Research, Writing & Civil Litigation  Assignment 1 Essay

688 Words Sep 5th, 2013 3 Pages
PLG-108-1309: Legal Research, Writing & Civil Litigation
Assignment 1 (based on classes 1 and 2): Question

For the first assignment, try these short questions involving legal research:

1. Please enter the correct citation for the Supreme Court case of Lamb against California, which was decided on January 7, 1963 and is recorded on page 234 of volume 371 in the United States Reporter.
Lamb V. California, 371 U. S. 234 (1963).
2. Please list all of the courts whose decisions are binding upon the federal district court for the District of Massachusetts.
Circuit Courts of Appeal, and the U.S. Supreme.
3. From the following sources of law within our legal system, list them in the order of most binding to least binding (assume
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Our court systems are founded on the belief that there should be fairness, consistency, and predictability in judicial decision making. The doctrine that expresses this concept is labeled stare decisis. In essence, stare decisis considers mandatory, or binding, an existing decision from any court that exercises appellate jurisdiction over another court, unless the lower court can show that the decision is clearly wrong or is distinguishable from the case at hand.

Courts frequently consider the larger context when choosing among persuasive decisions. A typical situation in which decisions from one state may be highly persuasive on another is where both states share a specific doctrine. For example, Texas courts may find decisions of Wisconsin courts in marital property cases quite persuasive because both states adhere to community property law. Rarely would either state consult its neighboring states on marital property law; both have neighbors that are common-law marital property states. In most other situations, however, Texas courts might find Oklahoma or Arkansas decisions more persuasive than those of Minnesota or Illinois (Wisconsin's neighbors), because demographic, geographic, or historic similarities may have led to the development of similar legal doctrines among neighboring states.

Similarly, whether a state has adopted a particular uniform law can affect the persuasiveness of its decisions. Federal courts, too, look at the larger
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