Ap Us Government Chapter 16 Vocab

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Ch. 16: The Federal Courts

In the American judicial system, courts apply the law to a conflict between two parties. Federal courts hear cases of federal law and cases involving two parties of different states. This amounts to only about 2 (two) percent of all trials – most cases are heard in state and local courts.

Vocabulary
Criminal law-the body of law that relates to crime
Civil law- the branch of law dealing with disputes between individuals or organizations, in which compensation may be awarded to the victim
Litigants- A party engaged in a lawsuit
Plaintiff-the person who is calling for the lawsuit usually the victim
Defendant-the person who is being called to court for the commitment of a crime
Standing to sue-one of the doctrines of justiciability derived from the case or controversy requirement of Article II
Class action lawsuit-In law, a class action, a class suit, or a representative action is a form of lawsuit in which a large group of people collectively bring a claim to court
Amicus curiae briefs-filed by someone not a party to the case but interested in the legal doctrine to be developed a certain way
Attorneys-people who represent others in court
Appellate jurisdiction-the power of a higher court to review a lower court's decision about a case
District courts- the general trial courts of the United States federal court system
Courts of appeal
Precedent-a principle or rule established in a previous legal case that is either binding on or persuasive ruling
Supreme Court-the highest court in the united states
Senatorial courtesy-an unwritten political custom in the United States whereby the president consults the senior U.S. Senator of his political party of a given issue
Oral arguments-arguments that are voiced using words not violence
Concurring opinion- written opinion by one or more judges of a court which agrees with the decision made by the majority of the court
Dissenting opinion- an opinion in a legal case written by

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