Legal Theory Examples

Many lawyers are taught by their teachers to take legal theory examples during the first year of law school. Some students are encouraged to apply the examples to current events, while others are told to use them as they relate to past cases. I suggest that any attorney who wishes to become convinced of his or her ability to pass the bar Exam should study a variety of legal theory examples. I will give you a few to sample and hopefully encourage you to create your own set of legal theory examples to study.

First, consider the famous case of United States v. Jones. In this case, the Supreme Court of the United States unanimously decided unanimously in the Fourth Amendment that the reason for the arrest of a citizen on suspicion of wrongdoing was the fact that he had a gun when the police searched and arrested him without probable cause to do so. The court held that the officer who arrested the suspect, properly carrying out his duty to protect the public from harm, did not violate the suspect’s constitutional rights. In holding that the officers did not violate the suspect’s constitutional rights, the court left intact a key provision of the constitution which protects the right to carry a gun, as required by the Second Amendment. This case is emblematic of the value of having good legal training and understanding of the value of a solid legal education.

Another example is the well-known case of Michigan v. Mcarthy. In this case, the Michigan Supreme Court considered the applicability of an anti unlawfully present law that made it illegal for a person to have in his possession a copy of the signed warrant of execution of a person accused of doing what the law termed “failing to deliver up the keys of office.” In holding that the provision of the anti-laws violating the Fifth and Sixth Amendment did not violate the rights of the accused, the court declined to apply the broader rule against carrying a loaded weapon during the commission of a crime. The opinion in the case, like the one in Jones, created a much greater awareness of the necessity for legal training. The lesson was not lost on subsequent states, and even the lower courts have not been slow to apply the reasoning of the Michigan Supreme Court.

Yet another example is that of a man who was stopped, questioned, and arrested after failing to disclose his ownership of a firearm. He was traveling from Oregon to Washington state when the stop was made. During the search of the man’s car, the officer discovered nine loaded firearms in the vehicle. This case highlights the importance of ensuring that any person with a legal right to possess a firearm, does so responsibly.

In the case of the Weeks case, the Supreme Court of the United States looked at the meaning of the Fourth Amendment and held that it protected the right to keep and bear arms, except in cases of self-defense. The court reasoned that in light of the fact that the amendment had been adopted after the colonists had been subjected to a lengthy war, its purpose was not to restrict the right to arms but to ensure that the right of “arms” was not violated by an unlawful action. The decision essentially placed a limit on what could be enforced as a Constitutional Right. Today, although there are some who would disagree, this principle still holds true and virtually all firearm-related cases are evaluated under this standard.

One of the most common legal theory examples is the “Castle Doctrine.” As the name implies, this legal theory discusses the legal rights involved in a custody case when a person has been deprived of his or her home, commonly because of a wrongful act of another. Depending upon the jurisdiction, this legal principle can extend to situations involving childhood sexual abuse or even instances in which a parent has died and the child has no other legitimate claim to a home. Depending upon the court, this principle can also apply to a claim of abandonment.

One of the more controversial areas of the law involves substantive due process rights. This area of the legal system deals primarily with the access to courts and the process by which those who are deprived of their rights can challenge those violations in court. For example, a person who has been arbitrarily denied access to property because of racial discrimination or an indigenous people’s right to decide upon land ownership cannot simply press a claim in court and hope that the courts will recognize his or her rights. In most instances, the person must file a lawsuit in order to gain access to court proceedings and legal rights.

The above legal theory examples are just a few of the many legal theories that exist. Depending upon the jurisdiction, different jurisdictions also have various requirements for demonstrating these rights. In addition, even if a right is recognized in one jurisdiction, it may not necessarily be deemed to be legal in every instance. Therefore, a qualified lawyer is critical in navigating through the often complex legal system to achieve the very best results possible for their clients.

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