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Unit 4 ½ Application Of Law Use Case Law. Federal Court Hierarchy. New York Court Hierarchy. New York Court Hierarchy. New York Court Hierarchy. Making A Decision . In order to make a decision, the court must follow the law : Constitutional law Statutory law Administrative law

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Unit 4 application of law use case law
Unit 4 ½Application Of LawUse Case Law






Making a decision
Making A Decision

  • In order to make a decision, the court must follow the law:

    • Constitutional law

    • Statutory law

    • Administrative law

    • Case law from a court decision


Making a decision1
Making a Decision

… It is well settled that police officers, in order to legally forcibly stop and seize an individual, must have articulable, reasonable suspicion that the individual was involved in criminal activity (see People v DeBour, 40 NY2d 210, 223 [1976]; People v McNair, 36 AD3d 1073, 1074 [2007], lv. denied 9 NY3d 847 [2007]). A seizure occurs when there is “a significant interruption with an individual’s liberty of movement” (People v DeBour, 40 NY2d at 216; see People v Ocasio, 85 NY2d 982, 984 [1995]).

  • Past case law is precedent

  • A court when using court decisions to make a current court decision looks at past case law from various courts.


Making a decision2
Making a Decision

  • Not all courts are the same or equal.


What is the value of that court decision
What is the Value of that Court Decision?

  • Every court decision does two things: 

    • It binds both parties to the decisions. 

      • That is, both parties must follow that decision

    • It sets a precedent

      • It creates a decision that other court must either follow or think about.


1 it binds both parties to the decisions
(1) It Binds Both Parties To The Decisions.

  • When a court makes a decision, each party is bound by it. 

  • Examples:  

    • Trial Court motion is granted and an order is issued.

      • The losing party must follow that court order

    • Appellate Court hears appeal and reverses

      • The losing party and the lower court must follow that decision


2 it sets a precedent
(2) It Sets A Precedent

  • When any court makes a decision, it creates precedent.

  • Precedent is case law created by previous decision.

  • Does precedent bind other courts?

  • In other words, which courts who must follow that decision?


Precedential hierarchy using case law
Precedential Hierarchy: Using Case Law

  • When a party makes an argument through pleadings and/or oral arguments, the party will use law.

  • When they use case law, they want to use case law that is mandatory or controlling on the court before it.

  • In other words, the law they present is law that the court must follow.

  • If it is not controlling, then the law is persuasive (i.e., not controlling).


General rule for using cases
General Rule for Using Cases

  • CONTROLLING:

    • All decisions from court higher in the court hierarchy are controlling on that lower court.

  • NOT CONTROLLING (Persuasive):

    • All decisions from a court lower in the court hierarchy are not controlling on that higher court.


United states supreme court decisions
United States Supreme Court Decisions

  • The United States Supreme Court is the final interpreter of the United States Constitution.

  • If the United States Supreme Court interprets the Federal Constitution, all courts in the United States are bound by these decisions — they must follow that decision


United states court of appeals decisions
United States Court of Appeals Decisions

  • US Court of Appeals decisions must follow US Supreme Court decisions.

  • If the United States Court of Appeals renders a decision,

    • it is controlling on the US District Court

    • it is persuasive on the US Supreme Court


United states district court decisions
United States District Court Decisions

  • US District Courts must follow US Supreme Court and US Court of Appeals decisions.

  • If the United States District renders a decision,

    • it is persuasive on the US Supreme Court and US Court of Appeals.


What this means
What This Means

  • If you are drafting a memorandum of law for the US District Court:

    • Try to cite

      • US Supreme Court; and

      • US Court of Appeals Decisions


What this means1
What This Means

  • If you are drafting a memorandum of law for the US Court of Appeals:

    • Try to cite US Supreme Court Decisions


New york court of appeals decisions
New York Court of Appeals decisions

  • The New York Court of Appeals is the final interpreter of New York law, including the interpretation of New York statutes and the New York Constitution.


New york court of appeals decisions1
New York Court of Appeals decisions

  • All Court of Appeals decisions must be followed

    • by all lower appellate courts (Appellate Division or the Appellate Term) and

    • by all trial courts (courts of original jurisdiction).


