LBE Lecture Notes Monday August 29 th 1. Structure of the courts 2. Soldano v. O’Daniels 3. Civil/criminal lawsuits 4. Read 29-33, 17-20 was last weeks assignment 1. structure of the courts: ● national federal courts for the US ● state courts o three basic layers: pyramid- trial -> appellate -> supreme ● Most law suits are settled in the state courts ● two types go to federal: o One that involves a federal law (ex: free speech) o People or businesses from other states against each other and at least $75,000 at stake in the lawsuit- no one gets home field advantage ● Trial courts (bottom of pyramid) o All the typical law suit stuff; o If there is something you disagree about in the decision of a trial court, you can appeal the decision to a mid-level court. An appeal is not a do over ● Intermediate appellate courts (appeals) o Asking them to review the trial court record for a legal error o A panel of judges, usually three o Looking for a mistake in the record, facts, decision making o If you are looking to change the jurys mind (that is your reason for appeal), higher courts are not interested in appealing o After an appellate case, they end the opinion in three ways: 1. affirmed: nothing is done, everything is fine enough and we are not going to change the decision 2. reversed: higher court found mistake, opposite outcome is reached 3. remanded: sent back to trial court to do something over again, in some cases the entire trial o can appeal this too but SC does not have to take it- only review about 100 cases a year 2. Soldano v. O’Daniels ● Fight at Bar 1 in california ● Good Samaritan runs to bar 2 to use phone to call 911, bartender does not let her ● GS runs to bar 3 to use their phone, but man is dead by the time help arrives ● Family of deceased sues bar 2 because they are partly responsible and the wealthiest (not the person who killed him) ● Often, if someone is looking for money, you want to sue the richest
responsible party ● When presented to a trial court in CA, it was quickly dismissed, which they appealed- “should have had a chance to argue our case in front of a jury" ● Appellate courts decided that there is a legal obligation for public places to let them use their phone for emergency services, so they remanded it (sent back to trial court) ● No further legal record of this case so it was most likely settled for an undisclosed amount of money 3. Civil and Criminal Lawsuits ● Civil: private cases between private people or private companies; private compensation or private remedy o Plaintiff is one suing or complaining o Defendants are defending themselves o If a defendant wins, then it is usually over and everyone goes him o When plaintiff wins, they get some type of remedy o The most common remedy: money (cash damages) o More uncommon remedy: injunction (court order to stop doing something) o Other uncommon remedy: an order of specific performances (court order to do something) ex: heirloom necklace in a will dispute being ordered to be given to someone else o Burden of proof: 51% ●
You've reached the end of your free preview.
Want to read all 12 pages?
- Fall '09
- Supreme Court of the United States, Appellate court