Explain which of the treatment techniques discussed in this course you will use the most in your career and why?

Licensure, Certification Requirements, and Career Enhancement



Over the course of the past few modules you have learned about the theories of substance abuse counseling. This includes the ethical principles of counseling, ways to apply these principles, and the development of treatment plans, as well as many other areas applicable to substance abuse counseling. You discussed and answered questions about how to deal with specific situations in counseling, how to work with clients, and how to develop a theoretical framework.


By now you will have come to the conclusion that your education as a substance abuse counselor does not stop here. There are many career enhancement resources available to substance abuse counselors. To prepare for this final discussion question, explore the following resources for both career enhancement and licensure or certification requirements:



Using the information you have examined on the recommended Web sites listed above, respond to the following questions:


  • Explain which of the treatment techniques discussed in this course you will use the most in your career and why?
  • Identify the areas in substance abuse counseling that you need for future learning to help you in your career and include at least one career enhancement resource available to substance abuse counselors that will help you meet this goal.
  • Explore the licensure or certification requirements in your state. What are the steps to obtain licensure or certification in your state? Identify the continuing education requirements for maintaining your licensure or certification in your state.

Write your initial response in approximately 300–400 words. Apply APA standards to citation of sources

Describe the basic criteria for schizophrenia based on the current DSM criteria. Explain the differences between negative and positive symptoms.

Part 1:

The presenting symptoms or functioning skills can at times be representative of different disorders. For example, both intellectual disability disorder and dementia describe significant deficits in everyday functioning. Behavior disorders from an everyday point of view are also a difficult area to define. One of the challenges with evaluating children is the influence of several factors such as social, cognitive, and motor development as well as environmental factors.

  • Describe the diagnostic criteria for intellectual disability disorder and dementia based on the current DSM. Explain the major differences between the two disorders. Describe some of the ways in which a person may be diagnosed with intellectual disability disorder. Describe some of the ways a person may be diagnosed with dementia.
  • Describe the main types of behavior disorders in children and explain how these disorders can be differentiated from a child that may be exhibiting disruptive behaviors for other reasons.

Part 2:

Somatic symptom disorder has a long history. Sigmund Freud described a case of Anna, who displayed several physical conditions (e.g., pain, dizziness, numbness, and visual disturbances) with no apparent medical cause. Also, schizophrenia is not actually one single disorder but a spectrum of disorders that fall along a continuum of symptoms and functioning levels.

  • Describe somatic symptom disorder, and if the disorder can be diagnosed if the person has an actual physical illness.
  • Describe the basic criteria for schizophrenia based on the current DSM criteria. Explain the differences between negative and positive symptoms.
  • Explain the prognosis of an individual diagnosed with schizophrenia based on age and gender factors.

Justify your answers with appropriate reasoning and research from your text and course readings. Comment on the postings of at least two peers, and provide an analysis of each peer’s postings while also suggesting specific aIDitions or clarifications for improving the discussion question response.

Review the rubric, as it provides detailed instructions on how best to succeed on this assignment. In the rubric, you will find that you need to aIDress the following in a paper:

ssignment 2: Course Project Part I: Interview and Background Research

Refer to the Course Project Overview in Course Home. Early in the course, you have selected a specific disorder. Research it using your textbook and Argosy University online library resources. A minimum of 5 sources in aIDition to your textbook should be used. At least three of those sources should be peer-reviewed journal articles. The remaining 2 sources may be books, journal articles, or reputable web sites (like those from professional organizations or governmental agencies, not Wikipedia or similar sites).

Review the rubric, as it provides detailed instructions on how best to succeed on this assignment. In the rubric, you will find that you need to aIDress the following in a paper:

  • Description of the selected disorder (Identify the DSM diagnostic category for the disorder and distinguish between diagnostic and commonly used terminology.)
  • Causative factors of the disorder
  • Diagnosis of the disorder
  • Treatment of the disorder
  • Survey of current research on the disorder

Write a 4–5-page paper in Word format. Remember to use the rubric as you write your paper. Apply APA standards to citation of sources, and include an APA style  title/cover page and reference page.

By Wednesday, February 10, 2016, deliver your assignment to the M3: Assignment 2 Dropbox.

