1. A court may not render a judgment which transcends the limits of its authority, and a judgment is void if it is beyond the powers granted to the court by the law of its organization, even where the court has jurisdiction over the parties and the subject matter. Thus, if a court is authorized by statute to entertain jurisdiction in a particular case only, and undertakes to exercise the jurisdiction conferred in a case to which the statute has no application, the judgment rendered is void.
Fourteen defendants, including parents and one coach, have pleaded guilty in the college cheating scandal. Actress Felicity Huffman is among those to plead guilty in what prosecutors call the largest college admissions scam uncovered in U.S. history. They are among 50 people who allegedly schemed to cheat college exams and pay $25 million in bribes to buy the children of affluent Americans seats in well-known universities including Yale and Georgetown. CNBC's Robert Frank reports.
Particularly in the United States, plaintiffs and defendants who lack financial resources for litigation or other attorney's fees may be able to obtain legal financing. Legal financing companies can provide a cash advance to litigants in return for a share of the ultimate settlement or award. If the case ultimately loses, the litigant does not have to pay any of the money funded back. Legal financing is different from a typical bank loan in that the legal financing company does not look at credit history or employment history. Litigants do not have to repay the cash advance with monthly payments, but do have to fill out an application so that the legal financing company can review the merits of the case.
It does seem crazy, but when you read the cases and the opinions of the judges, including Republican judges, that’s what they found in so many instances. It’s hard to tell whether the agencies knew that they were out on a limb with so many of these decisions and went ahead anyway, or didn’t have competent legal advice. Some experts, as the article said, thought that the failure of some agencies to “do their homework” as they suspended or delayed regulations, for example, showed that they were more interested in making announcements of deregulatory change than in the change itself, so the risk of a judge blocking their actions didn’t concern them all that much. Of course, the agency spokespeople deny that. But lawyers know, for example, that the law sometimes requires public notice and comment when making regulatory change. It’s not hard. It just slows things down. But if they fail to do it, it’s almost a certainty that a judge will object. These are not close calls. Now some of the cases, like the census case (the Commerce Department’s decision to add a citizenship question to the census), are much more complex than what I’m describing and raise deeper issues, which we continue to pursue.
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In most systems, the governing body responsible for overseeing the courts assigns a unique number/letter combination or similar designation to each case in order to track the various disputes that are or have been before it. The outcome of the case is recorded, and can later be reviewed by obtaining a copy of the documents associated with the designation previously assigned to the case.