Closest to the Fire - Table of Contents

{ Table of Contents }



1. Why the Title, and Why This Book?

2. Attorneys: Substance and Style

A. Where They Come From

1. A (Possibly Obsolete) Note About Law Schools

B. Becoming a Lawyer

C. Leonardo da Vinci: Not

D. Defending the Guilty

E. Pit Bulls and Puppies: Variations in Style

F. What Newbies Do

G. Up or Out: the Partnership Track

H. In-House Counsel

1. Another Option: Working on Retainers

I. The Out-of-Towners: Pro Hac Vice and Reciprocity

J. Legalese

K. Pro Se, or Courting Disaster

1. Jailhouse Lawyers

L. What Good are Lawyers

M. Right to Counsel

N. Lawyer Dissatisfaction and its Consequences

O. The Times They Have A-Changed: Legal Malpractice Suits

3. Fees

A. You Want a Piece of Me?: Contingency Fees

B. Hourly and Flat Rates

C. Your Right Arm and Then Some: the Cost of Litigation

D. Refund? REfund?

E. Who Pays

F. Pro Bono - Attorneys Working for Free

G. The Client's Property Held Hostage: Attorney Liens

4. The Rules for Attorneys

A. Complaints Against Attorneys

B. Competence

C. Conflicts of Interest

D. Confidentiality, Attorney-Client Privilege, and Attorney Work Product

1. Blowing the Whistle

2. The Fee Exception

E. "Talk to My Attorney"

F. Candor

G. Isn't it Romantic (Not Usually)

H. Hawking the Product: Advertising

I. Client Trouble: Accepting the Wrong Client

5. Judges

A. The Path(s) to the Bench

B. Challenging the Judge

C. Who Watches the Watchers: Judging the Judge

1. Judicial Prejudice

D. Supreme Court Justices, a Law Unto Themselves

6. Who, What, and Where

A. Jurisdiction

1. State versus Federal Jurisdiction

2. In Rem Jurisdiction

B. Not Here: Forum Non Conveniens

C. Skin in the Game: Standing

D. All Together Now: Class Actions

E. Supremacy, aka Federal Preemption

7. Some Basics of Civil and Criminal Procedure

A. Civil Procedure

1. The Complaint and Summons

2. The Defendant's Turn: Answers and Counterclaims

3. Filing and Service of Later Documents

4. Temporary Relief: TROs, Preliminary Injunctions and Suchlike

B. Criminal Procedure

8. Are We There Yet?, Part One: The Pace of Legal Proceedings

A. Intro: "Abandon All Hope"

B. How Long, Oh Lord

9. Alternatives: Plea Bargains, Settlement, and ADR

A. Plea Bargains

1. Maybe I Didn't Do It, But Punish Me Anyway: No Contest Pleas

2. Distinction and a Bit of a Difference: Alford Pleas

B. Settlement

C. Special Paths to Settlement: ADR

1. Arbitration

2. Mediation

3. The Clients Rebel

D. Mistrials and the Alternative

10. Surprise: No Surprises

A. Discovery

B. Ex Parte Communications

11. Waiting Too Long: Statutes of Limitations and Repose

12. Arrest Basics

A. Bail

13. What's It All About: Substantive Principles (Criminal)

A. An Introductory Note about Criminal Intent

B. Having it Both Ways: Prosecutorial Inconsistency

C. Categories

D. The Model Penal Code

E. Murder Most (and Less) Foul

1. Murder Without Killing: Felony Murder

2. Self-Defense and Defense of Others

3. The Insanity Defense

F. Rape

1. Statutory Rape

2. Child Molesting

G. Robbery versus Burglary

H. Theft

1. Embezzlement

I. The Truth, and Not the Truth: Perjury

J. The Wide Net of 18 USC §1001

K. Blackmail

L. Intimidation and Threat

M. Trespass - Criminal Version

N. Resisting Arrest

O. Disorderly Conduct and Sometimes-Separate Related Offenses

P. Close but No Cigar: Attempt as a Crime

Q. Conspiracy and Related Crimes

