Ch 19: MTTC Political Science: U.S. Jurisprudence

About This Chapter

Use these entertaining video lessons to get prepared for questions on the MTTC Political Science related to the sources of laws in the U.S., the types of laws, the types of courts, processes of court proceedings and alternative forms of dispute resolution.

MTTC Political Science: U.S. Jurisprudence - Chapter Summary

This chapter uses short lesson videos to give you a good overview of the legal system and jurisprudence in the U.S. Watch the videos to improve your understanding of the source of laws, types of law, court proceedings and dispute resolution in the U.S. After these lessons, you should be better prepared for exam questions about:

  • The Constitution, statutes, regulations, case laws and common laws
  • Principles of law
  • Differences between public and private law
  • Functions of the courts
  • Jurisdiction and determining the venue of a court case
  • Court procedures, including lawsuits, threshold requirements and partial pleadings
  • Civil litigation and appeals
  • Constitutional requirements of a criminal trial
  • Writ of Habeas Corpus
  • Alternative methods of dispute resolution

Reinforce your understanding of the material presented in these lessons and discover topics you don't fully understand by completing the quizzes that accompany these lesson videos. Once you've discovered the material you don't know, improve your understanding of that material by returning to the lesson videos with the provided links that allow you to jump to the spots of the lessons that discussed these topics.

MTTC Political Science: U.S. Jurisprudence - Chapter Objectives

Use this chapter to prepare for questions on the Michigan Test for Teachers Certification (MTTC) Political Science about U.S. jurisprudence. Forty percent of the 100 multiple-choice questions on this certification exam ask you about the foundations and operations of government in the United States, including some questions on the principles and operations of the U.S. legal system.

17 Lessons in Chapter 19: MTTC Political Science: U.S. Jurisprudence
Test your knowledge with a 30-question chapter practice test
Sources of Law in the American Legal System

1. Sources of Law in the American Legal System

The rules that govern society come from a number of places. This lesson will cover the sources of law in the American legal system. A short quiz will follow the lesson to check your understanding.

What Is the Rule of Law? - Definition & Principle

2. What Is the Rule of Law? - Definition & Principle

Rule of law takes on several meanings. On one hand, it means that no person or government is above the law. In another, it means that no government or its officials can enforce laws that are unfair or unjust.

Public Law vs. Private Law: Definitions and Differences

3. Public Law vs. Private Law: Definitions and Differences

The simple difference between public and private law is in those that each affects. Public law affects society as a whole, while private law affects individuals, families, businesses and small groups.

Substantive Law vs. Procedural Law: Definitions and Differences

4. Substantive Law vs. Procedural Law: Definitions and Differences

Substantive law and procedural law work together to ensure that in a criminal or civil case, the appropriate laws are applied and the proper procedures are followed to bring a case to trial. In this lesson, we'll discuss the differences between the two and how they relate to the legal system as a whole.

Court Functions: Original and Appellate Jurisdiction

5. Court Functions: Original and Appellate Jurisdiction

Courts exercise two types of jurisdiction over cases: original jurisdiction and appellate jurisdiction for cases previously heard in a lower court. Judges have the option, when hearing an appeals case, to reverse or remand a decision based on a violation of law like abuse of discretion.

Subject Matter Jurisdiction: Federal, State and Concurrent

6. Subject Matter Jurisdiction: Federal, State and Concurrent

One of the ways a court determines whether a case will be heard is based on subject matter jurisdiction. We will explore several factors that determine subject matter jurisdiction in state and federal courts, including concurrent subject matter jurisdiction.

How Venue is Determined for a Court Case

7. How Venue is Determined for a Court Case

Venue is the location where a civil or criminal case is decided. The venue is decided similarly in civil and criminal trials. However, the venue is decided differently in state and federal courts.

Starting a Lawsuit: Parties & Beginning Process

8. Starting a Lawsuit: Parties & Beginning Process

There are two parties to a lawsuit: the plaintiff, who initiates the lawsuit, and the defendant, who defends against the allegations waged against him. A lawsuit is a process that involves several steps beginning with the filing of a complaint and ending with a judge's or jury's decision.

Threshold Requirements: Standing, Case or Controversy & Ripeness

9. Threshold Requirements: Standing, Case or Controversy & Ripeness

Threshold requirements are conditions that a plaintiff must meet in order to take another person or entity to court. There are threshold requirements for standing, case and controversy and ripeness. With all three, the court will require answers to specific questions to determine whether legal action can be taken against a party.

Pretrial Pleadings & Service of Process in Civil Litigation

10. Pretrial Pleadings & Service of Process in Civil Litigation

Before a trial begins, there are several pleadings a plaintiff and defendant must file with the court to set a lawsuit into motion and this is known as the pretrial stage of a trial. Some common pleadings include a complaint, summons, motion to dismiss and motion for judgment.

Defendant's Response & Motions in Civil Litigation

11. Defendant's Response & Motions in Civil Litigation

Once a plaintiff initiates a civil lawsuit, the defendant must respond within a certain period of time depending on the particular state's requirements. The defendant responds by answering the complaint or filing a motion with the court.

Jury Trial and Selection in Civil Litigation

12. Jury Trial and Selection in Civil Litigation

When a civil action leads to a trial, a jury is selected. The selection process general involves the parties or attorneys for the parties to question potential jurors from a pool of jury candidates. Once a jury is selected, the jury trial moves through various steps ending in a final decision.

Delivering a Verdict in Civil Litigation

13. Delivering a Verdict in Civil Litigation

In any court case, the end result is a verdict. However, there are several roads that lead to the verdict, including motion to dismiss, directed verdict, special verdict and judgment notwithstanding the verdict.

Civil Appeals Process: Parties, Briefs & Oral Arguments

14. Civil Appeals Process: Parties, Briefs & Oral Arguments

The civil appeals process allows for a losing party to a lawsuit to request a higher court to review the decision to determine whether legal errors were made during the original trial.

Constitutional Requirements of a Criminal Trial

15. Constitutional Requirements of a Criminal Trial

In criminal court, a defendant will rely heavily on his constitutional rights to a fair trial. These rights, specifically the Fifth and Sixth Amendment Rights provide the requirements for a criminal trial. Some rights include right to a speedy trial, right to counsel and a right to an impartial jury. There are several other equally important rights that this important amendment protects.

Writ of Habeas Corpus & Reasonable Doubt in a Criminal Trial

16. Writ of Habeas Corpus & Reasonable Doubt in a Criminal Trial

In a last ditch effort to be free, a person in custody, after exhausting all appeals and motions, may file a writ of habeas corpus requesting further investigation of his constitutional rights in an attempt to be set free.

Alternative Forms of Dispute Resolution: Negotiation, Mediation & Arbitration

17. Alternative Forms of Dispute Resolution: Negotiation, Mediation & Arbitration

In the eyes of the law, there are several ways a dispute can be settled. Some disputes can simply be negotiated to a win-win outcome. Others may require a third party to assist in coming up with solutions to remedy a situation.

Chapter Practice Exam
Test your knowledge of this chapter with a 30 question practice chapter exam.
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Practice Final Exam
Test your knowledge of the entire course with a 50 question practice final exam.
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