2 Key Terms Removal for cause Trial courts Peremptory challenges Parties PlaintiffProsecutorDefendantJurorAdversarial systemInquisition systemPlea bargainStare decisisVoir direRemoval for causePeremptory challengesAppeals courtError of lawPrecedentDissenting opinionConcurring opinionProbateInherent powersDelegated powerPetitions for certiorari
3 The Court System State Court System Federal Court System Tribal Court SystemEach has trial and appeals courtsSupreme Court of the U.S.The highest court in the landHears appeals from other court systems.
4 Trial Courts Listen to testimony Consider evidence Decide the facts in disputesTwo parties in a trialCivil Trial – Plaintiff, the party bringing legal actionCriminal Trial – Gov’t initiates the case and serves as the prosecutorDefendant – responding partyLosing party may appeal to appellate court
5 Trial Courts METHODS OF HANDLING DISPUTES Adversarial system – contest between opposing sidesJudge or jury will be able to determine the truthInquisitional system (used by the Europeans) – judge questions the witness and controls the court process, include gathering and presenting evidence
6 Trials Courts Parts of the legal system Judge and juries are essential parts:Judge presides over the trialHas duty to protect rightsMakes sure attorneys follow the rules and proceduresNon-jury trials – judge determines the facts and renders judgmentJury trials – judge required to instruct jury as to the lawCriminal trials – judge sentences convicted individualsSixth Amendment – guarantees right to trial by jury in a criminal case (applies to both federal and state courts)Seventh Amendment – guarantees a right to trial by jury in a civil case in federal courts
7 Trials Courts Parts of the legal system Civil Case – plaintiff or defendant request a jury trialCriminal Case – defendant decides if juryMost cases are never brought to trial, they are disposed by a plea bargain (pre-trial agreement) between the prosecutor and defendantTo serve on jury:U.S. CitizenAt least 18yrs oldSpeak and understand EnglishResident of the StateDuty to serve when called uponCannot be convicted felon
8 Trials Courts Juror process Voir dire - Jurors are screened through an examination processOpposing lawyers question each prosecutor’s jurorsRemoval for cause – removal of juror who appears incapable of rendering fair and impartial verdictPeremptory challenge – a limited number of juror removed without stating a cause.
9 Steps in a Trial (pg. 49) Plaintiff/Prosecutor opening statement Defense opening statementDirect Examination by plaintiff/prosecutorCross-examination by defenseMotionsDirect examinations by defenseCross-examination by plaintiff/prosecutorClosing statement by plaintiff/prosecutorClosing statement by defenseRebuttal argumentJury instructionsVerdict - hung jury if unanimous decision is not reached, case may be tried again
10 Student Q&A problem 5.2Has anyone in your family ever served on a jury? What type of case?Why would someone choose not to have a jury trial in a civil case? How about a criminal case?What are some reasons service members (clergy, attorneys, physicians, police officers, & convicted felons are excluded from jury service?For what reasons might an attorney use a peremptory challenge?
11 Appeals Courts One party presents arguments No juries No witnesses No new evidence presentedOnly lawyers appear before judgeAppeal is only possible when trial court has committed an error of law (judge makes mistake)Exp. Wrong instructions to jury / permits evidence not allowed.Issues a precedent - courts “making law” – written opinion for all future cases
12 Appeals CourtsDecisions are made by a panel of judge/justices – 3 or moreSupreme Court – 9 justicesMajority opinion states decisionDissenting opinion – when judges disagree with majority issue a separate document stating disagreementConcurring opinion – judge agrees with majority, but for different reasons that do not support majority opinion.
13 State and Federal Court system State Courts:General jurisdictionHear cases that deal with state lawAll states have trial courts called (superior, county, district or municipal courts)Specialize in family, traffic, criminal, probate (provide genuine will), small claims court
14 Consider – Federal or State court A state sues a neighboring state for dumping waste in a river that borders both states?federal district court appeals to U.S. Circuit Court of AppealsA wife sues her husband for divorce.state court appeals to state’s court of appealsA person prosecuted for assaulting a neighbor.state criminal court state court of appealsA group of parents sue the local school board, asking that their children’s school be desegregated.Federal district court since it involves US Constitution state court as well --- also has authority to enforce US Constitution
15 State and Federal Court system Limited jurisdictionHear criminal and civil cases involving federal lawKnown as U.S. District CourtsIf you lose, you may be able to appeal to U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in your region94 District Courts13 Circuit CourtsApprox. 70% of cases are bankruptcy cases
16 State and Federal Court System Supreme Court:Final appeal courtArticle III of U.S. Constitution gives congress the power to create lower courts
17 Tribal Courts Several hundred Indian Tribal courts govern reservations No longer independent sovereignsInherent powers – powers that remainIncludes power to regulate family relationshipsTribal membershipLaw & order on the reservationDelegate power – Congress grants power to tribal group in certain area, such as environmental regulation.
18 Tribal Court System Most Native American groups have justice systems Hear a broad rang of both criminal and civil casesTraditional – show little influence of American cultureBoth federal law and tribal law determine the jurisdiction of tribal courts.
19 The Supreme Court of U.S.Most important legal precedents are established9 justices hear cases, majority ruleAll courts MUST follow Supreme Court decisionsDoes not accept all appealsAbout 80 cases/year written opinionMore than ½ cases come from inmates in prison
20 The Supreme Court of U.S.Grants Petitions for Certiorari – request of lower court to send up its records. 99% requests are deniedTakes cases that deal with critical national policy issuesCourt decisions are published in law books and internetHas power to reverse rules of laws from prior cases9 justices are nominated by President and confirmed by SenateJustices are appointed for life
21 International Courts Setup by the UN & other organizations 1st and most important – International Court of Justice (World Court)Located in the Peace Palace in The Hague, the Netherlands.May settle any dispute base on int’l law that a country submitsUN set up special courts called tribunalsInternational Criminal Court – 1998 by UN
22 What to know: All the key terms What do civil and criminal courts do? Know about tribal law and their court systemDifference between adversarial and inquisitional systemJuror process of selection, who can a juror.Steps in a trial – in orderWhat courts hear federal and local cases -US Judicial court systemsStudy your notes Quiz on Friday!!!