2VocabularyAppellate Courts—courts that review decisions made by lower courts, such as trial courts. Also known as courts of appeals.Attorney General—the chief law officer of a state; also, the chief law officer of the nation.Attorney-Client Privilege—a rule of evidence requiring that communications between a client and his or her attorney be kept confidential, unless the client consents to disclosure.
3VocabularyCourtroom Work Group—the social organization consisting of the judge, prosecutor, defense attorney, and other court workers.Defense Attorney—the lawyer representing the defendant.Docket—the list of cases entered on a court’s calendar and thus scheduled to be heard by the court.
4VocabularyDual Court System—the separate but interrelated court system of the United States, made up of the courts on the national level and the courts on the state level.Judicial Misconduct—a general term describing behavior by a judge that diminishes public confidence in the judiciary.Jurisdiction The authority of a court to hear and decide cases within an area of the law or a geographical territory.Magistrate—a public civil officer or official with limited judicial authority within a particular geographical area, such as the authority to issue an arrest warrant.
5VocabularyNonpartisan Elections—elections in which candidates are presented on the ballot without any party affiliation.Opinion—a statement by the court expressing the reasons for its decision in a case.Oral Arguments The verbal arguments presented in person by attorneys to an appellate court.Partisan Election—elections in which candidates are affiliated with and receive support from political parties; the candidates are listed in conjunction with their party on the ballot.Public Defender—court-appointed attorneys who are paid by the state to represent defendants who are unable to hire private counsel.
6VocabularyPublic Prosecutors Individuals, acting as trial lawyers, who initiate and conduct cases in the government’s name and on behalf of the people.Rule of Four—a rule of the United States Supreme Court that the Court will not issue a writ of certiorari unless at least four justices approve of the decision to hear the case.Trial Courts—courts in which most cases usually begin and in which questions of fact are examined.
7Functions of the Courts Place where arguments are settledThe arguments are settled through application of the lawCourts have extensive powers—property, freedom, restrict liberties, etc
8Courts Based on legitimacy of the courts: Impartiality—equal treatment Independence—no outside influences
9The American Judicial System Complex system that includes 52 different systemsEach system has its own set of rules
10Jurisdiction Power to speak the law Geographically jurisdiction Domestic jurisdictionInternational jurisdiction
12Trial Courts Original jurisdiction is the trial courts Trial courts are concern with questions of factsDeals it the incident occurredDeals with guilt or innocence
13Appellate Courts Reviewing courts Handles appeals of trial courts Prosecutors who lose in trial courts cannot appealAppellate courts have judges who makes the decisionProduced “opinions of the court”
14Appellate Courts Appellate courts do not determine guilt or innocence Only make judgments on questions of procedures
15State Court Systems Lower courts Trial courts Appellate courts State highest courts
16Limited Jurisdiction Courts Magistrate CourtsProvide law enforcement with search and seizure warrantsProbable case hearingsArrest warrantsMarriage
17General Jurisdiction Courts Have the authority to hear and decide cases of many types of subject matterCriminal trialsExamples—Cobb County Court System
18State Court of AppealsThe decisions of each state’s highest courts on all questions of state law are finalOnly issues of federal law or constitutional procedures go to the US Supreme Court
19Federal Court System Three tiered model that includes: U.S. District CourtsU.S. Court of AppealsU.S. Supreme Court
20U.S. District Court Cases involving federal law Each state has one District CourtFederal system also has limited-jurisdiction courts such as: tax courts and courts of international trade.
21U.S. Court of Appeals Thirteen U.S. courts of appeal. The Thirteenth Circuit is also called the Federal Circuit and has national jurisdiction over patent law and cases in which the United States is a defendant.
22U.S. Supreme CourtHears half of one percent of all court cases in the United State per yearCourt issues a writ of certiorari ordering the record from the lower court.The Court will not issue a writ of certiorari unless at least four justices approve it.
23Supreme Court Decisions Justices review:Written record of case.Attorneys’ written arguments.Oral arguments of the attorneys.
24Supreme Court The senior justice voting with the majority assigns the writing of the opinion.1. Concurring opinions agree with the majority decision, but for different legal reasons.2. Dissenting opinions outline reasons the writer disagrees with the majority.
25Judges in Court System Trial Judges Pretrial the judge takes on the role of negotiator.1. During the TrialActs as referee between participants.Acts as teacher to the jury.2. Administrative RoleMaintains court calendar, or docket by scheduling hearings, and trials.
26Judge SelectionAll federal judges are appointed by the president and confirmed by the Senate.In some states (such as Delaware) judges are appointed by the governor and confirmed by the upper chamber of the legislature.Some states (such as Arkansas) judges are elected by partisan elections.Some states have nonpartisan elections for the selection of judges.
27Judicial EthicsIn the 1920s the American Bar Association the first code of judicial ethics.Used as a model for 47 states and theDistrict of Columbia.Prevents unethical conduct such as bribery, impropriety, and illegal acts
28Courtroom Work Group Functions as a cooperative unit Bailiff Court ReporterClerk of the CourtJudge
29Less Prominent Members The bailiff who is responsible for maintaining security and order.The clerk of the court maintains paperwork and evidence as well as playing a key role in jury selection.The court reporter’s is to record every word said during proceedings.
30Judge Has the most influence over the workgroup. Judge’s personal value (i.e. tough on crime) will have a great impact on the outcome.
31The Prosecution U.S. Attorney on the federal level. On state or local level the prosecutor may be called: state prosecutor, district attorney, county attorney, or city attorney.
32The Office of the Prosecutor Decides whether person will be chargedwith a crime.The level of charges.If and when to stop the prosecution.State Attorney General is usually the top law enforcement officer of the state.Some prosecutors are appointed, most are elected.
33The Defense Attorney Responsibilities Represent the defendant at various stages of the trial process.Investigate the incident.Communicating with the prosecutor.Preparing for trial.
34Continued Submitting defense motions. Representing defendant at the trial.Negotiating a sentence.Deciding whether to appeal.
35The Public DefenderAppointing defense counsel for those who cannot afford their own attorneys.Three out of four inmates in state prisons and jails had publicly paid counsel.
36The Attorney-Client Relationship Communication between attorney and client is considered privileged, and is not subject to disclosure unless the client consents.An exception to attorney-client privilege includes the client telling the attorney of a crime that has not yet been committed.