Working ahead Using the feedback provided to you by your peers and instructors, finalize your interview questions and conduct the interview with a mental health professional in preparation for the paper due in M

A child has been diagnosed with thalassemia. Which of the following other health problems is the child at risk for? Hypocoagulation, Iron and ferritin deficiencies

  1. A community health nurse practitioner is teaching a group of female high school students about the importance of regular Papanicolaou (Pap) smears. The nurse recognizes that which of the following items underlies the rationale for this teaching? (Points : 2)

The active substitution of normal cells in the cervix correlates to cancer risk.

Undifferentiated stem cells are an early indicator of cervical cancer.


Cancer of the uterine cervix develops incrementally at a cellular level.

Dysplasia in the connective tissue of the cervix is a strong precursor to cancer.



Question 2.2. Following a biopsy, a 54-year-old man has been diagnosed as having a benign neoplastic tumor. Which of the following characteristics most likely applies to his tumor? (Points : 2)

The tumor is poorly approximated and has the potential to break loose.


The tumor may secrete hormones or cytokines.

The well-differentiated neoplastic cells are clustered together in a single mass.

It has a rapid rate of growth and can induce ischemia.



Question 3.3. A nurse practitioner is teaching a student NP about the physiologic basis for damage to the circulatory and neurological systems that can accompany hypotension. Which of the following responses by the student would warrant correction by the nurse practitioner?

(Points : 2)

“As vessel wall thickness increases, tension decreases.”


“Smaller blood vessels require more pressure to overcome wall tension.”

“The smaller the vessel radius, the greater the pressure needed to keep it open.”

“Tension and vessel thickness increase proportionately.”




Question 4.4. A child has been diagnosed with thalassemia. Which of the following other health problems is the child at risk for? (Points : 2)


Iron and ferritin deficiencies

Splenomegaly and hepatomegaly




Question 5.5. A 31-year-old woman with a congenital heart defect reports episodes of lightheadedness and syncope, with occasional palpitations. A resting electrocardiogram reveals sinus bradycardia and she is suspected of having sick sinus syndrome. Which of the following diagnostic methods is the best choice to investigate the suspicion? (Points : 2)

Signal-averaged ECG

Exercise stress testing

Electrophysiologic study

Holter monitoring



Question 6.6. A nurse practitioner is doing the admission assessment on a patient who has been transferred to the floor after being diagnosed by the emergency room physician with bilateral pleural effusion. Which of the following findings from the nurse practitioner’s initial assessment of the patient is incongruent with the patient’s diagnosis, and would require further investigation? (Points : 2)

The patient complains of sharp pain exacerbated by deep inspiration.


The patient’s breath sounds are diminished on auscultation.

Pulse oximetry indicates that the patient is hypoxemic.

The patient complains of dyspnea and increased work of breathing.




Question 7.7. A 22-year-old female with a history of intermittent flank pain, repeated UTIs, and hematuria has been diagnosed with autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease (ADPKD). Which of the following phenomena has most likely contributed to the development of her health problem? (Points : 2)

UTIs coupled with an impaired immune response have caused her ADPKD.


She has inherited a tendency for epithelial cell in her tubules to proliferate inappropriately.

Severe hypertension and portal hypertension are likely precursors.


She has inherited undersized kidneys that are prone to calculi formation.



Question 8.8. A 16-year-old female has been brought to her primary care nurse practitioner by her mother due to the girl’s persistent sore throat and malaise. Which of the following facts revealed in the girl’s history and examination would lead the nurse practitioner to rule out infectious mononucleosis? (Points : 2)

The girl has a temperature of 38.1°C (100.6°F) and has enlarged lymph nodes.

Her liver and spleen are both enlarged.

Blood work reveals an increased white blood cell count.

Chest auscultation reveals crackles in her lower lung fields bilaterally.



Question 9.9. A patient has been admitted to an inpatient medical unit of a hospital with an acute viral infection. The health care team providing care for the patient would recognize which of the following statements as an accurate description of the role of viruses in human infections? (Points : 2)

Viruses have limited or absent genetic material of their own.

Some viruses are capable of transforming normal host cells into malignant cells.

Viruses are often implicated in cases of transmissible neurodegenerative disease.

Viruses require stimulation after a latent period before they are able to produce symptoms.



Question 10.10. The nurse practitioner for a cardiology practice is responsible for providing presurgical teaching for patients who are about to undergo a coronary artery bypass graft. Which of the following teaching points best conveys an aspect of the human circulatory system? (Points : 2)

“Your blood pressure varies widely between arteries and veins, and between pulmonary and systemic circulation.”

