I live in Missouri

Good legal writing begins with exploring and finding the right legal sources to support your argument. Knowing where to find legal sources and which ones to use is essential in crafting strong legal arguments.

Jurisdiction plays a key role in determining the appropriate law on point. Federal Jurisdiction is reserved for questions of federal law or in special circumstances such as diversity of citizenship. State Courts hold jurisdiction to hear cases arising under that state’s laws, and, generally, anything that does not fall under federal jurisdiction. Sometimes, jurisdiction can be held by either federal or state court based on the cause of action alleged or be exclusively handled by the federal or state specialty.

There are four primary sources of law: Constitutional Law, Statutory Law, Case Law and Rules/Regulations. We will review each of these in the upcoming units. Support and explanation of the primary sources of law can be found in legal secondary sources including but not limited to legal encyclopedias, law reviews, restatements and textbooks. We will begin to explore these in more detail in Unit 5.

In our research and discussion this week, let us look for some examples of primary and secondary sources based on the topic of civil asset forfeiture. Civil asset forfeiture has become a huge issue as more states engage in “policing for profit” initiatives. A March 2010 report by the Institute of Justice states that “[i]n most states and under federal law, law enforcement can keep some or all of the proceeds from civil forfeitures. This incentive has led to concern that civil forfeiture encourages policing for profit, as agencies pursue forfeitures to boost their budgets at the expense of other policing priorities.” Marian R. Williams, Jefferson E. Holcomb, Tomislav V. Kovandzic, & Scott Bullock, Policing for Profit: The Abuse of Civil Asset Forfeiture, Inst. for Just. at *6 (March 2010) Retrieved fromhttp://www.ij.org/images/pdf_folder/other_pubs/assetforfeituretoemail.pdf

Perform research to discover what civil asset forfeiture is. Then determine your state law and policy are as to civil asset forfeiture. Can civil asset forfeiture be sought under federal law as well? Which primary sources of law would be appropriate to answer these questions? Where can you find these sources? How would that source be cited using The Bluebook?

Please remember to share your research process including where you began your search, what search terms were used as well as results and subsequent revisions and results.

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