US Courts - US Courts The Common Law Tradition American law...

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1 US Courts The Common Law Tradition – American law follows from English legal tradition. Unlike many other countries, English law is based on common law. Common law is judge-made law based initially on the prevailing custom and eventually on legal precedent . Common law is based on stare decisis , which means to stand on decided cases. If a legal situation occurs that has previously been decided, the decision in the initial case is binding on the current situation. The major advantages to this type of system are efficiency and stability. Sources of American Law –Constitutions –Statutes and Administrative Regulations –Case Law
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2 The Federal Court System – Basic Judicial Requirements • Jurisdiction. This is the authority to hear and decide cases. The Constitution says that the federal courts have jurisdiction in cases that meet one of the following criteria: –The case involves a federal question –The case involves diversity of citizenship • Standing to Sue Types of Courts Types of Courts Federal District Courts 1. Trial courts with original jurisdiction. 2. Cases begin here. 3. Courts of record where testimony is taken. 4. May a. Hear criminal or civil cases b. Have a jury or judge trial 5. Currently there are 94 federal judicial districts with each state guaranteed one.
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3 Types of Courts U.S. Courts of Appeals 1. Appeals courts that hear cases from district courts on appeals. 2. Organized geographically into 13 circuits 3. Each Appeals Court has 15 judges 4. Most of the time, they hear cases in 3 or 5 judge panels. 5. Look at issues of law and procedure as opposed to fact. Geographic Boundaries of Federal District Courts and Circuit Courts of Appeals Types of Courts The U.S. Supreme Court 1. Court of last resort, final appeal possessing both original and appellate jurisdiction.
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This note was uploaded on 01/06/2012 for the course GOVT 2302 taught by Professor Mackharvey during the Fall '11 term at Collins.

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US Courts - US Courts The Common Law Tradition American law...

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