Introduction to Law (outline)

  1. “The law is a[n] ass — a idiot.” (See Charles Dickens’ Oliver Twist, Mr. Bumble speaking).
  2. “The first thing we do, let’s kill all the lawyers.” (See William Shakespeare’s Henry VI, Part 2, Act IV, Scene 2).
  • Constitutional law
  • Criminal law
  • Civil law (a broad category that includes many of the below)
  • Contract law
  • Intellectual property law
  • International law
  • Law of warfare
  • Maritime law
  • Cybersecurity law
  • Privacy law
  • More
  • State: State criminal statutes applied in a state court. A state/local prosecutor and usually by state and local law enforcement.
  • Federal: Federal criminal statutes applied in a criminal court. A federal prosecutor and usually federal law enforcement.
  1. Act (or sometimes an omission to act) — Actus Reus
  • Intentionally (Intent <> Motive)
  • Knowingly
  • Criminal negligence
  • Recklessly
  • Justification (e.g. self defense)
  • Necessity
  • Entrapment
  • Duress
  • Mental disease/defect (insanity)
  • Renunciation
  • Parties: Gov’t vs. individual (or entity)
  • Grand Jury
  • The prosecution process (litigation) (includes Arrest, Arraignment, Indictment (not always in this order), Motions (see Fourth Amendment), Hearing, Trial, Sentencing, Appeal)
  • Burden of proof
  • Asset forfeiture (civil)
  • Expectation of privacy
  • Consent
  • Search warrant requirement
  • Exceptions to the search warrant requirement
  • Workplace searches and monitoring
  • Private searches vs public searches
  • Physical evidence (Mapp)
  • Unlawful arrest (Dunaway, seizure of person)
  • Statements/confessions (Jackson-Denno/Huntley)
  • Identification of a defendant by a witness (Wade)
  • Fruit of the poisonous tree
  • Intentional tort
  • Negligent torts (Duty to plaintiff, breach of that duty, proximate causation of damages). Also think Premises liability — duty of landlord/property manager regarding crime
  • Cybersecurity/cybercrime
  • Breach of contract (Contract = offer and acceptance and consideration)
  • Cybercrime specific causes of action
  • Pre litigation
  • Complaint
  • Motion to dismiss
  • Answer to the complaint
  • Discovery
  • Summary judgment motion
  • Trial
  • Appeal
  • Laws, regulations requiring certain conduct
  • Government as plaintiff
  • Licensing
  • Regulation (financial, AML, cybersecurity, health, consumer protection)
  • Burdens of proof (at trial and various other stages in a proceeding)
  • Standard of review (by a court)
  • Res judicata (the thing stands decided)
  • Stare decisis (precedent, the legal authority of a decision)
  • Evidence types (Direct vs circumstantial (which is “better”?), Real, Demonstrative
  • Evidence admissibility (Relevant, Authenticated, Lack of undue prejudice)
  • Hearsay rule (the law prefers live testimony, statements made in court, under oath, and subject to cross examination)
  • Exceptions to the hearsay rule (Business records exception, Pesent sense impression, Excited utterance, Statement by a party opponent)
  • Caption/title of case (lists parties)
  • Citation of case
  • Identify court issuing the opinion (trial court, appellate court, location, state or federal)
  • What type of case is it? (civil, criminal, regulatory)
  • Who are the parties? (Plaintiff, defendant, appellant, appellee, etc.)
  • What are the facts of the case? (e.g. what happened before the case got to court)
  • What facts are in dispute?
  • What is the prior procedure of the legal case? (where has this case been in legal system)
  • What laws are being interpreted?
  • What is the court’s holding/ruling? (issues, reasoning, concurrence, dissent)
  • What level of authority/precedent does this ruling carry? (Binding, persuasive, etc.)
  • How would you summarize the case holding in one or two sentences?



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John Bandler

John Bandler

Cybersecurity, cybercrime prevention, privacy, law, more. Attorney, consultant, author, speaker, teacher. Find me at