“Only around one quarter of your blood is in your heart at any given time.”

“Blood pressure and blood volume roughly mimic one another at any given location in the circulatory system.”



“Left-sided and right-sided pumping action at each beat of the heart must equal each other to ensure adequate blood distribution.”




Question 11.11. Which of the following patients who presented to a walk-in medical clinic is most likely to be diagnosed with a rhinosinusitis rather than a common cold?


(Points : 2)

A man complaining of general fatigue, a headache, and facial pain with a temperature of 100.9°F

A woman presenting with malaise, lethargy, and copious nasal secretions

A man with a dry, stuffy nasopharynx, a sore throat, and temperature of 98.9°F

A woman complaining of generalized aches who has a hoarse voice and reIDened, painful upper airways



Question 12.12. A 62-year-old female smoker is distraught at her recent diagnosis of small cell lung cancer (SCLC). How can her nurse practitioner most appropriately respond to her? (Points : 2)

“I’m sure this is very hard news to hear, but be aware that with aggressive treatment your chances of beating this are quite good.”


“This is very difficult to hear, I’m sure, and we have to observe to see if it spreads because that often happens.”

“I’m very sorry to have to give you this news; I’d like to talk to you about surgical options, however.”

“This is a difficult diagnosis to receive, but there is a chance that the cancer may go into remission.”



Question 13.13. A 14-year-old boy has been diagnosed with infectious mononucleosis. Which of the following pathophysiological phenomena is most responsible for his symptoms? (Points : 2)

The Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) is lysing many of the boy’s neutrophils.


Viruses are killing some of his B cells and becoming incorporated into the genomes of others.

The EBV inhibits the maturation of white cells within his peripheral lymph nodes.

The virus responsible for mononucleosis inhibits the maturation of myeloblasts into promyelocytes.



Question 14.14. Which target of both chemotherapy and radiation treatment accounts for adverse as well as therapeutic effects?

(Points : 2)

Cell-surface receptors

Circulating hormone levels

Blood vessels

Rapidly proliferating cells



Question 15.15. The blood work of a 44-year-old male patient with a diagnosis of liver disease secondary to alcohol abuse indicates low levels of albumin. Which of the following phenomena would a clinician be most justified in anticipating? (Points : 2)

Impaired immune function

Acid-base imbalances

Impaired thermoregulation

Fluid imbalances



Question 16.16. A 68-year-old woman with a new onset of vascular dementia has recently begun retaining urine. Which of the following physiological phenomena would her care providers most realistically expect to be currently occurring as a result of her urinary retention? (Points : 2)

Hypertrophy of the blaIDer muscle and increased blaIDer wall thickness


Decreased urine production and nitrogenous wasted excretion by the kidneys

Decompensation, blaIDer stretching, and high residual urine volume


Overflow incontinence and loss of contraction power





Question 17.17. Which of the following pregnant women has most likely encountered the greatest increase in the risk that her child will have a fetal anomaly? (Points : 2)

A woman with diagnoses of syphilis and cirrhosis of the liver

A woman who has herpes simplex and recently recovered from endocarditis

A woman with chronic obstructive pulmonary syndrome and tuberculosis


A woman with diagnoses of insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus and peripheral neuropathy



Question 18.18. At which of the following locations in the nephron would a nurse practitioner first expect blood to be largely free of plasma proteins? (Points : 2)

Proximal convoluted tubule

Bowman space

Loop of Henle

Afferent arteriole



Question 19.19. A definitive test for cystic fibrosis is (Points : 2)

The sweat test

A sputum culture

A fecal fat test

A Chymex test for pancreatic insufficiency



Question 20.20. Which of the following assessment findings in a newly admitted 30-year-old male patient would be most likely to cause his nurse practitioner to suspect polyarteritis nodosa? (Points : 2)

The man’s blood work indicates polycythemia (elevated red cells levels) and leukocytosis (elevated white cells).

The man’s blood pressure is 178/102 and he has abnormal liver function tests.

The man is acutely short of breath and his oxygen saturation is 87%.


The man’s temperature is 101.9°F and he is diaphoretic (heavily sweating).



Question 21.21. The NP is providing care for a 21-year-old female patient with gas gangrene of a compound fracture in her arm. Which of the following assessment findings would the nurse most reasonably expect to find when caring for a patient with a diagnosis of gas gangrene?

