Questions tagged [united-states]

For questions specific to the United States as a whole, or that span multiple state jurisdictions. If your question is related to a specific state then you should use that state's tag instead (or as well).

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Does a Creative Commons license allow me to record a cover of a song recording?

If I find a musical sound recording that is licensed under a Creative Commons (CC) license, can I record and distribute my own cover of the song? (Assuming the particular CC license does not carry the ...
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15 votes
1 answer
718 views

Ethical Hacking

How is Ethical Hacking (Certified Ethical Hackers) defined by U.S. law? Is there any law which protects an Ethical Hacker for helping to find out bugs and security loopholes in online/digital ...
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8 votes
1 answer
1k views

Is it legal for landlord to prohibit subleasing, under Texas law?

It's quite common that plans change, and a residential lease must be broken. Of course, since one has agreed to pay the full price of the lease, they're on the hook for it, unless they can find ...
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6 votes
1 answer
404 views

Are residential lease durations in Bay Area meaningless?

The vacancy rates in Bay Area are the lowest in the nation, and the rent much so often gets increased much faster than the inflation. However, a lot of corporate complexes employ monthly pricing that'...
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1 vote
1 answer
372 views

What's the penalty for breaking a residential lease in NorCal?

What's the penalty for breaking a residential lease? For example, in the Bay Area in Northern California.
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16 votes
2 answers
32k views

In the United States, do pedestrians always have right of way?

There appear to be three types of pedestrian crossings in the United States: Marked: an "official" crosswalk with some sort of markings or indication that it exists. Unmarked: According to wikipedia, ...
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14 votes
4 answers
19k views

If a driver is stopped by police, does the officer have the right to demand car documents?

Whenever someone is stopped by police because of a traffic violation or a regular check, does the police officer have the right to demand car documents and proof of insurance without a search warrant? ...
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4 votes
1 answer
89 views

If A makes a potentially "defamatory" statement to C about B, does it matter if C knows B well?

Suppose A tells C that "B is a total liar, nothing s/he says can be believed." And suppose C has known B since childhood. Would the statement be less defamatory since C is in a good position to judge ...
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17 votes
2 answers
1k views

Why does the United States Supreme Court oppose cameras, when Australia's, Canada's, and UK's have permitted them?

SCOTUS Justices' arguments against televising (like Alito J at 21:03 and Kagan J at 26:17 who interestingly voted TO televise when he was on the 3rd Circuit), also pertain to the HCA, SCC, and UKSC. ...
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39 votes
2 answers
5k views

What is the legal status of "warrant canaries"?

A warrant canary is a repeated claim by an individual or organization that they have not been served any warrants with an attached gag order. The idea is that you can say whatever you like if you have ...
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2 votes
1 answer
57 views

How does one determine the reasons for a judge's recusal?

I was reading about Shelley v. Kraemer (1948) (full opinion), which states that Justices Reed, Jackson, Rutledge took no part in the consideration or decision of the case. As another example, in ...
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11 votes
2 answers
10k views

Benefits of "I do not recall..."

Its often a joke that politicians say "I don't recall doing X" when being accused of something. In English saying I don't recall implies that you could be mistaken. But literally speaking, at any ...
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10 votes
3 answers
2k views

Can a case get thrown out because of "jury nullification?

With regard to this question, a patent lawyer told me that if one of the other jurors tried to teach the others his view of patent law, and they followed him, rather than the judge, that would be a ...
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43 votes
4 answers
19k views

What are the legal repercussions of taking a stranger's picture in public?

With Snapchat and Instagram it is all too easy to abuse picture taking and really inexpensive to snap a photo of an unknowing stranger. If you are in public and will only post pictures online without ...
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12 votes
3 answers
8k views

How does the US constitution apply to aliens?

Does the constitution of the US extend its protections to— legal aliens in the US (e.g. visitors from overseas), and illegal aliens in the US (e.g. someone who has stayed beyond their visa's ...
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6 votes
2 answers
445 views

Legal definitions in the United States

When trying to learn about and understand law, one of the most important aspects of it is the legal definition of a word. Is there a source in which the courts refer to when looking to define a word? ...
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3 votes
0 answers
264 views

Is online gambling illegal in the United States? [closed]

In the case of United States v. Scheinberg, against the founders of the three largest online poker companies, PokerStars, Full Tilt Poker and Cereus (Absolute Poker/Ultimatebet), and a handful of ...
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12 votes
1 answer
708 views

Are US jurors always free to speak about the trial?

