BLAW - Intro - Alex Fish Intro pages 34-49 75-81 The...

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Alex Fish Intro; pages 34-49 & 75-81 The Structure of the Court System Two parallel systems, a federal system and a state system; once a party brings a case into that system, it stays there throughout the entire process, except for Supreme Court The Federal Court System Trial courts are called courts of original jurisdiction; 94 districts. Most cases begin here. Other cases begin in different courts with special jurisdiction, as set up by Congress. Special jurisdiction includes taxes, international cases, cases against the US, and bankruptcy cases. A very few number of cases begin in the Supreme Court, like cases between states. Below the federal level is the intermediate court system, which hears appeals from the 94 districts. The highest level is the court of last resort, which is the Supreme Court, with 9 justices. State Court Systems Cases begin in the trial court of general jurisdiction, except those with special jurisdiction Most states separate courts by county, limited jurisdiction courts are also present for special cases. Intermediate court systems exist in about half the states, hearing appeals from the above system The state system also has a court of last resort, it being called the Supreme Court in that state. Threshold Requirements A person with legal right to a case is said to have standing to sue; for this to occur, the outcome of the case must personally affect the person, that person must have a personal stake in the case Case or Controversy: for this to exist: there must be an adverse relationship between the plaintiff and the defendant; actual or threatened actions by one party must lead to a legal dispute; and the courts must have the ability to legally remedy the dispute. Ripeness: A case is ripe if the judge’s decision will directly affect the parties. A case is unripe if it is moot, if a judge’s decision will have no effect on the parties in question.
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Steps in Litigation The US litigation system uses neutral fact finders, a judge and jury. They are given
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