(Points : 2)

Inflammation of the affected tissue

A positive culture for Staphylococcus

Spreading edema

Impaired alveolar gas exchange



Question 22.22. Which of the following phenomena is most likely occurring during a child’s alveolar stage of lung development?

(Points : 2)

Terminal alveolar sacs are developing and surfactant production is beginning.

A single-capillary network exists and the lungs are capable of respiration.

The conducting airways are formed, but respiration is not yet possible.

Primitive alveoli are formed and the bronchi and bronchioles become much larger.



Question 23.23. A patient in the intensive care unit has a blood pressure of 87/39 and has warm, flushed skin accompanying his suIDen decline in level of consciousness. The patient also has arterial and venous dilation and a decrease in systemic vascular resistance. What is this patient’s most likely diagnosis? (Points : 2)

Hypovolemic shock

Septic shock

Neurogenic shock

Obstructive shock



Question 24.24. Which diuretic acts by inhibiting sodium chloride reabsorption in the thick ascending limb of the loop of Henle?

(Points : 2)

Bumetanide (Bumex)

Mannitol (Osmitrol)

Hydrochlorothiazide (Hydrodiuril)

Acetazolamide (Diamox)



Question 25.25. A 61-year-old woman who has had an upper respiratory infection for several weeks has presented to her nurse practitioner with complaints of a recent onset of urinary retention. She reveals to her nurse practitioner that she has been taking over-the-counter cold medications at higher than the suggested dose for the past two weeks. Which of the following phenomena will her nurse practitioner most likely suspect is contributing to her urinary retention? (Points : 2)

Cholinergic actions of the cold medicine are triggering internal and external sphincter contraction.

Antihistamine effects inhibit communication between the pons and the thoracolumbar cord.

The anticholinergic effects of the medication are impairing normal blaIDer function.

Over-the-counter medications such as cold medicine stimulate the parasympathetic nervous system and inhibit blaIDer emptying.



Question 26.26. Which of the following patients would be considered to have a significant risk of developing the prerenal form of acute renal failure?



(Points : 2)

A 22-year-old male who has lost a large amount of blood following a workplace injury

A 41-year-old female who is admitted for intravenous antibiotic treatment of pyelonephritis

A 79-year-old male with diagnoses of poorly controlled diabetes mellitus and congestive heart failure

A 20-year-old male who is admitted for treatment of an overdose of a nephrotoxic drug

A 68-year-old male with a diagnosis of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH)

An 80-year-old female who has been admitted for treatment of dehydration, hyponatremia, and malnutrition






Question 27.27. A 22-year-old female who adheres to a vegan diet has been diagnosed with iron-deficiency anemia. Which of the following components of her diagnostic blood work would be most likely to necessitate further investigation? (Points : 2)

Decreased mean corpuscular volume (MCV)

Decreased hemoglobin and hematocrit

Microcytic, hypochromic red cells

Decreased erythropoietin levels



Question 28.28. A couple who are expecting their first child have been advised by friends to consider harvesting umbilical cord blood in order to have a future source of stem cells. The couple have approached their nurse practitioner with this request and are seeking clarification of exactly why stem cells are valuable and what they might expect to gain from harvesting them. How can the nurse practitioner best respond to the couple’s inquiry? (Points : 2)

“Stem cells can help correct autoimmune diseases and some congenital defects.”

“Stem cells can be used to regenerate damaged organs should the need ever arise.”

“Stem cells can be used as a source of reserve cells for the entire blood production system.”

“Stem cells can help treat some cancers and anemias, but they must come from your child himself or herself.”





Question 29.29. Which of the following clinical findings would be most closely associated with a patient who has interstitial lung disease rather than COPD? (Points : 2)

Audible wheezing on expiration

Diminished expiratory flow rates

Increased respiratory rate with decreased tidal volume

Normal compliance of alveolar tissue



Question 30.30. A patient is brought to the emergency department with complaints of shortness of breath. Assessment reveals a full, bounding pulse, severe edema, and audible crackles in the lower lung fields bilaterally. What is the patient’s most likely diagnosis? (Points : 2)


Fluid volume excess





Question 31.31. A 25-year-old Asian American man arrives at the emergency department in a panic. Except for a bout with bronchitis a week earlier, he has been healthy his entire life; today he has blood in his urine. What is the most likely cause of his hematuria and how should it be treated? (Points : 2)

His Goodpasture syndrome should be treated with plasmapheresis and immunosuppressive therapy.

