Unformatted text preview: Chapter 2
THE COURT SYSTEM & DISPUTE RESOLUTION The Court System
6 Components to Analyze Chapter 2 What are the Federal & State Court Systems? What are the types of "jurisdiction" that courts
have and how are they distinguished? Who is involved in a lawsuit (parties)? What are the steps in a lawsuit? What are steps for collection of a judgment? What is ADR?
2 The Court System Courts branch of government established to decide controversies, provide
remedies to persons who have been wronged, punish wrongdoers, and prevent wrongdoings Jurisdiction: Courts have power to hear disputes and decide according to their jurisdiction. Subject matter jurisdiction What is the case about? SMJ covers types of cases a court may hear, broken down as follows: Original and Appellate Jurisdiction: Courts of original jurisdiction (lower courts)
have the power to decide cases for the first time; Appellate courts review the work of a lower court and either affirm or reverse those decisions. General and Limited (special) Jurisdiction: Courts of general jurisdiction can decide most types of cases, while limited jurisdiction courts deal with cases restricted to certain subject matter (domestic relations, probate, bankruptcy). Criminal or Civil Jurisdiction: Criminal courts decide cases involving crimes (public wrongs), while civil courts decide cases involving private wrongs and disputes 3 Court Systems The courts in the United States are organized into
the state and federal court systems, each (generally) with three levels: trial courts (original jurisdiction). appellate courts (1st level of appeal). a supreme court (2nd level of appeal). Supreme and appellate courts review the decisions of trial courts and either affirm, reverse or remand the lower court's decision.
4 The Federal Court System
Supreme Court of the United States
(Highest appeals court; review from lower appeals courts is
usually at the discretion of the Supreme Court) U.S. Courts of Appeals
Circuit Courts Jurisdiction by geographic area. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit Nationwide jurisdiction by subject matter Review Federal
District Courts Tax Court Indian Tribal Court Bankruptc y Court Specialty Courts
5 The State Court System
Possible Appeal to the United States Supreme Court State Supreme Court
State Court of Appeals General Trial Court
(County, Circuit & Superior Court) Specialty Courts
Juvenile Probate Domestic Relations Small Claims City or Municipal (Traffic) 6 Conflicts of Law Conflict of Laws: Rules for deciding which law applies
Federal and state laws can apply to a set of circumstances; where laws from 2 states can apply, then the court has to decide which to use; Principle that determines whether a court should apply the law of its own state or the law of another jurisdiction; Law of state where complaint is filed governs procedural issues and rules of evidence. For contract formation, courts apply law of state in which contract was formed. For contract performance, courts apply law of state in which contract is to be performed. International: most significant contacts with transaction. LOOK AT WHERE EVENTS TOOK PLACE WHAT DOES THE
CONTRACT STATE? WHERE ARE THERE SIGNIFICANT CONTACTS? 7 Court Procedure
STEPS IN A LAWSUIT: can be broken down
into stages to better understand Pretrial Trial Post Trial 8 Court Procedure PRETRIAL - INITIAL STEPS IN A LAWSUIT: Preparation for trial.
Within the courts of original jurisdiction, there are rules for procedures in all matters. COMPLAINT: where civil case begins; filed by a plaintiff, which is served upon the defendant; pleading that describes wrongful conduct allegedly committed by defendant, along with a request for relief; NOTICE: Service of process to defendant notifying defendant of lawsuit (certified mail, personal service); ANSWER / COUNTERCLAIM / PRELIMINARY MOTIONS: response to allegations stated in complaint; denial, counter suit, motion to dismiss, motion to clarify; DISCOVERY: pretrial process used by the parties to find out information about case (the evidence); consist of depositions, interrogatories, and document requests; SUMMARY JUDGMENT: Motion filed to rule in favor of a party when there are no important factual issues and the party is entitled to win as a matter of law; looking at the facts in the light most favorable to the other party, the other party still loses based on the law; WITNESSES: designation of whom will be called at trial (experts and their expertise); 9 Court Procedure TRIAL: Held in the courts of original jurisdiction; managed by
a judge and administrative staff; JURY SELECTION: if the case is set for a jury trial, the first step will
be selection of the jury PRESENTATION OF TRIAL: Opening statements, presentation of evidence, motion for directed verdict and summation. JURY INSTRUCTIONS & VERDICT: Once the parties have summed up, the court instructs the jury on how to apply the law in rendering its decision; The court will then render a judgment - conforms with the jury's verdict or overrules jury's verdict (JNOV). POST TRIAL MOTIONS: Parties can ask the court to change its decision; Motion for mistrial, motion for new trial, motion for judgment notwithstanding the verdict; 10 Court Procedure POST TRIAL: Held in the courts of original jurisdiction;
managed by a judge and administrative staff; JURY SELECTION: if the case is set for a jury trial, the first step will
be selection of the jury PRESENTATION OF TRIAL: Opening statements, presentation of evidence, motion for directed verdict and summation. JURY INSTRUCTIONS & VERDICT: Once the parties have summed up, the court instructs the jury on how to apply the law in rendering its decision; The court will then render a judgment - conforms with the jury's verdict or overrules jury's verdict (JNOV). POST TRIAL MOTIONS: Parties can ask the court to change its decision; Motion for mistrial, motion for new trial, motion for judgment notwithstanding the verdict; 11 Initial Steps in a Lawsuit
1. Complaint by plaintiff 2. Service of process on defendant 3. Defendant's answer 4. Discovery Deny Counterclaim Admit Depositions Interrogatories Request for Production 5. Motion for Summary Judgment (if no factual issues)
12 The Trial
a. Jury selection b. Opening statements. c. Plaintiff's case. d. Motion for directed verdict. e. Defendant's case. f. Summation. g. Jury instructions. h. Jury verdict or mistrial (deadlocked). i. Motion for new trial or judgment. j. Recovery - fees, execution, garnishment. voir dire. challenge for cause. peremptory challenge. Direct. Cross. Redirect. Recross. 13 Alternative Dispute Resolution
Method for resolving disputes/disagreements without having to resort to going to court. Less expensive Faster Less strict 14 Alternative Dispute Resolution
ADR Arbitration Minitrial Association Tribunal Mediation Rent-aJudge Use of Ombudsman Reference to Referee Summary Jury Trial 15 Alternative Dispute Resolution
Arbitration voluntary process where
disputes are settled by disinterested 3rd parties (arbitrators) who take evidence and make decision that can be binding or non-binding. Uniform Arbitration Act. Federal Arbitration Act.
16 Alternative Dispute Resolution Mediation process by which disputes are settled
by the parties who use a neutral third person (mediator) to facilitate their settlement and suggest solutions. Usually non-binding. Summary Jury Trial "pretend" trial that is not binding held in front of a jury. Usually non-binding. Mini-trial "pretend" trial before a retired judge. Usually non-binding. Ombudsman review of complaints with suggested methods to resolve. Non-binding.
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This note was uploaded on 05/03/2008 for the course BMRT 21000 taught by Professor Jonathandpoliti during the Fall '07 term at Kent State.
- Fall '07