Introduction -- There is more to murder than killing someone.
Twenty-One Legal Puzzlers -- Test your legal intuitions. Twenty-one puzzlers, some actual cases, some hypothetical, all touching on key areas covered in the course to whet your legal appetite. In attempting to resolve a particular puzzler, think how you yourself would decide the case rather than how you would predict the case would be decided in a court of law.
The Case of the Speluncean Explorers -- The defendants, having been indicted for the crime of murder, were convicted and sentenced to be hanged. . . They bring a petition of error before this Court. The four defendants are members of the Speluncean Society, an organization of amateurs interested in
the exploration of caves. Early in May of 4299 they, in the company of Roger Whetmore, then also a member of the
Society, penetrated into the interior of a limestone cavern of the type found in the Central Plateau of this
Commonwealth. While they were in a position remote from the entrance to the cave, a landslide occurred. Heavy
boulders fell in such a manner as to block completely the only known opening to the cave. When the men discovered
their predicament they settled themselves near the obstructed entrance to wait until a rescue party should remove the
detritus that prevented them from leaving their underground prison. On the failure of Whetmore and the defendants to
return to their homes, the Secretary of the Society was notified by their families. It appears that the explorers had left
indications at the headquarters of the Society concerning the location of the cave they proposed to visit. A rescue party
was promptly dispatched to the spot.. . . .
A College Student and a Rat Make for an Explosive Issue -- Robert Walsh took a job with the General Machine Company, which, among other businesses, owned and operated a number of laundromats in Chicago. Walsh took the job in order to make some extra money for his college tuition. His job was to clean the coin-operated machines. One of the more effective cleansing agents was gasoline and Walsh was using gasoline to clean the machines at one of the laundromats during a cold spell. The room in which he was working was not very large, about eight by ten feet in area, and there was a gas heater installed at the base of the wall opposite the washers and dryers. This heater was lighted at the time with an open flame. While Walsh was engaged in his cleaning, a rat emerged from one of the machines. . . .
A Good Samaritan Tries to Help Only to Be Shot in the Foot -- Richard Hunt ran out of gas while driving his truck down Route 3 some eight miles south of the town of Plymouth, Massachusetts. He then parked the truck on the side of the road but the rear end (of the truck) was sticking dangerously out into the roadway. Hunt did not set out flares or any other warning signals. He did not turn on his hazard lights or switch on his left blinker. He took an empty gas can from the back of his truck and left in search of gasolene. . . .
Bernhard Goetz and the Criminal Law -- A few days before Christmas, 1984, a slightly built man named Bernhard Goetz entered a subway car in New York City. He sat down next to four black youths. They are a somewhat boisterous lot and the 15 or 20 other passengers have moved to the other end of the subway car. One of the four, Troy Canty, asked Goetz how he was doing. Then Canty and perhaps one of the others asked Goetz for five dollars. Goetz took out a .38 caliber Smith and Wesson revolver and fired four shots at each of the four youths. . . .
An Honest and Reasonable Belief or Assault in the Third Degree? -- On a Friday afternoon at about 4:40, Detectives Corey and Flintoff observed an argument between a driver of a brand new Chevy Impala and MacDuff in front of 224 West 94th Street. Corey and Flintoff were not in uniform. The driver of the car had pulled up at the curb and was sitting in his car with the engine running. MacDuff was in the middle of the street, arguing with the driver, trying to get him to "move out," "buzz off," or to "get a move-on," said in terms less polite than that. The driver refused to "buzz off," to put it politely, and MacDuff became increasingly agitated. He also continued to occupy a place in the middle of the street and traffic was building up behind him. Corey and Flintoff tried to chase MacDuff out of the middle of the street to allow traffic to pass. But MacDuff refused to budge . . .
A Case of Homicide or A Mother's Love? --Whatever else may be true in a given criminal case, what a defendant had in mind at the time that the defendant committed the alleged criminal act matters. It matters to our ascertaining the defendant's guilt or innocence. Indeed, we might say: "It ought to matter," since our sense of fairness, our sense of whether it is right or just to punish someone for criminal wrongdoing, is intimately bound up not only with our determining whether a person did or did not do the dastardly deed with which he or she is charged, but also whether the person so charged had a guilty mind, a mens rea or a criminal intent . . .
