Project 1 Sources of Law and Litigation
This project focuses on sources of law, courts, and the litigation process. This Project 1 is worth 22% of your grade. This project is due in your assignment folder no later than 11:59 PM EST on Sunday, at the end of the scheduled week. The grading rubric is below.
FACTS: The Organization for Animal Rights (“OAR”) is a newly formed organization whose mission is to bring about positive changes in the use and treatment of research animals, by working in various “policy venues”. They are most active in the State of Maryland, which is where the organization is located.
PART 1 (8 points of the 22 available for the whole assignment)
- (2 points of the 8) As a preliminary matter, OAR wants to determine if there are any current legal protections for research animals. What sources of law would they research? For each one you name explain why you think there might be protections in this source of law. NOTE: Do not do actual research to find specific law.
- (3 points) Suppose they find no legal protections and decide that they will try to get a law passed. What institutions would they need to interact with and what kind of interactions will they have?
- (3 points) Suppose they find that there is federal law about research animals. It is worded rather broadly. How is this law implemented? What kind of interactions could the group have with any institutions implementing this law?
PART 2 (10 points of the 22 available for the whole assignment)
- (2 points of the 10) Some members of the group want to stage a protest in front of one of the research labs. What kinds of law would affect whether they could stage this protest? Explain.
- (4 points) Assume the protest does actually take place. During the protest one of the lab technicians parks his car near the lab and walks toward the entrance. A protestor stands in front of him blocking the way. The technician pushes the protester aside to get by him and enter the building but the protester falls and suffers a broken arm. The protest occurred in the State of Maryland. The protestor wants to bring a civil lawsuit against the technician. Since he does not make much money at his part time jobs, he wants to handle the matter himself without the assistance of an attorney. A law school friend told him that he could sue under the tort of battery which is the unconsented to contact which causes injury. He wants to be reimbursed for his medical costs (he has no insurance) and his friend also told him about damages for pain and suffering. He wants the technician to pay him $5000.00. So:
- What court will he be using within the State judicial system?
- What must the injured protestor do to get the lawsuit started?
- How will the technician learn that he is being sued and what must the technician do if he disagrees with what the protestor is claiming or if he claims it was an accident and the protestor put himself in the tech’s path.
- If there is a jury trial in this civil matter, must their verdict be unanimous? How do they learn about the law on which they must base their verdict?
- (4 points) Now, assume that after the protestor falls, 3 other protestors jump on the technician and punch him around his head. When the other protestors drag them off, the technician is bleeding profusely and is taken by ambulance to the hospital. The police were not called. The technician believes they committed a crime and is more interested having those protestors punished.
- What must the technician do to initiate the criminal process and how will the protestors learn about this?
- What court proceedings will take place before a trial is held?
- If there is to be a jury trial, how will the jury be selected? How many jurors will there be for the trial?
- How do the jurors learn about what happened and what both sides are claiming?
PART 3 (2 points of the 22 available for the whole assignment)
The concern about animal cruelty is not limited to research animals. Cruel treatment of animals exists in many contexts, and animal rights groups have been active on many fronts within the legal system. Find one article that discusses a court case related to animal cruelty in any context except animals used for research. So:
- Be sure to provide the title and author of the article and the direct URL link to the article.
- What was this case about and what did the court decide ?
- If you quote from the article be sure to use quotation marks.