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 in the American legal system, public versus private law, the functions of the various levels of the court system and more. This chapter will make sure you are prepared to:
- Detail how a lawsuit begins
- Explain jury trial and selection
- Relate how a verdict is delivered in a civil trial
- Describe the civil appeals process
- Summarize the constitutional requirements of a criminal trial
- Discuss alternate forms of dispute resolution such as negotiation, mediation and arbitration
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 material you don't know, improve your understanding of that subject area by returning to the corresponding portion of the lesson video with the provided link.
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. 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.
3. 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.
4. 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.
5. 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.
6. 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.
7. 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.
8. 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.
9. 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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