Justifiable Homicide or Murder without Justification or Excuse? - A Battered Woman's Defense -- Janice Subin was charged with murder for the stabbing death of her husband Chester Subin in the early morning hours of February 13, 1995. She was found guilty of manslaughter and sentenced to twenty years imprisonment in the Idaho State Penitentiary. She has appealed her judgment for conviction and it is now before the Idaho Supreme Court. According to testimony at the original trial, the Subin marriage near its end was "an unhappy one, filled with a mixture of alcohol abuse, moments of kindness towards one another, and moments of violence . . ."
A Duty to Rescue? - McFall v. Shimp -- McFall suffers from aplastic anemia, a disease in which the patient's bone marrow fails to manufacture certain necessary blood components. Shortly after his condition was diagnosed in June of 1978, a search began to find a bone marrow donor. Transfusions of bone marrow require a high degree of compatibility between donor and recipient and McFall's relatives were tested first. Initial tests of McFall's immediate family failed to produce a compatible donor, but preliminary tests of McFall's first cousin, David Shimp, indicated a high compatibility rating . . ."
A Duty of Care? - Bernstein v. Harvard University Overseers -- Charles Gilbert was a sophomore at Harvard University as was Ariana Bernstein. Charles and Ariana had "gone out" together during the Spring semester, but Ariana had broken off their relationship before she went home for the summer. Charles pleaded with her to try again when they returned to the campus in the Fall, but Ariana had made up her mind. She asked him not to call or write. Charles went into a deep depression. Shortly after he arrived on campus to begin the Fall semester he became a voluntary outpatient at Harvard University Health Services. On October 5th he informed his therapist, Dr. Lawrence Stone, that he was going to kill Ariana as soon as she moved into her off-campus apartment. Ariana was planning to move sometime during the month of October, was not speaking to Gilbert, and knew nothing of his intentions . . ."
A Duty to Warn and Rescue? - Yania v. Bigan -- John Bigan owned a coal strip-mining operation in Somerset County in Pennsylvania. There were several large trenches in the earth on his property where Bigan had removed dirt to uncover and remove the coal underneath. Some of these trenches had filled with rain water. In one of them Bigan had installed a pump to drain the water. The water was about 8 to 10 feet in depth and the dirt side-walls about 16 to 18 feet high. At around 4:00 p.m. on September 25, 1957 Joseph Yania, another strip mining operator, and Boyd Ross visited Bigan to discuss a business matter with him and while they were there, Bigan asked them to help him to start the pump. Ross and Bigan stood on one side of the trench and Yania stood atop the embankment on the other and Bigan urged him to jump into the water . . ."
A Duty to Rescue? - Farwell v. Keaton --
On the evening of August 26, 1966 Siegrist and Farwell in separate cars drove to a trailer rental lot to return the car that Siegrist had borrowed from a friend who worked at the lot. While they were waiting for Siegrist's friend to finish work, they consumed some beer. Two girls walked by the entrance to the lot and the two men tried to engage them in conversation. They followed the girls on foot to a local drive-in restaurant down the street. The girls complained to some of their male buddies at the restaurant that they were being followed by a couple of "creeps." Six boys chased Siegrist and Farwell back to the lot. Siegrist escaped but Farwell was severely kicked and beaten . . ."
Is the Death Penalty Cruel and Unusual Punishment? --
Arguments for and against capital
punishment arouse strong feelings. Whenever an issue arouses
strong passions, it is difficult to think clearly about that issue.
These notes tackle the issue of capital punishment by coming
at it from two angles. . . ."
A Right of Privacy? --
Griswold, the director of the Planned Parenthood League of Connecticut,
was arrested in 1961 for violating a state law forbidding the
distribution of contraceptive devices and information. The Planned
Parenthood League provided contraceptives and information to married
couples. The law forbid the distribution of contraceptives and
information to any person, whether he or she was under-age, over-age,
married or unmarried. Griswold argued that the law violated the
Constitution and the Supreme Court agreed. . ."
