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Introduction to Employment Law

Introduction to Employment Law

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Introduction to Employment Law

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  1. Introduction to Employment Law Jody Blanke Professor of Computer Information Systems and Law Mercer University

  2. The Enumerated Powers Clause • Art. 1 Sec. 8 of the Constitution • Authorizes Congress • to collect taxes • to coin money • to establish a postal system • to raise and support Armies • to provide and maintain a Navy • to regulate interstate commerce • to protect the writings of authors and the discoveries of inventors

  3. Tenth Amendment • The powers not delegated to the U.S. are reserved to the states • Most laws that effect us on a daily basis are state laws, e.g., contract law, property law, tort law, criminal law, family law

  4. Federal Court System

  5. Federal Court System (cont.) • Supreme Court • appellate and original jurisdiction • Courts of Appeal • 11 geographically divided courts (plus 2 specialty courts) • appellate jurisdiction only • District Courts • 94 courts (1 to 4 per state) • original jurisdiction only

  6. Federal District Court • Criminal Cases • Civil Cases • Federal Question Jurisdiction • Diversity Jurisdiction • complete diversity of the parties • amount in controversy greater than $75,000

  7. State Court Systems • 50 different systems • Similar to federal • “triangular” in shape • many courts with limited jurisdiction

  8. Pleadings • Plaintiff files a complaint • Defendant files an answer • May also counterclaim or crossclaim • Failure to answer may result in default judgment

  9. Motion to Dismiss • Will be granted if • Court lacks jurisdiction over the subject matter or over the parties • Plaintiff failed to properly serve the complaint on the defendant • Plaintiff has failed to state a claim upon which relief can be granted

  10. Motion for Summary Judgment • Can be made by either party • During discovery, i.e., after the pleadings but before the trial • Will be granted if there are no genuine issues as to any material fact, and the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law • “Legal TKO”

  11. Post Trial Motions • Motion for judgment notwithstanding the verdict (judgment n.o.v. – non obstante veredicto) • Motion for remittitur (additur) • McDonald’s hot cup of coffee case • Motion for a new trial

  12. Appeals • Appellate review focuses on errors of law • Appellate court may order a remand • Findings of fact generally will be reversed only if they are clearly erroneous, i.e., not supported by the evidence

  13. Burden of Proof • Criminal case • “beyond a reasonable doubt” • burden on prosecution, i.e., state • Civil case • “by a preponderance of the evidence”, i.e., more likely than not • burden on party making the claim, usually the plaintiff • Ex. O.J. Simpson; Hans Kraus; Andrea Sneiderman

  14. Federal Case Citations • McDonald Douglas Corp. v. Green, 411 U.S. 792 (1973) [p. 89] • EEOC v. Chicago Miniature Lamp Works, 947 F.2d 292 (7th Cir. 1991) [p. 113] • Petruska v. Gannon University, 350 F.Supp.2d 666 (W.D. Pa. 2004) [p. 78]

  15. State Case Citations • Palmateer v. International Harvester, 85 Ill.2d 124, 421 N.E.2d 876 (1981) [p. 33] • Torosyan v. Boehringer Pharmaceuticals, 662 A.2d 89 (Conn. 1995) [p. 41] • Guz v. Bechtel Nat. Inc., 100 Cal.Rptr.2d 352 (Ca. 2000) [p. 37]