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Ch. 1 Law & Legal Research


Constitution of the United States (simplified)

        Article 1 Section 8 &10 (Article 1 Defines the Power of the Legislature)

·        Section 8 – Congress can take tax dollars.  Congress can tax & spend for federal education.

·        Section 10 – Contract Clause – Federal gov’t can’t prohibit or limit state contracts

o       teacher contracts

o       tenure contracts

o       gov’t can’t step on our rights

Article 6 – Supremacy Clause

·        Federal law is Supreme Law



·        1st Amendment

o       1. Freedom of Speech, Religion, the Press, and Assembly

·        4th Amendment

o       Search and Seizure

·        5th Amendment

o       Due Process

o       Right not to self-incriminate

·        8th Amendment

o       Cruel and unusual punishment

·        10th Amendment

o       Anything not mentioned in the constitution is a function of the State

o       Education is a function of the States

·        13th Amendment

o       Ended Slavery

·        14 – Amendment

o       Made citizens of former slaves

o       All Citizens have equal protection and due process


Statutes – United States Code

·        Title 7 – Civil Rights

o       Discrimination because of race, color, religion, sex, or national origin

·        Title 9 – Sex Discrimination


Acts –

·        1984 – Equal Access


·        1983 – Civil Action for Deprivation of Rights


Federal and State Sources

·        Federal Sources

o       Federal Law

o       US Constitution

o       Amendments to Constitution

o       Federal Statutes

o       Federal Case Law

o       Executive order/Attorney General Opinions

o       Court System

1.     Federal Court

2.     Court of Appeals

3.     Supreme Court


·        State Sources

o       1849 California Constitution

o       1879 New Constitution

o       California Statutes

o       California Case Law

o       State Board of Education

o       State Superintendent of Public Education

o       State Department of Education

o       Attorney General Opinions

o       CA Education Code

1.     Ambiguous

2.     Contradictory

3.     Changed in 1972 form mandatory to permissive

o       Title 5 Code of Regulations

o       Board of School Districts

o       Health and Safety Codes

o       State Administrative Law

1.     Legislature enacts laws

2.     Department of regulation -implements


·        Legal Research

1.     Primary Sources

o          Constitution

o          Statutes

o          Case Law

o          US Codes

1.     Secondary Sources

o          Journal – Internet

Parts of a Case

o       Citation Numbers (439 or 825 S.W.2d 810)

o       Name or Case Title (Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. v. Carolyn Dolph)

o       Docket Number (91-121)

o       Date of Decision (Opinion delivered February 24, 1992)

o       Headnotes ( Libel & Slander or Evidence)

o       Prefatory Statement (Appeal)

o       Names of Counsel

o       Start of Statement of Facts in Opinion

o       Portion of Opinion            

o       Decision

o       Concurring Opinion

o       Dissenting Opinion


·        Fair Use Doctrine

o       Use in a reasonable manner

1.     Maintain purpose and character of use

2.     Nature of copyrighted work

3.     Proportion that was “taken”

4.     Economic impact of the “taken”

·        Fair Use Guidelines

o       Copyright Act of 1976

1.     Single copies made by or for a teacher for scholarly research

2.     Multiple copies restricted – one copy per pupil

1.     brevity – one complete article, less than 2,500 words or 10% of the work, whichever is less

2.     Spontaneity

3.     Cumulative effect – copied for one course and limited to one class term

3.     Prohibited use of Material

1.     copies may not be substituted for buying books

2.     same teacher may not repeat copying in subsequent term

3.     students may not be charged more than actual cost of copying

o       Public Domain – A work enters public domain when the copyright expires (usually materials first published 75 or more years ago)