Kovacik Goes to Law School - June 16, 2010 | NBC Southern California

Kovacik Goes to Law School - June 16, 2010

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    Okay fellow reporters, there is really is no good synonym for "tort", no broadcast-speak.
    As Loyola Journalist Law School director, John Nockelby, explains we are stuck with it so it is best to learn it.

    17 million (!) cases are filed in this country every year (no wonder we are considered a litigious society) and its all about compensation. Money comes only after proving the tort.

    Today we started by wandering through the political pressures on the Third Branch of government--the Judiciary Branch.  I have to admit I am becoming sympathetic to lawyers.  Here's why: The Law seems to be a moving target, constantly changing. 

    Professor Nockelby quoted US Supreme Court Justice John Roberts:

    "Judges are like umpires. Umpires don't make the rules; they apply them."

    Nockelby, in all due respect to his former Harvard classmate, said that's a load of, well, horse puckey.

    The rules apply to however a judge sees fit.

    "Professor, I am confused," I say growing increasingly frustrated; at this point we are trying to comprehend Common Law.

    "Aren't courts bound by prior decisions?"

    "Yes, precedent applies, that is until a judge decides it shouldn't."