Focus field organizing on creating media moments: Litigation-related field efforts should focus on creating media moments that demonstrate support, highlight harms, and create a climate for victory. Freedom to Marry worked with state organizations in litigation states to organize groupings of supporters that we knew would be newsworthy—Florida First Responders for the Freedom to Marry, Texas Faith Leaders for the Freedom to Marry, etc. Another tactic that created a media moment was launching petitions urging state attorneys general to drop their defense of anti-marriage laws (we’d pursue this only after consultation with the litigation team). The petitions – which always ended with an in-person drop-off featuring children of same-sex couples, adorably wrapped petitions, and families who needed the freedom to marry – were a creative way to build online buzz for the court cases, give supporters a way to get involved with the legal case, and earn some strong media attention that underlined the overarching messages of the campaign. We’d look to identify the most compelling personal stories that we thought might impact the public. Additionally, we’d organize Town Hall meetings as a focus point to gather supporters and provide a platform for newsworthy supporters and people with compelling stories.
Defendants, civil rights organizations, public interest organizations, and government public officials can all set up an account to pay for litigation costs and legal expenses. These legal defense funds can have large membership counts where the members contribute to the fund. Unlike legal financing from legal financing companies, legal defense funds provide a separate account for litigation rather than a one-time cash advancement, nevertheless, both are used for purposes of financing litigation and legal costs.
Produce and air television ads to showcase overarching messages and powerful messengers. One powerful way to generate earned media and drive the narrative while a court case is pending is by airing a television commercial highlighting a poignant story or a powerful messenger. During federal court consideration of lawsuits in the Mountain West, we aired a television spot featuring retired U.S. Senator Alan Simpson speaking about the western and Republican values that were important to him and how they led him to support the freedom to marry. In Tennessee, we aired a spot featuring a gay Navy officer who had just served in Afghanistan and yet couldn’t marry his partner in his home state. In Texas, through our Texas for Marriage campaign, we featured the voices of non-gay police officers standing beside a gay colleague in support of his freedom to marry. For each of these, we did relatively small media buys, with the goal of getting coverage of the spot on television news and in print. Because the stories were both so powerful, for a relatively small investment in airing the spot, we received solid earned media coverage.
There are numerous motions that either party can file throughout the lawsuit to terminate it "prematurely"—before submission to the judge or jury for final consideration. These motions attempt to persuade the judge, through legal argument and sometimes accompanying evidence, that there is no reasonable way that the other party could legally win and therefore there is no sense in continuing with the trial. Motions for summary judgment, for example, can usually be brought before, after, or during the actual presentation of the case. Motions can also be brought after the close of a trial to undo a jury verdict contrary to law or against the weight of the evidence, or to convince the judge to change the decision or grant a new trial.
The lawsuit, filed Wednesday in federal court in California, is seeking class-action status and is the latest development in a scandal involving celebrities and other wealthy parents who federal authorities say sought to have their children admitted into universities by bribing athletic coaches and having other people take tests for their children.
Civil litigation is between two parties in which one party is claimed to have injured another, and it's the kind of litigation most businesses will be involved in. Criminal law is the government prosecuting a crime against society. In civil law, the burden of proof changes from "reasonable doubt" to "preponderance of evidence," which is less onerous on the plaintiff.
It is difficult for the diocese to respond to the allegations because of the lack of specificity in the lawsuit. A response at this time would require the diocese to make assumptions about the allegations and the unnamed plaintiffs. Out of respect for all those involved, the diocese will respond to the allegations in its answer to the court after it is formally served with the lawsuit and had a reasonable time to investigate the claims.
It is now official: Conservative Judge Brian Hagedorn has defeated liberal Judge Lisa Neubauer (pictured) in Wisconsin’s Supreme Court election. Neubauer conceded on Wednesday in a very close race, where Hagedorn won by 6,000 votes despite being the underdog. This result is a significant reversal from 2018 when the conservative Judge Michael Screnock lost by 12% to the liberal (now Justice) Rebecca Dallet. More importantly, this election was a flip from blue to red. The state Supreme Court result not only has significant consequences for policy in Wisconsin, but it is an important signifier heading into 2020.
A pretrial discovery can be defined as "the formal process of exchanging information between the parties about the witnesses and evidence they’ll present at trial" and allows for the evidence of the trial to be presented to the parties before the initial trial begins. The early stages of the lawsuit may involve initial disclosures of evidence by each party and discovery, which is the structured exchange of evidence and statements between the parties. Discovery is meant to eliminate surprises, clarify what the lawsuit is about, and also to make the parties decide if they should settle or drop frivolous claims and/or defenses. At this point the parties may also engage in pretrial motions to exclude or include particular legal or factual issues before trial.
During the 18th and 19th centuries, it was common for lawyers to speak of bringing an "action" at law and a "suit" in equity. An example of that distinction survives today in the text of the Civil Rights Act of 1871. The fusion of common law and equity in England in the Judicature Acts of 1873 and 1875 led to the collapse of that distinction, so it became possible to speak of a "lawsuit." In the United States, the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure (1938) abolished the distinction between actions at law and suits in equity in federal practice, in favor of a single form referred to as a "civil action."
There are many reasons to be kind to your paralegal, but a bonus is that the jury will notice. Be nice to the stenographer (who also has the power to make things go your way, or not, in the transcript). And, especially, have a positive relationship with the courtroom clerk. The clerk checks in the jurors every morning, brings them pencils and leads them to the jury room. This person inevitably forms a stronger bond with them than anyone else in the courthouse. If the jurors see that you’re the clerk’s friend, you’re the jurors’ friend by association. If the clerk hates you, the jurors probably will, too.”
Stay in character, even when you don’t have a speaking role. “Your audience – the jury – is watching you from the moment they walk in, long before you say anything. Their only entertainment is watching you. They can’t check their phones, talk to one another or even lift their rears from their assigned seats. They’ll notice everything you do and draw conclusions about who you are.”
Legal financing can be a practical means for litigants to obtain financing while they wait for a monetary settlement or an award in their personal injury, workers' compensation, or civil rights lawsuit. Often, plaintiffs who were injured or forced to leave their jobs still have mortgages, rent, medical expenses, or other bills to pay. Other times, litigants may simply need money to pay for the costs of litigation and attorneys' fees, and for this reason, many litigants turn to reputable legal financing companies to apply for a cash advance to help pay for bills.