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83 Cards in this Set

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  • Back
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What are the two parts of the U.S. judicial system?
State and Federal Courts
What are the three types of state courts from bottom to top?
(From bottom): Trial Courts, Appeals/Appelate Courts, State Supreme Court
What are two things that the State Supreme Court uses for discretion on taking cases?
1.) legal reason
2.) basis for appeal
What are the 3 types of federal courts from bottom to top?
Federal district courts--> 12th District Courts--> U.S. Supreme Court
What are the Federal District Courts?
the trial courts for all federal issues
How are 12th Circuit Courts divided?
Mostly by geographic boundaries, besides Washington, D.C.
U.S. Supreme Court & Discretion
~take about 10% of cases
~MUST take cases involving two states and/or with federal agencies
What 3 federal agencies posess judicial responsibility?
1. FCC (Federal Communication Commission)
2. ICC (Interstate Commerce Commission)
3. FEC (Federal Election Commission)
Where do almost all civil disputes go?
state courts (trial courts)
What are the 3 areas of responsibility for federal courts?
1. Cases involving federal laws, foreign treaties, U.S. Constitution
2. If the U.S. is a party in the case.
3. Divestiture
What is "divestiture"?
Cases w/ parties from different states w/ a rate of more than $50,000
**One of the 3 areas of federal courts' responsibility
Judges at the state level-->
1. elected for a period
2. appointed for a period
Judges at the federal level-->
~all federal judges are appointed for life
~appointed by President, approved by the Senate
What are the 4 steps to the Nature of a Legal Dispute
1. Cause of action
2. Filing of a complaint by plaintiff
3. Defendant must answer the complaint
4. Goes to a Judge
What are 3 things that must be included in the plaintiff's complaint:
1. What happened
2. why it matters
3. what do you want the court to do about it
What are 3 things that the judge can do upon receiving a filing of a complaint?
1. dismiss (if faulty w/ any of the 3 items in complaint OR if agrees w/ defendant)
2. Summary of judgment
3. go to trial
What are automatic conditions underwhich you may appeal?
If the Judge either dismisses or passes a summary of judgment the case
(reason: everyone guaranteed trial by jury)
What is the purpose of the Jury (common law)
to decide on the facts of the case
What are the three categories of the standard of proof?
1. Preponderance of the Evidence (50%)
2. Clear and Convincing Evidence
3. Beyond all reasonable doubt
What is the purpose of the judge (common law)?
Decide on matters of law
What is a jury anulment?
~Jury thinks beyond all reasonable doubt on one side but goes the other way
What is a "set aside" or "JNOV"?
When the judge does not pass judgment despite there having a verdict.
1. explicit
2. never pronunces judgment (grounds of appeal)
What are the necessary and sufficient conditions of appeals?
NECESSARY: mistake in law in the trail (i.e. judge makes mistake)
SUFFICIENT: this mistake would have changed the outcome at trial
~cannot appeal on grounds on error of facts---since facts are decided by jury)
What are the actors and documents at the appelate court?
~Briefs (including amici curie briefs)
~panel of judges (usually 3)
~NO jury
What is meant by "the court's opinion"?
the decision by majority at appelate courts
Riggs v. Palmer
What are the 2 arguments on the Majority Opinion?
1. Filling in a gap in the legislature
2. Overriding legal principles (common law)
Riggs v. Palmer
What are the 2 arguments on the Minority Opinion?
1. We don't have that law (i.e. 'overriding legal principles'); Statutes are clear
2. Punishment --> double-jeopardy
Why is Riggs v. Palmer famous? (2)
1. How far can judges go?
2. What are their roles?
What are the 2 legal traditions and their roots?
1. Common Law (U.K.)
2. Civil/Codefied Law (Rome)
Where are codefied law and common law practicied?
Codefied Law: cont. Europe, countries with ties to cont. Europe, and Louisiana
Common Law: U.K., Anglo-Saxon Countries
How are laws created in Codefied vs. Common Law?
Codefied Law: laws are written
Common Law: laws are found
What are the sources of law for Codefied law (4)?
1. Statutes
2. Academy
3. Judges
4. Universal legal principles
What are the sources of law for common law (4)?
1. Social norms/customs
2. Precedents
3. Statutes
4. Universal legal principles
Examples of Universal legal principles
~no ex post facto
~no benefit from illegal activity
~legal predictability
(Codefied law only) What are the three types of interpretation by judges of laws?
1. literal
2. intentional
3. contextual
Role of judge in codefied law?
seeker of truth (inquisitorial process)
Role of judge in common law?
referree (adversarial process)
Role of Jury in codefied law?
Role of Jury in common law?
decides on the facts
Why do we need a legal system?
All societies have human interaction and conflicts thus need legal system to settle disputes
(Pelteman) what is off-setting behavior?
the realization that people make trade-offs

