American_Legal_System

American_Legal_System - Introduction to the American Legal...

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GBL 395 – Part 2 Fall 2010 Professor Heidi Bulich 1 Introduction to the American Legal System
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Jurisdiction 2 Jurisdiction = the authority or power of the court to speak the law Refers to the power of court to hear and decide a case. Both the parties to the case and the subject matter of the case must be within the established powers of the court
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Jurisdiction 3 Subject-Matter Jurisdiction – judicial power to decide issues in a case. There are several types: See Exhibit 3-1. Initial decision – Which court system has subject-matter jurisdiction? There are 2 general court systems in US: 1. State courts – handle common legal cases – contracts, torts, crimes, traffic infractions, L/T disputes 2. Federal Courts – Can only hear 3 types of cases: those in which the US is a party; those that involve a federal question; and those that involve diversity of citizenship. These are courts of limited jurisdiction since the outer bounds of their jurisdiction is set by Article III, § 2 of the Constitution. Congress given the power to decide the precise subject-matter jurisdiction for the federal courts.
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Jurisdiction 4 When US is a party to a lawsuit – wants to be tried in its own court. Example: Navy brings action to enforce contract with supplier Federal Question Article III §2 extends the federal judicial power to cases arising under the Constitution and the laws of the U.S. Example: suit brought under federal antitrust statutes Many federal questions can also be heard in state courts. P often has right to choose between state or federal court. Example of concurrent jurisdiction
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Jurisdiction 5 Diversity of Citizenship Occurs when opposing parties in civil lawsuits are from different states. Article III §2 authorizes diversity jurisdiction to provide a forum for persons who might be victims of local prejudice. Diversity must be complete. In addition, amount in controversy must be in excess of $75,000. State court can also hear diversity actions
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Jurisdiction 6 Concurrent Jurisdiction – Federal question and diversity of citizenship. D always has right to remove case from state court to federal court – never from federal court to state court. Contrast with exclusive jurisdiction – Example: when the US is a party to a lawsuit, case can only be heard in federal court
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Jurisdiction 7 Review Gafford v. General Electric Company Facts? What did the court decide? Why?
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Jurisdiction 8 Remember: Court needs subject-matter and personal jurisdiction Once you determine whether state or federal courts have subject matter jurisdiction, must still determine which particular court has jurisdiction – this is known as in personam – or personal jurisdiction
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Jurisdiction 9 In Personam Jurisdiction – Judicial power over persons in a case Plaintiff – By filing lawsuit, P voluntarily submits court to personal jurisdiction Defendant – Jurisdiction over D depends on:
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This note was uploaded on 10/17/2011 for the course GBL 395 taught by Professor Lashbrooke during the Fall '08 term at Michigan State University.

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American_Legal_System - Introduction to the American Legal...

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