His membranous glomerulonephritis should be treated with corticosteroids.

His immunoglobulin A (IgA) nephropathy has no known effective treatments.

His Kimmelstiel-Wilson syndrome should be treated with control of high blood pressure and smoking cessation.



Question 32.32. A 77-year-old male patient with a diagnosis of stomach cancer has been found to have metastases in his liver. The patient and his family are surprised at this turn of events, stating that they don’t see how he could have developed cancer in his liver. Which of the following facts would underlie the reply that the care team provides? (Points : 2)

The parenchymal tissue of the liver is particularly susceptible to secondary malignancies.

The portal circulatory system brings venous blood from the gastrointestinal tract into the liver.

Hepatic stromal tissue shares characteristics with cancerous cells, including lack of anchorage dependence.

The proximity of the liver to the stomach allows for direct spread of cancerous cells due to a lack of contact inhibition.





Question 33.33. A student nurse practitioner asks her preceptor about the origins of different tissues, and their cellular origins during the process of development. Which of the following statements by the preceptor best describes the process of cell differentiation? (Points : 2)

“Cells of the hematopoietic system produce the appropriate body cells that are required at each stage of development.”

“A single stem cell differentiates into approximately 200 different types of cells.”

“A fertilized ovum undergoes a series of divisions, yielding many different cell types.”

“Cells differentiate into necessary body cells, peaking after conception, and ceasing near the time of birth.”





Question 34.34. The nurse practitioner is providing care for a patient with a diagnosis of cirrhosis, and he notes that the patient’s sclerae are jaundiced. The nurse practitioner recalls that jaundice is caused by excess accumulation of bilirubin, a pigment that can accumulate in which part of the cell? (Points : 2)



Golgi apparatus

Rough endoplasmic reticulum (ER)



Question 35.35. A formerly normotensive woman, pregnant for the first time, develops hypertension and headaches at 26 weeks’ gestation. Her blood pressure is 154/110 mm Hg and she has proteinuria. What other labs should be ordered for her? (Points : 2)

Plasma angiotensin I and II and renin

Urinary sodium and potassium

Platelet count, serum creatinine, and liver enzymes

Urinary catecholamines and metabolites



Question 36.36. A nurse practitioner has ordered the measurement of a cardiac patient’s electrolyte levels as part of the patient’s morning blood work. Which of the following statements best captures the importance of potassium in the normal electrical function of the patient’s heart? (Points : 2)

Potassium catalyzes the metabolism of ATP, producing the gradient that results in electrical stimulation.

Potassium is central to establishing and maintaining the resting membrane potential of cardiac muscle cells.

The impermeability of cardiac cell membranes to potassium allows for action potentials achieved by the flow of sodium ions.

The reciprocal movement of one potassium ion for one sodium ion across the cell membrane results in the production of an action potential.



Question 37.37. A nurse practitioner is providing care for several patients on a medical unit of a hospital. In which of the following patient situations would the nurse practitioner be most likely to rule out hypertension as a contributing factor? (Points : 2)

A 61-year-old man who has a heart valve infection and recurrent fever


An 81-year-old woman who has had an ischemic stroke and has consequent one-sided weakness

A 44-year-old man awaiting a kidney transplant who requires hemodialysis three times per week

A 66-year-old woman with poorly controlled angina and consequent limited activity tolerance



Question 38.38. A patient with poorly controlled diabetes mellitus presents to the emergency department with suspected ketoacidosis. Which of the following diagnostic results would be most likely to confirm this diagnosis? (Points : 2)

Low O2 levels, increased anion gap, base excess

High ammonia levels, decreased anion gap, high potassium

Increased CO2, increased anion gap, base deficit

Decreased CO2, decreased anion gap



Question 39.39. A short, nonsmoking miIDle-aged man presents to the emergency department with left-sided chest pain and a cough. He says that the pain started abruptly, just after lunch, and that breathing and coughing make it worse. He denies recent injury. He is breathing shallowly and rapidly and expresses fear that he may be having a heart attack. Breath sounds are normal, and he is not cyanotic. Which condition is most likely causing his symptoms? (Points : 2)

Myocardial infarction

Spontaneous pneumothorax

Pleuritis related to infection

Obstructive atelectasis



Question 40.40. A woman is surprised to read on the Internet that certain infections can cause cancer and has sought clarification from her nurse practitioner during an office visit. How can the NP best respond to the woman’s query? (Points : 2)

“Though it’s not particularly common, it’s true that certain bacteria and viruses can lead to cancer.”