In England and Wales, jurors are forbidden to speak to anyone about the trial or their deliberations, even after the trial is finished. In contrast, I've noticed that jurors in the US often give ...
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13 votes
7 answers
218k views

Do you need a driver's license to travel in the U.S.?

In the U.S., the law that governs motor vehicles is the National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act. But according to the Constitution; Freedom of movement under United States law is governed ...
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23 votes
1 answer
2k views

Are jurors allowed to teach law to one another?

I vaguely recall in the case of Oracle v. Google in regards to Java v. Android that was happening in a district court physically located in San Jose, California, that one of the jurors was familiar ...
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9 votes
5 answers
2k views

What resources are available to a pro se litigant?

Suppose I am not a professional lawyer but I have standing and want to bring a case to court pro se. To make this widely applicable and more readily answerable: Suppose I want to file a 42 USC 1983 ...
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17 votes
1 answer
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Is there any remedy for unnecessary insult by police in the course of their lawful duties?

Following up on Are there any remedies for abusive or insulting behavior by agents executing a search warrant? the more subtle question needs the following elaboration: My impression is that as far ...
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18 votes
2 answers
724 views

Liability for damages in the U.S. for finding and disclosing "0-day" computer exploit

In the IT/Programming security world, usually people contact the vendor/owner of a particular software if they find a bug or security vulnerability and give them time to patch it before releasing the ...
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20 votes
1 answer
2k views

What constitutes giving legal advice?

On sites such as this one, people are often concerned about non-lawyers "giving legal advice" or "practicing law without a license". What, exactly, constitutes such actions? I'm particularly ...
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24 votes
1 answer
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Does the US Fifth Amendment only apply to criminal trials? Do any laws protect a person in civil court when testimony would implicate them in a crime?

Suppose someone is accused of burglary. This person is asked to appear in civil court regarding an unrelated event that occurred at the same time as the burglary but in a different location. If the ...
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3 votes
1 answer
164 views

Drinking and Driving

In the state of California, what is the limit of alcohol allowed in bloodstream to be prosecuted under drinking and driving case? And what are the procedures used for intoxication testing (other than ...
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2 votes
1 answer
104 views

Implications with states that classify traffic infractions as misdemeanors

It appears that some states, for example, Wyoming, classify most traffic infractions as misdemeanors. Does it imply that someone who has committed a 5 mph speeding in such a state is technically a ...
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3 votes
1 answer
97 views

Does SB-1341 prohibit educational research entirely?

The text of SB-1341 bill (just introduce to the US Senate) is available here. Summary As far as I understand it, if this bill were to pass, researchers would be unable to connect student-level data to ...
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8 votes
3 answers
280 views

In Pennsylvania is there more legal protection in forming a LLC as opposed to operating as sole proprietor?

In theory an LLC (Limited Liability Company) offers a level of protection for the owner if being sued. I want to buy houses and rent them out, I have some fear of being sued by tenants in the ...
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9 votes
3 answers
2k views

What is stare decisis?

I know in general that stare decisis effectively means that once a court rules on a law that other courts can use that decision when considering their cases. But why is that the case, how is it ...
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25 votes
2 answers
2k views

Are there any remedies for abusive or insulting behavior by agents executing a search warrant?

Suppose I am a particular person who maintains a clean and orderly residence. I have a sign inside my front door asking visitors to put booties over their shoes before entry. Now some LEOs show up ...
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6 votes
1 answer
452 views

How is "defamation" defined?

I have a recollection that late in the 20th century in the United States, A called B a "bastard." B sued A for defamation. The court ruled in favor of the defendant. Its first observation was that (...
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10 votes
3 answers
1k views

Challenging jurors for cause based on beliefs in jury nullification

In the United States, is belief in jury nullification generally a valid reason to challenge a jury for cause?
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7 votes
1 answer
605 views

Does the gavel have a legal significance, or is it purely ceremonial?

