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40 Cards in this Set

  • Front
  • Back
Define jurisdiction
the power and authority given to a court ot hear a case and make a judgement
Define diversity of citizenship
when the US district court has jurisdiction to hear a civil case because the parties come from different states
Define original jurisdiction
district courts have authority to try a case the first time it is heard, most federal cases bein one of the US district courts
Define intermediate courts
court between the lower court and the highest court - also called the appellate court
Define appellate jurisdiction
authority of a court to review and/or modify a decision of a lower courts
Define special federal courts
only have jurisdiction for certain cases
Define Supreme Court
highest court in the land
Define local trial courts
courts of limited jurisdiction
Define limited jurisdiction
authority of a court to hear only one particular type of case
Define general jurisdiction
courts for states major civil and criminal cases, aka circuit court, court of common pleas
Define PA Court of Common Pleas
court of general criminal and civil jurisdiction
Define special state courts
jurisdiction limited to particular subject matter
Define docket
a list or schedule of cases
How many justices sit on the US Supreme Court?
Nine
What is a complaint?
the legal paper that the plaintiffs lawyer writes
What is the answer?
the legal paper that the defendants lawyer writes
Do most cases go to trial?
No
What happens to cases that don't go to trial?
the two parties settle
What is the discovery phase of a trial?
finding faults and evidence
How are appeals court proceedings different from trial court proceedings?
No jury, questions whether the law was followed in a case. If there is no mistake in following the law then there is no appeal
What is a grand jury?
23 people jury
What is an indictment?
The jury votes the most probable outcome before the defendant makes a plea
What happens to the vast majority of criminal cases?
Charges dropped due to insufficient evidence
The Supreme Court is the only court created in the...
constitution
It is the court of...
last resort
It is the .... of the government
watchdog
It has.... in some cases (ambassadors)
original jurisdiction
...judges appointed for life one of which is the Chief Justice
Nine
What is the rule of four?
Four of the nine judges must agree to hear a case
Courts hear but a .... of the cases submitted (100/5-6,000)
fraction
What are oral arguments?
each side (attorneys) have 30 minutes to present their case
What are briefs?
written documents that each side submits to the court prior to oral arguments
What is the conference?
secret meeting and no transcripts are made
What is the opinion of the court?
decision of the court
What is a concurring opinion?
a different spin on the majority opinion
What is the dissenting opinion?
written by judges who voted against the majority opinion
Lower courts findings may be .... or ....
affirmed or reversed
What are the three possible decisions by appellate judges?
1. Let the original verdict stand
2. Overturn the original decision
3. Send the case back to the lower court for a new trial
What are the three basic views as to how the court should make it's decisions?
1. Justices should use the literal meaning of the Constitution
2. The justices should follow the intent of the framers of the Constitution
3. The justices should use perspective.
How are most decisions made?
Justice try to use the three methods but also review precedents (decisions made in previous Supreme Court decisions).