Law of Communication

Law of Communication - January 16 Briefing- when reading a...

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January 16 Briefing- when reading a case: 1. determine facts 2. issue- what is the legal question? 3. holding- what was the answer? 4. rationale- reason for the holding Judicial Process Common law: government by judiciary (judge-made law), stare decisis, precedent Civil code: government by legislature (statutes) Criminal case: - criminal complaint - preliminary hearing/probable cause screening - more pretrial hearings o determine issues o what evidence can be used Civil case: - 1 party submits a complaint - serve papers - have time period to give “answer” o confirms or rejects accusations o demurrer or 12B6: motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim for which relief can be granted (no case even if all facts are true) - pretrial discovery (ask questions, minimize trial, demand documents) - motion for summary judgment 2 issues: - factual- what happened? - legal- is it actionable? Constitution- adopted by the people (*always wins) Statutes- passed by legislature Diversity cases- multiple states involved, tried in federal court (eliminate “home-court advantage) Petition for a writ of certiorari- appeal to Supreme Court Why accept? - same issue in more than 1 court with different results - seems to conflict with previous court decisions - issue has not previously been considered - time to reconsider (new justices, times have changed) January 18 (Discussion)
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NYT vs. Sullivan (page 12-26) 1. Facts- Alabama, NYT printed ad about a police commissioner, civil rights issue, content of the ad about commissioner is false 2. Issue- police commissioner a public official, issue is whether Alabama law is constitutional (that if a public official automatically can receive damages if reputation is damaged) a. Violation of freedom of speech? b. Public officials need to be challenged and accept criticism c. Public official must prove actual malice (knowledge/disregard of whether it was false) 3. Holding- Alabama law is unconstitutional 4. Rationale- has to be open forum between the public and government- public officials have a higher standard to prove defamation **Lexus Nexus/ Westlaw- synopsis of cases Current Supreme Court Justices- Roberts Court Roberts (conservative)- Bush (II)- Chief Justice Alito (conservative)- Bush (II) Thomas (conservative)- Bush (I) Scalia (conservative)- Reagan Kennedy (moderate)- Reagan *swing vote* Ginsberg (liberal)- Clinton Souter (liberal)- Bush (I) Stevens (liberal)- Ford Breyer (liberal)- Clinton Marshall Court (1801-1836)- Marbury vs. Madison - declared its role as a reader/authority on the Constitution Warren Court (1953-1969)- Brown vs. Board - held that segregation in public school’s unconstitutional Burger Court (1969-1986)- Roe vs. Wade - made abortion a constitutional right - University of California vs. Bakke Renquist Court (1986-2005) - Reviving concept of federalism - Planned parenthood vs. Casey- reevaluated abortion rights January 23 Certiorari not granted: as if it was never sought in the first place
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This note was uploaded on 05/03/2008 for the course CM CM 481 taught by Professor Carter during the Spring '08 term at BU.

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Law of Communication - January 16 Briefing- when reading a...

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