International Greenhouse gas law is a relatively young concept. Although having been in existence for over a decade now, the first step towards the creation of a global system of regulation for climate change and the emission of greenhouse gases was the signing of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). This agreement was signed by a majority of the members of the United Nations although it only committed its members in the sense of an aspiration rather than binding obligations.
The first ever international agreement with legally binding targets for nations relating to the emission of greenhouse gases was the Kyoto Protocol of 1997. This agreement set binding targets for 37 industrialised nations to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The agreement put in place greenhouse gas emissions targets for the period 2008 to 2012. The agreement was later followed by the rules for the implementation of the Protocol which were adopted at Conference Of Parties 7 in Marrakesh in 2001, and are called the “Marrakesh Accords.”
The next pivotal step in relation to the protection of the environment was to get the largest greenhouse gas polluters of the present and the foreseeable future, being the United States, China and India, to agree on binding targets for greenhouse gas emissions. It was essential that this happen at the recent conference in Copenhagen and it unfortunately did not result in a set of targets which can be used to avoid catastrophic climate change in the next few decades due to the green house gas effect. There are a number of possible reasons for the failure of the talks to reach these binding targets and some have pointed out that it has resulted in the assumption of some targets which are were difficult to obtain but still do not achieve the necessary reductions in order to prevent a global environmental disaster.
- Choose an attorney who primarily handles major class action lawsuits. Look for least ten years of experience in handling these types of cases.
- Reputation is important. Choose a firm with a solid reputation in the legal community for handling these lawsuits.
- Your attorney should have a proven track record in the specific area of law related to your case. For example, if your lawsuit involves a defective product that caused injury or illness, we strongly recommend you obtain a lawyer who has successfully handled similar product liability cases.
- Illinois class action rules and regulations can be complex and certain federal rules might even place the case in federal court and not state court (such as the Class Action Fairness Act). Your attorney should be thoroughly familiar with Illinois class action rules and regulations as well as applicable federal law and be able to navigate the intricacies of both.
- Look for an attorney at a financially stable firm that is able to cover the costs and expenses that will be incurred and will not seek money from its clients during the litigation.
- Your attorney should be honest with you and the other plaintiffs about the potential for success in the lawsuit.
- Although class action suits may involve a large number of plaintiff clients, your attorney should still keep his or her clients informed and up to speed on all significant developments in the case.
- Your attorney should not make decisions on your behalf without considering your needs and desires. It is important to express to your attorney what you need and want and your attorney should act on your behalf with this information in mind.
- You are the customer. Your attorney should treat you with respect, promptly returning all phone calls and e-mails and taking the time to answer questions.
- Attorneys in class lawsuits are paid on a contingency basis. This means that they are only paid if the suit is successful and they are paid out of whatever amount is recovered from the defendant. The judge determines what percentage of the recovery amount the attorney will receive and it is based on a number of factors, including the work involved and the amount recovered.
Healthcare reform is a very controversial issue. Much of the conflict comes from the health insurance mandate, which requires that everyone with earnings over a certain income level either buy health coverage or pay a fine. Supporters think that doing so is necessary to get a higher percentage of healthier policyholders in the fold, leading to more affordable health insurance. Opponents, on the other hand, believe that it is an unconstitutional violation of states’ rights.
Legal experts are conflicted on how the mandate issue will play out. The commerce clause of the Constitution allows the federal government to regulate interstate commerce. The Obama administration and Democrats in Congress no doubt had analysts poring over the legislation in order to avoid having it revoked after a bruising political battle. They knew that the Republican party would be looking to poke holes in its logic, so their legal argument would presumably be air-tight. For example, they refer to the penalty as an excise tax, because such taxes typically enjoy more protection under the Constitution.
However, that has not stopped a coalition of states–which has now grown to 20 governors and attorneys general–from filing a lawsuit immediately after President Barack Obama signed the bill. It began with Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum, and has only continued to grow. Several other lawsuits have been filed, but this is the one receiving the most press.
Virtually all of the government officials involved in the lawsuit are Republicans. The one exception is a Democratic attorney general, who was heavily pressured by a Republican governor. There is most likely a political grandstanding element to their action–many of them are running for re-election or higher office, and participating in the lawsuit against the unpopular healthcare reform law shores up their conservative credentials for primary season.
Although it is easy to dismiss the suit as partisan theater and a waste of taxpayers’ money, some legal scholars are considering the possibility that there may be some merit to it. Specifically, it remains to be seen whether the Supreme Court would rule that Congress is allowed to regulate inactivity, as opposed to activity, in commerce. If they are, some fear that it would lead to a slippery slope of mandates: would all Americans be forced to purchase a U.S. car if it is deemed to be for the greater good, as the mandate is purported to increase the availability of affordable health insurance? In the case that they are not, it has the potential to topple the entire structure of reform–not to mention federal authority altogether.