- Planned Parenthood v. Casey, 505 U.S. 833
Roe v. Wade, 410 U.S. 113
- Bowers v. Hardwick, 478 U.S. 186
- Loving v. Virginia, 388
- Skinner v. Oklahoma ex rel Williamson, 316
- Prince v. Massachusetts, 321
- Pierce v. Society of Sisters, 268
- Griswold v. Connecticut, 381
- Eisenstadt v. Baird, 405
U.S. 438, 453
- Webster v. Reproductive Health Services, 492
The Constitution of the United States --
We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic
tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to
ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America . . ."
- Amendment I [Religion, Speech, Press, Assembly, Petition (1791)]
- Amendment II [Right to Bear Arms (1791)]
- Amendment III [Quartering of Troops (1791)]
- Amendment IV [Search and Seizure (1791)]
- Amendment V [Grand Jury, Double Jeopardy, Self-Incrimination, Due Process (1791)]
- Amendment VI [Criminal Prosecutions - Jury Trial, Right to Confront and to Counsel (1791)]
- Amendment VII [Common Law Suits - Jury Trial (1791)]
- Amendment VIII [Excess Bail or Fines, Cruel and Unusual Punishment (1791)]
- Amendment IX [Non-Enumerated Rights (1791)]
- Amendment X [Rights Reserved to States (1791)]
- Amendment XI [Suits Against a State (1795)]
- Amendment XII [Election of President and Vice-President (1804)]
- Amendment XIII [Abolition of Slavery (1865)]
- Amendment XIV [Privileges and Immunities, Due Process, Equal Protection, Apportionment of Representatives, Civil War Disqualification and Debt (1868)]
- Amendment XV [Rights Not to Be Denied on Account of Race (1870)]
- Amendment XVI [Income Tax (1913)]
- Amendment XVII [Election of Senators (1913)
- Amendment XVIII [Prohibition (1919)]
- Amendment XIX [Women's Right to Vote (1920)
- Amendment XX [Presidential Term and Succession (1933)]
- Amendment XXI [Repeal of Prohibition (1933)]
- Amendment XXII [Two Term Limit on President (1951)]
- Amendment XXIII [Presidential Vote in D.C. (1961)]
- Amendment XXIV [Poll Tax (1964)]
- Amendment XXV [Presidential Succession (1967)]
- Amendment XXVI [Right to Vote at Age 18 (1971)]
- Amendment XXVII [Compensation of Members of Congress (1992)]
Interpreting the Constitution" or "How is the U.S. Constitution Like the Ten Commandments?" --
At a press conference on February 21, 1985, President Ronald Reagan made the following statement: "I've found that the Bible contains an answer to just about every problem that confronts us, and I wonder sometimes why we won't recognize that that one Book could solve a lot of problems for us." (Feb. 22, 1985, The New York Times). Now imagine that a group of concerned citizens meet, following Reagan's press conference, to consider what
to do about what they describe as "the deplorable state of the moral life of the American citizen." During the course of their discussion, one person stands up and electrifies the others with the following remarks . . . "
Late Breaking Legal News --
Microsoft Replies to Plaintiffs' Proposed Conclusions of Law, February 1, 2000: Read the [ MS original] and the [ MS Reply in Response to States ]
Amicus Briefs were also filed on Tuesday, Feb. 1, 2000 by, among others, Association for Competitive Technology which filed an Amicus Brief for Microsoft; and Software and Information Industry Association which filed an Amicus Brief for the Department of Justice; as well as Robert Bork who filed an Amicus Brief for the Plaintiff States.
If you wish to discuss the filings ONLINE you can go to the Bulletin Board created by Harvard by clicking HERE . Also in the
News (1/27/00) : "Conservative Think Tank Recommends Microsoft Breakup." On Jan. 25
Plaintiffs Responded to Microsoft Proposed Conclusions of Law, reported in the
News also on the 25th as"Plaintiff States Still Split on Remedy Questions -- Not All Endorse Breakup." Also reported in the
News on the 25th : "Microsoft Java Injunction Was Reinstated, Based in Contract, not Copyright." Prior to these events
Microsoft submitted its Proposed Conclusions of Law on Jan. 18, 2000 after
the government plaintiffs filed their proposed conclusions of law on December 6th. Links and local copies are posted on the Microsoft Case site.
