LAW 2845 - Intro to Stat and Reg Interpretation
We live in an Age of Statutes, an age in which the nation’s legislative institutions and the administrative agencies they have established are the dominant institutions for converting policy into law. For today’s lawyers the question they are most frequently asked by clients in transactional and litigation settings is: “how does this statute or rule apply to my facts?” In most cases, if the questions is asked, it is not easily answered. Otherwise there would be no need for an attorney. How judges interpret statutes and rules is something every lawyer needs to understand. There are rules –- e.g., a statute must be given its clear meaning – but they must be read against a background human experience which frequently results in exceptions and various twists and turn that challenge our thinking about the rule of law. In this course we will look at topics such as: clear statutes, unclear statutes, legislative history, judicial willfulness, all to determined a usable framework for addressing the many question about statutes that lawyers must address on a day to day basis. We will also explore the special set of principles applicable to reading agency rules.
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