Challenges DeAnza Library closed for the year Can use county law libraries Classroom books Online
DeAnza database: Lexis Academic Go to DeAnza Library Site On Homepage link to LexisNexis Academic Need student ID to access from home.
PARALEGAL ROLE Find law at direction of attorney when given a citation Find law at direction of attorney when given a factual situation or legal question Communicate answer to client or attorney Communicate answer to Court Cite checking Find law to answer question related to paralegal task
Legal Research Library/Print resources Online legal resources Legal Fee-based Web sites Westlaw/Lexis—databases containing print resources Free Internet
Can’t I Find Everything on Google? Probably, But: Probably cannot cite to a court Do not know how reliable or current information is May be a good way to start—but not to finish!
LEGAL WRITING Case Brief Opinion Letter Memorandum of Law Memorandum of Points and Authorities Appellate Brief
Common Stumbling Blocks in Finding, Reading and Using Law Lack of legal vocabulary Most law is written by lawyers or judges for other lawyers Lack of knowledge regarding the legal system and civil and criminal legal process USE A LEGAL DICTIONARY!
Where Law is Found Print Law Libraries Other libraries Online Subscription services such as Lexis and Westlaw Internet (i.e. www.findlaw.com)www.findlaw.com CD Rom
Goal of Legal Research Find “primary” law that controls in your jurisdiction. Concepts: Primary v. Secondary and Mandatory v. Persuasive
TYPES OF LAW PRIMARY Codes (statutes) Cases Constitution Administrative Regs SECONDARY SOURCES Books/articles about the law; help find and understand the primary sources
Mandatory v. Persuasive Mandatory: Primary law from your jurisdiction (and if case law it isis “stare decisis”)
Stare Decisis Precedent or stare decisis Once a court decides a factual dispute, it must decide same dispute the same way. Key—similarity of factual disputes Decision must be from a higher court in the same jurisdiction
Before You Begin--Review Federal and state court systems Overview of civil case Overview of criminal case “Federalism”
CALIFORNIA COURT SYSTEM California Supreme Court 7 Justices Primarily a Court of Appellate Jurisdiction California Court of Appeals Six Districts Primarily Courts of Appellate Jurisdiction Trial Courts—Superior Courts (One for each county) Courts of Original Jurisdiction
Overview of Civil Case Negotiation Pleadings Complaint (or Petition) Answer (or Response) Further pleadings Motions Discovery Motions Pretrial Hearings/Conferences Trial Motions Appeal
Overview of a Criminal Case- Felony Arraignment (First Appearance) Pleading [Complaint or Indictment] Probable Cause Hearing—Grand jury or Preliminary Examination Motions Discovery Motions Pretrial Hearings Trial Motions Appeal
FEDERALISM AND LEGAL RESEARCH Federalism—Concept that we are subject to two separate governments, state and federal. Each has its own laws Legal research requires that you know whether state or federal law controls a situation