The constitution sets the outer limits of

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court system is limited. The Constitution sets the outer limits of jurisdiction; however, over the years Congress and the courts themselves have set additional limits on jurisdiction. Federal question jurisdiction involves a case based, at least in part, on the U.S. Constitution, a treaty, or a federal law. Diversity of citizenship cases involve controversies between (1) citizens of different states, (2) a foreign country as plaintiff and citizens of the same or different states, or (3) citizens of a foreign country and citizens of the same or different states. In all diversity cases, the amount in controversy must be $75,000 or more for a federal court to exercise jurisdiction. Once a case is removed to federal court on diversity grounds, does state law or federal apply? State law applies to the substantive issues, but federal law applies to the procedural issues of a case. Further, in diversity cases, the federal courts determine which state law to apply based upon each state’s interest in the litigation. The court applies the law of the state whose interest is most significant Concurrent jurisdiction exists when both federal and state courts have the power to hear a case, such as diversity of citizenship cases. The instructor may want to discuss the relationship between concurrent jurisdiction, diversity jurisdiction, and forum shopping. This situation leads to forum shopping, as parties will try to have their civil or criminal case heard in the court that they perceive will be most favorable to them. Exclusive jurisdiction exists when either a federal or a state court has the power to hear the case, but not both. For example, federal courts have exclusive jurisdiction in bankruptcy or patent cases, whereas state courts have exclusive jurisdiction in divorce cases or probate cases. THE JUDICIARY State Judicial Selection Procedures Judicial selection varies from state to state. However, all judges are either elected or appointed based on merit. The instructor may want to discuss how your particular state selects judges and how the business community involves itself in the selection process. Federal Judicial Selection Procedures The President recommends candidates for judges in the federal court system. The Senate either confirms or denies the appointment. The appointment is for “good behavior,” in effect a lifetime appointment. U. S. Magistrate Judges The Judiciary Act of 1789 established the concept of magistrate judges. In 1968, Congress enacted the Federal Magistrate Act that now governs the appointment of magistrates by the federal district court to assist the court in administering some of its functions. Magistrates, for example, conduct pretrial hearings and try minor criminal offenses.
3-6 Chapter 3 The American Legal System, Jurisdiction, and Venue
Chapter 3 The American Legal System, Jurisdiction, and Venue 3-7 LECTURE OUTLINE I. INTRODUCTION A. Chapter 3 covers the following elements of the legal process: A.1.

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