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

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introduction to employment law

Introduction to Employment Law

Jody Blanke

Professor of Computer Information Systems and Law

Mercer University

the enumerated powers clause
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
tenth amendment
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
federal court system cont
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
federal district court
Federal District Court
  • Criminal Cases
  • Civil Cases
    • Federal Question Jurisdiction
    • Diversity Jurisdiction
      • complete diversity of the parties
      • amount in controversy greater than $75,000
state court systems
State Court Systems
  • 50 different systems
  • Similar to federal
    • “triangular” in shape
    • many courts with limited jurisdiction
  • Plaintiff files a complaint
  • Defendant files an answer
    • May also counterclaim or crossclaim
    • Failure to answer may result in default judgment
motion to dismiss
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
motion for summary judgment
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”
post trial motions
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
  • 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
burden of proof
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
federal case citations
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]
state case citations
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]