1. The nature of the US Judicial system is:
* US judicial system is an adversary system
* It is a system in which opposing parties bring their conflict before an impartial judge 2. 2 basic types of cases: Criminal and Civil
* where the govt charge a person with a violation of a criminal law (Ex. killed someone/ robs a bank.) * Criminal law are laws that describe punishment for crimes against society * Punishment for violation of criminal law may be a fine or imprisonment or both Civil
* There is no charge that a crime has been committed. (Ex. Car accident—run a red light & crashes other car.) * A civil case involve a dispute between two or more parties (in a civil court) 3. What does the Federal Court deal with?
* Federal courts deal with federal legal matters and are regulated by the US Constitution & laws passed by Congress. (only one federal court system)
4. What does the state courts deal with?
* State courts deal with state legal matters and are regulated by the various state Constitutions & state statutes. (Laws passed by state legislature). (50 state courts- more cases than the federal courts)
5. Participants in the judicial system
* Interest groups: who seek to use the courts to advance their issues sometimes seek out litigants whose cases appear to be strong. * In criminal cases: Prosecutor & criminal defendant
* In civil cases: (litigants): Plaintiff & defendant
6. Who are the parties in the 2 basic kind of cases:
* Criminal case: In criminal cases the Govt. charges a person with the violation of a criminal law. * Prosecutor (represent the Govt.) & criminal defendant (the person charged with the crime). * Civil case: A civil case involves a non-criminal dispute between two or more parties. * Plaintiff (is the party that files suit) & defendant (is the party sued).
7. What are cases or controversies?
* Federal judge: The US constitution restricts federal judges to deciding “cases” or “controversies”. In other words actual disputes.
8. What is a justiciable dispute?
* In addition to being an actual dispute, a case must have a justiciable dispute- meaning it is capable of being resolved by legal methods- to be heard in a federal court.
9. Standing to sue?
* Means that the plaintiff (is the party that files suit) has a serious interest in the case. * Typically the plaintiff alleges that he has sustained a substantial injury from the defendant.
10. Amicus curiae?
* “friend of the court” briefs submitted by nonparties who have an interest in the case (may or may not be consider by the court).
11. Structure of the federal judicial system (Art 3, Court system) * Art. 3 Constitutional courts:
12. Art 3 Const courts & judges (know everything)
* Art 3 sect. I establishes a Supreme Court (made by the Constitution, cannot be abolish by Congress). * Judiciary Act of 1789—Congress created a system of constitutional courts, a/k/a Article 3 courts. * Art. 3 Judges (general jurisdiction courts):
1. Have lifetime appointments
2. Have protection from removal
3. Have protection from salary reduction
* Art. 3 Constitutional courts:
1. US Supreme court
2. US court of appeals—(appellate courts)-(review on what when on in trial level) 3. US district courts-(trial level)
13. Art I legislative courts & judges
* Art. 1 sect. 8th: Congress has the power “to constitute tribunals inferior to the Supreme Court.” Legislative courts a/k/a Article 1 courts. * Art. 1 judges: are appointed for fixed terms.
* They do not have those protections from Art. 3
* Most Art. 1 courts: President appoints & are confirm by Senate * Ex of Art. 1 courts:
1. US Court of Military Appeals
2. US Court of Federal Claim
3. US Tax Court
4. Bankruptcy Courts
14. Const protection of art 3 federal judges
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