The next step? Parties will prepare responses and make oral arguments before Judge Jackson. If there is no settlement, Judge Jackson's verdict and hearings on remedy will follow.
- Feb. 22, 2000, Oral argument on conclusions of law
- Morning Transcript, Judge Thomas P. Jackson Presiding
- Afternoon Transcripts, Judge Thomas P. Jackson Presiding
- Judge Compares Microsoft's Control to Rockefeller's, CBS MarketWatch
- "Plausible benefit" is key phrase in Microsoft trial, CNet
Microsoft, Feds Enter Final Round, Industry Standard
Closing Arguments Underscore Gap Between Microsoft and U.S. New York Times
Justice and Plaintiff States Propose Breaking Microsoft in Two:
Plaintiffs' Proposed Final Judgment ((PDF)), April 28, 2000
Memorandum in Support of Proposed Final Judgment (PDF)
The Government has filed with the District Court, asking Judge Jackson to break Microsoft into two separate companies, an "Operating Systems Business" and an "Applications Business." The Justice Department and a majority of the 19 state plaintiffs signed on to the proposal. Microsoft, predictably, has called the ruling 'extreme' and will file its own proposal by May 10.
Amicus Brief of economists Robert Litan, Roger Noll, William Nordhaus, and F.M. Scherer, April 27, 2000
Jackson Rules Against Microsoft
Sources now report that Judge Jackson will issue his ruling April 6, and that Judge Posner has given a detailed scheduling order for the interim. The Government has rejected Microsoft's detailed initial settlement proposal as insufficient, and that no new meetings have been scheduled. The offer follows a meeting with Judge Jackson last Tuesday at which he warned he would otherwise issue his conclusions of law this coming week. The government is now endorsing conduct remedies rather than breakup, which Microsoft has categorically rejected. The Justice Department and states must also agree among themselves, contending with technical detail in the proposal and anticipating loopholes like the "integrated products" clause of the 1994 Consent Decree.
Conclusions of Law: April 3, 2000
(Version with links to Supreme Court decisions)
Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson issued his conclusions of law at 5:00p.m. on MONDAY, APRIL 3, 2000, holding that Microsoft violated Section 2 of the Sherman Antitrust Act by using anticompetitive means to maintain its operating system monopoly and by attempting to monopolize the Web browser market; and tied the Internet Explorer browser to Windows in violation of Section 1. Jackson rejected the Government's claim that Microsoft had engaged in unlawful exclusive dealing. He granted and denied the same claims of the 19 plaintiff states.
The parties will return to court for remedy hearings, and Microsoft has already announced plans to appeal after the remedy phase and final decree.
The findings of fact, however, may now be used as prima facie evidence of harm by plaintiffs in private class action suits, under the Clayton Act.
Microsoft and the government plaintiffs were unable to reach a settlement despite added discussions with mediator Judge Posner last week.
In prior developments, news that the government planned to demand a breakup of Microsoft was broken by USA Today and confirmed in a story by the Washington Post.
- News (3/29/00): Judge in Microsoft Case Delays a Ruling
as Mediation Intensifies, New York Times
- News (3/27/00): Judge's Ruling on Microsoft After Tuesday-Sources, Reuters
- News (3/26/00): Antitrust Talks Stall, The Industry Standard
- News (3/25/00): Officials Say Microsoft Bid to Settle Suit
Is Inadequate, New York Times
- News (3/25/00): Govt Said Unmoved by Microsoft Offer, AP
- News (3/25/00): Microsoft Is Said to Offer Plan to Restrain Business
Practices, New York Times
- News (3/24/00): Judge's Warning Prompts New Microsoft Offer--Sources, Reuters
- News (3/24/00): Microsoft Offers Antitrust Deal, AP
- News (3/24/00): USA Today Expects Microsoft Settlement Offer Friday, Reuters
- News (3/23/00): Hope for Microsoft Settlement Renewed, Washington Post
- News (3/23/00): Microsoft, DOJ may be closer to settling antitrust suit, CNet
Course Description -- Topics and areas of the law covered in the course
Texts -- Books to be purchased for the course..
