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Copyright © 2008 by West Legal Studies in Business A Division of Thomson Learning Chapter 2 The Court System and Dispute Resolution Twomey Jennings Anderson’s Business Law and the Legal Environment, Comprehensive 20e Anderson’s Business Law and the Legal Environment, Standard 20e Business Law: Principles for Today’s Commercial Environment 2e
Copyright © 2008 by West Legal Studies in Business A Division of Thomson Learning 2 The Court System Courts hear disputes according to their jurisdiction. –Subject matter jurisdiction covers types of proceedings a court may hear. –Limited (special) jurisdiction courts deal with cases restricted to certain subject matter. –Appellate jurisdiction reviews the work of a lower court. Either affirm or reverse.
Copyright © 2008 by West Legal Studies in Business A Division of Thomson Learning 3 Court Systems The courts in the United States are organized into the state and federal court systems, each (generally) with three levels: –trial courts. –appellate courts. –a supreme court. Supreme and appellate courts review the decisions of trial courts and either affirm, reverse or remand the lower court’s decision.
Copyright © 2008 by West Legal Studies in Business A Division of Thomson Learning 4 The Federal Court System Review Supreme Court of the United States ( Highest appeals court; review from lower appeals courts is usually at the discretion of the Supreme Court) Federal District Courts Bankruptcy Court Tax Court Indian Tribal Court U.S. Courts of Appeals Circuit Courts – Jurisdiction by geographic area. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit – Nationwide jurisdiction by subject matter Specialty Courts
Copyright © 2008 by West Legal Studies in Business A Division of Thomson Learning 5 The State Court System State Supreme Court Possible Appeal to the United States Supreme Court State Court of Appeals General Trial Court (County, Circuit & Superior Court) Specialty Courts JuvenileProbateDomestic Relations City or Municipal (Traffic) Small Claims
Copyright © 2008 by West Legal Studies in Business A Division of Thomson Learning 6 Court Procedure Within the courts of original jurisdiction, there are rules for procedures in all matters. A civil case begins with the filing of a complaint by a plaintiff, which is served upon the defendant and then answered. Discovery is the pretrial process used by the parties to find out the evidence in the case (depositions, interrogatories, and document requests).
Copyright © 2008 by West Legal Studies in Business A Division of Thomson Learning 7 Court Procedure The case is managed by a judge and may be heard by a jury. –Through the process of voir dire, the parties may challenge the selection of certain potential jurors. The trial involves opening statements, the presentation of evidence, and the direct and cross-examination of witnesses.
Copyright © 2008 by West Legal Studies in Business A Division of Thomson Learning 8 Court Procedure Once a judgment is entered, the party who has won can collect the judgment through garnishment and a writ of execution.
Copyright © 2008 by West Legal Studies in Business A Division of Thomson Learning 9 Conflicts of Law Conflict of laws: –Law of state where complaint is filed governs procedural issues and rules of evidence. –For contract formation, courts apply law of state in which contract was formed. –For contract performance, courts apply law of state in which contract is to be performed. –International: most significant contacts with transaction.
Copyright © 2008 by West Legal Studies in Business A Division of Thomson Learning 10 1.Complaint by plaintiff 2.Service of process on defendant 3.Defendant’s answer 4.Discovery 5.Motion for Summary Judgment (if no factual issues) Deny Counterclaim Admit Depositions Interrogatories Request for Production Initial Steps in a Lawsuit
Copyright © 2008 by West Legal Studies in Business A Division of Thomson Learning 11 Trial a. Jury selection b. Opening statements. c. Plaintiff’s case. d. Motion for directed verdict. e. Defendant’s case. f. Summation. g. Jury instructions. h. Jury verdict or mistrial (deadlocked). i. Motion for new trial or judgment. j. Recovery - fees, execution, garnishment. voir dire. challenge for cause. peremptory challenge. Direct.Cross.Redirect.Recross. The Trial
Copyright © 2008 by West Legal Studies in Business A Division of Thomson Learning 12 Alternative Dispute Resolution Arbitration Reference to Referee Association Tribunal Summary Jury Trial Rent-a- Judge ADR Mediation Minitrial Use of Ombudsman
Copyright © 2008 by West Legal Studies in Business A Division of Thomson Learning 13 Alternative Dispute Resolution Arbitration – disputes are settled by arbitrators who take evidence and make a binding or non-binding decision. –Uniform Arbitration Act. –Federal Arbitration Act.
Copyright © 2008 by West Legal Studies in Business A Division of Thomson Learning 14 Alternative Dispute Resolution Mediation – disputes are settled by the parties who use a third person to facilitate their settlement. Summary Jury Trial. Mini-trial. Ombudsman.
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