What is Litigation?

~~ wrote a piece yesterday about Litigation. (And I did get my comments in… at 11:59!) I tried to break down what the process is, etc. It is posted on the

Litigation (in a nutshell)

Litigation against a Government Agency toward evolving a National consciousness is not a simple process. Yet within the system there are ways to simplify theories toward explanation of that process.

1. A Complaint is crafted based on the Plaintiff’s standing toward a grievance. This first step is vital. You can have a grievance that your Plaintiff does not speak to and the case will be thrown out on “standing.” The grievance can be valid, the Plaintiff can make valid statements, yet the case itself will not be valid.

2. Next you must be able to find existing case law that demonstrates the validity of bringing the grievance to Court. There are levels of “authorities” within these citations. A ruling for example at a District level does not carry the same weight as a ruling in the Supreme Court. (Like in a card game you may need cards in the suit of clubs. You have a jack, but your opponent has an ace, you loose).

3. Your Plaintiff’s create your chain of evidence to support the legal argument. (If you are arguing that the Defendant put the oranges in the apple basket, you must be able to demonstrate clearly that the apple basket had oranges in it on the specific dates and times you claim, and that the apple basket was where that basket should have been and not labeled “oranges today”). If your Plaintiff can not demonstrate the issues in argument, the legal argument, even if valid, will not succeed.

4. Most of the process of “hearing” a case occurs outside of the Courtroom. The process includes filings of Briefs and Reply Briefs, Affidavits and Exhibits. Unless you go and read these documents you will not understand the evolution of a decision. To truly understand you must read what both sides present.

5. If you are denied at the District level you need to think carefully before going to Appeal. If your legal argument is cited in case law correctly, your argument speaks to your Plaintiff and your Plaintiff demonstrates that argument accurately, proceeding to Appeal is a wise course. If you are missing one of the above components, or what you have is not strong enough to proceed, the Appeal is a bad choice. It creates those “authorities” at a higher level that make any case more difficult to bring to a positive ruling. It is called bad “precedent.”

6. An Appeal is where you need to demonstrate, based on the Court record, that the Judge did not rule correctly according to law. You need to demonstrate that the Judge did not follow a rule or cite correct law in his ruling. It is not an opportunity to create a new argument nor present new evidence. You are Appealing the specifics of a specific ruling.

7. The Appeal process also occurs primarily out of the sphere of direct public observation. The Briefs and Excerpts of the Court record are available to the public, yet the public often does not read them and has a “wrong” impression over the issues in argument and how they were presented.

8. In Appeal a higher Court will determine the actions of the lower Court as being appropriate to the standards of law or not. If you win an Appeal it often means that the case must again be retried in the lower Court using the parameters outlined by the higher Court.

NOTE:  In wild horse and burro cases after the “TRO” (Temporary Restraining Order) it is often assumed that a case is “over.” That is incorrect. A Complaint is filed first. A “TRO” is filed in conjunction with the Complaint and often a motion for Preliminary Injunction. A “TRO” is an emergency measure to hold the “status quo” for a brief period of time. A Preliminary Injunction holds the status quo until the case can be heard. Often in wild horse cases if a TRO is lost the underlying issues are no longer valid and the Plaintiff drops the case (or a TRO allows the Plaintiff to see how strong the case is under law). Many times a TRO and Preliminary Injunction can be ruled on at the same time, but not always. After a Preliminary Injunction the case itself is heard. Often a Judge can rue on an underlying case after an evidentiary hearing on Injunctive relief (in other words the parties don’t present the same info again if enough info has been given to the court).

Sounds impossible? Not really. Our laws have evolved within the Court system. If you look at the progression, for example in the Civil Rights movement, you can see the possibilities. Things that seem like a “no brainer” today had to go through the appropriate channels to evolve. At one point a child in the US, simply because of the color of their skin, was denied an equal education.

The system exists to evolve change of consciousness.

Read the rest here


4 thoughts on “What is Litigation?

  1. If you must always have prior case law how dose anything ever happen in US courts surely sometime someone has to have a first

    • Laura Leigh says:

      Prior case law is basically a ruling that demonstrates the validity of grievance. It can be based in the Constitution or in Amendments to that document as “case law” citation. As the Wild Horse and Burro Act or the Taylor Grazing Act are also standards of law.

      Case law does not have to be the exact case to the case at hand. If you are arguing that the sound of a jackhammer at 3 am is a violation of your rights, you can cite cases that talk about other types of infringement.

      Does that make sense?

  2. savewildhorses says:

    But when you are dealing with issues of extinction, how does one watch the slow evolution of consciousness winding its way through the courts? Would civil rights legislation been on the same time table without protests? Without MLK and others? I just do not see our horses surviving the non-stop rush of these round ups. I now see why they wanted to have a mega-complex. So they can call it one round up. It was never about the horses at all.

    • Laura Leigh says:

      We also have to recognize our own mistakes and stop repeating them.

      Peaceful protest, letter writing, community awareness, lobbying… it all has it’s place.

      But when we choose litigation we must have accurate information and appropriate argument. If we don’t we actually create bad precedent.

      I wrote this so perhaps people will actually read what is being presented and responded to… it is important. You can learn a lot about many things.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s