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the federal courts, structure, and strategies

the federal courts, structure, and strategies - the federal...

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the federal courts; structure and strategies Judges have political goals and have policy preferences and act to achieve them Courts are not legislative bodies, but many important policy issues are, nevertheless, decided by the judiciary. Criminal law —the branch of law that deals with disputes or actions involving criminal penalties (as opposed to civil law). It regulates the conduct of individuals, defines crimes, and provides punishment for criminal acts Plaintiff —the individual or organization who brings a complaint in court Defendant —the individual or organization charged with a complaint in courts Civil law —a system of jurisprudence, including private law and governmental actions, to settle disputes that do not involve criminal penalties—the two most common types of civil cases involve contracts and torts . In a typical tort case, one individual charges that he or she has been injured by another’s negligence or malfeasance. Precedents —prior cases whose principles are used by judges as the bases for their decisions in present cases Stare decisis - literally “let the decision stand” a previous decision by a court applies as a precedent in similar cases until that decision is overruled Public law —cases involving the action of public agencies or officials Type of law Type of case or dispute Form of case Criminal law Cases arising out of actions that violate laws protecting the health, safety, and morals of the community. The government is always the plaintiff US (or state) v Jones Jones v US (or state) if Jones lost and is appealing Civil law (4:1 of all other cases) Law involving disputes between citizens or between government and citizen where no crime is alleged two general types are contact and tort. Contract cases are disputes that arise over voluntary actions. Tort cases are disputes that arise out of obligations inherent in social life. Negligence and slander are examples of torts Smith v Jones New York v Jones US v Jones Jones v. New York Public law All cases in which the powers of government Jones v US In re Jones
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or the rights of citizens are involved. The government is the defendant. Constitutional law involves judicial review of the basis of a government’s action in relation to specific clauses of the constitution as interpreted in Supreme Court cases. Administrative law involves disputes over the statutory authority, jurisdiction, or procedures of administrative agencies Smith v Jones—if a license of statute is at issue in their private dispute One major form of public law is constitutional law, under which a court will examine the government’s actions to see if they conform to the constitution as it has been interpreted by the judiciary Nearly 99 percent of all court cases in the united states are heard in state courts Trial court —the first court to hear a criminal or civil case Court of appeals
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