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What is jurisdiction?
Power of the court to hear a dispute and render a verdict that is legally binding on the parties to the dispute.
Describe the Federal Judicial system of the US.
What do the Courts of Appeals do?
- hear only legal issues, no jury trials
- determine if the original trial was fair
- may reverse, modify, remand, or send the case back to the lower court
- may have majority, dissenting, and concurring votes
What are the 3 levels of the US federal court system?
- District Courts
- Courts of Appeals
- US Supreme Court
How do appellate cases reach the Supreme Court?
- by appeal by right
- by discretionary writ of certiorari
What does the Supreme Court do?
- reviews appeals, but may have original jurisdiction
- may review decisions of the highest state courts
What are the 3 courts on state level?
- Inferior Trial Courts - small claims or municipal
- Trial Courts - courts of general jurisdiction (most suits are filed here)
- Appellate Courts - hears appeals, decision is final unless reviewed by US Supreme Court
What is subject matter jurisdiction?
- authority to judge a controversy of a particular kind
- power to hear content of dispute
What are the 2 types of Federal Subject Matter Jurisdiction?
- - only federal courts have jurisdiction (federal crimes, suits against the federal government etc.)
- - federal question jurisdiction (arising under US Constitution, federal statutes/regulations, treaties)
- - civil suits with diversity of citizenship and amount in controversy exceeds $15,000
What is diversity of citizenship?
Plaintiff and defendant reside in different states.
How does State Subject Matter Jurisdiction differ from Federal?
- exclusive jurisdiction over all matters that arise solely under state law
- concurrent jurisdiction with federal courts to hear some federal question and diversity of citizenship suits (if brought in state court, defendant can choose to go to federal, but once there it cannot go back)
- states may choose to apply another state's law if the case has connections to both states
What is jurisdiction over the parties?
Power to bind parties involved in the dispute.
What are the 3 types of jurisdiction over the parties?
- personal jurisdiction
- by long-arm statute
- over property
What is personal jurisdiction?
all parties involved in the dispute reside in the state or are personally served process while present in the state
What is jurisdiction by long-arm statute?
It allows some state courts to obtain jurisdiction over non-resident defendants who have some minimum contact with the state
- - commit tort in the state
- - own property in the state
- - have business transactions in the state
What is jurisdiction over property?
- in rem jurisdiction
- jurisdiction over claims to property within the state
Plaintiff must give other parties reasonable notice and an opportunity to be heard
What does venue mean, in regards to law?
- geographic area in which a lawsuit should be brought
- usually the area where incident incurred or parties reside
What does standing to sue mean?
Plaintiff cannot bring suit unless he/she has some stake in the outcome of the suit
What are the steps in the trial process?
- post-trial motions
What is a writ of execution?
Enforcement document demanding payment of the judgment, seize material item
What is arbitration?
non-judicial proceeding where a neutral third party selected by disputants renders a binding decision
What are the 3 types of arbitration?
- consensual -- both parties agree to submit to arbitration
- compulsory -- required by statute for specific types of disputes (eg. involving public employees)
- court-annexed -- ordered by the court in some cases where small amounts of damage awards are sought
Can a decision by an arbotrator be appealed?
Yes, it can be appealed to a court, but the facts and legal conclusions of an arbitrator are usually binding.
Roughly explain the procedure of alternative dispute resolution (arbitration).
- arbitrator is chosen
- hearing, includes opening and closing statements, case presentations
- arbitrator's award, binding to both parties
What are some advantages and disadvantages of arbitration?
- relatively quick
- private (no record unless court-ordered)
- results may be subjective (arbitrators do not have to follow precedents, rules of procedure, or evidence)
- arbitrators do not have to issue written opinions
- generally no discovery available
- hard to appeal
What are some other types of alternative dispute resolution?
- arbitration - binding
- mediation - nonbinding
- mini-trial/mock trial - nonbinding, both are corporations
- Summary Jury trial - nonbinding, mock trial w/ jury
- negotiation - consensual, informal, no third party
- conciliation - negotiation with a mediator
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