Objectives: Appreciation for the value of consulting secondary resources in assisting the researcher in fully understanding legal issues; in assisting the researcher in further refining legal issues; and in assisting the researcher in locating additional primary and secondary authority.
Please refer to the following scenarios and complete the steps below for each.
Flora Findley loves plants. She developed an interest in hydroponics and hybridizing plants and began growing plants under full-spectrum sunlight lamps in her home. She also has a teenaged son who also expressed interest in growing plants. She was pleased that she and her son could share an interest. One day, a police officer investigating a burglary next door, came to Flora’s home to ask if she had seen anything. He noticed all of the plants growing under the lamps, and quickly began inspecting them. He found a small plant that he thought was marijuana, and promptly arrested Flora. Flora was convicted for possession, but insisted that the search of her home was unwarranted. She wants to appeal the decision.
Mr. Frank Incense was arrested for theft when he took $500,000 worth of tools from behind a neighbor’s shed which faced an alley. Frank insisted that he thought the tools were being thrown away. He was having financial difficulty and thought he could make some money by selling the tools. While being questioned, Frank asked for an attorney. Finally he was provided with an attorney who specialized in Bankruptcy Law, and who was required to take on criminal cases pro bono. The attorney really did not understand criminal procedure, and as a result, Mr. Insence was not only found guilty, but also received a very stiff sentence. Mr. Insence wants to appeal his case because he believes that he not only had a right to counsel, but a right to counsel who was competent in handling criminal proceedings.
Joe Valle and Fred Hamper have been partners for many years. When same sex unions became legal in California, they moved there just long enough to be married, and then returned to their home in Georgia. Joe applied for health insurance for himself and his spouse. The insurance company refused to recognize the marriage, and Joe and Fred sued. The trial court found in favor of Big Time Insurance Company, and Joe and Fred want to appeal.
Shirley Baker is a young woman suffering from breast cancer. She has been on chemotherapy for several months, and has experienced terrible side-effects. She did receive a prescription for the medicinal use of marijuana while living in California, but moved to Oklahoma to be closer to her family. She did take several ounces of marijuana with her when she moved, and was arrested while smoking marijuana on the front porch of her parent’s home, the evening she arrived in Oklahoma. She was convicted of illegal possession of the drug, and wants to appeal her conviction.
Joanna Spring always insisted that she did not ever want to be kept alive by machines, and even stated that when she was a young teenager. Her parents understood her feelings on the subject. Joanna married Bill Spring and, one month later, was involved in an auto accident, which left her in a persistent vegetative state. Joanna’s parents (Mr. and Mrs. John Winters) have sued to have Joanna taken off life support. Joanna’s husband refused to allow the hospital to do so. Joanna’s parents thing that it is only because he will not inherit Joanna’s huge estate unless he has been married to her for more than two years. The court sided with Bill Spring, and refused to order the removal of life support. Joanna’s parents now want to appeal the decision and let Joanna die in peace before Bill becomes Joanna’s heir.
Directions: Complete the following steps in the order provided:
Step One: For each of the fact patterns provided, list the legal issues involved, as identified prior to undertaking any additional research. Remember to phrase your issues in the form of legal questions.
(Note that some scenarios may present more than one issue.)
Step Two: Provide a natural language search query for each issue you identified in Step One above.
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Step Three: Using the search or searches you provided in Step Two above, locate relevant secondary authority from AmJur, CJS, or ALR regarding those issues,thoroughly review the first 5 results returned, and provide the following information:
1. Did any of your first 5 results pertain to the issues you identified?
A. If yes, please provide the citation to the article or annotation
B. If not, please modify your search until your results are more directly on point; provide your amended search and repeat the steps above.
2. Did the information in the article or annotation cited above cause you to change, add or refine your issues?
A. If yes, please list the issues involved in each of the fact patterns as you now identify them.
Step Four: Please correctly cite at least one on point primary authority cited in the article or annotation.