrimination?Can young people—even those under 40—sue for age discrimination under state laws?My supervisor made comments like "you're too old for the job." Is that evidence of age discrimination?Can an employer establish mandatory retirement limits?Does it violate the ADEA for an employer to provide a date of birth question on an employment application?Are mixed-motive claims cognizable under the ADEA as they are under Title VII?DISABILITY DISCRIMINATION What major laws prohibit discrimination based on disability or handicap?How is a disability defined within the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)?What exactly does the ADA prohibit?What are some examples of disabilities under the ADA?Are mental conditions cognizable under the ADA?The ADA mentions a "qualified individual with a disability." What is such a "qualified individual"?What is a "reasonable accommodation" in the ADA?Are there limitations as to what are reasonable accommodations?How does a court handle the issue of reasonable accommodations and undue hardships?What does the court do if a reasonable accommodation conflicts with a seniority system?Can an employer refuse to hire an employee whose disability would present a health risk to himself or others?Does the ADA prohibit disability-based harassment in the workplace?How did Congress change the ADA in 2008?Are there other laws that allowed injured employees to receive time off from work?For what other reasons can an employee take FMLA leave?What employers are obligated to follow the FMLA?What happens to an employee's job when he or she returns from FMLA leave?If your employer is not covered by the FMLA, are there any state laws that could help?What is the Lily Ledbetter Act?EMPLOYEE COMPENSATION What is the major federal law regulating compensation for employees?What does FLSA say about overtime pay?What is the minimum wage required by the FLSA?Do all states have separate laws dealing with minimum wages?What state has the highest minimum wage law?What are some of the exceptions to the overtime pay requirement?Do blue collar workers who have great expertise in their respective jobs fall under the professional overtime exemption under FLSA?Do computer programmers and computer system analysts qualify as professionals and exempt from FLSA's overtime provisions?In an FLSA case, who has the burden of proof to show that an employee is exempt from the overtime pay benefit?What is the "taxicab exemption"?What is a "Belo" contract?What about employees receiving tips and how they are treated under FLSA?What is the key factor in determining whether employees may be included in a valid tip pool?WORKERS' COMPENSATION LAW What is the purpose of workers' compensation?Why is workers' compensation considered a form of compromise?What entity handles worker compensation claims?What is considered a work-related injury?When does an injury arise out of and in the course of employment?What if you suffer a heart attack due to stress on the job? Are you compensable under workers compensation?What does the employee receive in workers's compensation benefits?What if an employee suffers a permanent disability?Are there time limits and notice requirements on filing worker compensation claims?Can an employer fire an employee for filing a workers' compensation claim?OTHER EMPLOYMENT LAW CONSIDERATIONSAre employment discrimination awards taxable?Must employers give employees time off for lunch and for rest periods?Must an employer do anything to accommodate employees who wish to breast feed their children?If you are fired from your job can you obtain unemployment benefits coverage?How does the unemployment benefits process work?Can your employer require you to take a drug test?What if you test positive for drugs, but you really believe that the test was wrong? Is there any recourse?Can your employer read your email at work?Can your employer force you to take a polygraph test?FAMILY LAWWhat types of issues are covered by family law, or the law of domestic relations?MARRIAGE How is marriage defined by the law?How can people be married?What is a common-law marriage?How much does a marriage license cost?Must you take a blood test before getting married?What is a covenant marriage?What states allow covenant marriages?Can parties who enter into a regular marriage change or convert that marriage into a covenant marriage?What does the law say about limiting marriages between family members?Can cousins legally marry?What states still recognize common-law marriages?What are civil unions?What are the differences between civil unions and marriages?At what age can a person legally marry?Can parties of the same sex marry?What do various state constitutions or statutes say about same-sex marriages?When did the law allow interracial marriages?Can a person have multiple spouses?Who can perform marriages?Is a marriage in a foreign country recognized as valid in the United States?PRE-MARITAL AGREEMENTS Are prenuptial agreements, or pre-marital agreements, valid?What can parties contract to in a pre-marital agreement?Can you be liable for the debts your spouse acquired prior to marriage?DIVORCE How can a marriage be annulled?What are typical grounds for divorce?What are "irreconcilable differences"?Are there differences between irreconcilable differences and other grounds for divorce?If your spouse leaves and doesn't come back, is that grounds for divorce?What types of crimes committed by a spouse give the other spouse grounds for divorce?What is condonation?What is recrimination?Can persons separate without filing for a divorce?Can you file for divorce in a state that is not the state in which you were married?Are divorces no-fault or fault-based?How does a court determine whether property is marital/community property or separate property?How can a spouse ensure that property remains separate?Can separate property be converted to marital property during the course of a marriage?How does a court determine how to apportion marital property?Is a party's retirement account considered marital or separate property?ALIMONYWhat is alimony?What are the different types of alimony?What are the factors a court considers in deciding whether and how much to award in alimony?What happens if your former spouse to whom you are paying alimony remarries?CHILD CUSTODYWhat is child custody?What different types of child custody are there?How do courts determine custody for a child?Does the race of the parent or child have a legitimate role in custody determinations?Can a parent have child custody if he or she has committed a crime?Can a parent with custody move out of state with a child without permission of the other parent?