2008’s Top Ten Legal Issues (For Consumers)

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This one is for law students -- what were the top ten legal searches when it comes to consumer issues for 2008? FindLaw.com shares what they discovered.

This one is for law students -- what were the top ten legal searches when it comes to consumer issues for 2008? FindLaw.com shares what they discovered.


Pre-law and law students know that the key topics of our day are often litigated tomorrow. Of course, not every issue is actionable with some issues simply offering an example of a consumer trend, such as in choosing a particular political candidate.

Likely, you’re very familiar with several online legal sites that are frequently visited by consumers, students and attorneys alike. One such site, FindLaw.com recently released what they say were the top ten legal issues for 2008, based on a search of their site, an interesting mix of topics that were popular this past year.

According to Stephen Noel, vice president of FindLaw.com, “There were many topics in the news this year that made people want to learn more about their legal rights and options.” To that end, we present to you the leading legal topics of 2008 based on their findings:

Home Foreclosure & Renter’s Rights – Although home foreclosure and other debt management topics like bankruptcy are popular news topics, the actual process can be long, daunting and fraught with legal complexity.

Politics & Obama – In addition to the law, consumers could not get enough of the lawmakers themselves.

Voters Rights – An historic election piqued the interest of those curious about their right to vote and the Electoral College.

Digital Distractions – Cell phones, text messaging and iPods became a hot topic after the MetroLink accident and an epidemic rise in the number of teens admitting to texting while driving.

Dog Laws – Urban space laws, wealthy dog estates and dog bites all contributed to a spike in searches related to dogs and the law.

Highly Regulated Products – A handful of products that fall into the grey area between toys and dangerous regulated goods were big movers this year, including Airsoft Guns, tinted windows and pocket bikes.

Grandparents’ Rights – Family law is always popular, but the rise in searches about the rights of grandparents to see their grandkids was notable.

Creating a Will – With more than 60 percent of Americans without a will, it continues to be a prevalent issue because people are learning the hard way that when someone dies without a valid will, the state determines how assets will be divided.

Who keeps the Ring? – Property rights issues for unmarried couples who split can be messy. Not just the ring, but all of the belongings may call into question legal entitlement.

Teen Rights – The web has empowered teens to search out information about their legal rights as they strive for independence. Curfew laws, emancipation and search and seizure top the list.

What trends do you see being searched for the most in 2009? If it has something to do with federal loans to failed corporations, I’m willing to guess that this issue will find its way on next year’s list.

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Categories: Fun News