Trial Courts : listen to testimony, consider evidence, and decide the facts in disputed situations
Adversarial System : allows opposing parties to present their legal conflicts before an impartial judge or jury Inquisitional System : a method for handling disputes in which the judge is active in questioning witnesses and controlling court processes
Judges - preside over the trial - make sure the attorneys follow the rules - instructs the jury on the law - can sentence individuals
Remember the 6 th and 7 th amendments? To serve on jury you must…. Be a US citizen At least 18 years old Be a resident of the state Be able to speak and understand English
It is our DUTY to complete jury service. Jury lists are complied from lists of registered voters and licensed drivers Convicted felons are ineligible for jury service unless their rights have been restored.
Employers are required to give employees time off for jury service Courts pay jurors a small stipend One-day or One-trial Plan : Jurors must show up on the day they are called. If they are selected they must serve the duration of the trial
Voir Dire : the screening process in which opposing lawyers question perspective jurors to ensure as favorable or as fair a jury as possible Removal for Cause : opposing attorneys may request the removal of any juror who appears incapable of delivering a fair, impartial verdict Peremptory Challenges : attorneys on opposing sides may dismiss certain jurors without a reason. (cannot be used to discriminate based on race)
In an appeals court, one party presents arguments asking the court to review the decision of the trial court. No juries, no witnesses, no new evidence An appeal is only possible when there is a claim that the trial court committed an error in law : occurs when the judge makes a mistake as to the law in the case (ex: p.52)
Precedent : court decision that guides future cases with similar questions Majority Opinion : states the decision of the court Dissenting Opinion : written by judges who disagree with the majority opinion Concurring Opinion : written by judges who agree with the majority opinion but for different reasons
US Supreme Court US Court of Appeals US District Court (trial courts)
OH Supreme Court OH Court of Appeals Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas(felonies) Municipal Courts (misdemeanors) Example: Berea City Court
Congress has the power to create lower courts 70% of the cases filed in federal court each year are bankruptcy cases Federal courts hear about 1 million cases each year
Indians still maintain some authority over their reservations. Family relationships Tribal membership Law and order on the reservation The federal court has the authority to hear felony cases committed on Indian reservations
International Court of Justice : set up by the UN, settles disputes based on international law International Criminal Court : tries individuals for crimes against humanity, war crimes, genocide
Lawyers = attorney Trial Lawyers are called litigators
Seeing a lawyer does not mean you are in trouble…sometimes you can consult a lawyer before trouble arises… Real estate Divorce, adoption Contracts accidents
Ask for a recommendation In 1977 the Supreme Court ruled lawyers could advertise If you cannot afford a lawyer you may be eligible for free legal assistance (public defender)
How much does the lawyer charge per hour? How often will you be billed? Retainer : a down payment on the total fee Contingency fee : not per hour or lump sum; a percentage of whatever amount the client wins or settles for in the case (usually 1/3)
You must be able to TRUST your attorney Attorney-Client Privilege : whatever you tell your attorney about your case is private and confidential Attorneys will give you advice, but YOU must make the final decisions. Legal Malpractice : the type of lawsuit brought against a lawyer for loss or injury to the client caused by the lawyer’s error or failure to meet acceptable standards of practice for the legal profession
Canon 1: A lawyer should assist in maintaining the integrity and competence of the legal profession Canon 2: A lawyer should assist the legal profession in fulfilling its duty to make legal counsel available Canon 3: A lawyer should assist in preventing the unauthorized practice of law Canon 4: A lawyer should preserve the confidences and secrets of a client Canon 5: A lawyer should exercise independent professional judgment on behalf of a client.
Canon 6: A lawyer should represent a client completely. Canon 7: A lawyer should represent a client zealously within the bounds of the law Canon 8: A lawyer should assist in improving the legal system Canon 9: A lawyer should avoid the appearance of professional impropriety.
A lawyer must pass an examination to become a member of a state bar Lawyers can be disbarred (no longer has a license to practice law) who violate the standards of conduct If you have issues with your lawyer, you can report the problem to your local or state bar association You can sue your lawyer for legal malpractice for serious errors that result in injury or loss.