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Monographs on Substantive Legal Topics
The concluding volume of the series covers debates concerning structural changes to the federal courts, including the creation of the U.S. magistrate and U.S. bankruptcy judge positions, and alterations to the federal appellate system, including the division of the Fifth Circuit, the creation of the Federal Circuit, and proposals for a national court of appeals. A section on criminal justice reform recounts debates over access to counsel for indigent defendants, detention before trial, habeas corpus, and the creation of the U.S. Sentencing Commission. The volume also covers proposed civil justice initiatives regarding diversity jurisdiction, class actions, case management, alternative dispute resolution, and the creation of the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation, and concludes with discussions on the discipline of federal judges, including proposals for a nonimpeachment method for judicial removal.
The Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act (UOCAVA) requires federal and state governments to facilitate overseas citizens' participation in federal elections. In particular, jurisdictions must be able to send out absentee ballots to overseas voters at least forty-five days before federal elections. The enfranchisement of overseas voters began with military personnel, extended to their families, and then extended to citizens who are overseas for other reasons. This monograph surveys federal court interpretations of the statute. The text of the statute is included as an appendix.
Awarding Attorneys’ Fees and Managing Fee Litigation (Third Edition) analyzes the law of attorneys' fee awards under fee-shifting statutes, the common fund doctrine and its progeny, and the substantial benefit doctrine. It explains the issues that federal judges are most likely to encounter in attorneys’ fees litigation, including discretionary awards to non-prevailing parties, valuation of class settlements, empirical studies of class action fee awards, and changes in the PSLRA. The monograph also describes judicial techniques for case management and discusses relevant local rules.
Consumer Bankruptcy Law: Chapters 7 & 13 describes the statutory framework for bankruptcy relief under the Bankruptcy Code and analyzes the fundamental issues that arise in bankruptcy litigation. The monograph explains how bankruptcy cases proceed, including filing, debtor duties, automatic stay, damages, the estate, exemptions, and claims. It also examines circuit splits, as well as unsettled issues as a result of BAPCPA. Decisions of the bankruptcy courts, district courts, and courts of appeals are covered through December 31, 2014. Supreme Court case law is included through the October 2013 term.
Section 1983 Litigation (Third Edition) analyzes the large number of recurring issues that arise in litigation under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. This monograph contains new sections on discovery, Bivens claims, new material on stops and searches, and model jury instructions. It includes case law from the October 2013 Supreme Court term ending June 30, 2014, and major courts of appeals and select district court decisions reported through June 30, 2014.
Out-of-print September 2016; no future editions of this title are currently planned.
The National Voter Registration Act (NVRA) was enacted in 1993 to promote voter registration and registration accuracy. The statute requires states to establish procedures for voter registration (1) upon obtaining a driver’s license; (2) by mail; (3) at government offices, including those providing public assistance or disability services; and (4) at military recruitment offices. This monograph surveys federal court interpretations of the statute. The text of the statute is included as an appendix.
Note 1: Since the publication of this guide, courts of appeals have reversed two district court decisions described in the guide:
a. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit determined that the Election Assistance Commission is not required to permit states to amend the federal voter registration form to require proof of citizenship beyond a written statement under penalty of perjury: Kobach v. United States Election Assistance Comm'n, 772 F.3d 1183 (10th Cir.), rev'g 6 F. Supp. 3d 1252 (D. Kan. 2014), cert. denied, 135 S. Ct. 2891 (2015); see League of Women Voters v. Newby, 838 F.3d 1 (D.C. Cir. 2016) (overruling the Federal Election Assistance Commission's permission for some states to add a citizenship documentation requirement to the federal voter registration form, because the commission failed to show or find that the addition was necessary); Fish v. Kobach, 840 F.3d 710 (10th Cir. 2016) (attestation under penalty of perjury that a voter registration applicant is a citizen is sufficient absent a factual showing that a substantial number of noncitizens have successfully registered to vote).
b. The U.S Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit reversed the dismissal by a District of Nevada Judge of a section 7 case for lack of standing and ordered the case reassigned to a different judge: National Council of La Raza v. Cegavske, 800 F.3d 1032 (9th Cir. 2015), rev'g 914 F. Supp. 2d 1201 (D. Nev. 2012).
Note 2: In September 2014, NVRA provisions were moved from sections 1973gg through 1973gg-10 of title 42 of the U.S. Code to sections 20501 through 20511 of a new title 52.
The Help America Vote Act of 2002 (HAVA) was Congress's reaction to issues that arose during the 2000 presidential election. It includes standards for provisional ballots and sets minimum standards for voting equipment used in federal elections. This guide summarizes how HAVA has been applied in federal and state courts and includes the act's text as an appendix.
Note: In September 2014, HAVA provisions were moved from sections 15301 through 15545 of title 42 of the U.S. Code to sections 20901 through 21145 of a new title 52.