Role and Functions of Law Paper

Role and Functions of Law Paper
Jennifer Quiles
October 31, 2013
Stephen L. Clearly

Role and Functions of Law Paper
As Cipollone claimed victory, becoming the first party to be paid for damages in a liability case, the country began to see the implications of federal laws. (Melvin, 2011) Understanding just who Cipollone was and what this case was about is important to understand the role the laws played in the case. Cipollone was the son of a smoker who died of cancer, a commonly known side effect of smoking today. Cipollone sought for damages because he felt that his mother died as a result of the cigarette company and their negligence. He felt that they had committed fraud in their failure to properly warn about the harmful effects they had on one’s health and they also committed fraud in their ways of advertising. He also felt that there was a conspiracy to hide important information, about the serious and harmful effects smoking had, obtained through medical and scientific research from the public. (Melvin, 2011) His mother smoked for 42 years, almost her whole life, and began smoking in 1942. This was before the Federal Cigarette Labeling and Advertising Act was put in to place in 1965. The Public Health Cigarette Smoking Act of 1969 went on to say that the state was not allowed to rule on cases that involved cases that were properly labeled.
The case was preempted by federal law, meaning there was a federal law that superseded any state laws. When the case was originally brought to the United States Supreme Court, in 1991, it was thrown out for this reason. Cipollone had relied solely on State laws that were in place. This left Cipollone no other choice but to file suit based on federal law. Cipollone did not see his victory until the case was reargued in 1992.
It is important to understand what federal laws are in place in all different types of situations because of Article VI in the Constitution. If there is a federal law in place it preempts any state law on that particular issue. Perhaps if Cipollone had known he would have been better prepared and had a more appropriate claim when he tried the case in court the first time.
When working in the public education sector, there are many laws in place to protect teachers, students, and community members. There are school boards that are appointed through elections to ensure that these laws are being followed. Schools must comply with the regulations set through local, state and federal levels. Some if the federal laws that govern schools are FERPA, (educational and privacy rights), Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010, (replacement to the National School Lunch Program), and the Americans with Disabilities Act, (a 2008 amendment to protect the rights of disabled employees). (National School Board Association, 2013) In all there are many federal, local and state laws within the public school system. Understanding changes and differences are equally important. If not they have the possibility of encountering liability claims from all different ends.

Melvin, S. P. (2011). The legal environment of business: A managerial approach: Theory to practice. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill/Irwin.
National School Board Association. (2013). Federal Regulations. Retrieved from