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Chapter 3. Purpose: Solving legal disputes and upholding legal rights.

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Presentation on theme: "Chapter 3. Purpose: Solving legal disputes and upholding legal rights."— Presentation transcript:

1 Chapter 3

2 Purpose: Solving legal disputes and upholding legal rights

3 Goal To provide reasonable consistency and neutrality to eliminate bias Court place where facts are determined and rules applied Litigation Actual lawsuits; take dispute to court and going through the legal procedures. Some cases do get settled out of court

4 Jurisdiction: authority to decide certain types of cases original: hears cases for the first time general: hears all types of cases limited (exclusive): one particular type of case (divorce, juvenile, traffic) appellate: cases on appeal Always limited by geographic location (if you get a ticket in Wisconsin, your court date will be in Wisconsin) Venue – the proper place to bring a lawsuit – venue has been changed in cases due to bias - JOHN WAYNE GACY

5 Trial Courts- determine facts of disputes hear evidence for the first time. Hears witnesses testify & reviews other evidence to determine facts of the case Original Jurisdiction, entry level court Can have general or limited subject matter jurisdiction Judges, lawyers, clerks, bailiffs (keep peace & summon witnesses) Marshals do the same in federal courts

6 Appellate Courts – review decisions of lower courts; review transcripts transcripts are verbatim records of what went on in the trial – ct. reporter do not hear new evidence or make new determination of facts was the law correctly applied in the lower courts? Prepare Appellate Briefs – written arguments on the issues of law

7 State Supreme Court – determines the outcome of any issue disputed within the state’s border No appeal from here unless: Matter of national interest Constitutional issue Tinker vs. Des Moines Supreme Court Trial Court FamilyJuvenileProbateMunicipalCriminal Appeals Court

8 US District Court US Court of Appeals US Supreme Court Supreme Court Justice are appointed by the President and have no term limit i.e., Justice Sonia Sotomayor was appointed by President Obama this summer and confirmed by the Senate

9 U.S. Supreme Court 13 U.S. Courts of Appeals State Supreme Courts U.S. District Courts Specialized Federal Courts Many Federal Agencies

10 Original jurisdiction Geographic jurisdiction

11 decision is usually final appeal is usually from the US District Courts

12 Usually only hears Constitutional issues “significantly important”; Has appellate jurisdiction Ability to review and change outcomes of lower courts “write of certiorari” orders the state ct. to overturn the record of the case to the SC for review

13 Jury selection (voir dire) - questioning of prospective jurors to expose possible bias People involved in the process include a judge, defense's attorneys, plaintiff's/prosecuting attorneys Reason for jury selection is to determine if a potential juror's experience makes him or her unable to be fair during a trial

14 Challenges for Cause - no limit for excusing juror FOR CAUSE Preemptory Challenge - excuse potential juror for no reason. There is a limit on this: 6 in Civil cases 8 in Criminal cases To be exempt from jury duty: non-citizen, minor, convicted criminal, lived in state less than 1 year, or cannot read/write English can be temporarily excused Judge determines questions of law Jury determines questions of fact

15 The Pleadings (beginning process before a trial date is set) Complaint - file a complaint with the proper court. States the charges being made and outlines the facts supporting the lawsuit. Summons - defendant is served. Defendant is notified of lawsuit and this notice is delivered directly to the defendant by a process server. Answer - defendant must file a written answer. Defendant may not admit/deny plaintiff's charges. This leaves the "burden of proof" with the plaintiff. Reply - plaintiff must submit a reply. This is also called the "pre-trial hearing" or "discover"

16 Purpose of The Pleadings: inform the parties of claims against them narrows down the points of dispute (issues) of the parties

17 Judgment by default - when the plaintiff does not show up to court Out of Court Settlement (usually at Discovery) - saves time and expense of a trial mediator - a third party brought in to find a fair solution, finds voluntarily agreement on both sides arbitrator - same function as a mediator BUT both sides MUST agree, decision can be legally forced Subpoena - must appear in court to testify

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