General Litigation Newsletters
Amicus curiae is a Latin term meaning a "friend of the court." An amicus curiae is not a party to the lawsuit but is a person or group that has a strong interest in the matter being litigated. The function of an amicus curiae is to bring to the court's attention law, facts, or circumstances in the pending lawsuit that might not otherwise be discussed by the parties to the lawsuit. An amicus curiae's intent is to influence the court's decision.
Judges are subject to standards of judicial conduct. Their actions are required to conform to certain norms and standards that relate to impartiality and ethical behavior. There are codes of judicial conduct for both state and federal judges. This article discusses cases in which state judges have been sanctioned or removed for ethical violations.
Many middle-income individuals in America need the help of a lawyer but are unable to afford one. Prepaid legal service plans offer affordable legal services to middle-income individuals and families. Prepaid plans emphasize preventive law. By allowing a plan member easy access to an attorney, legal problems can be avoided or resolved quickly. This article explains how prepaid legal service plans work. It also outlines the types of legal services available through such plans.
Jurisdiction refers to the authority of a court to hear and decide a case. A federal court's authority to hear a specific case comes from the United States Constitution and federal laws. It is necessary for a federal court to have both subject matter jurisdiction (power over the legal matter involved in the case) and personal jurisdiction (power over the parties to the lawsuit) for the court to make a legally valid decision in a case.
The National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws was created in 1892. The National Conference is composed of more than 300 Uniform Law Commissioners. The Commissioners are lawyers who are appointed from each state. The Commissioners draft uniform or model legislation that addresses problems that are common to all states. The National Conference finances its activities through funds appropriated by state legislatures. The goal of the National Conference is to encourage the adoption of laws that are consistent throughout the states.