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Dispute Settlement: THE COURTS AND LITIGATION Chapter 3.

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Presentation on theme: "Dispute Settlement: THE COURTS AND LITIGATION Chapter 3."— Presentation transcript:

1 Dispute Settlement: THE COURTS AND LITIGATION Chapter 3

2 Federal And Most State Court Systems Trial Courts Court Of Appeals Supreme Courts

3 State Courts Inferior Courts Municipal Courts Justice of the Peace Courts Trial Courts Courts of General Jurisdiction Circuit, District, County or Superior Courts Appeals Courts Court of Appeals Supreme Courts


5 GEORGIA COURTS Supreme Court of Georgia Georgia Court of Appeals Superior Courts Superior courts are organized into 10 Judicial Districts, comprised of 49 judicial circuits.Superior Courts Districts (map)map Circuits (map)map

6 Courts in Georgia Georgia State Courts Federal Courts Courts of Appeal Eleventh Circuit U.S. District Court, Northern District of GeorgiaU.S. District Court, Northern District of Georgia

7 Federal Courts District Court Federal Trial Courts Special Courts Court of Appeals There are 13 U.S. Courts of Appeal The Supreme Court Highest Court of the Land Writ of certiorari

8 Federal Judicial System


10 Federal Courts of Appeal and District Courts

11 READING CITATIONS State Court: Eckhart v. Yerkes Regional Primate Center, 254 Ga. App. 38, 561 S.E.2d 164 2002 Ga. App. LEXIS 253 (2002) (Regional) (National) (Lexis Nexis) (Year)

12 READING CITATIONS Federal Court Wilson v. Southwest Airlines, 517 F.Supp. 292, 1981 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 12979 (D.N.TX. 1991) (Federal Supplement) (Lexis Nexis) (Location, Year)

13 READING CITATIONS Vaughn v. Edel, 918 F.2d 517, 1990 U.S. App. LEXIS 20947 (5th Cir. 1990) (Federal Reporter) (Lexis Nexis) (Circuit Year)

14 READING CITATIONS McDonald v. Santa Fe Trail Transportation, 427 U.S. 273, 96 S. Ct. 2574; 49 L. Ed. 2d 493; 1976 U.S. LEXIS 8; (1976) (United States (Supreme Court (Lawyers’ Edition (Lexis Nexis) (Year) Reports) Reporter) of Supreme Court Reports)

15 FINDING COURT DECISIONS Lexis-Nexis Clayton State Library LAWRENCE v. TEXAS 539 U.S. 558; 123 S. Ct. 2472; 156 L. Ed. 2d 508; 2003 U.S. LEXIS 5013 (2003) United States Supreme Court

16 Case Analysis form

17 Judges And Justices Judges/Magistrates/Justices Determine Rules Of Law For Case Finds Facts Jury- Decides Questions Of Fact Trial Judge Renders Decision On People Conflict Justices- Deal With Issues Of Law On Appeal Judiciary- Power Of Judicial Review

18 Jurors Fact-Finding Body- Petit Jury Size Usually 12 Some Provisions For Smaller Decision Usually Unanimous No Reason Given Grand Juries: Originally were intended as buffers between the king and the defendant. grand-jury-system/

19 JURY SELECTION What criteria would you use to select jurors? See the Handouts Page. Ensuring Fairplay the American Way

20 Lawyers System Is Adversarial Representative Of “Combatants”- Attorney/Client Privilege Present Evidence Points Of Law Arguments Functions As: Counselor Advocate Public Servant

21 Lawyers How to Become a Lawyer: ou_become_a_lawyer_ ou_become_a_lawyer_

22 FEDERALISM A system of government where power is divided by Constitution between a central government and local governments.

23 JURISDICTION Authority of a court to hear & decide an action or lawsuit Original jurisdiction v. appellate jurisdiction Why does it matter?

24 JURISDICTION Over the subject matter Over the parties (In personam)

25 What Cases Can Be Heard in Federal Court? Federal Question Cases Usually when U.S. Govt is a party Issues From U.S. Constitution- Bill Of Rights Issues From Federal Statutes No Monetary Limits- May Be Suit For Damages Civil Actions Patents Copyrights Trademarks Taxes Employment Discrimination Diversity Of Citizenship

26 Plaintiffs/Defendants- Citizens Of Different States Corporation Is Citizen Of State Of Incorporation Citizen Of State Of Principal Business Total Activity Test For Corporation Claim Must Be $75,000+ No Federal Law applies. Using state substantive law.

