Many laws are enacted as a coherent whole and then divided and separated when they are codified.  Part of the statute may be sprinkled into the jurisdiction and procedure code, part into one substantive code and the rest into another.  Additionally, within one code, sections of a single statute may appear widely separated.  Two federal examples: The Chief Financial Officers Act of 1990 appears in the following United States Code titles: 5, 31, 38 and 42. The Child Abuse, Domestic Violence, Adoption...

Eagle Cove believed that its religion required it to hold its Bible camp in only one place: on its lake-side property in Oneida County, Wisconsin. But the County had zoned the property for residential use only. When Eagle Cove asked the County to re-zone the property, the County refused. When Eagle Cove asked for a conditional use permit so that it could hold the Bible camp anyway, the County denied that too.Wisc-lake Did the County's denials violate the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act? In Eagle Cove Camp & Conference Center v. Town of Woodboro, No. 13-1274 (Oct. 30, 2013), the Seventh Circuit said "no." It affirmed the grant of summary judgment for the County and for the Town of Woodboro. No Total Exclusion One provision of RLUIPA provides that

Here are published decisions involving local governments from the federal appellate courts from October 28, 2013 through November 1, 2013: 6th Circuit Hidden Village, LLC v. City of Lakewood,  No. 12-3543 (Oct. 30, 2013) (finding that claim brought by apartment-complex owner that City and officials waged racially motivated harassment campaign against its tenants may proceed to trial). Burgess v. Fischer, No. 12-4191 (Nov. 1, 2013) (holding that summary judgment for County and officers was only proper for certain of plaintiffs' excessive force, failure to intervene, deliberate...

If things did not go so well in the trial court, an attorney may want to return to the books for more research for the appellate briefing.  In cases involving statutory issues, there may be relevant law that has not been codified that may make the difference.

It’s easy to assume that the code book in your hand or the sections that appear initially on the computer screen contain all the laws.  Not so.  Legislatures enact many laws that are not codified at all or are codified only in part.  Common examples include:

Here's how local governments fared in the federal courts of appeals during the past week. Seventh Circuit Perry v. City of Chicago, No. 10-3979 (Oct. 23, 2013) (affirming verdict for City against evidentiary challenges). Lavalais v. Village of Melrose Park, No. 13-1200 (Oct. 23, 2013) (vacating dismissal of race-discrimination claims brought against Village by former Village employee based on denial of transfer from midnight shift). Williams v. City of Chicago, No. 12-3249 (Oct. 24, 2013) (reversing grant of summary judgment for City, finding officers are not...

The Third Circuit decided this week that installing a GPS device on a car requires police to obtain a search warrant. The case, United States v. Katzin, builds upon the Supreme Court's decision in United States v. Jones, which held that placing a GPS device on a car is a "search" for Fourth Amendment purposes. Katzin addresses when that search is reasonable. The court considered various exceptions to the warrant requirement in other contexts, but concluded that none applies here. The court recognized that it was the first...

Richard Wolf of USA Today covers the Supreme Court's use of "wild hypotheticals." As Kevin Russell explains: "They are not so much trying to get an answer from you as they are trying to demonstrate a flaw," says Kevin Russell, a frequent Supreme Court litigant. "Sometimes they're just picking on the poor advocate … or sending signals to other justices on the bench."  ...

The Federal Circuit recently said no, in a case highlighted today at Julie Tappendorf's must-read blog Municipal Minute. In the case, the District of Columbia and the City of Houston attempted to trademark these two marks: The court ruled that Section 2(b) of the Lanham Act ( 15 U.S.C. 1052(b)) prohibits the local governments from registering the marks. It provides: No trademark by which the goods of the applicant may be distinguished from the goods of others shall be refused registration on the...

Consider whether you are really done.  Have you answered the question(s) that were asked?  All the questions?  Are all the factual and procedural statements supported by citations to the exhibits?  Are there any omitted evidentiary points that may benefit your client as to burden of proof or presumptions in favor of your client or against your adversary?NYcourt Then follow these steps in the order that makes sense based on the nature of the brief and your work: One time, proofread just the headings or captions.  Cut and paste the headings into a separate document.  Read them apart from the brief.  Do they make sense? Are the captions parallel in structure and tense so that they flow pleasingly? Should you add subheadings to assist the reader or make other adjustments? Is there a step skipped over in the reasoning?

The State and Local Legal Center hosted an excellent Supreme Court Preview Webinar this afternoon. The panelists -- Tom Hungar, Kannon Shanmugam, and David Savage -- discussed the following cases: Town of Greece v. Galloway -- Is the Town's legislative prayer practice consistent with the Establishment Clause? EPA v. EME Homer City Generation -- Did the EPA properly enact rules addressing State air pollution under Clean Air Act's "good neighbor" provision? McCullen v. Coakley -- Does a Massachusetts law forbidding speakers from entering or remaining on a...