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CHAPTER 4 THE AMERICAN LEGAL SYSTEM AND COURT JURISDICTION DAVIDSON, KNOWLES & FORSYTHE Business Law: Cases and Principles in the Legal Environment (8.

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Presentation on theme: "CHAPTER 4 THE AMERICAN LEGAL SYSTEM AND COURT JURISDICTION DAVIDSON, KNOWLES & FORSYTHE Business Law: Cases and Principles in the Legal Environment (8."— Presentation transcript:

1 CHAPTER 4 THE AMERICAN LEGAL SYSTEM AND COURT JURISDICTION DAVIDSON, KNOWLES & FORSYTHE Business Law: Cases and Principles in the Legal Environment (8 th Ed.)

2 © 2004 West Legal Studies in Business A Division of Thomson Learning BUSINESS LAW: Cases & Principles Davidson Knowles Forsythe 8 th Ed. 2 AMERICAN LEGAL SYSTEM: COURT JURISDICTION The Federal Constitution. The Courts and Jurisdiction. How to Find the Law. The Federal Constitution. The Courts and Jurisdiction. How to Find the Law.

3 © 2004 West Legal Studies in Business A Division of Thomson Learning BUSINESS LAW: Cases & Principles Davidson Knowles Forsythe 8 th Ed. 3 THE FEDERAL CONSTITUTION The U.S. Constitution is the oldest written national constitution and it was the first to include a government based on the separation of powers. Allocation of Power: – Legislative Power. – Executive Power. – Administrative Agencies, an additional Executive Power. – Judicial Power. The U.S. Constitution is the oldest written national constitution and it was the first to include a government based on the separation of powers. Allocation of Power: – Legislative Power. – Executive Power. – Administrative Agencies, an additional Executive Power. – Judicial Power.

4 © 2004 West Legal Studies in Business A Division of Thomson Learning BUSINESS LAW: Cases & Principles Davidson Knowles Forsythe 8 th Ed. 4 THE FEDERAL CONSTITUTION Judicial Power: – Federal Courts are generally limited to cases and controversies. Role of Judges: – Personalities of individual judges and justices affect their rulings. Judicial Power: – Federal Courts are generally limited to cases and controversies. Role of Judges: – Personalities of individual judges and justices affect their rulings.

5 © 2004 West Legal Studies in Business A Division of Thomson Learning BUSINESS LAW: Cases & Principles Davidson Knowles Forsythe 8 th Ed. 5 THE FEDERAL CONSTITUTION Original Constitution: – Habeas Corpus; – Writ; – Ex Post Facto Laws. Amendments to the Constitution. Original Constitution: – Habeas Corpus; – Writ; – Ex Post Facto Laws. Amendments to the Constitution.

6 © 2004 West Legal Studies in Business A Division of Thomson Learning BUSINESS LAW: Cases & Principles Davidson Knowles Forsythe 8 th Ed. 6 THE COURTS and JURISDICTION Subject Matter Jurisdiction: power of a court to hear certain kinds of legal questions. Jurisdiction over the Persons or Property: court must have authority. Concurrent versus Exclusive Jurisdiction. Venue. Subject Matter Jurisdiction: power of a court to hear certain kinds of legal questions. Jurisdiction over the Persons or Property: court must have authority. Concurrent versus Exclusive Jurisdiction. Venue.

7 © 2004 West Legal Studies in Business A Division of Thomson Learning BUSINESS LAW: Cases & Principles Davidson Knowles Forsythe 8 th Ed. 7 SUBJECT MATTER JURISDICTION Deals with the nature and subject matter before the court. Examples of Subject Matter Jurisdiction: – Juvenile Courts; – Bankruptcy Courts. Deals with the nature and subject matter before the court. Examples of Subject Matter Jurisdiction: – Juvenile Courts; – Bankruptcy Courts.

8 © 2004 West Legal Studies in Business A Division of Thomson Learning BUSINESS LAW: Cases & Principles Davidson Knowles Forsythe 8 th Ed. 8 JURISDICTION OVER PERSONS OR PROPERTY In personam jurisdiction. – Court has authority to decide rights of specific person or corporation within the control of the court. In rem jurisdiction. – Occurs when property that is subject to suit is located in state where court is located. In personam jurisdiction. – Court has authority to decide rights of specific person or corporation within the control of the court. In rem jurisdiction. – Occurs when property that is subject to suit is located in state where court is located.