Course Requirements -- Writing assignments, class participation, grading procedures, examinations, office hours, etc.
Syllabus -- Reading and writing assignments broken down week by week. FIRST FOUR WEEKS NOW ONLINE.
Paper Topic I and Paper Topic II and Writing Assignment Number 3 and Paper Topic IV -- Paper topics will always be posted at least ten days before a paper is due. . .
Course Progress Updates -- Summaries of topics covered in
each class session, posted at end of each
Online Forum -- NOTE:
Click here and you'll be directed to a welcome page to
create your own account for the Class Bulletin Board. When
you're ready, click on the button that says "Create Account" and you'll be led through
the process of choosing an ID and a password. In order to
use this forum, you have to register. It is
very simple. Just follow the directions for
"New Users," choosing a username
Class List -- Here
you'll find the names asnd e-mail addresses of everyone who is currently entrollled in PHIL 22B.
Law and the Internet - Two Online Courses taught by Professors Arthur Miller and William T. Fisher of Harvard Law School -- These online initiatives debuted in spring 1998, and were offered free to the public via the
Internet. Featured in stories in Wired magazine, The
Boston Globe, and The New York Times on the Web, the two projects drew over 1,500
participants from around the world. This diverse group of participants included Harvard Law School
alumni, computer professionals, high school and college students, educators, and retirees. Students
were able to view course materials (cases, statutes, articles, video clips) online, discuss these
materials with their professors and classmates in online discussion groups, and interact during
real-time sessions in which Professors Miller and Fisher attempted to replicate the type of Socratic
exchange that occurs in Harvard Law School classrooms.Berkman Center Law School.
Privacy in Cyberspace Professor Arthur Miller explored with participants
across the Net the legal, technological, and policy questions the Internet poses for privacy on- and
off-line. How private is your Web surfing? Your e-mail? How private should it be?
Professor Miller introduced each week's lesson with a hypothetical scenario, putting participants in
such roles as a casual Web browser, a parent, an advertiser, or an employer. Through linked
readings, multimedia presentations, and online experiments, participants faced the legal challenges of
e-mail storage, Web logging, databases, and international rules. Harvard Law students led
discussions on the Web and through e-mail, and each week's lesson concluded with a real time
interactive session among participants, Professor Miller, and invited guests.
- In Intellectual Property in Cyberspace, Professor
Terry Fisher and a team of Harvard Law School teaching fellows explored six areas of Intellectual
Property in Cyberspace: Legal Protection for Web sites; Metatags, Linking, Framing, Caching;
Whom to Sue?; ISP Liability and Jurisdiction; Domain Names; Alternatives to Intellectual Property;
and Respect and Integrity. Building on their experience with last year's Berkman Center online series
on intellectual property, Professor Fisher and his team experimented with new ways to create a
classroom community among hundreds of online users.
Philosophy in Preparation for Law School -- A recent comprehensive study of college students' scores on major tests used for admission to
graduate and professional schools shows that students majoring in Philosophy received scores
substantially higher than the average on each of the tests studied. The performance of Philosophy Majors on all three tests was remarkable: Philosophy Majors
received higher scores on the LSAT, for instance, than students in all other humanities areas, and
higher scores than all social and natural science majors except economics and mathematics, and
higher scores than all applied majors.
Complete Sample LSAT -- Download a complete sample LSAT You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader 3.0 to view
and print the test. If you do not already have the reader installed on your
computer, click on the icon below to download the Acrobat Reader for
FindLaw -- FindLaw offers an array of free resources and tools for students.
Duhaime's Law Dictionary -- Clear, concise definitions of legal terms:
A - B - C - D - E - F - G - H - I
J - K - L - M - N - O - P - Q
R - S - T - U - V - W - X - Y - Z
U.S. News Rankings -- 1999 Law School Rankings.
The On-Line Law School Locator -- The Boston College Law School Locator lists the 25th to 75th percentile LSAT scores and GPA ranges of first
year classes at accredited law schools. The Locator can help you identify schools where your scores and grades are most competitve for admission and
help you gauge your chances of admission at a particular school.