“Most cancers that cannot be attributed to family history or lifestyle are in fact associated with viruses.”



“There are many viruses, but only a very few of them have been shown to cause cancer in humans.”

“This is true; for example, HIV has been shown to cause cancer in some patients.”



Question 41.41. The family of a 68-year-old man who is in the end stages of small cell lung cancer is distraught at his visible body wasting that has worsened in recent weeks. Which of the following phenomena best accounts for the patient’s anorexia and cachexia? (Points : 2)

Inadequate cellular metabolism of glucose results from tumor factors


High fat losses coupled with preservation of muscle mass exaggerate the appearance of wasting

Products of the tumor itself as well as a hypermetabolic state cause cachexia

Inadequate food intake due to symptoms and treatment results in loss of both muscle and fat



Question 42.42. A 66-year-old female patient has presented to the emergency department because of several months of intermittently bloody stools that has recently become worse. The woman has since been diagnosed with a gastrointestinal bleed secondary to overuse of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs that she takes for her arthritis. The health care team would realize that which of the following situations is most likely? (Points : 2)

The woman has depleted blood volume due to her ongoing blood loss.


She will have iron-deficiency anemia due to depletion of iron stores.


The patient will be at risk for cardiovascular collapse or shock.


She will have delayed reticulocyte release.



Question 43.43. Following a winter power outage, a patient who had been using a home gasoline generator began to experience dizziness and headaches and was diagnosed with carbon monoxide poisoning. What is the goal of hyperbaric oxygen treatment for carbon monoxide poisoning? (Points : 2)

To increase the amount of oxygen dissolved in plasma

To increase the production of unbound hemoglobin

To stimulate the release of oxygen at the capillaries

To remove bound CO from hemoglobin



Question 44.44. A pediatric unit will be receiving from a rural medical outpost a patient transfer of an 8-day-old infant with a suspected congenital renal disorder. Which of the following possibilities is the care team most likely to be able to rule out early? (Points : 2)

One of the infant’s kidneys may have failed to develop to a normal size.

The kidneys may be misshapen and have cysts.

The upper or lower poles of the two kidneys may be fused.

Renal cell carcinoma may be present

Current event paper

Project description

The purpose of the paper is to encourage you to read legal articles in current newspapers, and to reinforce your understanding of the issues that you have read in the text and discussed in class. This course is intended as an introduction to very real, practical issues. The more you read current newspapers, the more you will see how our classroom topics play a role in every day life. When you talk about current events with friends, your law training will enable you to bring a unique perspective to the discussions. You will probably begin to make more discriminating judgments about many issues, from consumer to business to political.

You should include three articles on different subjects.


AIDed on 24.11.2014 08:43

Find 3 articles(from good/reliable source) and write in the format that is clearly stated in instructions.

Goal:  The purpose of the paper is to encourage you to read legal articles in current newspapers, and to reinforce your understanding of the issues that you have read in the text and discussed in class.  This course is intended as an introduction to very real, practical issues.  The more you read current newspapers, the more you will see how our classroom topics play a role in every day life.  When you talk about current events with friends, your law training will enable you to bring a unique perspective to the discussions.  You will probably begin to make more discriminating judgments about many issues, from consumer to business to political.

Due:  The date/time/location of drop off to be announced €“ please consult your syllabus. Please submit a hard copy of your paper.


€¢    Typewritten.

€¢    Double-spaced.

€¢    Pages numbered.

€¢    Bound (stapled or bound some other way)

€¢    Names, I.D. numbers on cover

The paper should be divided into three sections:

Discussion, Grade Form, and Appendix.

Section I: Discussion.  This is the more important part of the paper, in which you discuss the articles.  You should include from three to six articles on different subjects.  Please choose articles from current newspapers or magazines (they may be online articles €“ but must be reputable sources) €“ no more than a year old, as opposed to back articles available on the Internet.  The goal is to be current.  As to each article, provide:

€¢    The article’s title

€¢    Citation, that is, the newspaper, the date, and the page

€¢    Facts.  In your own words, briefly summarize the most important points.  Do not plagiarize.  Do not simply quote from the article.  The goal is for you to think about these issues and put them in your language.  If I wanted to give a typing test, I would.

