Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Studying Law OUTSIDE Law School


Gregory J. Hobbs, on Monday, August 15, 2011 10:55 PM, wrote me this question

I recently received an email from you and it contained a lot of courses offered by Richard Cornforth. Many of them sounded similar to the Jurisdictionary product.


Is there a distinction and if so which one should a novice purchase?




I answer as follows:


Juristictionary or Cornforth’s training materials?


You need both Jurisdictionary and Cornforth materials, plus more.


First, Richard Cornforth has no law degree and learned the hard way by litigating his own cases and helping others.  He tells you about the dirty tricks of the legal industry.  You might say he helps you learn the legal landscape and focus on navigating it successfully.  He goes into some detail on specifics like debt collectors, etc.  It provides sample documents.


Jurisdictionary teaches details of the litigation cycle and overviews the civil litigation process.  Furthermore it deals with generalities, shows how to do pleadings, introduces causes of action, rules, evidence, objections, but does not go into detail.  It provides sample documents.


You can get some free information from both, and I encourage you to take advantage of that first.  Go to youtube and watch Richards lecture series on Secrets of the Legal Industry.  Then look at the data he provided on void judgments at http://voidjudgements.net.  


Jurisdictionary does not give such a comprehensive array of methods to hammer a judge to agree that his judgment is void and has no force or effect because he lacked jurisdiction to rule as he did, or he violated some serious rule. 


Click my link below for jurisdictionary.  The author, attorney Frederick Graves, gives me 10% for the referral, which I deserve for educating people.  Richard gives me nothing, but I promote his stuff because it provides such excellent value.



One simple thing you ought to know about Jurisdiction – the power of a court to hear a case and render and enforce a judgment …   You might have seen that the judges in the courtrooms of the USDC (United States District Court) building could hear a criminal case, a civil case, or a maritime case.  You might have heard of courts of chancery or equity (fairness), and courts of law.  All that can confuse you, so I tell you this to eliminate as much of that confusion as I can. 


A court (mainly a judge hearing a dispute between two or more adversaries) operates in any one or more of those functions I mentioned, and gets its jurisdiction, from one thing:  the complaints the adversaries bring before it in their pleadings.  A pleading can complain of a shipwreck or abuse of a sailor, and it must invoke maritime rules or Admiralty jurisdiction.  A pleading can complain of violation of a contract (the law of the case) or of some statute.  If a civil statute, contract breach or tort, it becomes a civil LAW case.  If the complaint complains of a crime, it becomes a criminal case.  If it complains of some unfairness or imbalance that the law does not precisely address, and it asks for fairness, it becomes an equity civil case. 


Thus, the complaint pleadings give the court its jurisdiction and determine the kind of rules (civil, maritime, criminal, bankruptcy, etc.) by which the judge and the adversaries and their counsel must operate.  Throughout the USA, Supreme Courts have merged law and equity court functions together, so we no longer have separate courts of equity/chancery and other courts of law.  A judge can take up either or matters based on the pleadings.


How did Courts get started?

1.       The constitutions of the US and States create the branches of government and the Supreme Court to head the judicial branch to interpret law and tell what it means.  The constitutions also created inferior courts and empowered the legislature and executive branch to create other inferior judicial courts and administrative courts. 

2.      The legislatures created the inferior judicial courts of the United States.  See Title 28 US Code.  You can see the court structures at http://www.uscourts.gov

3.      The executive branch created administrative courts to resolve citizen administrative complaints against government and its employees.  Congress establishes the executive branch agencies that assign administrative law judges (ALJ) to these courts.  The laws provide that if the administrative court cannot resolve the problem or determines that the citizen has a legitimate judicial claim, the ALJ may issue an order permitting the citizen to sue the government and/or its employees.


Laws get created generally as follows:


1.       Congress enacts laws with majority votes and signature of the President, and publishes slip laws.

2.      The National Archives takes these laws along with the committee notes and compiles them into the Statutes at Large, not electronically available from the archives.

3.      A statute might affect several areas of law.  The Law Revision Counsel of Congress organizes the pieces of the statutes into categories and compiles them into 50 titles of United States Code

4.      Congress may pass the title of the USC into positive law. Until that happens, USC becomes prima facie evidence of the law.

5.      Lawyers in executive branch Agencies create regulations directing government employees in their enforcement of the laws.  The Office of the Federal Register publishes these regulations in the Federal Register, giving the public notice and opportunity to comment and ask for improvements or clarification. Once finalized, they become part of the Code of Federal Regulations.  Regulations specifically empowered by a statute have the force of law on the public.  But most regulations regulate government employees.

6.      The Supreme Court creates the rules of court like the Rules of Civil Procedure and Rules of Evidence, Congress approves them, and they become law.  I consider these the second pinnacle of civilizational achievement by the people of our world, the modern family constituting the first pinnacle.

