Nolo’s Encyclopedia of Everyday Law

Nolo’s Encyclopedia of Everyday Law in the United States

Subtitle: “Answers to Your Most Frequently Asked Legal Questions”

Editions: 1996, 1999, 2002, 2003, 2005, 2008, and 2011
Editor: Emily Doskow

Preface: About This Book

“Whether we like it or not, the law touches our personal lives invmany ways each day. We may not think much about the laws that affect us as we carry out simple tasks such as driving a car, making a telephone call, or buying milk at the corner grocery store.

But every now and again, we’re sure to need an answer to a common legal question that
arises in the course of daily life:

What can I do about my noisy neighbor?
What are my rights if I’m fired from my job?
Do I really need to make a will?
What should I do if I can’t pay the child support I owe?
And so on.

This book provides answers to frequently asked questions about more than 100
subjects you might encounter in your personal life—topics that range from buying
a house to getting a divorce, from paying your debts to starting and running a small
business. Obviously, we can’t answer every question on a particular subject, but we’ve
answered many common ones to get you started.

Throughout each chapter, you’ll find resource boxes listing sources for more
information about a particular subject.

In addition, for those of you who are computer savvy, each chapter contains a list
of online sites that will help you learn more about a particular area of the law. Look
for the “Online Help” icon as you read.
And if you need more information about finding the law, the appendix contains a
section that shows you how to do basic legal research—with a focus on using the
Think of this book as a desk reference— a little encyclopedia that explains what the
law really means in a language you can understand. But remember that the law
changes constantly, as legislatures pass new statutes and courts hand down their rulings.
We will publish new, revised editions of this book periodically, but it will never be
perfectly current. It’s always your responsibility to be sure a law is up to date before
you rely on it. Check for legal updates on our website at for the most
current legal information affecting Nolo books and software.



Buying a House
Selling Your House



Landlords and Tenants

Leases and Rental Agreements
Tenant Selection
Housing Discrimination
Rent and Security Deposits
Tenants’ Privacy Rights
Cable Access and Satellite Dishes
Repairs and Maintenance
Landlord Liability for Criminal Acts and Activities
Landlord Liability for Lead Poisoning
Landlord’s Liability for Exposure to Asbestos, Mold, and Bedbugs
Resolving Disputes

Workplace Rights

Fair Pay and Time Off
Workplace Health and Safety
Workers’ Compensation
Workplace Privacy
Losing Your Job

Small Businesses

Before You Start
Legal Structures for Small Businesses
Nonprofit Corporations
Small Business Taxes
Home-Based Businesses
Employers’ Rights & Responsibilities


Qualifying for a Patent
Obtaining a Patent
Enforcing a Patent
Putting a Patent to Work
How Patents Differ From Copyrights and Trademarks


Copyright Basics
Copyright Ownership
Copyright Protection
Copyright Registration and Enforcement

Parents and Children
Adopting a Child
Stepparent Adoptions
Adoption Rights: Birth Parents, Grandparents, and Children
Child Custody and Visitation
Child Support
Guardianship of Children

Courts and Mediation

Representing Yourself in Court
Small Claims Court
Finding and Working With a Lawyer

Criminal Law and Procedure

Criminal Law and Procedure: An Overview
If You Are Questioned by the Police
Searches and Seizures
Arrests and Interrogations
Getting a LawyerG


Appendix: Legal Research

Learning About a Particular Area of the Law
Finding a Specific Law
Finding Answers to Specific Legal Questions
Finding Legal Forms



As a Publisher, Nolo does a great job in publishing books that allow everyone access to legal information. Most are written by lawyers, but in language that anyone can understand and enjoy. And while I still believe that there are problems where a person needs to hire a lawyer, NOLO books allow people to do many things themselves, or to have a better understanding of things when they hire a lawyer. The eighth edition of “encyclopedia of Freight of everyday law: answers to frequently asked legal questions” by Shae Irving, J.D. & editors of Nolo is a book that will help you do things on their own and provide a general understanding of the topics that you might want help from a lawyer.

Says the back of the books, “Everything ever wanted to know about the law, but couldn’t afford to ask.” While maybe not everything, this book contains a lot of information. Of course, in an encyclopedia-like format, does not go in depth on topics, but for a general understanding, it does quite well, and for most people, that’s what they need to know to make informed decisions regarding what to do when dealing with certain conditions or when they just need to know something about what it means.

The chapters of this book cover many different topics and areas of law, including homes, neighbors, landlords tenants, rights at work, small businesses, patents, copyrights, trademarks, your money, auto Guide, wills & estate planning, medical directives & powers of Attorney, American seniors, spouses & partners, parents & children, mediation & courts, criminal law & procedure, and the book concludes with a glossary and Appendix on legal research. As mentioned, this book does not go into depth about the arguments. In fact, there are entire books and sometimes volumes of books on topics covered in chapters here. (Freight has many books on topics in these chapters)

However, for a concise, single volume, which covers the basics, this is a useful reference. The book is well organized, and the voices are often in the form of question and answer. For example, in the chapter of rights at work, there is a phone book, “I am entitled to SEVERANCE PAY if they are fired or laid off?” There is then a short answer that explains the procedures and rights. The chapters also include references to Web sites that provide online help, as well as other titles of books that go more in depth on topics.

Overall, this is a very good book if you want a reference that contains a little of many areas of law. For legal matters, General, this book does a great job of answering them in English without legalese. Because the law’s effects all areas of our lives, this is a useful book to help you with your legal questions.

See Also

Gale Encyclopedia of Everyday Law

Nolo’s Encyclopedia of Everyday Law: 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 Nolo’s Encyclopedia of Everyday Law. This part provides references, in relation to Nolo’s Encyclopedia of Everyday Law, to the legislative process, the federal judiciary, and the primary sources of federal law (cases, statutes, and regulations).

Federal primary materials about Nolo’s Encyclopedia of Everyday Law by content types:

Laws and Regulations

US Constitution
Federal Statutory Codes and Legislation

Federal Case Law and Court Materials

U.S. Courts of Appeals
United States courts of appeals, inclouding bankruptcy courts and bankcruptcy appellate panels:

Federal Administrative Materials and Resources

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 Nolo’s Encyclopedia of Everyday Law 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 Nolo’s Encyclopedia of Everyday Law 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 Nolo’s Encyclopedia of Everyday Law 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 Nolo’s Encyclopedia of Everyday Law. Finding these decisions can be challenging. In many cases, researchers about Nolo’s Encyclopedia of Everyday Law 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 Nolo’s Encyclopedia of Everyday Law when formerly requested by a designated government officer):

Tools and Forms

Law in Other Regions

*This resource guide is updated frequently. However, if you notice something is wrong or not working, or any resources that should be added, please notify us in any of the "Leave a Comment" area.

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