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.
LII was established in 1992 at Cornell Law School by Professor Peter Martin and Tom Bruce with a $250,000 multi-year startup grant from the National Center for Automated Information Research. The LII was originally based on Gopher and provided access to United States Supreme Court decisions and the US Code. Its original mission included the intent to "carry out applied research on the use of digital information technology in the distribution of legal information,...[and t]o make law more accessible." In the early years of LII, Bruce developed Cello the first web browser for Microsoft Windows. Cello was released on 8 June 1993. In 1994 LII moved from Gopher to the Web. Since 2007 the IRS has distributed its IRS Tax Products DVD with LII's version of 26 USC (Internal Revenue Code).
In most cases, the EEOC can file a lawsuit to enforce the law only after it investigates and makes a finding that there is reasonable cause to believe that discrimination has occurred, and is unable to resolve the matter through a process called "conciliation." The EEOC has discretion which charges to litigate if conciliation efforts are unsuccessful, and ultimately litigates a small percentage of all charges filed. When deciding whether to file a lawsuit, the EEOC considers factors such as the strength of the evidence, the issues in the case, and the wider impact the lawsuit could have on the EEOC's efforts to combat workplace discrimination. Congress also gave individuals the right to file a lawsuit in court.
If you plan to file a lawsuit under federal law alleging discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy, gender identity, and sexual orientation), national origin, age (40 or older), disability, genetic information. or retaliation, you first have to file a charge with the EEOC (except for lawsuits under the Equal Pay Act, see below).
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.
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.
Ensure that all media moments get maximum media coverage. Oftentimes, state LGBT groups simply didn’t have the capability to shape an opportunity for the press, pitch the story, and secure solid coverage in print and broadcast media. As a result, Freedom to Marry created an in-house capacity to do just that. We’d work with local organizers and attorneys to shape opportunities and maximize likelihood of coverage. In certain states, like Wyoming, this resulted in several strong, front-page stories in the state’s most important newspaper as we rolled out a list of prominent Republicans and clergy who were in support of the freedom to marry. We’d ensure that signers onto amicus briefs who we knew were newsworthy were available to speak to the press, sometimes holding media calls with key amici and other times offering exclusive stories to key outlets. And we’d work closely with the legal teams, local reporters covering the legal cases, and editorial boards to ensure they had access to attorneys and plaintiffs at key moments (deadlines for filing briefs, lead-up to oral arguments, etc.), had the chance to ask questions, and understood our side of the case. And in every situation, once we’d secure a news story, positive editorial, or powerful broadcast piece, we’d amplify it through our Digital Action Center.
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.”
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.
Instead of filing an answer within the time specified in the summons, the defendant can choose to dispute the validity of the complaint by filing a demurrer (in the handful of jurisdictions where that is still allowed) or one or more "pre-answer motions," such as a motion to dismiss. It is important that the motion be filed within the time period specified in the summons for an answer. If all of the above motions are denied by the trial court, and the defendant loses on all appeals from such denials (if that option is available), and finally the defendant must file an answer.