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22 Cards in this Set

  • Front
  • Back
Personnel in the Court System
Judges & Justices
-Trail court-initial court, hear facts involved in the dispute.
-"Justice" refers to appellate state court judges & members of the US Supreme Court
--determine issues of law
-note that some cases are heard by judges
-Trial by jury is guaranteed by the 6th and 7th amendments
Petit Jury
-trial jury that returns a verdict in both civil and criminal cases
--may be composed of 6 or 12 persons
--fact-finding body
--Jury verdicts (Fraud, Antitrust, Product liablity)
-First duty is to the administration of justice
-Three roles: Counselor, advocate, public servant
-Law Firm Gross Revenues: New York, Chicago, LA
Organization of the Courts
Federal Courts and State Courts
-Courts must have Subject Matter Jurisdiction=power to hear issues in the case
--Can't file for divorce in criminal court
State Courts
Trial=superior court, circuit court, court of common pleas (lower court)

Appellate Courts
--Courts of Appeal-review action not rehear the facts
--Supreme Court-highest state court; generally discretionary
(Petition for Leave to Review or Petition for a Writ of Certiorari)

Small Claims Courts
-litigation between business and customers..landlord-tenant
-collection on accounts
-usually cases from $500-$5000; $25000 max.
-relatively informal
(Fed. Courts)
-limited to 4 matters
---Questions of federal law (1st amendment) or Federal statute (Title VII)
---U.S. is a party
---Controversies among the States
---Suits between citizens of different states=diversity of citizenship
(Plaintiffs must be citizens of different states from all defendants AND controversy $75K plus...each plaintiff must satisfy the requirement)
District Courts
(Fed. Courts)
-Trial courts
(Federal Rules of Civil Procedure)
Federal Appellate Courts
(Fed. Courts)
-named by judicial circuit
12 US courts of appeal
US Supreme Court
(Fed. courts)
-need a writ of certiorari
-9 Justices
-generally hear less than 100 cases per year
-Court has the discretion to hear or not
(Substantial federal importance=not hearing anything small)(obvious conflict between two circuits=reconcile differences between the two)
Judicial Review

-subject to Judicial Review, which is the power of the judiciary to review laws and them to be unconstitutional & void
Judicial Restraint
power of judicial review should be used sparingly
--great deference is given to the legislative process
-Strict Constructionism or Judicial Abstention
(Constitution should be interpreted in light of what the Founding Fathers intended [consistent])
-courts should decide only those matters they must to resolve actual cases and controversies before them (focus on the facts)

(Roberts, Scalia, Thomas, Alito=CONSERVATIVE)
Judicial Activism
power of judicial review should be used whenever the needs of society justify its use
-courts play a major role in correcting wrongs in society
-believe that Constitution should be interpreted within the context of cometmporary society and that the meaning of the Constitution is relative to the times in which it is being interpreted

(Stevens, Souter, Ginsburg, Breyer=LIBERAL)
Parties to an action
Parties to an action:
Plaintiff-files a civil action (starts lawsuit)
--If counterclaim--counterdefendant
Defendant-party who must defend; the party who is sued
--If counterclaim--counterplaintiff
Parties to an appeal
Appellant-party appealing an adverse decision (lost)
Appellee-party who was successful in the trial court (won)
Parties to an appeal to the US Supreme Court
Petitioner-initiates the petition for a writ of certiorari
Respondent-other party
Third Party Defendants
additional parties brought into the lawsuit by the defendant
Standing to Sue
Plaintiff must have standing to bring an action:
-must allege that the litigation involves a case or controversy
(cause of action at law)
-must allege a personal stake in the resolution of the controversy
Subject Matter Jurisdiction
-court must have the power over the issues presented in the case
-probate courts, juvenile, traffic
Personal Jurisdiction
-when plaintiff files suite they submit to jurisdiction (pick court)
-defendant is served with summons (personally, any member of household over certain age and send copy in mail)
-Long-Arm Statutes
-Extradition laws-request & transport a prisoner from one state to another
(International-brought back to US)
Long-Arm Statutes
-used to get jurisdiction over a defendant in another state when they have: committed a tort within the state, own property in state that is the subject matter
Class Action Suits
brought when one or more plaintiffs file suit on their own behalf and on behalf of all persons who may have similar claim
-DeBeers(alleged price fixing of gems)
Complaint-containing claims and relief sought (McD's)

Answer-must admit or deny the allegations and may contain affirmative defenses that can defeat a plaintiff's claim


**If the defendant fails to answer the complaint, a default=court may grant plaintiff any relief sought
(Wild Party Girls)