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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9
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2answers
2k views

Can a natural US person hold citizenship while remaining non-juridical?

What law should be referenced regarding when and how a natural person becomes a juridical person in the US? According to Wikipedia: While human beings acquire legal personhood when they are born, ...
10
votes
1answer
352 views

What rights do travellers have against unreasonable customs officers?

I ask or worry not about the standard questions required during customs, such as a traveller's basic personal information, purposes of travel, etc... However, what if a traveller fears for his privacy,...
4
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4answers
263 views

Is asking a banker the pros and cons of linking my SSN to my bank account considered requesting legal advice in California?

I opened a checking account in California and had the option to link my SSN (Social Security Number) to my bank account. The banker refused to tell me the pros and cons of linking my SSN to my bank ...
11
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2answers
1k views

Do you need to obey an obstructed traffic sign?

If a traffic sign is obstructed (for example, due to being overgrown by kudzu or because a telephone pole was placed in front of it) to the point of unreadability, do you still need to obey it? What ...
4
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1answer
249 views

Government legal actions - civil or criminal?

I was reading this overview of the differences between civil and criminal cases and they state Civil cases usually involve private disputes between persons or organizations. Criminal cases ...
16
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3answers
913 views

Are there any limits on the crimes a corporation can be convicted of?

In the United States, a corporation can be convicted of criminal offenses (example). Can corporations be charged with any criminal offense, or are there some that cannot apply to anything except a ...
3
votes
1answer
164 views

What patents do I need to buy or lease to make and sell an electric guitar to the public? [closed]

I want to make and sell my own electric guitars. However, I have not invented the instrument, nor was I the inventor of any of the major advances in the field. However, I have some changes (mostly ...
8
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1answer
2k views

Requirements to file an Amicus Curiae brief

What are the requirements or preconditions that must be met in order for someone to file an Amicus Curiae "friend of the court" brief? What form can the brief take?
12
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2answers
6k views

Legal standing for a Police Officer to force you out of a private vehicle

Lets say you're sitting in a fast-food parking lot eating the food you just purchased from the establishment. Your windows are rolled up and the vehicle is turned off. A police officer pulls into the ...
14
votes
1answer
432 views

What does “actual knowledge” mean in the context of DMCA safe harbors?

According to 17 U.S. Code § 512 - Limitations on liability relating to material online (emphasis mine): A service provider shall not be liable for monetary relief, or, except as provided in ...
11
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2answers
327 views

How do I read a U.S. case citation and find the text of the opinion?

In something like this: "We conclude that, in the field of public education, the doctrine of 'separate but equal' has no place." Brown v. Bd. of Educ., 347 U.S. 483, 495 (1954)". What is that ...
5
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1answer
113 views

Are there surveys on the share of class action settlement that actually goes to the plaintiffs?

I am interested in links to scholarly papers with actual comprehensive and preferably up-to-date statistics. I have done some search on Google Scholar but failed to find wide-ranging surveys (the ones ...
10
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3answers
368 views

Under what circumstances could law enforcement hack a server?

I recently read a wired article about Silk Road and the arrest of Ross Ulbricht. The article describes how an FBI agent attempted to discover the true IP address of the Silk Road Server: Tarbell [...
6
votes
3answers
532 views

Liability for knowing about bribe offered by a channel partner

In the USA, anti-bribery laws prohibit a company from offering bribes or kickbacks to government officials. If a channel partner of U.S. company X offers a bribe, would X be held liable if it knew ...
11
votes
1answer
354 views

Which aspects of human-subjects research rules are actually laws rather than conventions?

I'm aware that various laws exist regulating research on human subjects (Wikipedia summary here and in linked pages). However, I've had a tough time finding sources that clarify the boundary between ...
74
votes
4answers
18k views

How can you tell if you have to follow a police officer's instructions?

If a police officer gives me an order, how can I tell whether or not I'm legally obligated to follow that order? If I ask the officer, is he/she required by law to answer truthfully? If the police ...
1
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1answer
100 views

Are the opinions of a United States superior court public knowledge?

If I bring a case to a superior court and I lose, is that information public knowledge? What are the ramifications to me? For example, could it hurt my credit score?
6
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1answer
623 views

In California, what happens if one spouse names a third party as their sole life insurance beneficiary?

Under California's community property law, each spouse can only control half of the couple's community property in his or her will. Does the same rule apply to life insurance benefits? Can one spouse ...
5
votes
2answers
315 views

What laws apply to transgender individuals using toilets and locker rooms?

This Skeptics SE post regarding a transgender individual (male to female) using a female locker room brought up some interesting legal issues regarding the rights of transgender individuals in using ...
1
vote
1answer
807 views

What is “fair comment” in the context of a defamation suit?

Suppose there is a nationally known politician, and it is widely reported in the papers that some of his supporters fear leaving their college-aged daughters alone with him. And suppose someone ...
-3
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1answer
71 views

Website Copyright Laws under Intellectual Property Laws?

What are the laws regarding Copyrights pertaining to copying of website templates ( which is an intellectual property )?
7
votes
1answer
524 views

Am I legally obligated to get a driver's license after moving?

I recently moved from Arizona to Washington, and I had to get a Washington Driver's License to be able to register my car (the AZ registration was about to expire). However, pretending I didn't need ...
10
votes
1answer
634 views

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 ...
15
votes
1answer
665 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 ...
8
votes
1answer
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 ...
5
votes
1answer
328 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'...
1
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1answer
301 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.
15
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2answers
29k 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, ...
13
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4answers
16k 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? ...
4
votes
1answer
76 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 ...
16
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2answers
915 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. ...
38
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2answers
4k 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
52 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 ...
12
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2answers
9k 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 ...
9
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3answers
1k 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 ...
40
votes
4answers
15k 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 ...
12
votes
3answers
7k 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
349 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? ...
3
votes
0answers
253 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 ...
12
votes
1answer
492 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 ...
11
votes
7answers
201k 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 ...
23
votes
1answer
1k 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 ...
10
votes
5answers
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 ...
17
votes
1answer
1k views

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 ...
18
votes
1answer
478 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 ...
16
votes
1answer
1k 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 ...
24
votes
1answer
3k views

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 ...
3
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1answer
143 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 ...
2
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1answer
91 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
60 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 ...