R. Necessity and Duress

S. Ignorance Won't Help

T. Entrapment

U. Citizen's Arrest

V. Involuntary Commitment

W. Delinquency - Like and Unlike Crime

X. Criminal Contempt

14. What's It All About: Substantive Principles (Civil)

A. Introduction: Civil Law

B. Models and Uniforms

1. The Uniform Commercial Code

C. Promises, Promises: Contract Law

1. Offer and Acceptance

2. Consideration: What You Get or Give Up

3. The Statute of Frauds

4. Capacity to Contract

5. No Contract But: Promissory Estoppel and Quantum Meruit

6. Modifying a Contract

7. It Doesn't Mean THAT!: Construing the Contract

8. Oh No You Don't: Limits on Enforceable Contracts

9. The Catch-All Covenant and Implied Warranties

10. Third Party Beneficiaries

11. Bailment

D. Property, or What is Real

1. Ways of Partly Owning Real Property

a. Easements

2. Ways of Sharing Ownership of Real Property

3. Restrictions on the Use of Real Property

4. Recording an Interest in Real Property

5. Actions to Quiet Title

6. Foreclosures

7. No Trespassing

8. The Common Enemy and Other Nuisances

9. Landlord-Tenant Law

10. Adverse Possession   

E. Water Rights in the East and West

F. Torts: Introduction and Intentional Torts

1. Battery

2. Conversion and Related Torts and Proceedings

a. Trespass to Chattels

3. Defamation (Slander and Libel)

4. Interference with Business or Contractual Relations

5. Unfair Competition

6. Fraud

7. Invasion of Privacy

8. Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress

9. Conspiracy in Tort

10. Malicious Prosecution and Abuse of Process

G. Negligence and Related Tort Concepts

1. Medical Malpractice

2. Wrongful Death

3. Waivers of Liability

4. Strict Liability

H. All in the Family

1. Marital Time Travel, aka Annulment

2. Marital Property

3. Prenuptial and Postnuptial Agreements

4. Child Support

5. Spousal Support

6. Divorce: From Fault to No-Fault and Other Wrinkles

7. Guardians ad Litem

8. Custody

9. Visitation aka Parenting Time

10. Non-Parent Visitation

11. Emancipated Minors

12. "Parental Privilege"

13. Children "In Need of Services" and Termination of Parental Rights

14. Adoption

15. The Missing Marriage License

I. Guardianship

J. Children with Money

K. Will We, Won't We: Wills and Trusts

1. If There Isn't Any Will: Intestacy

2. Ways of Making a Will

3. Stiffing the Family

4. Undue Influence

5. Special Vocabulary

6. The Executor

7. Changing One's Mind: Codicils and Revocations

8. Take It or Leave It: No Contest Clauses

9. The Rule Against Perpetuities

10. Avoiding Probate: Trusts and Pay On Death Accounts

L. Employment

1. "At Will" Employment

2. Labor Law

a. Employers and Unions

b. Federal Regulations re Wages and Benefits

c. Unpaid Internships

d. Employee or Independent Contractor?

3. Mother's Milk

4. Non-Compete Agreements

M. Intellectual Property

1. Copyright

a. Fair Use

b. Public Domain

2. Trademarks

3. Patents

4. Trade Secrets

N. Second-Hand Claims, aka Choses in Action

O. Taxes

1. Income Tax

a. Income Tax Audits

2. Sales Tax

3. Property Tax

4. Estate Tax

5. Gift Tax

P. Fiduciary Duty

Q. Blame the Boss - Respondeat Superior

R. Bankruptcy

S. Green Pastures: Pensions and Other Retirement Benefits

T. Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Relief Act

U. Corporations: What Makes Them Special

1. Corporate Form and Function

2. "Piercing the Corporate Veil"

