General Litigation Newsletters

Court Personnel

The persons involved in a trial, besides the parties, include the judge, clerk of the court, court reporter, bailiff, staff attorneys, clerks and lawyers.

Eyewitness Identification Evidence

While very dramatic at trial, eyewitness evidence can be unreliable. Numerous scientific studies have been conducted on the accuracy of eyewitness identification. Some social scientists estimate that erroneous eyewitness identification is responsible for a large percentage of wrongful convictions. However, jurors tend to believe that eyewitness testimony is accurate. This article discusses the factors that affect the accuracy of eyewitness identification and what the courts are doing to reduce the number of wrongful convictions.

Finding Federal Regulations and Administrative Decisions

Over 50 federal agencies perform regulatory functions. Most aspects of everyday life are regulated by federal agencies, including the food we eat, the clothes we wear, and the air we breathe. The body of law created by federal agencies is called administrative law. Administrative law covers the rules, regulations, and decisions of federal, state, and municipal agencies. This article discusses how to find proposed and final federal regulations, as well as how to locate the administrative orders or decisions of various federal agencies.

Judicial Immunity

As a general rule, judges are immune or protected from lawsuits seeking money damages for any actions performed by the judge as part of his or her official duties. Judicial immunity shields a judge from liability for unpopular or controversial judgments. A judge can be sued for money damages based on his or her nonjudicial actions (actions not made in a judge's official capacity). A judge is also liable for actions that are judicial in nature but are taken when the judge lacks jurisdiction or authority over the matter.

Sunshine Laws

States have enacted Sunshine Laws to ensure governmental integrity and accountability. Sunshine Laws require governmental bodies (commissions, boards, advisory committees, and agencies) to hold open public meetings, deliberations, and votes, unless otherwise provided by law. Sunshine Laws also guarantee public access to the records of governmental bodies, unless provided otherwise by law.

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