(i.e. seat belt/speeding)
What is an "implicit price"
a price on things placed by economists that people think couldn't be priced (i.e. human life)
What are 3 characteristics of legal scholars (vs. economists)?
1. mostly positive
2. look for what is 'reasonable'
3. trying to achieve justice/fairness
What are 3 characteristics of economists (in light of legal scholars)?
1. economic models are not just positive but normative as well
2. look for what is rational
3. all analysis is geared towards maximizing efficiency
What is C1?
the cost of unjust finding for the plaintiff?
What is C2?
the cost of unjust finding for the defendant?
What is q?
level of confidence that a jury has for a plaintiff's case
What is q*?
the level where you're minimizing the cost of error//the threshold
What is the error rate?
the probability that you think you're wrong
What is the equation for the cost of finding for the plaintiff?
(1-q)*C1 = ?
What is the equation for the cost of finding for the defendant?
(equation in terms of C1 and C2)
If C1 = C2, then..?
q* = 50%, burden of proof is 50%
If your q is ABOVE q* then who should you find for?
the plaintiff
If your q is BELOW q* then who should you find for?
the defendant
If q = q* then..?
it doesn't matter who you pick because the costs would be the same
What is a Pareto-efficient outcome/allocation?
an allocation is considered pareto-effecient if there does not exist a different allocation in which noone is worst off, yet someone is better off.
In terms of Pareto-efficiency, what is inefficient?
~if you're not using up all the resources (thus throwing away resources)
What are the tools for efficiency and distribution?
Law--> efficiency
tax policy --> distribution
What is a cardinal measure?
a direct measure, quantified measure
What is an ordinal measure?
the order of something/ranking
What is the Kalder-Hickes Efficiency?
1.) either Pareto-efficient or Pareto-optimal
2.) Also able to RANK P.O. allocation
3.) since the amount that total wealth is greater than loss you should do it
--->>> IF you can make these side payments, you should make the decision...but you don ot have to make the side payment)
(i.e. what would happen if they got married)
goal of the Kalder-Hickes efficiency?
to minimize total losses and to maximize wealth

(If in essence everyone was looking out not for their OWN wealth but for JOINT/TOTAL wealth then it would be KH efficient)
Why do you need property rights?
1. key to advanced civilizations
2. allows for investments/secures investments
What do property rights need to be?
strong and well-defined
What is property law?
the legal framework in which the allocation of resources take place
What are four questions associated with property?
1. What can be owned?
2. What can owners do with property?
3. How is ownership established?
4. What are the remedies for violations of property rights?
Question 3: How is ownership established? --> what case goes with this?
Case: Pierson v. Post (1805)
Pierson v. Post
Majority Arguments (2)
1. legal doctrine is one of occupancy (not yet wounded the animal and you have not yet encircled the animal)
2. efficiency argument (it would open up too much litigation if there is no threshold set)
***establishes principle of "first posession"
Pierson v. Post
Minority Arguments
~investment in killing foxes should be protexted
-should be more 'reasonable'
Question 2: What can you do with property?
**What is one of the most important aspects of property?
that you can EXCHANGE it
(but there are some things you are not allowed to buy/sell)
What is "bargain theory"?
the right to exchange property (from the legal perspective)
Cooperative surplus =
value of cooperation - value of the non-cooperative solution
What are threat values?
the values of each party over non-successful cooperation
In terms of the cooperative surplus, when do you trade?
(for efficiency), trade when it is positive...when it is not--don't.
Are all precedents in U.K. valid in the U.S.?
Most are, but not in the case w/ land rights
When do firms breakdown?
when firms costs of internal restructuring larger than using the market, unable to withstand and breakdown
What is the Coase Theorem?
If property rights are well-defined and transaction costs are zero (or are sufficiently small) then we are always guaranteed efficient allocations regardless of the initial assignment of property rights.
What is an externality?
some kind of market activity that has an extra cost/benefit on things not in the market but not reflected in the market price
3 steps in transaction costs
1. cost of search
2. cost of bargaining
3. cost of enforcement/monitoring
(coming to an agreement can falter at any of these stages)
If the transaction costs are below the threshold values, what happens?
1. the assignment of property rights does not affect efficiency (only in distribution)
2. the outcome of disputes is bargaining/market mechanisms to guarantee efficiency
If the transaction costs are above the threshold values, what happens?
1. assignment of property rights impact efficiency (and distribution)
2. outcome of disputes is the intervention in order to obtain efficiency
What are the two stipulations that go with the 'Normative' Coase Theorem
1. structure the law so as to remove wherever possible impediments to private agreement
2. structure law so as to minimize any damage caused by failures of coming to private agreements