27 Must you go to Federal Court? Using a Federal law? Yes or No? U.S. is a party? Yes or No? Diversity? Yes or No?

28 Jurisdiction over the parties States have jurisdiction Over their own residents Over the plaintiff If they can personally serve the defendant

29 Jurisdiction over the parties (cont’d) Long-arm statutes give courts jurisdiction over out of state defendants: If Δ committed a tort in the state Owns property in the state that is the subject of the lawsuit. Has entered into a K. or done business in the state which is the subject of a lawsuit. Must satisfy “minimum contacts test” and not offend “due process.”

30 See Conseco v. Hickerson FACTS: Hickerson (from Texas) was planning a lawsuit against Philadelphia Life Insurance Company. He created a web site that solicited information about unfair treatment by Philadelphia Life or any of the other insurance companies owned by its parent, Conseco, Inc. Conseco filed suit for trademark dilution and infringement, commercial disparagement, defamation, and tortuous interference with contractual relationships. Conseco was incorporated and had its principal place of business in Indiana. It filed suit in Indiana. Issue: Did Indiana have personal jurisdiction over Hickerson? What connection did Hickerson have with Indiana?

31 Jurisdiction Where can you file suit? Not can you sue? Not which law applies? Not will you win?

32 Review of Jurisdiction over the Persons  Due process → jurisdiction over out of state Δ  Π v. Δ Accident Suit filed GA AL AL GA  Π v. Δ Accident Suit filed GA AL GA AL  Π v. Δ Accident Suit filed GA AL GA GA

33 Review of Jurisdiction over the Persons Mary, a resident of Georgia, owns land in Alabama. Harry, a resident of Alabama, is making a delivery to the property, and falls into a hole concealed be overgrown shrubs. Can Harry file suit in Alabama?

34 Review of Jurisdiction over the Persons Avco, Inc., is incorporated and has its principal place of business in Florida. It sends salesmen into Georgia, Alabama, and S.C. The salesmen all live in Florida and work out of the Florida office. A S.C. customer wants to file suit for breach of contract. Can she file suit in S.C.?

35 Review of Jurisdiction over the Persons Internet Is this a commercial activity? What is the level of interaction?

36 Venue The geographic location or place where the case is to be tried. Determined by statute

37 Which law applies? Federal diversity action, use state substantive law State courts: States have a “Choice of law rule.” For example, Tort action: place of the injury or state with the greatest interest in the outcome of the case Contract action: state where contract was made

38 Parties can agreed in advance as to where the lawsuit will be held, and which law will apply.

39 OVERVIEW OF THE LITIGATION PROCESS Enter the legal system File complaint with Clerk of Courts Serve the other side Defendant files an answer and serves the plaintiff See sample complaint & answer: Motions: Judgment on the pleadings

40 OVERVIEW OF THE LITIGATION PROCESS Discovery Interrogatories Depositions Request to Produce Medical exam

41 OVERVIEW OF THE LITIGATION PROCESS Pretrial motions/Conferences Stipulations Motion for a summary judgment

42 OVERVIEW OF THE LITIGATION PROCESS Trial Jury selection Opening Statements Plaintiff’s case Motion: Directed verdict or nonsuit Defendant’s case Motions: Directed verdict Closing Statements Jury instructions Jury deliberations Jury verdict

43 OVERVIEW OF THE LITIGATION PROCESS Post verdict motions Judgment n.o.v. New trial Judgment Appeal

44 Post-Trial Appeals Procedure Brief (Brief from Lawrence v. Texas.)Lawrence v. Texas Oral Argument Judge/Justice’s Opinion Basis for Appeal Error of Law The Appeal Transcript of entire trial proceedings must be forwarded to the appeals court Attorneys for each parties submit briefs Results of Appeal Affirm Reverse Reverse and Remand Deference To Trial Courts

45 Appellate Procedure Enforcement Execution Garnishment Doctrine Of Res Judicata

46 Resources Georgia Bar: VideoVideo Utah State Courts

47 Calculating damages in a personal injury case Damages Compensatory Pain & suffering Punitive Attorney fees and costs? Settlements Structured Sealed

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