3-3 Learning Objectives Explain the constitutional basis of the U.S. court systems Discuss how the courts are organized Describe the role of the federal courts Explain the process of selecting federal judges Describe the process by which a court gains jurisdiction over people and matters Discuss the use of precedence by courts Discuss the process for bringing a civil case through the court system Discuss the remedies available to grant relief to aggrieved parties
3-4 Constitutional Basis for the Court System U.S. Supreme Court The Supreme Court was created by Article III of the U.S. Constitution The Supreme Court is the highest court of the land and is located in Washington, D.C
3-5 Court Systems There are two major court systems in the U.S.: 1. The Federal court system 2. The court systems of the 50 States and the District of Columbia Each system has jurisdiction to hear different types of lawsuits.
3-6 Hierarchy Order –Both Federal and State How Courts Are Organized Trial Courts Original Jurisdiction Hear cases for the first time Legal briefs Oral Arguments Witnesses Impanel juries Courts of Appeals Appellate Jurisdiction Review Trial Courts’ decisions Was correct law applied? Does evidence support the verdict reached? No new evidence No Witnesses - State Supreme Courts - US Supreme Court Final interpretations of Law Public importance cases Conflicting laws applied by lower courts
3-7 The Federal Court System U.S. Supreme Court Circuit Courts of Appeals U.S. District Courts Federal Courts Equivalent to State Trial Courts 12 U.S. Courts of Appeal Petition for Certiorari Writ of Certiorari
3-8 The power of a court to hear a case and render a legally binding decision on the parties. – Exclusive Federal Jurisdiction – Concurrent Jurisdiction – Exclusive State Jurisdiction Jurisdiction
3-9 PERSONAL JURSDICTION What happens if a lawsuit is filed against someone who does not live in the state or within the jurisdiction of the court? The court lacks jurisdiction over nonresidents unless the nonresident is subject to a long-arm statute In-Personam Jurisdiction Long-Arm Statute
3-10 Limitations of Federal Courts I.Case or controversy II.The case must be ripe for decision III.Plaintiff must have standing to sue
3-11 The Civil Court System Federal Rules of Civil Procedure State’s Rules of Civil Procedure Every State has corresponding rules Provide all the relevant participants in the suit information such as: Where to file the case Who to give notice of the suit How the pleadings must look Who receives the pleadings How many copies of each pleading each party gets Deadlines for filing court documents
3-12 The Pleadings Complaint and Summons Answer Defendant may assert affirmative defenses Counterclaim Cross-Claim
3-13 Statute of Limitations A statute that establishes the period during which a plaintiff must bring a lawsuit against a defendant. If a lawsuit is not filed within this time period, the plaintiff loses his or her right to sue. Federal and state governments have established statutes of limitations for each type of lawsuit.
3-14 Jury and Non-Jury Trial Jury Selection Process: Voir Dire For cause A juror cannot sit on the jury because that juror cannot be impartial. Peremptory strikes Generally used when the potential juror does not fit the profile of jurors who the attorney feels would most benefit the client.
3-15 Discovery The major forms of discovery are: Depositions Interrogatories Production of documents Physical and mental examination
3-16 The Criminal Trial Process similar to civil Guilty or Not-Guilty Verdict Burden of Proof: Beyond Reasonable Doubt Double Jeopardy Other constitutional protections –Right to speedy trial –Right to confront witnesses –Exculpatory Evidence