7.      The judicial courts determine the meaning and application of the laws and regulations I mentioned above.  A trial court (like the United States District Court) will rule, and if one of the parties disagrees, that party may appeal the ruling (such as to the US Circuit Court of Appeals).  A party who loses there may appeal the circuit ruling to the US Supreme Court.  Trial and Appeal courts generally must take the case if it meets certain conditions, but the Supreme Court may refuse to hear any case from the Appeal court.  For some issues, the Supreme Court has original jurisdiction and the lower courts don’t get involved.  The US Supreme Court may hear appeals from the state Supreme Courts.  The rulings these courts issue have the force and effect of law.  So, if the law says A, and the court says that law means B, then that law means B.  Thus, it becomes monumentally important that litigants do whatever lawfully which they must to convince the judge to issue a ruling favorable to their cause, for that ruling, even if diametrically opposed to statements in the law, becomes the law till overturned by a higher court or by the legislature itself.  

8.      Theoretical or ideal law does have merit for philosophical discussions and SOME arguments in court.  But generally lawyers and others who have tried to convince judges of theoretical meanings FAILED to do so.  If after seeing such failures, or realizing an argument seems unlikely of embrace by the mainstream legal community, a person who propounds them anyway becomes what I call a Patriot Myth Monger (PMM).  I encourage you to stay well away from such fools, no matter how sincere they seem UNLESS you want to sit in the gallery and watch while the PMM tries to make his case to the judge.  Most PMMs mean well but function like idiots who don’t realize that the law means ONLY what judges say it means.  Thus,  if the main stream legal community doesn’t embrace it, you will almost surely lose if you try to inveigle a judge into accepting it.  If you try it, you put yourself and/or your case in harm’s way, and I recommend against it.



I suggest you do some studies on your own from available free (or mostly free) data:


1.       Read and try to memorize the US and your state’s constitutions.  – LOOK FOR the ANNOTATED constitutions.  Why?  Because those show what the SUPREME COURTs says the constitutions mean

a.      http://www.law.cornell.edu/anncon/

b.      http://www.gpoaccess.gov/constitution/browse.html

2.      Memorize the Federal Rules of procedure well enough to cite every rule title and describe its meaning and use.

3.      Memorize the Federal Rules of Evidence thoroughly and practice objecting when family or friends violate them.

4.      Whenever you read a case law reference, Google it, and look for it in one of the below links, then READ THE WHOLE CASE. You must learn to do this because you cannot trust other people when they cite case law, for it often has nothing to do with the case at hand, and it often makes a completely different point from what your source intended

5.      Get and use a good law dictionary.  Realize that one ought to know the meanings of words in laws at the time a legislature or judge created the law.  I bought Black’s 5th edition (1979) 5 years ago for $10 at ebay.com.  Get an electronic version.  You can download the 2nd edition and some other black’s books at

a.      2nd at http://blackslawdictionaryonline.com/download/

b.      7th at http://www.ebook3000.com/dictionary/Black-s-Law-Dictionary--Seventh-Edition-_45881.html

c.       9th at http://ebookee.org/download/?file=Black%27s+Law+Dictionary%2C+Standard+Ninth+Edition ($5)

d.      1st – 9th torrent (you need a bit torrent client to get this gigabyte download)

e.      Webster’s 1828 Dictionary - http://www.archive.org/details/americandictiona01websrich

6.      Find your state’s Bar web site, Supreme Court web site, also http://www.uscourts.gov

7.      Spend time each week reading an area of your state’s ANNOTATED statutes, even if you must go to a law library to do it.- Become familiar with areas of law that might affect you.

a.      Civil Practice

b.      Criminal practice

c.       Clerk and Sheriff duties and powers

d.      Torts

e.      Real estate and mortgages

f.        Family – see statutes on marriage, divorce, and children/families

g.      Uniform Commercial Code

h.      Consumer Credit

i.        Contracts

j.        Income tax

8.      Google around for some good law school course outlines and read through them.  These guide you to what law students learn.  Example: 

a.      Con Law 2, 

b.      Evidence, 

c.       Con Law I, 

d.      Civ Pro, 

e.      Property, 

f.        Crim Pro, 

g.      Evidence, 

h.      Professional Responsibility, 

i.        Products Liability, 

j.        White Collar Crime, 

k.      Community Property, 

l.        Labor Law, 

m.   Family Law

9.      Stash these links and use them for research.


·         http://pacer.gov (US court case documents 8 cents per page, but can be free if you use Mozilla Firefox browser with the RECAP extension installed.

