Media Law Exam 1

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chapters 1-3

common law

the body of law developed from custom and tradition as recognized by judicial decisions, it is largely based on previous court decisions

equity

a source of law that allows courts to fashion remedies appropriate to the case at hand. the law of equity enables courts to provide legal remedies other than money damages

statutory law

the law made by statutes passed by legislative bodies

preempt

the judicial principle asserting the supremacy of federal over state legislation on the same subject

administrative law

rules and decisions of administrative agencies such as the FCC and the Federal Trace Comission

rule making

a formal process of making administrative law used by such agencies as the FCC. An agency must publish a proposed rule in the Federal Register and review comments. the rule as finally adopted mst also be published

adjudicate

to settle a matter

precedents

an established rule of law set by a previous court opinion. a precedent for an individual case is the authority relied on for the disposition of the case. the precedent usually comes from a case involving similar facts and raising similar issues as the case at hand.

stare decisis

he foundation of common law, the doctrine that judges should rely on precedent when deciding cases in similar factual situations

litigant

a party in a lawsuit, a participant in litigation

appellate court

a court that reviews the actions of a lower court after an appeal by one of the parties in a case. appellate courts consider only errors of law or legal procedure and do not reevaluate the facts of a case

jurisdiction

the authority of the court. a court has jurisdiction over a person when that person must obey the orders of the court. a court has jurisdiction over subject matter when constitutions or statutes give the court the power to decide cases relating to the subject

original jurisdiction

a court of original jurisdiction is the first court to decide a case, rather than a court hearing a case on appeal

appeal

asking a higher court to review a lower court's decision

remand

when an appellate court sends a case back to a lower court, directing the lower court to decide the case consistent with the higher court's opinion

en banc

a french term used when all of the judges of an appellate court decide a case. more typically, a single judge or a small number of judges called a panel, decide a case

certiorari

the name of a writ asking the U.S. Supreme Court to review a case. it the writ is granted, the Court will order the lower court to provide the record of the case for the review

concurring opinion

an opinion written by an appellate court judge stating why the judge agreed with other judges

dissenting opinion

an appellate judge's opinion explaining the judge's disagreement with the court majority's decision

plurality

with reference to the U.S. Supreme Court, the opinion that is supported by more justices than any other opinion in a single case but now supported by a majority of the justices

per curiam

an opinion issued by and for the entire court rather than by one judge writing for the court

prior restraint

restriction on expression before publication or broadcast by injunction, agreement, or discriminatory taxation. first amendment doctrine favors punishment after publication instead of prior restraint

party

a participant of legal action

burdens of proof

the responsibility imposed on one side in a legal conflict to prove its version of the facts

tort

a legal wrong, other than a crime or a violation of a contract, that is committed by one person against another. torts include libel, invasion of privacy, and trespass. relief for a tort is usually sought through monetary damages

damages

money awarded to a winning plaintiff in a civil lawsuit

plaintiff

the party bringing the lawsuit, the person complaining

defendant

a person or institution against whom an action is brought in a court of law

summary judgement

a ruling by a judge that there is no dispute of material fact between the two parties in a case, and that one party should win the case as a matter of law. a summary judgement precludes the need for a trial

discovery

the process before a trial of gathering information that can be used as evidence in a court case. discovery includes the exchange of information by the two parties to a case

subpoena

a court document requiring a person to appear in court and testify at a given time and place

petitioner

a person who petitions a court to take action, including the initiation of a civil suit or the initiation of an appeal

respondent

an appellee, a party opposing te grant of a petition before a court

probable cause

a legal standard used by judges, police officers, and grand juries to determine whether there are reasonable grounds for believing that a person committed a crime

indictment

an accusation issued by a grand jury that charges an individual with a crime and requires the person to stand trial

liability

being legally responsible for an act

absolution

a theory of freedom of expression holding that the FIrst Amendment prevents all govt interference with speaking or publishing. the absolutist position is associated with Justice Black.

Fourteenth Amendment

Amendment to the Constitution making states, in addition to the federal govt, liable for violation of rights protected by the Bill of Rights. A state govt that violates the Bill of Rights usually also violates a citizen's right of due process guaranteed by the 14th Amendment.

incorporation

a series of cases in which the Sureme Court made state governments liable for violating the Bill of Rights. The Court incorporated the Bill of Rights into the 14th Amendment by holding that state infringements of free speech and other rights violate a citizen's right to due process

1st Amendment Due Process

1st amendment procedural requirements that the government justify prior restraints and other restrictions and that hearings be held at which restrictions may be contested

strict scrutiny

the judicial requirement that a restriction on protected contents be justified by a compelling government interest and that the regulation not be overbroad or vague

content regulations

the regulations of expression based on what is said as opposed to where or when it is said. first amendment doctrine predisposes courts to consider content regulations unconstitutional

viewpoint discrimination

unconstitutional govt regulation of speech expressing a particular view on a subject

vagueness

the doctrine by which courts determine that laws are unconstitutional because average persons would not know ahead of time whether their expression would violate the law. vague laws affecting expression violate the first amendment because the uncertainty they create leads to self-censorship

overbreadth

a first amendment doctrine by which courts determine that legislation is unconstitutional because it restricts more expression than necessary

bad-tendency test

a discredited judicial test halting or punishing speech that presents only a remote danger to a substantial individual or social interest

clear-and-present-danger test

a judicial test that, if applied literally, halts or punishes expressions only where there is objective evidence of an imminent, substantial danger to an individual or social interests. sometimes the test has been used to halt speech that presents no clear, imminent danger

ad hoc balancing

a judicial weighing, case by case, of reasons for and against publishing o determine whether expression may be halted or punished. ad hoc balancing is flexible but unpredictable because it relies little on previous cases or set standards.

definitional balancing

judicial balancing of interests after freedom of expression is broadly defined to give it extra weight. definitional balancing provides more predictable protection to freedom of expression than ad hoc balancing.

actual malice

(common law) in libel publication with improper motive such as hatred, spite, vengeance, or ill will. proof of common-law actual malice has traditionally defeated common-law defenses such as the reporter's privilege to report official proceedings and fair comment and opinion. proof of common-law actual malice also is often required by persons suing for trade libel.

fighting words

unprotected words that by their very utterance inflict injury or tend to incite an immediate breach of the peace

public forum

public property dedicated to public discourse, such as a speaker's corner, or public property traditionally open to public debate, such as streets and sidewalks. the law also recognizes a nonpublic forum in public property, such as an army base, dedicated to purposes other than free speech

injunction

order from a court telling a person or company to perform or refrain from some act, such as publishing. its an equitable remedy

security review

prepublication review by military officials of wartime press reports to ensure classified information is not disclosed

spectrum

a physical property allowing radio and television signals to be sent from a transmitter to a receiver

public interest

the supreme court has said that people become public figures for the purpose of libel suits only if they 1) possess widespread fame 2) have injected themselves into the debate of a controversial public issue for the purpose of affecting the outcome of that controversy.

time, place, manner test

regulation of where and when expression is made as opposed to what is said. 1st amendment doctrine is more tolerant or time, place, and manner restrictions than of content regulations

coaxial cable

used by cable television companies to transmit signals to computers--being replaced by fiber-optic cables

fiber-optic cable

hair-sized strands of clear flexible tubing predominantly made of glass, that allow info to be sent through impulses of light

franchise

agreement between a city, county, or state and a cable system operator allowing the operator to provide cable television service

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