A handful of experts believe that the issue won’t even reach the highest court, since the state governments themselves are only indirectly affected by that provision of health insurance reform. In that case, there will probably be a sufficient number of individual Tea Party volunteers who would have standing to sue. In September, the Justice Department is scheduled to make a motion to dismiss the lawsuit in the 11th Circuit of the United States Court of Appeals. Since that circuit tends to be conservative, the case has a good chance of continuing past that point.
If the suit reaches the Supreme Court, it will probably take several years to do so. By then, President Obama will have appointed a second nominee to the Supreme Court. Whether or not the newest justice is Elena Kagan remains to be seen, but whoever he picks will most likely be sympathetic to one of his key domestic issues.
Although there is no distinction concerning kinds of law which can be practiced in the USA, there are in point of fact specific areas of expertise in which an attorney will offer his or her services. When looking for legal counsel, it is best to seek advice from an attorney dedicated to the specific area you need.
Types of Attorneys
A few of the various kinds of law firms and attorneys include real estate, family, personal injury, small business, malpractice, insurance, employment, criminal, and wrongful death. Keep in mind that there will be variations among states.
A general practice lawyer is typically a full service attorney that deals with cases spanning a wide array of areas such as business transactions, family and estate planning and the like.
Personal Injury Attorneys
Personal injury attorneys handle a range of legal situations that arise from vehicular crashes involving automobiles, trains, watercraft, airplanes, helicopters, motorcycles, buses, and commercial trucks. Additionally they take care of work injuries, slip & fall occurrences, product liability, nursing home incidents, incorrect prescriptions, and wrongful death.
The group of injuries that may be covered comprise an extensive list that includes brain injury, back and neck injuries, burns, certain birth defects, spinal cord injuries, and paralysis.
The term litigation merely means a lawsuit. Consequently any attorney who’ll file a lawsuit and follow it right through to trial is actually a litigator. With regards to types of lawyers, the important split is between those that deal with civil cases and those that accept criminal cases.
Get an Experienced Trial Attorney
When an attorney states he’s a litigator, that indicates that he or she is able to take a lawsuit through the court trial process. If you have a personal injury case, not only should you make sure that your attorney is well versed in personal injury cases, it’s also very important that the attorney is willing to take your case all the way to trial and is experienced and successful in doing so.
Before you graduate, your dean of students, a professor, or common sense will tell you that the bar exam is a test not to be taken lightly, that you need to take your bar exam preparation seriously. But until you are immersed into the depths of sample bar exam essays and practice questions, it is very difficult to truly fathom how challenging and all-consuming the bar examination can be.
Generally speaking, studying successfully for the MBE and your state bar examination is an immersion process; it requires dedication, focus, and time-management. It entails more than what you are accustomed to from law school, where merely showing up for class (while IMing your classmates or playing on facebook) can still get you an “A”. Attending a daily bar review class or participating in a structured online bar preparation course, memorizing the bar review materials, and taking practice bar exams is just a starting point. The hardest part of studying is figuring out the best approach that will allow you to study the most effectively and tailoring your study habits to retain loads of information in a short period of time. You have to balance an increased work load with the necessity of eating healthy and exercising.
This article will give upcoming bar-exam candidates constructive tips that other law students have found useful when studying for the bar exam. The most important thing you can do is honestly assess your studying style during law school, draw-upon positive habits and be disciplined enough to eliminate the negative, before embarking on your studying marathon that summer. Remember, you want this to be a one-time deal and its never too early to start preparing.
(1) For 1Ls and 2Ls: Prepare During Law School
It is never too early to start preparing for the bar exam during your law school career. Many law students regret not taking more bar classes during law school. Some law students even actively avoid bar-related classes because they assume they will just learn the subjects needed during the formal bar-review course. What they fail to realize is that its not easy learning subjects like wills, trusts and estates in the one or two days your bar prep course will likely tackle that subject. Your law school probably does not require that you take every bar subject as a graduation requirement, and it is certainly possible to pass the bar exam if you avoid taking these subjects. But studying a bar subject for the second time, by definition, makes it more familiar. Bottom line: it is going to be easier on you when you begin to study a topic with which you already have a foundation.
We suggest you consider signing up for the following classes during law school:
Commercial Sales (UCC Article 2)
Constitutional Law I and II (a First Amendment class would be helpful)
Criminal Law (most law students we polled report this subject as being particularly easy to learn during bar review)
State Subjects (will vary depending on your state, but will usually cover such subjects as):
Trust and Estates
State Civil Procedure
State Constitutional Law
State Criminal Procedure
Business Associations | Corporations
(2) The Bar Review Course
So you’re thinking: “I’m not a 1L or 2L. I’m a 3L about to graduate. I need a plan of attack now!” We believe that taking a Bar Review class is fundamental to your summer study plan. Some choose not to do so, but if you’re reading this article, you’re probably not one of them. There’s bar/bri and PMBR (who have been around for a long time and have helped many law students pass the bar exam). But also consider the many competitors to the traditional Bar/Bri and PMBR, which students are finding very helpful and effective. MicroMash, Supreme Bar Review, and AdaptiBar are such examples. Do some research, because everyone learns differently. One course’s methods of teaching bar subjects may be more effective than others.
