About This Chapter
The Court System in the U.S. - Chapter Summary
The lessons in this chapter provide an overview of the court system in the United States. You'll find discussions of topics such as the structure and organization of the federal court system, the dual-court system, and appellate courts. After completing the chapter, you should be ready to:
- Discuss the history and development of American courts
- Describe the court system, including trial and appellate courts
- Explain the structure and organization of the 3 levels of the federal court system
- Provide an overview of the United States Supreme Court
- Define long arm statute and jurisdiction over property
- Discuss court functions and how a venue is determined for a court case
- Explain jurisdiction of the Supreme Court and subject matter jurisdiction
These video lessons are a fun way to quickly get up to speed on the court system in the United States. Each video is accompanied by a full written transcript. Vocabulary words are in bold for quick reference. You can also get help from instructors if you get stuck on a topic.
1. American Courts: History, Development & The Dual-Court System
In this lesson, you'll consider the history of the court system in the United States and how two distinct parts developed in the early years of the country. You'll learn about debates among legislators and the significant laws they established.
2. The Court System: Trial, Appellate & Supreme Court
There are three separate levels of courts in our legal system, each serving a different function. Trial courts settle disputes as the first court of instance, appellate courts review cases moved up from trial courts and supreme courts hear cases of national importance or those appealed in the court of appeals.
3. The 3 Levels of the Federal Court System: Structure and Organization
The federal court system has three main levels: U.S. District Court, U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals and the U.S. Supreme Court. Each level of court serves a different legal function for both civil and criminal cases.
4. Overview of the US Supreme Court
The U.S. Supreme Court justices reside over cases involving original jurisdiction under certain circumstances and appellate jurisdiction when a decision from a lower court involving constitutional law is at issue. Appellate cases require a writ of certiorari requesting permission to address this court.
5. State Court System: Structure & Overview
There is no uniform structure to the State Court System. Each state has its own system but most states operate similarly to the Federal Court System in that there are several levels of courts including trial courts, intermediate appellate courts and supreme courts.
6. Long Arm Statute: Definition & Example
Long-arm statute refers to the jurisdiction a court has over out-of-state defendant corporations. International Shoe v. State of Washington was a landmark case that set precedent for establishing the right for government to use the long-arm statute to bring an action against a defendant corporation.
7. 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.
8. 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.
9. Jurisdiction over Property: Definition & Types
In rem and quasi in rem jurisdiction give a court power over property. The court's power over the property can be used as leverage or as a means of satisfying a civil action against a defendant. The conditions that are required determine the court's ability to exercise both types of jurisdiction of property.
10. What is the Jurisdiction of the Supreme Court?
The U.S. Supreme Court exercises a right to preside over specific cases and is considered the court of original jurisdiction based on subject-matter jurisdiction. It is considered an appellate court for cases involving constitutional law under certain circumstances.
11. 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.
12. Courtroom Participants: Professional & Non-Professional Members
Learn the roles of the many different people present at a trial who may be part of the courtroom work group. Find out who is considered a professional participant and who are known as the outsiders.
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