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Chapter 3 The American Judicial System, Jurisdiction, and Venue

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1 Chapter 3 The American Judicial System, Jurisdiction, and Venue
McGraw-Hill/Irwin Copyright © 2011 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.

2 Chapter Overview The role and structure of the American judicial system. The function and authority of state and federal courts. How the law develops through court decisions. The circumstances when a court has the authority to hear a certain case. The appropriate location to resolve disputes.

3 ROLE OF THE JUDICIARY The judiciary has two primary roles:
First, courts adjudicate disputes Second, certain courts are charged with the responsibility of judicial review

State Courts Federal Courts

5 State Courts The majority of court cases filed in the United States are filed in state courts. All states have two types of courts: state trial courts and state appellate courts

6 Federal Courts The principal trial courts are the U.S. district courts. Federal appellate courts are called the U.S. courts of appeal. Finally, the U.S. Supreme Court is the ultimate arbiter of federal law.

7 U.S. Supreme Court The ultimate arbiters of federal law are the nine justices of the U.S. Supreme Court. Although the Court has both original and appellate jurisdiction, the primary role of the court is to finalize a legal decision on any given case.

8 Writ of certiorari A discretionary order issued by the Supreme Court (and federal appellate courts) granting a request to argue an appeal. A party filing for an appeal must file a petition for a writ of certiorari.

9 JURISDICTION Jurisdiction is a court’s authority to decide a particular case based on: (1) who the parties are, and (2) the subject matter of the dispute

10 VENUE Venue is a determination of the most appropriate court location for litigating a dispute.

11 Jurisdiction and Business Strategy
A cost-benefit analysis involving jurisdictional restrictions may affect the managerial decision-making process when a company contemplates filing a lawsuit. Litigating disputes in out-of-state courts will increase the costs of litigation.

12 Overview of Jurisdiction
Jurisdiction requires a two-part analysis: a court must have both: (1) subject matter jurisdiction (2) personal jurisdiction

13 Subject Matter Jurisdiction
Authority over the Dispute Based on: Federal question Diversity of citizenship

14 Personal Jurisdiction
In-State vs. Out-of-State Defendants State long-arm statute

15 Estate of Weingeroff v. Pilatus Aircraft, 566 F.3d 94 (3rd Cir. 2009)
“It is clear that the critical finding is that the defendant purposefully availed itself of the privilege of conducting activities within the forum requires contacts that amount to a deliberate reaching into the forum state to target its citizens.”

16 Forum Selection cont’d.
“In the event of any dispute that arises from the performance, breach or any obligations under this contract, the parties agree to litigate any such disputes in the State Court of … as the exclusive venue and both parties hereby voluntarily submit to their exclusive jurisdiction over the matter.”

17 Venue Venue is the legal concept that defines the most appropriate location for the trial within a jurisdiction. Typically, state statutes provide that venue in a civil case is where the defendant resides or is headquartered.

18 Jurisdiction Implications in Cyberspace
Minimum Contacts over the Internet The Zippo Standard comprehensive scheme for testing a minimum contacts analysis of personal jurisdiction based on one party’s use of the Internet in its business

19 Mink v. AAAA Development LLC, 190 F.3d 333 (5th Cir. 1999)
“We find that the reasoning of Zippo is persuasive and adopt it in this Circuit.” Explain the circuit concept, and what it means when a circuit court makes a ruling.

A comprehensive scheme for testing a minimum contacts analysis of personal jurisdiction may be based on one party’s use of the Internet and/or in its business.

The US, Canada, and the European Union have generally agreed to apply the law of the country where the defendant’s servers are located. This so-called country of origin principle allows courts an easy rule of thumb to determine choice of law.

22 Exceptions Some countries have adopted a country of reception approach. This increases the risk to a business because, in theory, one would need to have a fundamental knowledge of the laws of each individual country.

23 Other Theories of Jurisdiction in Electronic Commerce
Australia’s highest court, in 2002, ruled that American–based publisher Dow Jones could be sued in Australia for defamation based on an article that appeared on its Web site, even though Dow Jones has no presence in Australia and its Web site and infrastructure are located in New Jersey.

24 learning outcome checklist
3 - 1 Explain the role of the judiciary in the context of the American legal system. 3-2 Distinguish between the role of federal courts and state courts. 3-3 Identify the responsibilities of trial courts versus appellate courts.

25 learning outcome checklist
3-4 Articulate how the law develops via adjudication of cases. 3-5 Differentiate between subject matter jurisdiction and personal jurisdiction. 3-6 List the types of controversies over which federal courts have subject matter jurisdiction.

26 learning outcome checklist
3-7 Explain the role of long-arm statutes in determining personal jurisdiction. 3-8 Apply the minimum contacts test in both a traditional and cyber setting and describe the importance of the Zippo sliding scale. 3-9 Articulate the special problems posed by different international jurisdiction standards.

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