52

Short Answer SIMPLIFIED AND UPDATED BASED ON ADDITIONAL INFORMATION IN THE QUESTION: The marriage is valid, but their marriage will not allow the girlfriend to refuse to testify as a witness in the case. She can be compelled to testify against him under oath, but does not have to testify about the confidential communications that they have with each ...


23

Under the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure (Rule 11(b)(1)), a federal court may not accept a guilty plea without first addressing the defendant personally in open court. During this address, there are 15 things that the court must ensure that the defendant understands (if they apply in the case); one of these is the nature of every charge the defendant is ...


17

Generally, the legislature is not restricted to passing laws that are a good idea. This has been remarked on by the Supreme Court (in Justice Stevens's concurrence, emphasis added): But as I recall my esteemed former colleague, Thurgood Marshall, remarking on numerous occasions: “The Constitution does not prohibit legislatures from enacting stupid laws.” ...


14

If a plaintiff brings a civil suit against another party (aka say the Gorilla glue hair suit), what role does the court play in whether to permit a trial, how has that role changed over the decades, and are there large inconsistencies between federal judicial districts? Federal, as I believe this type of suit would be brought there. I understand and know ...


12

The question of whether they can ask these questions will be left to the trial judge. If the parties can make any kind of reasonable argument that consumers of one product or the other are likely to be partisans, the judge should allow the question, though it would not be error to refuse. For a good comparison, look at Ham v. South Carolina, 409 U.S. 524, ...


11

American courts generally go through two main stages of pretrial review. First, the parties file their initial pleadings. The plaintiff files a complaint laying out his allegations and identifying the laws violated, and the defendant files an answer saying what allegations are true and which are not. After this happens, the court will entertain either a ...


10

According to https://www.baezlawfirm.com/can-your-spouse-be-forced-to-testify-against-you/ Section 90.504 of Florida’s Evidence Code includes the privilege to exclude "marital communications" from the testimony of a spouse, but does not include the "testimonial privilege" which Federal common law and the laws of many US states do include, that permits one ...


8

Your interpretation is correct. The constitution says that judges stay in office "until and unless they are impeached." That means that congress cannot impose a time limit on any judge's term of office. If it did so, it would be contrary to the constitution. The only grounds for removal are those to do with misbehavior. Therefore, judges have life ...


7

Because cases challenging actions of almost any Federal agency or department are typically filed at the head office of that agency or department, which is usually in DC. Similarly, national organizations of all kinds who are affected by some government action often file a case from their own national headquarters, which is often in DC. Thus the DC circuit ...


7

Yes. The U.S. AG can decline to prosecute an indictment at any time until jeopardy attaches when a jury is sworn in to consider the charges at trial. The AG can also abandon a prosecution mid-trial but then cannot retry those charges later. The AG might abandon charges, for example, because the evidence does not appear to support the charges when presented ...


6

To answer the more general question in the title: What happens if federal courts contradict each other? It depends on the context. In some cases, like this, the outcome is the same. If one district court decides to issue an injunction (or restraining order) then the injunction exists even if other courts decline to issue a similar injunction. Only a ...


6

Like @ColinLosey I am not convinced that all of the examples are indeed valid laws. There are also conceivable grounds to invalidate a law (at least as applied to particular circumstances) beyond the law being unconstitutional. For example, if the law conflicts with another law on the books, the court has to decide how to apply them together, the court could ...


5

One pleads guilty to specific charges. If the government brings additional charges after a defendant pleads, the defendant's existing plea will not apply to the new charges.


5

The courts can't intervene, period. If someone files a suit or an appeal related to a law, then the courts might have jurisdiction and do something, but somebody else has to get the ball rolling. That somebody has to "have standing", and not just be unhappy: they have to have been injured (actually or imminently), there has to be a causal relation ...


4

Yes. A dispositive motion is a motion that can end the case. The most common are a motion to dismiss and a motion for summary judgment. A motion for judgment on the pleadings is like a motion to dismiss but usually for plaintiffs arguing that even if everything in the answer to the complaint is true, that the plaintiff still wins as a matter of law. This ...


