Your theory must also be based on the law. For example, if you are accused of deliberately crashing into someone’s car, your theory of the case may be that the victim was negligent when she backed into the road. Unfortunately, the plaintiff’s negligence will not relieve you of liability if you deliberately hit her. Therefore, your “theory of the case” could instead be that you didn’t deliberately hit her but only negligently did, or that she deliberately backed into you.
Paul Bergman is a Professor of Law at the UCLA School of Law and a recipient of a University Distinguished Teaching Award. His recent books include Reel Justice: The Courtroom Goes to the Movies (Andrews & McMeel); Trial Advocacy: Inferences, Arguments, Techniques (with Moore and Binder, West Publishing Co.); and Represent Yourself In Court and The Criminal Law Handbook (both with Berman-Barrett, Nolo). He has also published numerous articles in law journals.
In 2015, an investigation commissioned by the UT System concluded that then-President Bill Powers sometimes ordered that students touted by regents, legislators, donors and other prominent people be admitted despite objections from the admissions office. Powers said he always acted in the university's best interests, and it is an open secret that presidents of public and private universities sometimes put a thumb on the admissions scale.
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.
Gillnet Restrictions: In Oregon and Washington, the NSIA was involved in new rules that changed the allocation of Columbia River fish for commercial gillnetters and put in motion a phasing out period of gillnet use on the main channel, shifting the commercial fishing to off-channel hatchery sites. These decisions have led two lawsuits which are taking resources from the NSIA and we need your help to continue this effort.
I watch the federal courts closely and became aware over time that the administration was being challenged in court on almost every important policy and deregulatory decision and that U.S. district court judges, who ordinarily defer to the government in most of these challenges, were no longer doing so. Deanna Paul and I began keeping track of the adverse rulings. I’ve been watching regulation and courts for a very long time, and the numbers of defeats were well beyond anything I had seen.
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.
Judge Hagedorn executed his campaign plan, delivered his message to the voters and withstood withering attacks from the left and the media. The left attacked him for starting a Christian school and for calling Planned Parenthood a “wicked organization.” Planned Parenthood went on to spend over $120,000 to try to defeat him. As a result, business groups, afraid of backlash, decided to stay out of this race, clearly intimidated by the most radical elements of the political left. Private polling showed Hagedorn down by nearly double digits and the political experts predicted a big loss for him. At one point the groups on the left were outspending those on the right by a 14-to-1 margin, as Eric Holder and liberals eyed a flip of the conservative leaning court.

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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.
If, upon review of your case information, the attorney determines that you have a very strong case and that State’s case may be weak, one option is to fight the case by going to trial. The decision to go to trial is always the client’s decision. Depending on the charge and the jurisdiction, this may mean a bench trial, meaning a single judge presides and makes a decision as to your guilt or innocence, or a jury trial, meaning a jury of usually 12 people decides guilt or innocence. A trial usually takes quite a bit of time to be scheduled – in North Carolina a felony trial may take as long as a year or more schedule and in others it may take two years or even more. This is based on the severity of the crime you’ve been charged with and how busy the court calendar is.
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).
In arbitration, the parties submit their case to an arbitrator or a panel of arbitrators, who will decide for one side or the other, like a judge in a courtroom. Although there are many different forms of arbitration, arbitration typically resembles a trial. Each party has the opportunity to present witnesses and introduce evidence.[17] You may be represented by an attorney.
Your theory must also be based on the law. For example, if you are accused of deliberately crashing into someone’s car, your theory of the case may be that the victim was negligent when she backed into the road. Unfortunately, the plaintiff’s negligence will not relieve you of liability if you deliberately hit her. Therefore, your “theory of the case” could instead be that you didn’t deliberately hit her but only negligently did, or that she deliberately backed into you.
Washington state has become a battleground over the legality of online gambling. A landmark ruling last year against the then-parent company of Seattle-based Big Fish Games found that it was facilitating online gambling because the chips in the company’s casual casino games represented a “thing of value” under state law because users can’t play without them.
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.

The focus for this specialty drug court is on those defendants between the ages of 18 and 24, young offenders (YO), and requires family support and participation. The program was launched in July 2010 and follows an intensive supervision drug court model with a focus on family treatment. This team has found a formula that is successful with the drug court defendants, especially with young offenders. YO Court mandates frequent court status checks, substance abuse treatment, community service activities, random drug testing, life skill classes, homework assignments and family involvement.
Are you facing a legal issue, or just looking for more information about a specific legal topic? FindLaw's Learn About the Law section is the perfect starting point. Learn About the Law features informational articles about a wide variety of legal topics, as well as specific information about subjects such as how to hire an attorney and understanding your state's unique laws.
The brothers, who were arrested more than two weeks after the incident upon returning to O’Hare International Airport from an overseas trip, reportedly laid out for investigators how they worked with Smollett to carry out the alleged hoax attack as they were on the cusp of being charged. They said Smollett paid them $3,500 to carry out the alleged fake assault.
I have represented myself in various state and federal courts for years and have experienced firsthand just how unfair our system of justice can be against a person who decides to represent himself. Not long ago a federal judge looked me in the eye and told me just before the trial that I wouldn’t win. The judge did a lot of things during the trial to make it unfair for me, but I did win.
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.”
A trial can to be the most risky option for resolving a case. This is because a third party, meaning a judge or jury, is determining your guilt or innocence. Even in the strongest of cases, judges and juries have found defendants guilty in the face of significant reasonable doubt. While you usually have appeal rights of some sort if you feel you are wrongfully convicted, you must be aware when opting for a trial that you are leaving your fate open to someone else’s decision making. This means that if you are found guilty, you are subject to whatever consequence the judge decides upon consistent with the law.
I’m not sure we did capture all the possible cases. The highly publicized cases, like DACA and the travel ban, are obvious. Nobody seems to keep some sort of master list of everything else. So Deanna and I began to track them down using a variety of sources. We wound up with the number 63, which even since we wrote the piece has increased to about 68.

Identify evidence and witnesses. The parties in a lawsuit have the right to request copies of documents in each other’s possession or control in a process called “discovery.” In discovery, you can also request that the other party answer questions, either orally or in writing. If you request a document and the other side claims not to have it, research whether or not they have destroyed it.
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Lawsuits can become additionally complicated as more parties become involved (see joinder). Within a "single" lawsuit, there can be any number of claims and defenses (all based on numerous laws) between any number of plaintiffs or defendants. Each of these participants can bring any number of cross claims and counterclaims against each other, and even bring additional parties into the suit on either side after it progresses. In reality however, courts typically have some power to sever claims and parties into separate actions if it is more efficient to do so. A court can do this if there is not a sufficient overlap of factual issues between the various associates, separating the issues into different lawsuits.
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