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Courts and the Quest for Justice Mr. Whitaker. Vocabulary Appellate Courts—courts that review decisions made by lower courts, such as trial courts. Also.

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Presentation on theme: "Courts and the Quest for Justice Mr. Whitaker. Vocabulary Appellate Courts—courts that review decisions made by lower courts, such as trial courts. Also."— Presentation transcript:

1 Courts and the Quest for Justice Mr. Whitaker

2 Vocabulary Appellate Courts—courts that review decisions made by lower courts, such as trial courts. Also known as courts of appeals. Appellate 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 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. 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.

3 Vocabulary Courtroom Work Group—the social organization consisting of the judge, prosecutor, defense attorney, and other court workers. Courtroom Work Group—the social organization consisting of the judge, prosecutor, defense attorney, and other court workers. Defense Attorney—the lawyer representing the defendant. 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. Docket—the list of cases entered on a court’s calendar and thus scheduled to be heard by the court.

4 Vocabulary Dual 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. Dual 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. 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. 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. 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.

5 Vocabulary Nonpartisan Elections—elections in which candidates are presented on the ballot without any party affiliation. Nonpartisan 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. 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. 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. 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. Public Defender—court-appointed attorneys who are paid by the state to represent defendants who are unable to hire private counsel.

6 Vocabulary Public Prosecutors Individuals, acting as trial lawyers, who initiate and conduct cases in the government’s name and on behalf of the people. Public 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. 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. Trial Courts—courts in which most cases usually begin and in which questions of fact are examined.

7 Functions of the Courts Place where arguments are settled The arguments are settled through application of the law Courts have extensive powers—property, freedom, restrict liberties, etc

8 Courts Based on legitimacy of the courts: Impartiality—equal treatment Independence—no outside influences

9 The American Judicial System Complex system that includes 52 different systems Each system has its own set of rules

10 Jurisdiction Power to speak the law Power to speak the law Geographically jurisdiction Geographically jurisdiction Domestic jurisdiction Domestic jurisdiction International jurisdiction International jurisdiction

11 Subject Matter Jurisdiction Civil matters Civil matters Misdemeanors Misdemeanors Felonies Felonies Drug Courts Drug Courts Family Courts Family Courts Domestic Violence Courts Domestic Violence Courts

12 Trial Courts Original jurisdiction is the trial courts Trial courts are concern with questions of facts Deals it the incident occurred Deals with guilt or innocence

13 Appellate Courts Reviewing courts Reviewing courts Handles appeals of trial courts Handles appeals of trial courts Prosecutors who lose in trial courts cannot appeal Prosecutors who lose in trial courts cannot appeal Appellate courts have judges who makes the decision Appellate courts have judges who makes the decision Produced “opinions of the court” Produced “opinions of the court”

14 Appellate Courts Appellate courts do not determine guilt or innocence Appellate courts do not determine guilt or innocence Only make judgments on questions of procedures Only make judgments on questions of procedures

15 State Court Systems Lower courts Trial courts Appellate courts State highest courts

16 Limited Jurisdiction Courts Magistrate Courts Magistrate Courts Provide law enforcement with search and seizure warrants Provide law enforcement with search and seizure warrants Probable case hearings Probable case hearings Arrest warrants Arrest warrants Marriage Marriage

17 General Jurisdiction Courts Have the authority to hear and decide cases of many types of subject matter Criminal trials Examples—Cobb County Court System

18 State Court of Appeals The decisions of each state’s highest courts on all questions of state law are final The decisions of each state’s highest courts on all questions of state law are final Only issues of federal law or constitutional procedures go to the US Supreme Court Only issues of federal law or constitutional procedures go to the US Supreme Court

19 Federal Court System Three tiered model that includes: Three tiered model that includes: 1. U.S. District Courts 2. U.S. Court of Appeals 3. U.S. Supreme Court

20 U.S. District Court Cases involving federal law Cases involving federal law Each state has one District Court Each state has one District Court Federal system also has limited- jurisdiction courts such as: tax courts and courts of international trade. Federal system also has limited- jurisdiction courts such as: tax courts and courts of international trade.

21 U.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.

22 U.S. Supreme Court Hears half of one percent of all court cases in the United State per year Hears half of one percent of all court cases in the United State per year Court issues a writ of certiorari ordering the record from the lower court. Court 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. The Court will not issue a writ of certiorari unless at least four justices approve it.

23 Supreme Court Decisions Justices review: Justices review: 1. Written record of case. 2. Attorneys’ written arguments. 3. Oral arguments of the attorneys.

24 Supreme 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.

25 Judges in Court System Trial Judges Trial Judges Pretrial the judge takes on the role of negotiator. 1.During the Trial Acts as referee between participants. Acts as referee between participants. Acts as teacher to the jury. Acts as teacher to the jury. 2.Administrative Role Maintains court calendar, or docket by scheduling hearings, and trials. Maintains court calendar, or docket by scheduling hearings, and trials.

26 Judge Selection All federal judges are appointed by the president and confirmed by the Senate. All 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. 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 (such as Arkansas) judges are elected by partisan elections. Some states have nonpartisan elections for the selection of judges. Some states have nonpartisan elections for the selection of judges.

27 Judicial Ethics In the 1920s the American Bar Association the first code of judicial ethics. In the 1920s the American Bar Association the first code of judicial ethics. Used as a model for 47 states and the Used as a model for 47 states and the District of Columbia. Prevents unethical conduct such as bribery, impropriety, and illegal acts Prevents unethical conduct such as bribery, impropriety, and illegal acts

28 Courtroom Work Group Functions as a cooperative unit Bailiff Court Reporter Clerk of the Court Judge

29 Less Prominent Members The bailiff who is responsible for maintaining security and order. 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 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. The court reporter’s is to record every word said during proceedings.

30 Judge Has the most influence over the workgroup. Has the most influence over the workgroup. Judge’s personal value (i.e. tough on crime) will have a great impact on the outcome. Judge’s personal value (i.e. tough on crime) will have a great impact on the outcome.

31 The Prosecution U.S. Attorney on the federal level. 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. On state or local level the prosecutor may be called: state prosecutor, district attorney, county attorney, or city attorney.

32 The Office of the Prosecutor Decides whether person will be charged Decides whether person will be charged with a crime. The level of charges. The level of charges. If and when to stop the prosecution. If and when to stop the prosecution. State Attorney General is usually the top law enforcement officer of the state. State Attorney General is usually the top law enforcement officer of the state. Some prosecutors are appointed, most are elected. Some prosecutors are appointed, most are elected.

33 The Defense Attorney Responsibilities Represent the defendant at various stages of the trial process. Represent the defendant at various stages of the trial process. Investigate the incident. Investigate the incident. Communicating with the prosecutor. Communicating with the prosecutor. Preparing for trial. Preparing for trial.

34 Continued Submitting defense motions. Representing defendant at the trial. Negotiating a sentence. Deciding whether to appeal.

35 The Public Defender Appointing defense counsel for those who cannot afford their own attorneys. Appointing defense counsel for those who cannot afford their own attorneys. Three out of four inmates in state prisons and jails had publicly paid counsel. Three out of four inmates in state prisons and jails had publicly paid counsel.

36 The Attorney-Client Relationship Communication between attorney and client is considered privileged, and is not subject to disclosure unless the client consents. 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. An exception to attorney-client privilege includes the client telling the attorney of a crime that has not yet been committed.


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