Controversy

Controversy in the United States

A properly asserted legal claim made in a manner appropriate for judicial response. A case or controversy may be decided by federal courts under Article III of the U.S. Constitution. For a case to constitute a bona fide controversy sufficient to satisfy Article III requirements (1) it must involve parties who are truly contending or adverse, (2) there must exist a recognizable legal interest arising out of a legitimate fact situation, and (3) the issue must be capable of resolution through the use of judicial power. Similar if not identical threshold conditions exist in state law as an entry condition for state courts. A person bringing a claim or petitioning a court is known as a party or litigant. The initiating party to a legal action is also called a plaintiff or Petitioner (Judicial Function). The party against whom such action may be brought is a defendant or respondent. Cases are named for the parties involved. The designation et al. is used after the first named party in a suit where there are several plaintiffs or defendants. Cases designated in re, or “in the matter of,” are proceedings that are not wholly adversarial, such as a juvenile case. The abbreviation ex. rel. may be made when a legal action is initiated by the state at the instigation of a party with a private interest in the result.

See Also

Adversary System (Judicial Function) Justiciable Issue (Judicial Function) Standing (Judicial Function).

Analysis and Relevance

A case or controversy is a justiciable case. In Aetna Life Insurance Company v. Haworth (300 U.S. 227: 1937), the Supreme Court described a justiciable case as one in which the controversy is “definite and concrete,” touching the legal relations of parties having “adverse legal interests.” Such a controversy must also be “real and substantial, admitting to specific relief through a decree of a conclusive character.” A true case or controversy is opposite from a hypothetical or abstract question upon which a court might render an advisory opinion. Substantial restrictions exist on the capacity of courts—federal or state—to hear cases of a hypothetical or abstract nature. The Supreme Court also restrains itself when it reviews actions of the other branches. The basic ground rules were nicely articulated by Justice Louis Brandeis in Ashwander v. TVA (297 U.S. 288: 1936). The “Ashwander rules” urge the Court to make every effort to find statutes constitutional if at all possible. The rules also encourage the Court to focus on the narrowest possible grounds for decision and to avoid the broad constitutional questions when it can.

Notes and References

  1. Definition of Controversy from the American Law Dictionary, 1991, California

Controversy Definition

A dispute arising between two or more persons. It differs from case, which includes all suits, criminal as well as civil; whereas controversy is a civil, and not a criminal, proceeding. 2 Dall. (U.S.) 419, 431, 432; 1 Tucker, Bl. Comm. App. 420, 421; Story, Const. § 1668.

Controversy in Foreign Legal Encyclopedias

Link Description
Controversy Controversy in the World Legal Encyclopedia.
Controversy Controversy in the European Legal Encyclopedia.
Controversy Controversy in the Asian Legal Encyclopedia.
Controversy Controversy in the UK Legal Encyclopedia.
Controversy Controversy in the Australian Legal Encyclopedia.

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Controversy Controversy in the Family Law Portal of the American Encyclopedia of Law.
Controversy Controversy in the IP Portal of the American Encyclopedia of Law.
Controversy Controversy in the Commercial Law Portal of the American Encyclopedia of Law.
Controversy Controversy in the Criminal Law Portal of the American Encyclopedia of Law.
Controversy Controversy in the Antritrust Portal of the American Encyclopedia of Law.
Controversy Controversy in the Bankruptcy Law Portal of the American Encyclopedia of Law.
Controversy Controversy in the Constitutional Law Portal of the American Encyclopedia of Law.
Controversy Controversy in the Tax Law Portal of the American Encyclopedia of Law.
Controversy Controversy in the and Finance and Banking Portal of the American Encyclopedia of Law.
Controversy Controversy in the Employment and Labor Portal of the American Encyclopedia of Law.
Controversy Controversy in the Personal Injury and Tort Portal of the American Encyclopedia of Law.
Controversy Controversy in the Environmental Law Portal of the American Encyclopedia of Law.

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Controversy in the Dictionaries Controversy in our legal dictionaries
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Legal Issue for Attorneys

A dispute arising between two or more persons. It differs from case, which includes all suits, criminal as well as civil; whereas controversy is a civil, and not a criminal, proceeding. 2 Dall. (U.S.) 419, 431, 432; 1 Tucker, Bl. Comm. App. 420, 421; Story, Const. § 1668.

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Notice

This definition of Controversy Is based on the The Cyclopedic Law Dictionary . This definition needs to be proofread..

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See Also

  • Legal Topics.
  • Scandal.

    Further Reading (Articles)

    The Controversy Stories in the Gospel of Matthew: Their Redaction, Form and Relevance for the Relationship between the Matthean Community and Formative Judaism, Journal of Biblical Literature; January 1, 2003; Cousland, J. R. C.

