Cornell’s Legal Information Institute is celebrating Constitution Day by publishing the first publicly-available web version of the Congressional Research Service’s Constitution Annotated, a non-partisan publication that helps readers appreciate how Americans’ collective understanding of our governing principles has changed throughout our history on timely issues such as the scope of presidential power, limits on free speech, or the right to bear arms. Read More Here
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.
One of the most common things criminal attorneys deal with are clients that have accepted a plea without understanding that plea and now they have changed their minds. Once a plea is accepted, it is extremely difficult to undo. A defense lawyer will be able to thoroughly explain the components of the plea and how it will impact you so that you can make an informed decision as to whether or not you want to accept the plea.
An effective criminal lawyer will know if the plea you are being offered is a good plea or a bad one. If there are multiple charges, an experienced attorney will try to get some of them dropped or to have them consolidated. If the plea calls for active prison time, the attorney will work to try to minimize this time and have sentences served concurrently rather than consecutively if there are multiple charges.
If this is the case in the crime for which you are charged, an attorney will try to get you enrolled into one of these programs. These programs are good options in many cases because they are extremely low risk – usually once you are enrolled it is 100% up to you to be successful, but it also means that the only thing that can cause failure is you. Deferral programs usually involve some sort of community service, treatment, and or education classes as well as a period of time in which you cannot get in further trouble. In most cases, once these requirements are met, the charges against you will be dropped and sometimes, you can even file for an expungement for the history of the case ever happening to be removed from your criminal background.
I'd also like to mention for those of you who are looking for Child Support help, this is not a good book for that. It has a tiny section on Child Support, then leaves you hanging. This may be because laws vary so much, but I thought I'd at least point it out. The book is more for general concepts, so the info falls short once you begin specializing in certain subject matters.
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.
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.
Once you know the elements you'll have to prove to win your case, you can figure out what types of evidence will help you prove each key fact. However, not every kind of evidence can be presented in a courtroom: Complicated rules of evidence determine whether a particular document, statement, or item is admissible in court. Although you don't have to master every detail of these rules, you should do enough research to make sure that you'll be able to present the evidence you need to win.
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Though the majority of lawsuits are settled before ever reaching a state of trial, they can still be very complicated to litigate. This is particularly true in federal systems, where a federal court may be applying state law (e.g. the Erie doctrine, for example in the United States), or vice versa. It is also possible for one state to apply the law of another in cases where additionally it may not be clear which level (or location) of court actually has jurisdiction over the claim or personal jurisdiction over the defendant, or whether the plaintiff has standing to participate in a lawsuit. About 98 percent of civil cases in the United States federal courts are resolved without a trial. Domestic courts are also often called upon to apply foreign law, or to act upon foreign defendants, over whom they may not even have the ability to even enforce a judgment if the defendant's assets are theoretically outside their reach.