Determines whether a person accused of breaking the law is guilty or not guilty? Determines whether a person accused of breaking the law is guilty or not guilty? Question:was a law broken? Question: was a law broken?
Criminal Court Burden of Proof: (High) "Without a Reasonable Doubt" Burden of Proof: (High) "Without a Reasonable Doubt" The Prosecution must prove the Accused broke the law The Defense has to make sure the Prosecution gives his/her client a fair trial. Decided by a Jury and “checked” by the Judge
Criminal Court Penalty for breaking the Law Misdemeanor: Misdemeanor: generally a crime punishable with incarceration for one year or less to be a misdemeanor. – Fines – Community Service – Imprisonment Felony: Felony: a felony as a crime punishable by death or imprisonment in excess of one year. – Fines – Imprisonment – Death Penalty
Criminal Court A Criminal Court, typically run at the State and Federal levels, has the following participants: – A Judge – A Prosecuting Attorney/Plaintiff – A Defense Attorney/Defense – An Accused Person(s)/Defendant(s) – A Jury of 12 citizens and 3-5 alternate jurors
The Judge master of the legal arena The master of the legal arena where lawyers for opposing sides try to present the strongest cases. has the role of an impartial referee that has to be fair to both sides managing the court room within the law The Judge has the role of an impartial referee that has to be fair to both sides while managing the court room within the law governing criminal trials.
The Prosecution/Prosecuting Attorney Known as “the People” Prosecuting Attorney(s) are the “People’s Representative” in legal matters. The government, which is “the People”, brings charges against a person who is accused of breaking the law For example: Prosecuting Attorney is called the DA = District Attorney
Accused Person(s)/Defendant The person accused of “breaking the law”. The person is “innocent until proven guilty”. Guaranteed a fair trial by a jury of his peers. Guaranteed legal representation if he/she could not afford representation.
Settles disagreements between people or organizations, sometimes called a “Lawsuit” or commonly “Suing” Question: How can we resolve this conflict or disagreement?
Civil Court Burden of Proof: (51%) "The Preponderance (Majority) of the Evidence shows wrong doing or responsibility/liability“ – also known as balance of probabilities is the standard required in most civil cases Decided by a Judge or Jury (a Jury is usually present for Class Action Lawsuits)
Civil Court Penalty or Resolution of Disagreement Those found in wrong doing or those found responsible (liable) – Cash Settlement (damages) – Court Ordered Settlement (for example: changes in the business practices of the defendant). – Legal Costs
Civil Court Complaint A legal document that provides details of the disagreement or conflict between the two or more parties. Liable found responsible or liable for their actions (or inaction) or the businesses actions. Counter Complaint Sometime the defendant will file a counter law suit against the Complainant. That Lawsuit will be addressed AFTER the first lawsuit has been heard.
Civil Court A Civil Court, typically run at the Local, State and Federal levels, has the following participants: – A Judge – A Prosecuting Attorney/Plaintiff – A Defense Attorney/Defense – An Accused Person(s)/Defendant(s) – A Jury of 12 citizens and 3-5 alternate jurors when the case is a Class Action Lawsuit.
The Judge The master of the legal arena where lawyers for opposing sides try to present the strongest cases. The Judge has the role of an impartial referee that has to be fair to both sides while managing the court room within the law governing civil lawsuits. In cases without a Jury, the Judge decides the outcome based in the evidence at hand.
Plaintiff(s) and Defendant(s) Plaintiff(s) – The person(s) that bring a complaint (lawsuit) against other person(s) and/or businesses. Defendant(s) – The person(s) and/or businesses that must answer a complaint (lawsuit).
Plaintiff Lawyer Private Lawyer or Law firm in Private Lawsuits. In Class Action Lawsuits involving Federal or State regulations the Lawyer usually is a Federal or State Attorney. Hired by the Plaintiff to pursue the complaint in court Usually paid from the settlement (money awarded by damages)
Defendant Lawyer – Private Lawyer or Law Firm – Hired by the Defendant to defend against the complaint in court – Usually paid by the Defendant (unless a counter suit is filed)
The Jury Used only in major Civil Action Cases involving person(s) bringing complaints against other person(s), businesses or government institutions. In civil cases, a petit jury determines liability and damages based upon jury instructions provided by the judge.
Civil Court – Class Action Civil Court: Class Action – When a group of people file a lawsuit against another group or people or business(s) with the potential damages exceed $5,000,000.00! – The Class Action Civil Case has a Judge, Jury, Plaintiff Attorney and Defendant Attorney. – In Cases involving Federal Regulations (Drinking Water, Environment, Pollution, etc..) a Prosecuting Attorney would represent the government against the party(s) the complaint was filed against.
Civil Court – Small Claims Court Civil Court: Small Claims Court – People's Court, Judge Judy, Judge Brown, Judge Dredd, Jud Nelson, etc.. – Small private disputes in which large amounts of money are not at stake, usually a maximum of $15,000. – Small Claims court allows people to represent themselves without legal counsel. – By suing in a small-claims court, the plaintiff typically waives any right to claim more than the court can award. – The Judge makes the final ruling based on the Preponderance of the Evidence.