Bring on the Tissues, Here Come the Issues: Issues of Legal Consequence, Issues of Fact, and Issues of Law By Nancy J. White Key Words: legal issues, factual issues, teaching about issues, social constructs, value issues
Abstract: Undergraduate students should know the difference between laws, facts, issues of law and issues of fact in order to understand how the legal system works and how it resolves disputes. Legal issues and factual issues, and the role they play are often confusing to a student but the amount of time that can be spent on this topic is limited. This paper includes the author’s classroom exercises, developed over more than fifteen years of actual classroom use and feedback from students. The exercises are designed to streamline understanding of these concepts for undergraduate students. This paper introduces the concept of what the author calls "value/overall/legal consequences issue" to aid students in understanding the difference between factual and legal issues and the role they play in the court system. In addition, the concept of “social construct” is introduced because juries do not just decide the facts but also some social constructs such as unreasonable behavior.