2 JurisdictionTypes of Jurisdiction 1. Original – Right to hear a case for the first time. a. Federal b. State c. Local 2. Appellate – right to hear a case on appeal; law has been applied unfairly or incorrectly. 3. Exclusive – assigned by the Constitution; only federal courts can hear; includes cases involving national laws, the federal government or other governments (State or foreign) 4. Concurrent – cases that can be decided in state or federal courts
3 The American Legal System Sources of Law 1. Constitution of the United States 2. Statutuory laws – (statutes) law that are written by state legislatures and other lawmaking bodies 3. Common Law – origin of stare decisis; past ruling that are used to make decisions
4 Branches of Law (Ciminal and Civil) 1 Branches of Law (Ciminal and Civil) 1. Public Law – concerns the relationship between the government and citizens a. Criminal Law b. Constitutional Law c. Administrative Law – rules and regs of government agencies d. International Law – rules that guide relations with other countries
5 2. Private law – deals with disputes between individuals, businesses or other organizations a. Contracts b. Property c. Torts (wrongful act that injures a person or someone’s property) d. Domestic Relations
6 3. Federal District Courts a 3. Federal District Courts a. federal trial courts; currently 94 courts b. at least one per state plus D.C. and Puerto Rico c. 2 judges per court d. have original jurisdiction e. hear 80% of federal cases a year (about 300,000)
7 4. Court of Appeals a. set in 12 districts or circuits; usually 3 judge panels b. hear appeals from district courts c. set up to lessen work load of Supreme Court d. have appellate jurisdiction e. does not always mean a trial f. about 400,000 cases per year
8 5. Supreme Court a. court of last resort, most appeals come from the court of Appeals b. currently 8 associate justices and one chief justice c. judicial review – declare act unconstitutional d. about 6,000 cases apply each year, only about 100 get full decision
9 6. Other federal courts Territorial Courts set up like a federal district court in U.S. Territory D.C. Court handles all cases for the nation’s capital Court of International Trade civil cases (involve money or property) foreign business dealing covered here U.S. Claims Court public officials can be sued here Government can be sued in some cases approved by Congress
10 U.S. Tax Court disputes between taxpayers and the IRS Court of Military Appeals trials of service persons Court of Appeals for Federal Circuit Nationwide jurisdiction civil cases mostly patents, trademarks, copyrights
11 Process to the Supreme Court 1. Federal Indictment 2 Process to the Supreme Court 1. Federal Indictment 2. Federal Grand Jury Hearing 3. True bill of Indictment 4. Trial in Federal District Court 5. Verdict by Trial (Petit) Jury 6. Appeal to Courts of Appeals (Circuit Courts) 7. 3 Panel Court decides to uphold or overturn the verdict 8. Appeal to United States Supreme Court
12 To hear a case before Supreme Court 1. Submit Appeal – In most cases lawyers write an appeal for the court to issues a writ of certiorari. (Forces lower courts to send document from the case to be reviewed)2. Appeal Granted – (Rule of Four) 4 of 9 justices agree to put case on the docket (schedule)3. Submit Brief – merit Briefs are written legal arguments by lawyers to support one side of a case. *Amicus Curaie Briefs – friend of the court (interest groups file)4. Oral Arguments – the lawyers have the opportunity to give their arguments and ask questions about the case. It is almost always limed to 7 sitting at 30 minutes for each side. (Two weeks long)5. Conference – Justices discuss and vote on cases. (Wednesday mornings and Friday)6. Write opinions – after voting on the case, each just may write their opinions.7. The Decision is Final
13 Making Decisions Judicial Restraint – the Court limits itself to matter of law and justice as they are brought before them. Judicial activism – the Court does not refrain from making policy with its decisions Write opinions - majority – decision of the court concurring – agrees with the decision but wants to explain why dissenting – disagrees and wants to explain why Precedents – decisions of the Court become the standard or rule for future cases
14 Supreme Court Justices President appoints; Senate approves Their term is for Life Impeached like any other office Currently they make around $192,600 Pay cannot be lessened during their term If retire after 65 and have served 15 years, they get full pay for life.
15 Selection Process President consults advisors; Attorney General presents list of candidates FBI does background check; ABA ranks candidates Interest groups try to influence Senate vote Senate Judiciary Committee rejects or confirms
16 QuestionsTake out a sticky note please. 1. What officials represent the federal government in Supreme Court Cases? District Court? 2. A jury that cannot agree on a verdict is called a _____________. 3. What is plea bargaining? 4. What does a public defender do? 5. What is the difference between a felony and a misdemeanor?