That’s why Freedom to Marry’s strategy – while always building toward a win in the Supreme Court, and very much embracing litigation as a key methodology – was to marshal and invest energy and resources in making as strong a case in the court of public opinion as our advocates and plaintiffs were also making in the court of law. Here’s a look at key tactics we employed to creating the climate to win and hold victories in the courts.
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.
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.
Tulane University student Lauren Fidelak said she applied to USC and UCLA and was turned down, then had an emotional breakdown and had to be hospitalized, the suit says. Her mother, Keri Fidelak, and Johnson's father, James, have also joined the suit, along with Stanford student Kalea Woods and California community college student Tyler Bendis, and his mother, Julia.
It's also important to remember that your attorney understands the litigation process in a way that you don't. While you're a foreigner in the legal realm, your lawyer lives there. So, it's worth paying careful heed to your lawyer's advice. If you don't understand something, ask probing questions. However, always keep in mind that your lawyer has extensive professional training and experience in these matters.
6. Work on your tone of voice. “I struggled for years to find mine. I was torn at different points between seeming too young, too academic or too strident (another female pitfall). You want to come across as smart but not smarmy, warm but not cloying, passionate but calm. It’s a difficult balancing act for anyone, but it’s especially tough for young lawyers and female litigators.
The court may be unwilling to enter a default judgment. But you can effectively win your case anyway. You can ask the court to prevent the other party from offering any evidence on the topic. For example, if the party’s defense is that you sent an email agreeing to a change in a contract, but that party destroyed the email, then the judge can prevent the party from arguing that you ever agreed to the change.
The Pinkerton National Detective Agency is a staple of Western fiction, reflecting its real role in the American Old West. (It was acquired in 1999 by Swedish security company Securitas AB.) However, the company asked Take-Two to pay royalties for the right to mention its agents in the latest Red Dead Redemption installment. After Take-Two’s lawsuit, Pinkerton also claimed Rockstar was damaging its reputation by portraying agents as “violent villains” and letting players kill them.
New Orleans: Thousands of patients who took Xarelto have settled, through multi-district litigation, with Johnson & Johnson and Bayer for three quarters of a billion dollars. Plaintiffs allege that the manufacturers marketed the drug to physicians to prevent blood clots, but failed to inform them of Xarelto side effects, which could cause life-threatening complications such as internal bleeding, stroke and death.
Lethal Take of Sea Lions: One of the most frustrating things you can face when you have a salmon or steelhead on the line, is a sea lion taking your catch. We have been directly involved in a successful lawsuit against the U.S. Humane Society to support the ODFW plan to use force against these problem predators. This is both an ESA issue and a human safety issue for sport anglers.
As often as possible (as we did with the plaintiffs in Texas, Mark Phariss & Vic Holmes and Cleo & Nicole Dimetman-DeLeon) Freedom to Marry would work with private legal teams or our movement partners to write in-depth profiles and stories about the plaintiffs involved in the legal cases. By spotlighting their story in this way, we were able to extend the reach of the case and allow thousands more to connect with the personal reasons behind fighting for the freedom to marry.
American terminology is slightly different, in that the term "claim" refers only to a particular count or cause of action in a lawsuit. Americans also use "claim" to describe a demand filed with an insurer or administrative agency. If the claim is denied, then the claimant, policyholder, or applicant files a lawsuit with the courts to seek review of that decision and participates in the lawsuit as a plaintiff. In other words, the terms "claimant" and "plaintiff" carry substantially different connotations of formality in American English, in that only the latter risks an award of costs in favor of an adversary in a lawsuit.
Specifically, it names portions of the undergraduate catalogue, handbook of operating procedures and nondiscrimination policy that ban verbal harassment, including threats, insults and personal attacks based on a person's race, religion, gender, age and other personal characteristics, as well as portions of university and residence hall policies that prohibit uncivil behavior and harassment.
Tell the story behind the litigation: At the heart of litigation efforts are stories of injustice to real people. Our campaigns have sought to use the emotional resonance of the injustice of real stories as crucial ways to make our case and grow support. Edie Windsor in the DOMA case was a compelling figure – and with a smart media strategy behind her, her story became a face of the injustice of DOMA and the need to dismantle it once and for all. While the media loves covering the ins and outs of the court process and politics, what moves hearts and minds are people’s actual stories. It’s certainly wise to elevate the story that’s being discussed in the litigation. It’s also wise to identify and amplify similar stories of injustice in the state and across the country similar to the story being considered in court.
Residents use light rail during the afternoon hours in downtown Phoenix. Valley Metro CEO Scott Smith says he hopes to fix the light rail’s public image by implementing a new code of conduct that prohibits unruly behavior and gives light-rail security guards more flexibility to remove passengers. Valley Metro says there has been an increase in bad behavior on the light rail — actions that don’t rise to a criminal offense but do cause other passengers to feel unsafe or uncomfortable. Nick Oza/The Republic
A lawsuit is a proceeding by a party or parties against another in the civil court of law. The archaic term "suit in law" is found in only a small number of laws still in effect today. The term "lawsuit" is used in reference to a civil action brought in a court of law in which a plaintiff, a party who claims to have incurred loss as a result of a defendant's actions, demands a legal or equitable remedy. The defendant is required to respond to the plaintiff's complaint. If the plaintiff is successful, judgment is in the plaintiff's favor, and a variety of court orders may be issued to enforce a right, award damages, or impose a temporary or permanent injunction to prevent an act or compel an act. A declaratory judgment may be issued to prevent future legal disputes.