(2)(a) For those who intend to stay with the conventional lecture-style bar review courses (Bar/Bri, PMBR, Kaplan):
If you decide to do Bar/Bri and PMBR, attend every class and be in the moment. This sounds simple. But many students are tempted to log on the internet and check email. Stay focused because, literally, each minute during the summer is crucial and it is important to maximize your time while in class. Make sure to get to the classes promptly, because they start on the dot at 9:00a.m. (may differ from city to city) and, as they are videotaped, the teacher waits for nobody! Be aware that, in the larger law schools, there will be a ‘live’ room and everyone else will be forced into alternative rooms where you will watch the lesson on a video feed. So if you think there is a benefit to seeing the bar-review professor in the flesh, rather than on the a screen, make sure you get to your class extra early.
It is highly suggested that you not be shy about utilizing the BarBri and PMPR ‘Telephone Help Desk’ call in features for any substantive questions you may have regarding the material. Bar review topics do get confusing, especially when you start comparing federal law to state-specific laws on a certain subject (e.g. evidence). Also, it is nearly impossible to ask any questions during the actual class (or impossible if you attend the video).
Note: Kaplan only recently started their lecture-style bar review course to compete with Bar/Bri. We have had several reports, from the July 2009 bar exam, that Kaplan materials had errors and that the practice questions were, in their opinion, inadequate. It seems that they are working out the kinks. DISCLAIMER – this is not the author’s opinion.
(2)(b) For those who intend to take online courses (Adaptibar, MicroMash, etc…):
Convenience is a double-edged sword. Some law students may not have the discipline necessary to get out of bed early in the morning with the lure of a few more hours of sleep and the knowledge that they can begin learning any time during the day (rather than a set time every morning) or may be tempted to take a day off and double up the following day. If choosing an internet or DVD bar-review course, set the alarm clock and stick with the program!
The great benefit to online bar review is the ability to tackle sub-categories of difficult subjects head on. For example, when studying for the bar utilizing a lecture/book style course, you will only see a certain number of double-hearsay-related evidence questions and only every so often. If that particular sub-category of evidence is causing you trouble, the BEST way to deal with it is to (a) review the course material, and then (b) do as many practice questions as it takes to get 10 double-hearsay questions (in a row) correct. Most online courses will identify your particular trouble areas for you and provide this highly beneficial, and in the author’s opinion more efficient and less stressful, method of making sure you have a firm grasp on every bar subject.
(3) Do Practice Questions and Sample Essays
At the beginning of your bar review, it would not be atypical for bar-studying to take 10-12 hours per day. As you get closer to the bar exam, you will find yourself up numerous nights where you will realize that you’ve been at it for 14 hours – literally studying from sunrise to sunset with quick breaks just to eat and hopefully shower!
Remember, there are only so many questions the bar exam can throw at you. The more you practice (essays and questions) the more you “learn the formula.”
The practice questions are thought-provoking, yet tricky. It is imperative that you do at least 50 questions thoroughly, on a daily basis. Part of succeeding on the exam is picking the “least wrong” answer from the four “wrong” answer choices by utilizing process of elimination techniques.
There is something special about writing. A really helpful trick is to make sure you do not neglect the essays. Aim to do at least 1 essay per night from the very first day of studying for the bar examination, and increase the number essays as the bar exam approaches and your study-routine improves. Do not passively read the answers to the Sample Essay Answers. Make a running outline, by topic, of the frequently tested areas and then study that outline. This helps for both the essays (obviously) and multiple choice questions as well.
Another source of bar-exam failure are those recent law graduates who work while studying for the bar exam. Personal finances are always a concern. But if at all possible, the author highly recommends not working while studying for the bar exam.
While seemingly hypocritical, the author also urges you to maintain some quality of life. While partying is most certainly out of the question for the two months or so that you will dedicate to bar studying – grabbing a beer (singular) once a week wont hurt you. Limiting your alcohol (and, of course, drug) intake is important. Exercising regularly is a must. Taking an hour break to walk, jog or lift light weights can be invigorating and will most definitely help the studying process. Sleep is also important. Studies show your brain needs adequate sleep to best process that barrage of information you will be learning, understanding and memorizing each day.
The Bar will be a very stressful time in your law school career. The goal is to make sure it avoids becoming traumatic. It is hard to comprehend how challenging mentally, physically, and emotionally it is until you actually experience it yourself. But remember – try and keep the exam in perspective and if worse comes to worse, you can take the exam again. Look at these highly successful and powerful individuals who have attempted the Bar and failed… but have not failed in life: 1) John F. Kennedy (failed 3 times), 2) Florida Governor Charlie Crist (failed two times), 3) Democrat Kevin A. Callahan (failed 10 times), and 4) New York Senator Hillary Clinton (failed D.C. bar 1 time).
The author sincerely believes that if you are smart enough to get into law school and graduate, you are smart enough to pass your state bar exam. All it takes is two months of dedication. It really is a hazing process. But, you’re not alone and, once you pass, you will look upon your bar studying time fondly – albeit many years later. GOOD LUCK