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?What is supervised visitation?Can a court require parents to attend counseling sessions before awarding custody?Can courts modify custody arrangements?What if one parent refuses another parent's visitation rights?Can grandparents have visitation rights?CHILD SUPPORT Can a court require a parent to pay child support?How does a court determine the amount of child support?What happens if a person refuses to pay child support?Can courts modify child support obligations?PATERNITYIf you are a pregnant and unmarried woman, and the father refuses to acknowledge paternity, what can you do?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?ADOPTIONWhat is adoption?What methods of adoptions are there?Who must consent to an adoption?Can a minor birth mother consent to an adoption?Do birth parents always have to consent to an adoption?Can birth mothers withdraw consent to an adoption?What information does an adoption agency consider when determining whether to place a child with prospective adoptive parents?What is the court or judge's role in the adoption process?What is a foreign adoption?Can adoption agencies consider the race of the adoptive parents or children when making decisions?Can prospective adoptive parents advertise that they wish to adopt a child?What expenses do adoptive parents pay to the birth mother?What age restrictions are imposed on prospective adoptive parents?Does a biological father have the right to notification that his child may be placed for adoption by the child's mother?Can stepparents adopt their spouse's (biological) children?Are adoption records private?PERSONAL INJURY LAWWhat is a tort?Where does the word "tort" come from?What types of cases are examples of tort cases?How does tort law differ from criminal law?Can the same conduct form the basis for both a crime and a tort?How does tort law differ from contract law?What are the basic types of torts?What are some examples of intentional torts?What was the famous plate-snatching case?Can an injury in a sports contest constitute a battery?Are punching and kicking the only acts that are regarded as battery?Does a person have a tort claim if they are wrongfully detained for shoplifting in a major department store?What is intentional infliction of emotional distress?What is a famous intentional infliction of emotional distress case involving Hustler Magazine?What are some other examples of intentional infliction of emotional distress?Is there a tort that you can use or sue under if someone files false criminal charges against you?What are some defenses to intentional torts?NEGLIGENCEWhat is negligence and what are the elements of a negligence claim?What is a "reasonable person"?Are children held to the same standard of care as adults?What is negligence per se?What is res ipsa loquitur?What are the two types of causation in tort cases?What was the case of Palsgraf v. Long Island Railroad Company concerning proximate causation?Can a business be liable for injuries caused to its patrons by third parties?Can an employer be held negligent if it retains or hires an employee who is dangerous to the public?What if some unexpected event causes damage to a plaintiff after a defendant's negligent act?Can a "Good Samaritan" be held liable if he or she acts negligently even though they are trying to help?Where does the term "good Samaritan" come from?If you fall on a slippery floor in a store, can you sue for negligence?What happens if both parties (plaintiff and defendant) are negligent?What are the different forms of comparative negligence?Who determines the percentages of fault of the parties?Why is comparative fault considered fairer than contributory negligence?Which states still do have contributory negligence?What is the duty to mitigate damages?What types of damages are most common in tort cases?Why are punitive damage awards considered controversial?What was the McDonald's hot coffee case?What are some examples of frivolous lawsuits?What is the role of punitive damages in bifurcated tort cases?What factors does a court consider in determining the amount of punitive damages?Are there limits to punitive damage awards?Can states cap punitive damage awards?What is tort reform?What is the difference between a lump-sum settlement and a structured settlement?Are awards in tort cases taxable?What is vicarious liability?What is a "frolic and detour"?What is the concept of deep pockets?PROFESSIONAL NEGLIGENCE What is professional negligence?What is medical malpractice?What are examples of professional negligence claims?Is expert testimony required in medical malpractice cases?What is the standard of care for a physician?What is an example of attorney malpractice?Are all attorney or legal malpractice claims based on negligence law?What are statutes of limitations?What is the discovery rule and how does it impact statutes of limitations in tort cases?What is a statute of repose?OTHER TORTSWhat is defamation?What are the required elements of a defamation claim?What if an editorial writer uses strong language to describe a person?What are common defenses to defamation claims?What is a public figure and why is that important to defamation law?What are examples of public officials and public figures?What happened in New York Times Co. v. Sullivan?What tort protects a person from being photographed in the bathroom?How did the invasion of privacy tort originate?What is a famous tort case of involving intrusion?What if the press reports on the sex life of a famous politician? Is that invasion of privacy?What is an example of false light invasion of privacy?Do all states recognize the different sub-torts of invasion of privacy?What is the tort of nuisance?PRODUCTS LIABILITY What is products liability?What is breach of warranty?Why would it be fair to impose strict liability on the manufacturer of a product?What types of problems cause product liability actions?What was the Ford Pinto problem?Explanation of Case and Statute CitationsHow are legal authorities identified?What is a judicial opinion?Where are judicial opinions located?What is a citation for a judicial opinion?Can you explain the elements of a lower court citation?How does a person keep track of all the abbreviations and requirements for legal citations?How do you cite a statute or law?What are titles?What do we mean by an annotated code?How much legal information is available online now?The Constitution of the United StatesARTICLE I.ARTICLE II.ARTICLE III.ARTICLE IV.ARTICLE V.ARTICLE VI.ARTICLE VII.AMENDMENT I.AMENDMENT II.AMENDMENT III.AMENDMENT IV.AMENDMENT V.AMENDMENT VI.AMENDMENT VII.AMENDMENT VIII.AMENDMENT IX.AMENDMENT X.AMENDMENT XI.AMENDMENT XII.AMENDMENT XIII.AMENDMENT XIV.AMENDMENT XV.AMENDMENT XVI.AMENDMENT XVII.AMENDMENT XVIII.AMENDMENT XIX.AMENDMENT XX.AMENDMENT XXI.AMENDMENT XXII.AMENDMENT XXIII.AMENDMENT XXIV.AMENDMENT XXV.AMENDMENT XXVI.AMENDMENT XXVII.Glossary
 
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