3. Limited Liability Partnerships and LLCs

15. Federal Law with Both Civil and Criminal Aspects

A. Antitrust

B. Securities Regulation

C. You Too May be Treated Like a Gangster: RICO

D. Admiralty

16. Sovereign Immunity: Suing the State

17. Fairness in Action: Equitable Estoppel

A. Laches

B. Limits of Equitable Estoppel

18. Choice of Law

A. Forum Selection Clauses

19. Judges and Juries

A. The Other Kind of Jury

B. Judge or Jury?

C. A Dozen - or Not

D. Picking the Jury

1. Voir Dire and Challenging Jurors

2. Blue Ribbon Juries

E. Controlling the Jury

F. Alternate Jurors

G. Jury Nullification and Other Shenanigans

20. Burdens of Proof

A. Fifty Plus One: Preponderance of the Evidence

B. "Clear and Convincing" (Whatever That Means)

C. Beyond a Reasonable Doubt

D. Ping, Pong: Shifting the Burden

21. Open and Shut: Opening and Closing Statements

A. Opening Statements

B. Closing Statements

22. Order in the Court: How Trials Work

A. The Exception: Small Claims Court

B. Battle Inside, Buddies Outside

C. Quaint Legal Customs

1. The Stage and the Actors

2. Addressing the Court

3. Thanking the Judge - No Matter What

D. Confidential Filings

E. Stipulations

F. Testimony is Evidence - But Not Always Enough

G. What Evidence?: Spoliation

H. Witnesses

1. Preparing Witnesses

2. Competence to Testify

3. Children in Chambers

4. So Help Me God - or Not

5. Direct, Cross, Redirect, Recross

6. Hostile Witness

7. Impeaching the Witness

a. Bolstering

b. You're in the Army Now: Impeaching Military Officers

8. Cussing

9. One (Question) Too Many

10. The Problem with Eyewitness Testimony

11. Expert Testimony

12. Vouching and Testifying to Ultimate Conclusions

I. Privileges that Can Prevent Testimony

1. Doctor-Patient Privilege

2. Those Other Counselors: Clerics and Therapists

3. It's Good to be Married: Spousal Privileges

J. "Bad Acts"

K. "Well, He Said to Her...": Hearsay and Its Exceptions

L. Judicial Notice

1. The Problem of the Curious Judge

M. Objections

1. Fundamental Errors

23. Prosecutorial Misconduct

24. Lost in Translation: Foreign Language Interpreters

25. Motions

A. Motion to Dismiss

B. Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings

C. Motion for Change of Venue

D. Motion to Compel

E. Motion for a Continuance

F. Motion for Separation of Witnesses

G. Motion in Limine

H. Motion to Suppress

I. Motion for Summary Judgment

J. Post-Trial Motions (Tune in Later)

K. Motion to Reconsider

L. Motion to Stay

M. Motion to Withdraw Representation

N. None of the Above

O. Petitions

26. The Original, Whatever that Means

27. Instructions, Verdicts, and Judgments

A. Defaults and Default Judgments

B. Let's All Pretend They Understand: Jury Instructions

C. Did I Win or Lose?: Verdicts

1. Polling the Jury

D. What Jury? Directed Verdict and Judgment Notwithstanding the Verdict

E. What Jury, Part Two: Remittitur and Additur

F. Judgments in Bench Trials

G. Conditional Judgments

28. You Had Your Chance!: Res Judicata and Collateral Estoppel

29. Criminal Penalties

A. Categories of Offenses and their Penalties

1. Infractions

2. Misdemeanors

3. Felonies

B. Sentencing - Who Decides and How

C. House Arrest

D. Fines

E. Restitution

F. Probation and Parole

1. Parole Hearings

G. Solitary Confinement

H. Pregnancy in Prison

I. Life in Prison

J. Death

30. Civil Remedies

A. Introduction: Categories of Relief in Civil Cases

B. Contract and Tort Damages

1. Remedies for Breach of Contract

a. Interest on the Judgment

2. Tort Damages

3. Punitive and Multiple Damages

4. Who Pays What: Joint and Several Liability

C. Rescission

D. Civil Contempt

31. Military Justice

A. Article 15 Proceedings

B. Letters of Reprimand

C. Special and General Courts-Martial

D. The Military Death Penalty

E. Military Appeals

F. "Just Following Orders"

32. Are We There Yet?, Part Two: Appeals and Other Post-Judgment Relief

A. What and When: Appealable Orders

B. Not an Appeal: Post-Trial Motions

C. Not an Appeal: Post-Conviction Relief

1. Not Really Better than Nothing: Ineffective Assistance of Counsel

D. Not an Appeal: Motions to Set Aside the Judgment

E. Not an Appeal: Habeas Corpus Petitions

F. Sort of an Appeal: Seeking Transfer or Cert

G. Not an Appeal: Executive Clemency and Expungement

H. Appeals by the Prosecution

I. Meanwhile: Stays of Appealed Orders

J. Apples and Appeals: What the Appellate Court Will and Won't Consider

1. "Harmless" as Opposed to Reversible Error

2. Invited Error

3. Waived Error versus Fundamental Error

4. Holes in the Record

K. Appellate Briefs (Which Aren't) and Cross-Appeals

L. Thinking on Your Feet: Appellate Oral Argument

M. Amicus Curiae, aka Kibbitzing on Appeal

N. Appellate Opinions

O. Round Two: When Appellate Courts Remand the Case

33. Collecting the Spoils: Enforcement of Judgments

34. The Constitution in the Courtroom

A. First, Some Constitutional Rights Not Directly Courtroom-Related

1. The First Amendment

a. Obscenity, or I Know It When I See It

2. The Second Amendment

3. Power but with Payment: the Takings Clause

B. Limits on Search and Seizure and on Arrests

1. Exceptions to Requirement for a Search Warrant

2. Exceptions to Requirement for an Arrest Warrant

C. Excessive Bail versus No Bail

D. The Right to Remain Silent

1. Immunity: Compelling Speech the Government Can't Use Against the Speaker

E. The Exclusionary Rule

1. The "Good Faith" Exception

2. "New Crimes"

F. The Right to Confront Witnesses

G. Due Process, Procedural and "Substantive"

1. Controversies at the Borders of Parental Rights

2. Property on Trial: Civil Forfeiture

H. Equal Protection

I. Double Jeopardy

J. More Time Travel: Ex Post Facto Laws

K. Judgments that Follow People Around the Country: Full Faith and Credit

L. The Elastic Commerce Clause

M. Section 1983: Civil Suits for Violations of Civil Rights

N. Obscure Constitutional Oddities

1. Third Amendment

2. Congressional Power to Limit Supreme Court Jurisdiction

3. What Else?

4. State Nullification?.

35. Tricks and Tactics: A Small Sampler

36. Technology on the March

37. Last Words


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