€¢    Law.  Explain the legal issue raised, and summarize the law on that point.  You should be able to get this information from the textbook, but, again, put it in your own words.  You may include legal issues that are in our syllabus, such as crime, torts, contracts, agency law and so on; and you may also include legal issues that we do not discuss this semester, such as environmental law, insurance law, and so forth.  If you choose a topic we do not deal with in class, that will put extra pressure on you to learn the law from the appropriate chapter in the text.  Site your sources.  If you are taking the law from the text, you may simply site it Beatty, p. xxx.  If you are relying on other sources, which is fine, site them.  Use a footnote and put the citation in the footnote at the bottom of the page.

€¢    Comment.  Your comment may take any form you wish.  You may predict the outcome of a case; discuss ethical problems raised; contrast this story with some other story that you have read about; explain why the law on this subject is good or bad; or make any other points that you consider significant.  One word of caution: avoid confusing criminal cases with civil.  If the article discusses a criminal assault and battery, do not discuss it as though it were a civil lawsuit.  Of course there is overlap, as we learn in the section on torts, but a prosecution is not the same thing as a tort action.

Section II:  Grade Form.  Please copy the following grade form into your paper.  I will use this to indicate your grade.


Poor     Fair    Good    Very Good     Excellent

Articles €“ interest, variety, complexity

Facts €“ clarity, coherence

Law €“ accuracy, completeness

Comments €“ comprehension, insight, originality


Section III: Appendix.  In this section you simply include a photocopy of each article.  Do not include the article itself, pasted onto paper €“ that will make the paper too bulky.  You can cut and paste the article to fit onto relatively few pages.  Cite the article.  An example follows, showing a discussion from Section I, and the article from Section II.



CITE:  New York Times, Jan. 16, 1998, page B8.

FACTS:  John Cerasini sued the producers of the movie Donnie Brasco, claiming defamation.  Cerasini, whose nickname is Boobie, is a convicted racketeer.  He sued because he claims that an early version of the film portrayed him committing a murder for which he was, in fact, acquitted.

The early version of the movie, shown to preview audiences only, included a character named John (Boobie) Cerasini.  Cerasini is depicted participating in a gruesome murder.  When the movie was released to the general public, the character’s name has been changed to Paulie.

Cerasini has in fact been convicted of racketeering, bank robber, drug dealing and being a Mafia associate.  But when he was tried in 1982 for crimes that are portrayed in the film, he was acquitted.  Based on the acquittal, he claimed that the film’s producers have defamed him.  However, Judge Chin dismissed the case, ruling that Cerasini was libel-proof.  The judge ruled that Cerasini’s reputation [is] sufficiently tarnished that at most he could collect nominal damages.  The judge mentioned in his ruling that the murder originally shown in the film was consistent with FBI testimony at the trial, a book, and widespread media coverage, even though Cerasini was acquitted.

LAW:  Defamation can be either oral (slander) or written (libel).  Under the common law rules of defamation a plaintiff must prove all of these elements:

1.    Defamatory statement.  The statement must be one that would harm the plaintiff’s reputation.

2.    Falseness.  If the statement is untrue, defendant wins.

3.    Communicated.  The defendant must have communicated the statement to a third party.

4.    Injury.  Generally, the plaintiff must show that the defamatory statement injured him.

There are three main defenses to a defamation lawsuit:

1.    Opinion.  An opinion is not defamation because it cannot be proven true or false.

2.    Public Personalities.  Generally, a plaintiff who is a public personality must prove all of the above elements and must also show actual malice.  This means that the plaintiff must demonstrate that the defendant either knew the statement was false or acted with reckless disregard of the truth.

3.    Privilege.  In certain cases, it is in the public interest for the defendant to speak up.  For example, in court proceedings, or certain other government proceedings, witnesses need to be able to speak without worrying that they will be sued for defamation.  As long as they act in good faith, they are probably protected.

COMMENT:  Defamation laws are designed to protect people from having their reputation ruined.  It is undoubtedly true that a convicted Mafia associate has a poor reputation, and would generally make a poor defamation plaintiff.  But the judge may have gone too far in concluding that past convictions should permanently prevent a Mafia member from suing in defamation.

First, Cerasini’s convictions are all in the past, and he has served whatever penalty society and the courts deem appropriate.  Should he suffer aIDitional penalty because a film producer got its story wrong?  Isn’t the change in the movie an indication that the producers know they defamed Cerasini?  Why should the rules automatically be different for a Mafia associate?