Judges in US courtrooms famously use a gavel at appropriately dramatic points in a trial. If a judge fails to use a gavel, or uses it at the wrong moment, is this legally significant? Or is the ...
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9 votes
2 answers
328 views

Under what circumstances do you need a business license?

Specifically, what does it mean to be "operating a business"? I started an LLC in Delaware, but write software to power my company from my home and while I travel across the country. Do I need to get ...
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16 votes
1 answer
2k views

Can a spyware or a virus act legally with EULA?

Lets think there is a virus that acts like a software. Its acting like a regular software. It's installation is visible to user and again like a regular software, it asks user to accept its End-user ...
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9 votes
1 answer
529 views

Does a boilerplate legal disclaimer protect authors of content on a website?

Specifically, if the website itself has legal disclaimers to protect itself from litigation arising from legal advice provided on it, would a similar disclaimer claiming to disclaim authors of content ...
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20 votes
5 answers
168k views

What laws are there regarding being pulled over by an unmarked cop car/undercover cop?

Although this has never happened to me, I've read and heard about people driving on the road and then being signaled (in some way, usually with reds and blues) to pull over for a ticket and the car ...
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10 votes
1 answer
685 views

What rights do foreigners have when the CBP wants to search their laptop?

Since laptop and other electronic device seizures at US borders became legal without a warrant (including making copies of data), 7% of ACTE's business travelers reported being subject to a seizure as ...
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3 votes
1 answer
107 views

When has Judicial Review not been the process used to deem an act unconstitutional?

Are there any examples where Judicial Review has not been the process used to deem an act unconstitutional?
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10 votes
1 answer
11k views

Does a black belt have to tell the police that he/she is a black belt

Someone I knew told me that if a black belt in martial arts is pulled over, he/she has to tell the police that he/she is a black belt because he/she is a deadly weapon. I told him that I didn't ...
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39 votes
2 answers
6k views

If the police search my vehicle or house without my consent, and they don't find anything, what recourse is there?

I understand that if the police perform an illegal search, then any evidence found during that search will be excluded from a trial, but what if they didn't find any evidence? If the police do an ...
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12 votes
4 answers
1k views

What methods exist to provide relief in criminal cases where the state refuses to prosecute?

In this question it was shown that it is not possible to bypass the States Attorney before the grand jury. But what relief exists in cases where Prosecutorial Discretion might be used to protect ...
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30 votes
4 answers
4k views

When is ignorance a legal defense?

In the United States, under what circumstances is ignorance of a law or legal principle a defense against legal action?
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25 votes
4 answers
3k views

Is “do not resuscitate” on a t-shirt a legal order?

A few months back, I watched a House episode that featured him violating a DNR order, and being taken to court for it. A few days ago, I've come across a do-not-resuscitate t-shirt on one of the t-...
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11 votes
3 answers
967 views

Why can't a party raise new arguments in United States court of appeals?

In the Lavabit judgement, I saw this: see also Agra, Gill & Duffus, Inc. v. Benson, 920 F.2d 1173, 1176 (4th Cir. 1990) ("We will not accept on appeal theories that were not raised in the ...
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4 votes
2 answers
511 views

Can official information protected by attorney-client privilege be shared with personal lawyer?

During a homeowners association executive session, the board members were given a briefing protected under attorney-client privilege. A board member is now concerned about his/her personal liability ...
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14 votes
2 answers
2k views

My company handed me a letter today telling me I owe them money because they overpaid me. Do I legally have to pay them?

I work an hourly job. I got a letter today telling me that they overpaid me and I owe them money. My job pays minimum wage and I'm not sure how they "overpaid" me, their computers pay me per second ...
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5 votes
1 answer
96 views

How to prevent/protect my rights to content I write (US)

I live in the US and do writing of my own in various forms ranging from blog posts to content for handouts and trainings I might want to resell at some point in the future. What steps I should take ...
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  • 295
11 votes
1 answer
214 views

Requirement of attribution when reusing Wikipedia articles licensed under CC BY-SA

All of Wikipedia's content is licensed under the CC BY-SA, and Wikipedia encourages fulfilling the attribution requirement for CC BY-SA by linking to the original Wikipedia article, which contains a ...
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