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Marilyn E. Phelan, Kimberly Mayfield, and Judge Jay M. Pat Phelan have collaborated on a book that is designed to provide its readers with up-to-date knowledge of sovereign immunity law. This book contains a comprehensive look at the sovereign immunity doctrine and also educates the reader on topics such as current legal issues and roadblocks faced by lawyers practicing sovereign immunity law.
Dr. Marilyn E. Phelan is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and has also been certified by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization as a Specialist in Tax Law. She is also a life member of the Uniform Law Commission and the American Law Institute.
Attorney Kimberly Mayfield is an attorney for the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development in Fort Worth, Texas. She has represented the Department before Federal courts and administrative forums for over twenty-seven years.
Judge Jay M. Pat Phelan is a specialist in criminal law certified by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. He currently serves as District Judge for the 286thJudicial District of Texas. Prior to being appointed by the Texas governor as a District Judge, he worked in private practice and handled many cases with sovereign immunity law issues.
The sovereign immunity doctrine prevents citizens from suing the government for monetary damages unless there is explicit permission to do so given by the government. This doctrine becomes problematic when true victims of governmental misconduct are provided with no recourse for the subsequent injuries they have suffered.
Sovereign immunity is a common-law doctrine, meaning it has developed and evolved over time in accordance with case law regarding these issues. For attorneys practicing law in this area, it is important to understand the long-reaching effects of this doctrine while also applying their knowledge of applicable case law concerning issues that often arise in their practice. Attorneys must also stay up-to-date with relevant case law in their jurisdictions that can be used to help clients through their practice.
The authors of this book go into great detail regarding when and how to apply the sovereign immunity doctrine. A full chapter, Chapter 4, is also included on the topic of exceptions to sovereign or governmental immunity. This chapter covers everything from takings clauses to waivers of sovereign immunity, with a particular focus on the issues of breach of contract and tort claims along with whistleblowers’ acts. These chapters are invaluable to attorneys practicing law in this area.
In Chapter 5 of this book, the authors spend time focusing on tribal nation immunity, the Alien Tort Claims Act, and other pertinent issues related to this topic. Additionally, a section is included on a waiver of immunity for foreign officials. These topics, while they may not apply to all sovereign immunity law practices, provide attorneys with both general knowledge on the topic as well as a reference point should they encounter a case of this nature.
This book also contains a comprehensive guide to sovereign immunity provisions for each state. No matter what state or states your law practice is in, you will find in-depth information regarding the statutes and provisions that apply to the types of cases you are handling.
The final chapter in this book contains a checklist of all procedural guidelines to consider when pursuing a case against the state. This checklist is a vital resource for any attorney practicing in this area of law.
Sovereign Immunity Law is an incredible reference book for any attorney who is currently practicing sovereign immunity law or who hopes to begin practicing in this area. It contains up-to-date information regarding sovereign immunity provisions and statutes pertaining to each state as well as a wealth of knowledge on the topic of sovereign immunity in general.
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