Second, if a Mafia member cannot sue in defamation, how far does the doctrine go?  For example, suppose a bank robber who was not involved in organized crime served his sentence, started a new life, and established himself in a good job only to find himself falsely shown as a murderer.  He might get fired, or his wife and friends could dessert him.

A related point is that murder is far graver than any of the crimes (admittedly serious) of which Cerasini was convicted.  What if a Mafia member convicted only of possession of marijuana was falsely portrayed as a murderer.  Surely the gross difference between his conviction and the false statement should permit a defamation suit.

Third, the article quotes the judge as pointing out that the film’s depiction matched trial testimony, a book, and widespread media coverage.  But none of that indicates that Cerasini committed the murder.  Why is it even relevant?  If he participated in the killing, then the film’s depiction is true, and that is the end of any defamation case.  There is a difference between proof that someone committed a murder, and widely covered allegations.  Can anyone be prevented from recovering defamation damages based on mere testimony, as opposed to proof?

The laws of defamation are designed to balance the competing interests of protecting personal reputations and permitting the free exchange of ideas, but this judge may not have got that balance quite right.

Keystone XL: Texas High Court Gives Hope to Landowners in Eminent Domain


CITE:  InsideClimate News, January 13, 2014.

FACTS:  Julia Trigg Crawford filed a lawsuit against TransCanada in 2012 to prevent TransCanada from taking part of her property for construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline southern leg, which runs from Oklahoma to Houston.  Crawford claimed that TransCanada did not have the right to use eminent domain in this case.  Crawford appealed the decision by a lower court that sided with TransCanada, and in January 2014 the Texas Supreme Court requested that TransCanada submit information on its use of eminent domain as it decided whether or not it would hear the case.  If the Supreme Court did decide to hear the case, it would have been promising news for Crawford, as historically, the Texas Supreme Court reverses about 70% of the cases it decides to hear, according to the article.

While Crawford appealed the prior decisions, TransCanada went ahead and dug up her property to construct the pipeline, which has already began transporting oil.  If the lower court’s decision was reversed, TransCanada would have had to dig up and re-route the pipeline.  The Texas Railroad Commission, which has jurisdiction over the oil and gas industry, granted eminent domain to TransCanada and allowed them to dig up a 50 foot wide parcel of Crawford’s 650 acre plot of land, which spurred her decision to file suit.  This decision from the Railroad Commission is significant because it deemed the Keystone XL as a common carrier, meaning that the project is good for the Texas public, and it served as precedent that other land may be acquired by TransCanada using eminent domain.

LAW:  The major force at play here of course is the eminent domain law, which grants government entities the power to take private land for public use.  There is only one condition for governments that use eminent domain powers, which is that they must pay a fair price in doing so.  The exact wording in the United States Constitution is that governmental entities cannot take private land without just compensation (Beatty, 663).  The eminent domain law is quite simple and in this case, the Railroad Commission had to decide if the pipeline being built by TransCanada is being built for the good of the Texas public.  The counter argument Crawford tried to make here is that the pipeline did not directly benefit Texas companies.

COMMENT:  This issue can become pretty controversial as it comes up numerous times any large scale infrastructure project is being considered.  In the United States, citizens have many more constitutional rights to fight these large scale projects than they do in other countries.  There have been many cases where a large infrastructure project which would have undoubtedly served a great benefit to an entire region was sidetracked, delayed or even shelved due to the protests of a measly few residents who happen to live nearby the project and have good connections in the court systems.  These people are commonly referred to as NIMBYs (Not In My Back Yard), as they would otherwise not be concerned with such a project if it was not happening further away from their locale.

That being said, Crawford might have had a valid argument here, which is probably why the Texas Supreme Court was at least considering hearing the case.  She argues that there was a significant risk that a leak in the pipeline could pollute the water she uses to irrigate her farmland, and that her insurance company refused to compensate her for any tar damage on her property.  On the other hand, TransCanada did increase their initial offer from $7,000 to $21,000 for her small parcel of land used for the pipeline, and large scale leaks that would impact her farmland are quite rare.  I feel that in the end, the Texas Railroad Commission does have a right to grant TransCanada eminent domain, and unfortunately for Crawford, the Supreme Court decided not to hear the case.  I agreed with this decision.