9 © 2004 West Legal Studies in Business A Division of Thomson Learning BUSINESS LAW: Cases & Principles Davidson Knowles Forsythe 8 th Ed. 9 JURISDICTION OVER PERSONS OR PROPERTY Quasi in rem jurisdiction. – Allows court to decide the rights of certain persons to specific property. Service of Process. – Inform the defendant of the lawsuit. Quasi in rem jurisdiction. – Allows court to decide the rights of certain persons to specific property. Service of Process. – Inform the defendant of the lawsuit.

10 © 2004 West Legal Studies in Business A Division of Thomson Learning BUSINESS LAW: Cases & Principles Davidson Knowles Forsythe 8 th Ed. 10 CONCURRENT vs. EXCLUSIVE JURISDICTION If more than one court has jurisdiction, the courts have concurrent jurisdiction. Exclusive Jurisdiction occurs when only one court has jurisdiction over a case. If more than one court has jurisdiction, the courts have concurrent jurisdiction. Exclusive Jurisdiction occurs when only one court has jurisdiction over a case.

11 © 2004 West Legal Studies in Business A Division of Thomson Learning BUSINESS LAW: Cases & Principles Davidson Knowles Forsythe 8 th Ed. 11 VENUEVENUE Refers to the geographical area or district where a lawsuit may be filed.

12 © 2004 West Legal Studies in Business A Division of Thomson Learning BUSINESS LAW: Cases & Principles Davidson Knowles Forsythe 8 th Ed. 12 CHOICE OF LAWS The selection of which jurisdiction’s laws should govern the subject before the court. If parties from more than one state are involved in a lawsuit, choice of law rules determine which state’s substantive law used to resolve dispute. Procedural law dictates the process employed when resolving the dispute. The selection of which jurisdiction’s laws should govern the subject before the court. If parties from more than one state are involved in a lawsuit, choice of law rules determine which state’s substantive law used to resolve dispute. Procedural law dictates the process employed when resolving the dispute.

13 © 2004 West Legal Studies in Business A Division of Thomson Learning BUSINESS LAW: Cases & Principles Davidson Knowles Forsythe 8 th Ed. 13 FEDERAL COURTS Federal Courts may hear cases involving: – Federal question or disputes involving federal law. – Diversity of citizenship should parties to the dispute reside in different states and the lawsuit involves more than $75,000. – Complete diversity requires that no plaintiff be a citizen of the same state as any of the defendants and prohibits an alien plaintiff and an alien defendant in the same suit. Federal Courts may hear cases involving: – Federal question or disputes involving federal law. – Diversity of citizenship should parties to the dispute reside in different states and the lawsuit involves more than $75,000. – Complete diversity requires that no plaintiff be a citizen of the same state as any of the defendants and prohibits an alien plaintiff and an alien defendant in the same suit.

14 © 2004 West Legal Studies in Business A Division of Thomson Learning BUSINESS LAW: Cases & Principles Davidson Knowles Forsythe 8 th Ed. 14 SPECIALIZED COURTS Some federal courts hear only certain types of cases. There are 13 federal circuit courts, each with its own Circuit Court of Appeals. Appeals from US. District Courts heard by Circuit Court of Appeals Appeals from circuit courts heard before the US. Supreme Court. Some federal courts hear only certain types of cases. There are 13 federal circuit courts, each with its own Circuit Court of Appeals. Appeals from US. District Courts heard by Circuit Court of Appeals Appeals from circuit courts heard before the US. Supreme Court.

15 © 2004 West Legal Studies in Business A Division of Thomson Learning BUSINESS LAW: Cases & Principles Davidson Knowles Forsythe 8 th Ed. 15 STATE COURTS All State Courts have inferior trial courts. Trial Courts may have either general or limited jurisdiction. Appellate Courts may review decisions of the lower courts to determine if errors have occurred relative to substantive or procedural law. All State Courts have inferior trial courts. Trial Courts may have either general or limited jurisdiction. Appellate Courts may review decisions of the lower courts to determine if errors have occurred relative to substantive or procedural law.

16 © 2004 West Legal Studies in Business A Division of Thomson Learning BUSINESS LAW: Cases & Principles Davidson Knowles Forsythe 8 th Ed. 16 HOW TO FIND THE LAW Federal Court Cases. State Court Cases. Computerized Legal Research. Mitsubishi Motors Corp v. Soler Chrysler- Plymouth, Inc., 473 U.S. 614, 87 L.Ed. 2d 444, 105 S.Ct (1985). Federal Court Cases. State Court Cases. Computerized Legal Research. Mitsubishi Motors Corp v. Soler Chrysler- Plymouth, Inc., 473 U.S. 614, 87 L.Ed. 2d 444, 105 S.Ct (1985).


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