Category: What does . . . mean?

Isn’t it troublesome for each state in the US to have different laws and courts?

I received a number of comments that it seems inefficient for different states to have different laws and legal systems.  Here are a few thoughts on this: 1. Many people might agree with you.  In fact, there are “uniform laws” adopted by most or all the states for precisely that reason – – so that each state will apply the same law.  For example, in connection with business (the Uniform Commercial Code or UCC) and criminal law (the Model Penal Code), many states enacted similar codes.   2. In any event, most laws tend to be fairly similar.  For example, no one could seriously believe that in his home state it would be illegal to start a fire in the lobby of a hotel but that in another state that type of  dangerous activity could possibly be legal. 3. There are some advantages to having different legal systems and statutes in each state.   First, states can specialize in areas of law.  For example, Delaware has well-developed law regarding corporations.  States in the west or south developed useful law regarding cattle branding.  New York is not famous for cattle branding but many people respect New York’s sophisticated commercial laws and courts.   Second, different states can experiment with different laws and states can learn from each other.  For example, California law regarding torts tends to be ahead of the...

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What happens if someone commits a crime in one state and runs to another?

 Extradition is where one state transfers a defendant to another state to face trial.   The United States Constitution (Article IV Section 2) requires states to extradite persons accused of crime.  There is also federal law requiring extradition.   Each state has its own rules governing extradition but generally speaking, when one state demands that a second state extradite a defendant, the defendant must be...

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Is there a difference between “litigator” and “lawyer”?

A litigator is a type of lawyer.  On television shows most lawyers are litigators.  They are lawyers who represent clients at criminal trials or in private lawsuits (Company A sues Company B or Mr. A sues Mr. B).  Some lawyers might specialize in criminal litigation, others might specialize in business litigation, such as contract disputes.    When we refer to a lawyer as a “litigator” we are referring to the lawyer’s specialty.  There are other kinds of lawyers besides litigators.  Some lawyers specialize in transactional work such as when one company merges with another company.  Other lawyers might specialize in family law, tax, or intellectual property.  Television and movies usually have trials (because trials make good drama) so that is why most lawyers you see on screen are litigators, not transactional specialists.   Some lawyers have more than one specialty.  A lawyer with a general practice could do litigation 50% of the time and also help people with real estate transactions and estate planning with the remainder of his time.  ...

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