·         http://apps.americanbar.org/lpm/lpt/articles/slc10061.shtml - electronic discovery 

·         ABA Model Bar Rules – these should keep lawyers in line, but don’t

·         http://thomas.loc.gov - Library of Congress law

·         http://topics.law.cornell.edu/wex/ - law dictionary and encyclopedia

·         http://www.law.cornell.edu/citation/ - Law Citation How To

·         http://www.law.cornell.edu/ - US Law and Rules and links to others – my favorite source for “the law”

·         http://scholar.google.com/ - excellent and getting better

·         http://constitution.org/ - Jon Roland’s collection of founding documents; contains US statutes at large

·         http://www.justia.com/ - case law

·         http://www.plol.org – case law

·         http://www.ssrn.com/ - social science research network – lots of scholarly papers

·         http://www.findlaw.com/ - case law

·         http://law.lexisnexis.com/webcenters/lexisone/ - mostly free, but provides some research value

·         http://protectamericasdream.com/

·         http://www.leagle.com/QuickSearch.aspx - case law

·         http://openjurist.org/ - case law

·         http://www.oyez.org/ - case law

·         Law Library of Congress

·         http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/ The federal digital system – an index to everything

·         A variety of law databases for research by government and others – Huge List, need library card for most

·         Wiley Online Library

·         http://wikipedia.org – general encyclopedia with a lot of law

·         http://www.law.com/jsp/nylj/index.jsp - New York Law Journal

·         http://www.lexisweb.com/ - pay per article

·         http://www.versuslaw.com/ - case law, much free, some for money

·         http://www.fastcase.com/ - case law, much free, some for money

·         http://hiwaay.net/~becraft – Attorney Larry Becraft’s assortment of law commentary and law

·         http://truthattack.org – Tom Cryer’s site confronting IRS and tax law

·         http://1215.org – anti-IRS site that makes some sense

·         http://quatloos.org – anti-patriot-myth-monger and anti-tax-protestor – some of these guys act like snobs

·         http://adl.com – anti sovereignty movement, but has a compilation of frivolous arguments

·         http://www.law.duke.edu/boylesite/search.html - list of search engines


Bar Journals – generally have good articles in them

·         ABA Journal

·         New York Bar Journal

·         New Jersey Bar Journal

·         Lousiana Bar Journal

·         Massachusetts Lawyers Journal

·         Michigan Bar Journal

·         Pennsylvania Law Journal – The Legal Intelligencer

·         Virginia Bar News Journal

·         Florida Bar Journal

·         Illinois Bar Journal

·         North Carolina Bar Journal search

·         Texas Bar Journal

·         Colorado Lawyer Journal

·         Washington DC Lawyer Journal

·         California Bar Journal

·         Arizona Attorney Journal

·         Oklahoma Bar Journal

·         Federal Circuit Bar Journal George Washington University


Law School Law Review Journals


·         http://www.top-law-schools.com/rankings.html - :Law School Rankings

·         http://www.lawreview.org/ - Law Review Project


·         http://yalelawjournal.org/

·         http://www.harvardlawreview.org

·         http://www.stanfordlawreview.org/

·         http://www.columbialawreview.org/

·         http://lawreview.uchicago.edu/

·         http://www.law.nyu.edu/journals/lawreview/index.htm

·         http://www.lawschool.cornell.edu/research/cornell-law-review/index.cfm

·         http://www.law.stetson.edu/lawreview/

·         http://www.law.fsu.edu/journals/lawreview/

·         http://www.bu.edu/law/central/jd/organizations/journals/bulr/index.html

·         http://law.du.edu/index.php/denver-university-law-review

·         http://www.law.northwestern.edu/lawreview/

·         http://lawreview.law.edu/

·         http://lawreview.wustl.edu/

·         http://law.rwu.edu/lawreview

·         http://digitalarchive.gsu.edu/gsulr/

·         http://scholar.valpo.edu/vulr/

·         http://www.swlaw.edu/academics/cocurricular/lawreview

·         http://lawreview.byu.edu/

·         http://www.georgetownlawjournal.org/

·         http://law.pepperdine.edu/law-review/

·         http://www.law.tulane.edu/lawreview/

·         American Journal of International Law

·         American Univ. Law Review

·         American Univ. Journal of Gender and the Law

·         American Univ. Journal of International Law and Policy

·         Cardozo Electronic Law Bulletin

·         Cornell Law Review

·         Denver University, Transportation Law Journal

·         Florida Law Week

·         Florida State Law Review

·         Global Legal Studies Journal

·         Harvard Journal of Law and Technology

·         Hastings West-Northwest Journal of Environmental Law and Policy

·         Hastings Women's Law Journal

·         High Technology Law Journal

·         Indiana University - Bloomington, School of Law, Federal Communications Law Journal

·         International Journal of Trade Law

·         Journal of Forensic Economics

·         Maori Law Review

·         Michigan Telecommunications and Technology Law Journal

·         Murdoch U. in Australia, E-LAW

·         National Journal of Sexual Orientation Law

·         Neptunus Law Review

·         Richmond Journal of Law & Technology

·         Stanford Journal of International Law

·         Stanford Journal of Law, Business and Finance

·         Stanford Law and Policy Review

·         Texas Intellectual Property Law Journal

·         Texas International Law Journal

·         Villanova Information Law Chronicle

·         Villanova Tax Law Compendium

·         Univ. Richmond, Journal of Law and Technology

·         University of Washington School of Law, Washington Law Review

·         William & Mary, Journal of Online Law




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