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Directions:

a.          Answer 4 of the following 8 questions (10 points each).

b.         Include your name on this page and save the file.

c.          Upload it to the Blackboard Assignment section no later than 11:59 PM April 21, 2017

 

1.     Explain the doctrine of stare decisis and how it helps ensure that our laws remain stable over time. Include in your answer a brief discussion about whether or not this doctrine requires all courts in all jurisdictions to follow all past precedents and provide an example of where the doctrine has been cited in a legal opinion.

 

2.     You fall while biking and are taken to the local emergency room. A physician looks at your arm and determines that they cannot make a diagnosis without an x-ray.  She sends you to a radiologist who takes your x-rays.  After looking at them, the radiologist misreads your x-ray and tells the attending physician that you only have a bad sprain but you actually have a broken wrist. The physician trusts the radiologist's diagnosis and wraps your wrist with an elastic bandage and discharges you. Your wrist heals on its own but you end up with ongoing pain, especially when you type. You sue both the radiologist and the physician for malpractice. Explain how the four conditions of negligence would need to be demonstrated against both the radiologist and the physician before you could successfully prevail in each case.  Would the radiologist be treated any differently than the physician with respect to liability?

 

3.     Often when a crime is committed, an intentional tort is also committed. Explain the difference between a crime and an intentional tort. As part of your answer, provide an example of a situation where an intentional tort would accompany a crime and discuss the possible punishments for each.

 

4.     The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution states: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or the press....”  Yet, a newspaper, radio station or television program cannot express anything it wants in all situations by claiming protection under the First Amendment. Explain the limitations on the First Amendment and provide at least two examples as part of your answer. Explain also how corporations are treated in regard to the First Amendment freedom of expression.

 

5      Some states have passed laws to regulate or prohibit the sending of unsolicited e-mails (popularly known as “spam.”) Explain how these laws might conflict with the First Amendment’s guarantee of free speech but why some courts have ruled that anti-spam laws are constitutional.

 

6.         Explain the key provisions of the “Commerce Clause” of the US Constitution and why the Commerce Clause is considered very important to businesses in the United States. Be sure to include a discussion of the “dormant Commerce Clause” and provide an example of a law that the courts might strike down for running afoul of the dormant commerce clause as part of your answer.

 

7.         With the fairly recent protests and attacks on some of the United States' foreign embassies, some have called for the arrest of the filmmaker responsible for creating the film that prompted the attacks.  The film, titled “Innocence of Muslims” depicts Muhammad in an unfavorable light.  What First Amendment implications would arresting the filmmaker have, assuming the arrest is directly related to his creation of the film? (For those of you who followed this, the filmmaker was arrested, but it was for an unrelated matter).  Is there any way his speech could be construed as not being within the protections of the First Amendment?

8.         The Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution states: “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”  The Patriot Act, passed in 2001, authorized the U.S. Government to begin a recently revealed secret spying program on all U.S. citizens, gathering massive amounts of data on the public & claiming that only getting the “meta data” does not require probable cause.  Explain your thoughts on the legality of this program using legal principles you've learned so far in the course.

 

 

Remember to answer only 4 of these 8 questions. If you answer more than four, only the first four answered will be graded.

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