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Week 3 - AEM 3200 Week 3 US Court Trial Procedures Lecture...

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AEM 3200 Week 3 – US Court & Trial Procedures Lecture Date : Monday, September 15, 2008 Announcements: Reading for Wednesday: Text, 263-259 Case, 16-26 A. U.S Court B. Federal system 1. District Court - the first federal court (trial) to hear a case. a. Court of Federal Claims -located in Washington D.C., this is where you sue the federal government. b. Tax Court and Bankruptcy Court - these are specialty courts with expert judges/they have subject matter jurisdiction. c. Administrative agencies - examples include the IRS, treasury department, they deal with rule making. d. How many district courts are in a given state depends on its size (geographic and population). For example, while Rhode Island and Delaware have one, NYhasfour. 2. Circuit Court of Appeals - appeals from district court comes here. i. There can be up to 23 judges on a circuit court but a case will probably only be presided by three, unless it is deemed to deal with a more important issue. In this case it can have more judges, like 9 or 15. Such a case is said to have been heard" en banc" and the decision of this panel of judges will usually carry more weight. j. The Circuit Court is organized by geographical area much like the District Court, each Circuit is responsible for a handful of states. 3. United States Supreme Court - tile last, highest step for appeals. a. The Supreme Court has 9 justices who hear the cases; these justices will all preside over a case unless any have any previous connection to a case. b. Must file a writ of certiorari to get the Supreme Court to hear your case. About 9,000 cases appear on the docket each year, but less than 100 cases make it through to oral argument. i. Cases can come from the Circuit Courts, or from State Courts. c. In some cases, the Supreme Court acts as with "original jurisdiction"; this is when the Supreme Court acts as a jury as well as a court. i. Examples of the types of cases that "original jurisdiction" would be utilized for are: Impeachment trials, cases involving ambassadors or disputes between two states. H. Federal Court Jurisdiction - when does it have jurisdiction? A. Civil cases involving federal statutes - ex: copyright infringement -> downloading music to violate the Copyright Act. B. Federal criminal prosecutions - when prosecutions involve breaking federal law like kidnapping across state lines or wire fraud across state lines. C. Where the federal government is a party - for example when the government is being sued. D. Diversity jurisdiction - must satisfy these two conditions: 1) At least $75,000 amount in controversy. 1
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AEM 3200 Week 3 – US Court & Trial Procedures 2) Diversity of citizenship - means that of the two sides in a case (there may be more than one defendant and/or more than one plaintiff) no plaintiff may be from the same state as a defendant. But all defendants (or plaintiffs) collectively may be from the same state.
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