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The Courts and What They Do. Structure of U.S. Court System State Trial Cts State Cts of Appeals State Supreme Courts Federal Trial Cts U.S. Circuit Cts.

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Presentation on theme: "The Courts and What They Do. Structure of U.S. Court System State Trial Cts State Cts of Appeals State Supreme Courts Federal Trial Cts U.S. Circuit Cts."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Courts and What They Do

2 Structure of U.S. Court System State Trial Cts State Cts of Appeals State Supreme Courts Federal Trial Cts U.S. Circuit Cts U.S. Supreme Court Original jurisdiction

3 What Courts Do Resolve Disputes – Civil Cases – Criminal Cases Interpret Law – Regulations (from bureaucracy) – Statutes – Constitution – Judicial Review

4 Civil Law Plaintiff v. Defendant Types of Civil Law – Contracts – Torts Sources of Civil Law – Statutes – Common Law

5 Criminal Law State v. Individual (or Corporation) Statutory

6 Interpreting Law and Judicial Review Do bureaucratic regulations square with legislation? Does legislation square with the constitution?

7 Trial Courts Find facts Apply law to facts May use juries

8 Appellate Courts Was the law correctly interpreted and applied? Don’t mess with facts! No juries, no witnesses – Briefs – Oral argument – “the record”

9 State Courts 97% of cases filed in state court Most states elect judges

10 Federal Courts Judges appointed – Senatorial courtesy Life tenure Salary secure

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