About This Chapter
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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Other chapters within the MTTC Political Science (010): Practice & Study Guide course
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- MTTC Political Science: Research Methodology
- MTTC Political Science: Data Collection & Analysis
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- MTTC Political Science: Major Political Thinkers
- MTTC Political Science: Comparative Government
- MTTC Political Science: World Politics
- MTTC Political Science: International Relations
- MTTC Political Science: International Law & Treaties
- MTTC Political Science: Geography & Politics
- MTTC Political Science: Global Issues
- MTTC Political Science: Foundations of U.S. Government
- MTTC Political Science: The U.S. Constitution
- MTTC Political Science: Rights of U.S. Citizens
- MTTC Political Science: U.S. Legislative Branch
- MTTC Political Science: U.S. Executive Branch
- MTTC Political Science: Federal Bureaucracy
- MTTC Political Science: U.S. Judicial Branch
- MTTC Political Science: U.S. Politics (1789-1877)
- MTTC Political Science: U.S. Politics (1878-1945)
- MTTC Political Science: U.S. Politics (1946-1979)
- MTTC Political Science: U.S. Politics (1980-Present)
- MTTC Political Science: U.S. Foreign Policy
- MTTC Political Science: Federal Government & the Economy
- MTTC Political Science: Political Parties & Elections
- MTTC Political Science: Media & Culture in U.S. Politics
- MTTC Political Science: Interest Groups & Lobbying
- MTTC Political Science: Federalism
- MTTC Political Science: Analyzing Public Policy
- MTTC Political Science: Michigan State Government
- MTTC Political Science Flashcards