    Risk, Controversy, and Rhetoric: Response to Goodnight, Argumentation and Advocacy; June 22, 2005; Miller, Carolyn R.

    Requiem for a Controversy, Skeptic (Altadena, CA); March 22, 2001; Shankman, Paul

    What’s Wrong with the “Teach the Controversy” Slogan?, McGill Journal of Education (Online); April 1, 2007; Scott, Eugenie C.

    The Climate Change Controversy: A Technical Debate in the Public Sphere, Argumentation and Advocacy; June 22, 2011; Eckstein, Justin

    Arguing History: SSSSTeaching Historical Scientific Controversies to Engage Students in Discourse and the Nature of Science, The Science Teacher; July 1, 2013; Clary, Renee Wandersee, James

    Public and Technical Interdependence: Regulatory Controversy, Out-Law Discourse, and the Messy Case of Olestra, Argumentation and Advocacy; September 22, 2002; Boyd, Josh

    Science and Technology Controversy: A Rationale for Inquiry, Argumentation and Advocacy; June 22, 2005; Goodnight, G. Thomas

    The Creative Role of Controversy within the Church, The Humanist; September 1, 1999; Willoughby, Robert E.

    A theatrics of protest.(The Irish Art of Controversy)(Book Review), Irish Literary Supplement; September 22, 2005; Conner, Marc C.

    Design Piracy: Student Perceptions of a Constructive Controversy Activity, College Student Journal; December 1, 2007; Marcketti, Sara B.

    A QUANDARY FOR THE SAGES: WHY ALL THE QB CONTROVERSIES?(SPORTS), The Virginian-Pilot (Norfolk, VA); August 27, 2001

    Controversy Over The Amount In Controversy., Mondaq Business Briefing; February 10, 2012

    Mapping Misconduct: Demarcating Legitimate Science from “Fraud” in the B-06 Lumpectomy Controversy, Argumentation and Advocacy; September 22, 2005; Keranen, Lisa

    Choose Controversies Wisely: When Teaching Scientific Argumentation, Selecting the Wrong Topic Can Impair-Rather Than Increase-Student Understanding, The Science Teacher; April 1, 2014; Berbeco, Minda McCaffrey, Mark Meikle, Eric Branch, Glenn

    The Highlands Controversy: Constructing Geological Knowledge Through Fieldwork in Nineteenth-Century Britain., Science; November 30, 1990; Laudan, Rachel

    The many controversies of tennis player Sania Mirza, The New Nation (Dhaka, India); April 8, 2010

    The Two “I”s of Christ: Revisiting the Christological Controversy, Anglican Theological Review; July 1, 2012; Stang, Charles M.

    The DSM-5 Controversies: How Should Psychologists Respond?, Canadian Psychology; August 1, 2013; Welch, Steven Klassen, Cherisse Borisova, Oxana Clothier, Holly

    The many controversies of tennis player Sania Mirza., The New Nation (Dhaka, India); April 8, 2010

    Controversy: Open and Free Legal Research of US Law

    Federal Primary Materials

    The U.S. federal government system consists of executive, legislative, and judicial branches, each of which creates information that can be the subject of legal research about Controversy. This part provides references, in relation to Controversy, to the legislative process, the federal judiciary, and the primary sources of federal law (cases, statutes, and regulations).

    Federal primary materials about Controversy by content types:

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    Federal Case Law and Court Materials

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    United States courts of appeals, inclouding bankruptcy courts and bankcruptcy appellate panels:

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    Presidential Materials

    Materials that emanate from the President’s lawmaking function include executive orders for officers in departments and agencies and proclamations for announcing ceremonial or commemorative policies. Presidential materials available include:

    Executive Materials

    Federal Legislative History Materials

    Legislative history traces the legislative process of a particular bill (about Controversy and other subjects) for the main purpose of determining the legislators’ intent behind the enactment of a law to explain or clarify ambiguities in the language or the perceived meaning of that law (about Controversy or other topics), or locating the current status of a bill and monitoring its progress.

    State Administrative Materials and Resources

    State regulations are rules and procedures promulgated by state agencies (which may apply to Controversy and other topics); they are a binding source of law. In addition to promulgating regulations, state administrative boards and agencies often have judicial or quasi-judicial authority and may issue administrative decisions affecting Controversy. Finding these decisions can be challenging. In many cases, researchers about Controversy should check state agency web sites for their regulations, decisions, forms, and other information of interest.

    State rules and regulations are found in codes of regulations and administrative codes (official compilation of all rules and regulations, organized by subject matter). Search here:

    State opinions of the Attorney General (official written advisory opinions on issues of state law related to Controversy when formerly requested by a designated government officer):

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