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LS311_Chapter_2 - 95735_02_Ch02_033-060.qxp 7:30 AM Page 33...

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Note that technological developments are affecting court procedures just as they are affecting all other areas of the law. In this chapter, we also indicate how court doctrines and pro- cedures, as well as alternative methods of dispute settlement, are being adapted to the needs of a cyber age. As you learned in Chapter 1, the body of American law includes the federal and state constitutions, statutes passed by legislative bodies, administrative law, and the case decisions and legal principles that form the common law. These laws would be meaningless, however, without the courts to inter- pret and apply them. This is the essential role of the judici- ary—the courts—in the American governmental system: to interpret and apply the law. Judicial Review As the branch of government entrusted with interpreting the laws, the judiciary can decide, among other things, whether the laws or actions of the other two branches are constitutional. THE JUDICIARY’S ROLE IN AMERICAN GOVERNMENT ltimately, we are all affected by what the courts say and do. This is particularly true in the business world—nearly every businessperson will face either a poten- tial or an actual lawsuit at some time or another. For this rea- son, anyone contemplating a career in business will benefit from an understanding of court systems in the United States, including the mechanics of lawsuits. In this chapter, after examining the judiciary’s overall role in the American governmental scheme, we discuss some basic requirements that must be met before a party may bring a lawsuit before a particular court. We then look at the court systems of the United States in some detail and, to clarify judicial procedures, follow a hypothetical case through a state court system. Even though there are fifty-two court sys- tems in the United States—one for each of the fifty states, one for the District of Columbia, plus a federal system—sim- ilarities abound. Keep in mind that the federal courts are not superior to the state courts; they are simply an independent system of courts, which derives its authority from Article III, Sections 1 and 2, of the U.S. Constitution. The chapter con- cludes with an overview of some alternative methods of set- tling disputes, including methods for settling disputes in online forums. U 33 AFTER READING THIS CHAPTER, YOU SHOULD BE ABLE TO ANSWER THE FOLLOWING QUESTIONS: 1 What is judicial review? How and when was the power of judicial review established? 2 Before a court can hear a case, it must have jurisdiction. Over what must it have jurisdiction? How are the courts applying traditional jurisdictional concepts to cases involving Internet transactions? 3 What is the difference between a trial court and an appellate court?
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  • Spring '10
  • NiveaCastroFigueroa
  • Supreme Court of the United States, Trial court, State court, Highest State Courts State Courts of Appeals State Trial Courts of General Jurisdiction Local Trial Courts of Limited Jurisdiction State Administrative Agencies

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