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The Court System. Appeals Court. Definition: A higher court that can change the decision of a trial court. Ex. U.S. Courts of Appeals or U.S. Supreme Court. No juries or witnesses No new evidence presented. Petitioner.

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Presentation Transcript
appeals court
Appeals Court
  • Definition: A higher court that can change the decision of a trial court.
  • Ex. U.S. Courts of Appeals or U.S. Supreme Court.
  • No juries or witnesses
  • No new evidence presented
petitioner
Petitioner
  • Presents arguments asking the court to change the decision of a trial court.
  • Wants decision of lower court overturned.
respondent
Respondent
  • Presents arguments supporting the decision of the trial court.
  • Doesn’t want decision of trial court to change.
error of law
Error of Law
  • This occurs when the judge makes a mistake during the trial (ex. gives wrong instructions to jury or allows evidence that should not have been allowed).
  • An appeal is possible if there has been a error of law.
  • A minor error that doesn’t affect outcome of trial is not a reason to appeal.
precedent
Precedent
  • Court decisions on legal questions that guide future cases with similar questions.
  • This is how courts “make law.”
  • Precedents are usually followed, but also can be overturned.
majority opinion
Majority Opinion
  • The actual decision of an appeal court.
dissenting opinion
Dissenting Opinion
  • A written argument of an appeals court stating why some judges disagreed with the majority opinion.
  • Can be the reasoning for future majority opinions.
concurring opinion
Concurring Opinion
  • A decision of an appeals court that agrees with the majority but for different reasons.
plessy v ferguson
Plessy v. Ferguson
  • Upheld racial segregation in railroad cars as long as they are “separate, but equal.”
  • Was a dissenting opinion that said this violated Constitution.
brown v board of education
Brown v. Board of Education
  • “Separate, but equal” doctrine was declared unconstitutional.
  • They used part of the dissenting opinion from Plessy in this decision.
federal courts
Federal Courts

Hear criminal and civil cases about:

  • Constitution
  • Federal law
  • Parties from different states when over $75,000.
u s district courts
U.S. District Courts
  • Federal Trial Courts (where the case begins).
state courts
State Courts
  • Usually deal with family, traffic, criminal, probate, and small claims issues.
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