4

Article III, Section 2 of The Constitution requires that The trial of all crimes, except in cases of impeachment, shall be by jury; and such trial shall be held in the state where the said crimes shall have been committed; but when not committed within any state, the trial shall be at such place or places as the Congress may by law have directed ...


4

"Revenge" is not a legal concept. If you injure someone other than in self defence or for another legal reason than you are committing assault. Hence dangerous booby traps for trespassers are illegal, so anything that might cause injury, however minor, is definitely out. That includes itching powder. However I would make an analogy with anti-climb ...


4

Writs of Mandamus Are A Recognized Procedural Tool In the Federal Courts Is there precedent for this type of use of the writ of mandamus? Yes. It needs to be understood against the background rule of civil procedure that a party can only appeal a final judgment of a trial court, and cannot appeal an order entered by a trial court prior to entry of a final ...


4

At the federal level, this is covered by FRE 501, the privilege rule, specifically the spousal testimonial privilege which permits a witness to refuse to testify against his or her spouse. This privilege is not limited to events that a person witnesses while married to a defendant; it is limited to testimony that would be given while the witness is married ...


4

No The importance of following precedent, and the principle of stare decisis were inherited by the early US legal system from the British Common Law system, and have been taken as part of the natural order of the legal system by US courts ever since. This extends even to a court overruling itself. US Courts are notoriously reluctant to overrule their past ...


3

The Steven Avery case is explained in detail at Wikipedia. Federal courts can collaterally review state court convictions in a habeas corpus action to determine if the conviction was obtained through a violation of a person's federal constitutional rights that the state courts refused to remedy after the person aggrieved attempted to obtain a remedy in the ...


3

What are the things that I should prepare for this session, in terms of order of dress, language, content? Dress In an actual court room, suit and tie is preferred for men and formal dress for women for lawyers and professionals. Your "Sunday best" or what you would wear to work on a typical day would be appropriate if you don't have a suit and tie or ...


3

There are no such laws that are specific to rape, but there are general laws about false statements. In every state there is some law against making a false statement to a government official, e.g. Washington RCW 9A.76.175 which says that one who "knowingly makes a false or misleading material statement to a public servant is guilty of a gross misdemeanor". ...


3

Broadly speaking, a writ of mandamus is a court order to a government official to do its job properly, typically by performing some nondiscretionary task. It is commonly sought against officials in the executive branch, where there is not always a clear process for appealing a decision to take or not take some action. In the judiciary, there's nearly always ...


3

I want to file a Federal criminal (not civil) complaint You can't. Only the US government can do that. https://www.uscourts.gov/faqs-filing-case Individuals do not file criminal charges in U.S. district courts. A criminal proceeding is initiated by the government, usually through the U.S. attorney's office in coordination with a law enforcement agency. ...


3

Note: The answer to the question is not the same in every U.S. state and territory. I have provided definitive answers only when there is unanimity or near unanimity. Did the deceased's family obligate themselves by not returning the the first service, that of the Notice of Appeal? No. Unless they expressly agree to do so in writing to be responsible ...


3

You may file a motion for a continuance (here is a sample help page). You have to provide as much information as is required to persuade the judge to grant the continuance. Nobody knows exactly how much information that is, and probably only your lawyer (I assume you are doing this yourself) would have a reasonable idea. Simply saying "I can't cope"...


2

How can this be possible? What rules make this possible? Each judge independently evaluates whether the case was brought by someone who suffered an actual injury and whether the defendant is properly sued in federal court. Any given person who is injured can sue in only one federal court at a time. The general rule in federal court is that venue is proper ...


2

Yes. Usually a lawyer can charge until a court formally withdraws him from representing you in a case for representation in that case (even if a new lawyer has entered an appearance and you have fired him). A terminated lawyer, even after withdrawal, can also charge you for legal fees incurred to collect the lawyer's bill from you if the fee agreement ...


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