Whose Monet? An Introduction To The American Legal System / Edition 1

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This extraordinary paperback provides a highly accessible and appealing orientation to the American legal system and presents basic concepts of civil litigation to first-year law students. Whose Monet? An Introduction to the American Legal System focuses on a lengthy dispute over the ownership of a painting as a vehicle for introducing students to the basic law school tasks of reading analytically, understanding legal materials, and working with the common law.

The author and his colleagues have used these materials successfully in their classrooms for many years, ensuring their teachability and effectiveness:

  • Whose Monet? can be used as primary course material in orientation courses or seminars, as well as collateral reading for in-semester Legal Process or Civil Procedure courses
  • The organization is logical and straightforward and the accessible writing style—lucid, descriptive, and conversational—is ideal for incoming students
  • The major events in a lawsuit are considered, and the text sheds light on how the law is applied in a civil dispute, introducing common law and statutory law and the various courts and their interrelationship (trial/appellate, state/federal)
  • The author draws on judicial opinions, litigation papers, transcripts, and selections from commentators and various jurisprudential sources, thereby exposing the first-year student to as broad a spectrum of materials as possible
  • Telling the story of a real lawsuit (DeWeerth v. Baldinger)—from client intake through trial and various appeals—draws students into the legal process by means of an engaging narrative and makes for a truly enjoying teaching experience for professors
  • The lawyer's role is examined in both its functional and moral dimensions: What do lawyers do? What does society legitimately expect lawyers to do?
  • This book is suitable for both classroom and stand-alone assigned reading

Professor Humbach, with over 30 years of experience teaching and writing articles and instruction programs for first-year property students, includes a separate Teacher's Manual. Drawing upon his own classroom experience with these materials, he:

  • suggests "learning objectives" for each chapter
  • offers different teaching approaches
  • provides answers to questions in the book
  • suggests sample syllabi
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780735565579
  • Publisher: Wolters Kluwer Law & Business
  • Publication date: 4/13/2007
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 252
  • Sales rank: 374,893
  • Product dimensions: 9.00 (w) x 6.00 (h) x 0.53 (d)

Table of Contents

Introduction     1
The Lawyer's Task: Facts and Law     9
The Facts     10
Facts of DeWeerth v. Baldinger as Summarized by the Trial Court     17
The Law     21
Deciding Whether to Sue     27
Deciding Where to Sue: The Court System     31
Federal Court System     33
A Note on "Civil" and "Criminal" Cases     37
District Courts     39
United States Courts of Appeals     42
Supreme Court of the United States     44
Other Federal Courts     45
State Court Systems     45
Trial Courts     47
State Courts of Appeals     48
State Supreme Courts     49
Other State Courts     50
The Best Court for Mrs. DeWeerth?     51
Commencing a Civil Action     55
The Complaint     63
The Content of Pleadings     65
The Complaint's Legal Sufficiency-A Motion to Dismiss     67
Decision on Motion to Dismiss     74
DeWeerth v. Baldinger I     74
A Note on "Briefing" Cases     79
The Common Law     83
The Emergence of American Common Law     90
Kerwhacker v. Cleveland, Columbus & Cincinnati RR     96
The Fluidity of the Common Law     98
The Stability of the Common Law-Stare Decisis     105
Hart v. Massanari     116
The Answer     121
"Discovery"     125
A Motion for Summary Judgment     131
O'Keeffe v. Snyder     134
DeWeerth v. Baldinger II     144
Statutory Law and Administrative Regulations     153
What Statutes Are Supposed to Do     155
How Statutes Get Enacted     159
Administrative Regulations     161
Interpreting Statutes     164
Interpreting the Statute in DeWeerth     168
The Trial     171
Selecting the Jury (Voir Dire)     174
Opening Statements     176
Presenting the Testimony and Other Evidence     177
Motions for Judgment as a Matter of Law or Judgment of Acquittal     180
Closing Arguments     181
Charge to the Jury     182
The Judgment (and a Motion for a "Judgment N.O.V.")     185
The Appeal     189
DeWeerth v. Baldinger III     193
The Aftermath     207
Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation v. Lubell      208
DeWeerth v. Baldinger IV     212
DeWeerth v. Baldinger V     214
Postscript     219
Extracts from Testimony of Gerda Dorothea DeWeerth     223
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