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The Courts and What They Do

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Presentation on theme: "The Courts and What They Do"— Presentation transcript:

1 The Courts and What They Do

2 Structure of U.S. Court System
U.S. Supreme Court Original jurisdiction State Supreme Courts U.S. Circuit Cts State Cts of Appeals Federal Trial Cts State Trial Cts

3 What Courts Do Resolve Disputes Interpret Law Civil Cases
Criminal Cases Interpret Law Regulations (from bureaucracy) Statutes Constitution Judicial Review

4 Civil Law Plaintiff v. Defendant Types of Civil Law
Contracts Torts Sources of Civil Law Statutes Common Law

5 Criminal Law State v. Individual (or Corporation) Statutory

6 Interpreting Law and Judicial Review
Do bureaucratic regulations square with legislation? Does legislation square with the constitution?

7 Trial Courts Find facts Apply law to facts May use juries

8 Appellate Courts Was the law correctly interpreted and applied?
Don’t mess with facts! No juries, no witnesses Briefs Oral argument “the record”

9 State Courts 97% of cases filed in state court
Most states elect judges

10 Federal Courts Judges appointed Life tenure Salary secure
Senatorial courtesy Life tenure Salary secure



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