Essay Instructions: PURPOSE
The goals of this assignment are both to provide a valuable skill and to assess your ability to comprehend and apply case law. Reading, briefing, and applying what you are reading in your textbook and learning is class is an effective way to become literate in the process of our legal system.
DOING AN ANALYSIS
The first step to making and defending a decision is to be familiar with the relevant law. For our purposes, your textbook (the specific chapter assigned) and class discussions should give you all the legal concepts needed to apply the law to a factual situation. Once you are familiar with the general content of the chapter, you should be able to recognize the issue involved in a case and find the legal concepts that will help you decide the case.
1. Read the assigned Factual Situations.
2. Identify and (In Your Own Words) write down the central issue to be decided. As much as possible set the issue in legal terms and concepts.
3. Search the assigned chapter for legal concepts that will help you decide and justify your decision. Once you find the quotations you wish to use, they copy them into the appropriate places in your analysis. When you use quotations, be sure to use proper citations and be careful of plagiarism
4. Write (In Your Own Words) your complete explanation about how you used the legal concepts you cited to make a decision about how the case should be resolved. This is your ?Rationale? section. This is your opportunity to demonstrate your critical thinking skills as you explain and defend your decision.
5. The last part is to describe what should happen to the parties involved because of your decision.
6. Up load all of your decisions as one document to turnitin.com as per course instructions.
Each analysis should contain the following:
The name of the case: for example ? 7. Fuentes v. Shevin
I. Main Issue (Your Own Words and at least 50% Original)
II. Relevant Legal Concepts From Text (quoted from textbook court opinions)
III. Relevant Case Law from Text (quoted from textbook)
IV. Rationale (Your Own Words and at least 50% Original)
V. Ruling (Your Own Words and at least 50% Original))
Your analyses are graded on the following criteria:
1. Correctly framing the specific legal question to be decided
2. Identifying and quoting relevant material from the assigned chapter
3. Correctly applying the cited legal concepts to your decision
4. The insightfulness and organization of your rationale
5. Originality and Writing Quality
This assignment should be your original work. You may copy legal concepts from the textbook or class notes into the Relevant Legal Concepts and Relevant Case Law Concepts sections, but the rest should be ?IN YOUR OWN WORDS? (at least 50% original) Each submission will be scanned for originality by Turnitin.com software and substantial overlap with the writing of other students is ACADEMIC DISHONESTY and will result in appropriate sanctions.
SAMPLE ANALYSIS (from Chapter Question 1 p. 58 text)
1. Kentucky Department of Corrections v. Thompson, 490 U.S. 454 (1989)
Main Issue (Your Own Words)
Has the State of Kentucky violated procedural due process by depriving inmates of a protected liberty right to prison visitors with our a hearing to challenge a visitor who is banned?
Relevant Legal Concepts From Text (quoted from textbook opinions)
Procedural Due Process - 14th Amendment ? Section 1. ? . . . nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; . . .? (pp. 28 & 671)
Relevant Liberty Definition: ? . . . a vast scope of personal rights. It also infers the absence of arbitrary and unreasonable government restraints. (p. 29)
?The due process guarantee protects people from unfairness in the operation of both substantive and procedural law.? Procedural law prescribes the method used to enforce legal rights. It provides the machinery by which individuals can enforce their rights or obtain redress for the invasion of such rights.? (p.29)
Since procedural due process rights cost the government time and money: ?Courts generally therefore generally try to balance accuracy against its cost on a case-by-case basis.
Relevant Case Law from Text (quoted from textbook)
Connecticut Department of Public Safety v. John Doe ?In cases such as Washington v. Constantineau (1971) and Goss v. Lopez (1975) we held that due process required the government to afford the plaintiff a hearing to prove or disprove a particular set of facts.? However, ? . . . a convicted offender has already had a procedurally safeguarded opportunity to contest.? ?Plaintiffs who assert a right to a hearing under the Due Process Clause must show that the facts they seek to establish in that hearing are relevant under the statutory scheme.? (p. 46)
Rationale (Your Own Words)
Since the State of Kentucky had ? . . . established regulations to guide prison officials in making visitation decisions.? , one could argue that an inmate?s liberty to have visitors has been recognized. It could be further argued that denial of a hearing to challenge the finding that a specific visitor could be barred is protected by due process. However, conducting court hearings requiring an adversary proceeding could be unduly burdensome of the state and the liberty of an inmate has been deprived initially in a procedurally safeguarded hearing. Depravation of the liberty of convicted inmates to have specific visitors is outweighed by the burden of conducting such hearings.
Ruling (Your Own Words)
1. (Brian Short v. State of Florida)
Brian and Jennifer were in love. They had been high school sweethearts, and they planned to get married when they both graduated from Saint Leo University in 2015. However, there was one problem: Brian and Jennifer were both very short. Each was under 5? tall. The State of Florida had recently passed a law that prohibited two very short people from marrying. In defense of the law, the State asserted that in order to maintain dominance with the State athletic programs (e.g. Gator Football and Basketball, Seminole Football), the State had a legitimate interest in making sure that the children born in Florida would be as tall as possible. After all, Football brings in so much money to the Universities, which allows less financial strain on the State to support them. Further, bigger children are less likely to fall into small holes, and seat belts can fit them better, thus, this law would protect all the children of the State. This law was titled ?Maintaining the size of our children? law. Brian and Jennifer have sued the State, claiming that the law is unconstitutional. Specify the essential legal issue(s) involved, describe the legal concepts from Chapter 1 of the text that you will use, decide which side should win and, explain your reasoning and how you used the legal concepts to arrive at your decision.
2. (Michael v. University)
Michael pulled an ?all-nighter? studying for an important exam. He was exhausted the next day, and during the exam, he was doing ?head-rotations? to loosen his cramped neck muscles. Dr. Persky, who was proctoring the exam, saw him stretching and thought he was looking at the answer sheet of the student setting next to him. He took his exam and dismissed him from the classroom and told him that because of his cheating, he would automatically fail the class. The next day, Michael discovered that he had been dismissed from the University with no tuition refunds and that his transcripts had been deleted. Michael is suing the University claiming that the University?s actions were unconstitutional and asking to be reinstated and to continue his education without penalty. Specify the essential legal issue(s) involved, describe the legal concepts from Chapter 1 of the text that you will use, decide which side should win an, explain your reasoning and how you used the legal concepts to arrive at your decision.
3. (Taylor Lautner v. Taylor Swift)
Taylor Swift was living in the same house with Taylor Lautner for 3 years. During that time, they both pursued independent acting and music careers, and each earned substantial income. They were as much in love as can be and shared many good times and passionate lovemaking. They never pooled their financial resources into one account, and each paid their own expenses except for the rent, which they split down the middle. By mutual consent, they agreed that they had fallen out of love and were each interested in pursuing other relationships. After a short time, Mr. Lautner?s acting roles dried up. He is now suing Ms. Swift for half of everything she earned while they were cohabitating together. Specify the essential legal issue(s) involved, describe the legal concepts from Chapter 1 of the text that you will use, decide which side should win an, explain your reasoning and how you used the legal concepts to arrive at your decision.
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