School Admission Test (LSAT) -- The LSAT is a half-day standardized test required for admission to all 196 law
schools that are members of the Law School Admission Council (LSAC or Law
Services). It provides a standard measure of reading and verbal reasoning skills
that law schools can use as one of several factors in assessing applicants. The test
is administered four times a year at hundreds of locations around the world.
Pre-Law Handbook: 1999-2000 -- Regardless of some of the press it receives, the law is a noble pursuit and an honorable profession. But
you must be sure that it is the career path for you. The University of Richmond's Pre-Law Handbook is designed to assist you in determining
whether law school is the right choice for you; preparing for law school as an undergraduate; and
applying to law school. What follows is an attempt to provide extensive and accurate information about law school and
the legal profession, complete with links to a variety of web-based resources.
Legal Resource Guide -- A categorized index of more than 4000 select web sites in
238 nations, islands, and territories, as well as more than 850 locally stored web pages and downloadable files, this
site was established to serve as a comprehensive resource of the information available on the Internet concerning law
and the legal profession, with an emphasis on the United States of America. Designed for everyone, lay persons and
legal scholars alike, it is quality controlled to include only the most substantive legal resources online. The selection
criteria are predicated on two principles: the extent to which the resource is unique, as well as the relative value of the
information it provides.
Bar Association -- The American Bar Association's General Information Center. Here, you'll learn about the
structure and governance of the ABA, keep up on ABA news and their monthly membership magazine,
as well as learn about membership information and services.
The Truth About Law School -- A candid article on attending law school and what follows graduation.
Understanding Law School -- Tries to ease the pain by giving you an understanding of law school.
Hiatt Career Center's On-Line Law Menu: Applying to Law School -- Addresses, among many others, such questions as "Is law school a good choice for me?" - "What else can I do with my liberal arts degree besides law or medicine?" - "What can I do with a law degree?" - "When should I apply?" - "How soon will I hear back from law schools?" - "When should I take the LSAT?" - "Do law schools mind if I take time off?" - "How can I make myself a more competitive candidate?" - "What majors do law schools prefer?" - "How can Hiatt help me?" and such matters as Thinking About Getting Started, The LSAT, Choosing Schools, The Complete Application, Law School Report Form, Recommendations, Personal Statement, Dean's Letter, Transcripts, Paying for Law School, and Making The Final Decision. To schedule an appointment with a pre-law advisor call 736-3618.
Want To Be A Lawyer? -- One way of determining whether you may want to
be a lawyer is to look at the type of skills that a person must develop and ultimately
become proficient at in order to be a competent lawyer in any area.
The Reality of Law School -- The standard fare of law school.
Legal Education -- Acquaints students with the background required for the study of
law, the skills which a legal education attempts to develop and dispels common
misconceptions about preparation for law school.
More Law School Information on the Application Procedure -- Explains the overall chances for admissions, shows you how law schools use the application to select
applicants and then explains how you can use this knowledge to prepare the best application possible Also, a time-line of critical steps plus an "Applicant Support Guide" and the "Simulated Admissions
Review Service" with suggestions on how you can improve your application.
Law School Recommendation Letters -- Most Deans of Admissions read each recommendation with three questions in mind: 1) How well does the writer know
the applicant and the applicant's academic record? 2) What does the writer have to say about the applicant's abilities and
characteristics which are important for success in law school and the profession? 3) In the final analysis, how
enthusiastic is the writer's support for the candidate's admission to this particular law school?
Law Reviews -- Articles from law reviews.
Legal News -- Articles from legal newspapers, magazines & newsletters.
Get a Case -- State and federal cases.
Federal Case Law -- Judicial decisions from all federal court levels.
State Case Law -- State high court and appellate decisions.
Cases by topic -- Search cases by topic and/or theme.
Federal Code -- Federal code, U.S. Constitution & court
Federal Regulations -- Federal regulations, agency opinions & US
Attorney General Opinions.
State Codes -- Statutory laws, court rules from all states &
Attorneys General opinions from all states .