Decisions of intermediate appellate courts
Decisions of intermediate appellate courts

  • The intermediate appellate courts in New York are

    • the Appellate Division and

    • the Appellate Term.


Decisions of intermediate appellate courts1
Decisions of intermediate appellate courts

  • The Appellate Division hears appeals from the trial court decisions of

    • Supreme Court,

    • Court of Claims,

    • Family Court, and

    • Surrogates Court.

    • Appellate Term (can).


Decisions of intermediate appellate courts2
Decisions of intermediate appellate courts

  • The Appellate Terms hears appeals from decisions of

    • NYC Criminal Court and

    • NYC Civil Court.


Decisions of intermediate appellate courts3
Decisions of intermediate appellate courts

  • NY Court of Appeals decisions are controlling on all intermediate appellate courts.


Decisions of intermediate appellate courts4
Decisions of intermediate appellate courts

  • Decisions by the Appellate Division are controlling on

    • courts of original jurisdiction and

    • the Appellate Term.


Decisions of intermediate appellate courts5
Decisions of intermediate appellate courts

  • Decisions of the Appellate Term are controlling on courts whose decisions are appealed to it

    • NYC Criminal Court; and

    • NYC Civil Court.


Hierarchy of authority between departments
Hierarchy of Authority Between Departments

  • NY trial courts must follow decisions from the Appellate Division.

  • The Appellate Division is divided geographically into 4 Departments.

    • First Department

    • Second Department

    • Third Department

    • Fourth Department

4th

3d

2d

1st


What happens when two departments disagree with each other
What Happens When Two Departments Disagree With Each Other?

  • Is that possible?

    • Yes, each Department must follow the court of Appeals, BUT each Department does not have to follow each other.

  • First Department is not bound by the Second Department

  • What’s a trial court to do?


Rule

  • A trial court must follow their Department’s decisions.

    • E.g., trial courts in the First Department must follow Appellate Division cases from the First Department


Rule

  • If their Department has not ruled on the issue, they must follow another Department

    • E.g., Supreme Court, Queens County must follow the AD from the 3d if the 2d Department has not ruled on that issue.


Rule

  • If the Departments have conflicting rulings, then their decisions are not binding.

    • E.g., if the 1st and 3d Departments have ruled different way and the 2d has not, they are persuasive on Supreme Court Queens County.


What happens when two united states courts of appeal disagree with each other
What Happens When Two United States Courts of Appeal Disagree With Each Other?

  • The Federal Court of Appeals is divided into 13 Circuits

  • The same rules that apply to the New York intermediate appellate courts, apply to the Federal intermediate appellate courts


Procedure in a trial court
Procedure in a Disagree With Each Other? Trial Court

  • Follow Court of Appeals decisions


Procedure in a trial court1
Procedure in a Disagree With Each Other? Trial Court

  • If no Court of Appeals decision, then follow your Department.


Procedure in a trial court2
Procedure in a Disagree With Each Other? Trial Court

  • If your Department has not ruled on the issue, then follow another Department.


Procedure in a trial court3
Procedure in a Disagree With Each Other? Trial Court

  • If the other Departments are in conflict, then there are no controlling decisions.


Are federal court decisions controlling on new york state courts
Are Federal Court Decisions Controlling On New York State Courts?

  • The United States Supreme Court is the FINAL interpreter of the United States Constitution.

  • All courts in the United States (both Federal and States Courts), must follow the US Constitution.

  • In order to follow the constitution, they must interpret the US Constitution.

  • When the US Supreme renders a decision interpreting the US Constitution, all courts, both Federal and State, must follow the US Supreme Court decision.

  • The decision is controlling on ALL courts


What about other federal court s decisions
What About Other Federal Court’s Decisions? Courts?

  • All decisions of the US Court of Appeals and the US District Courts are NOT controlling on the state courts.

  • They are persuasive on the state courts.


Dealing with precedent decisions by the same court
Dealing With Precedent: Courts? Decisions by the Same Court

  • Up until not we have talked about one court past decision and whether the lower court has to follow that decision.

  • What about whether the court has to follow their previous precedent?


Understanding the concept of stare decisis
Understanding The Concept of Courts? Stare Decisis

  • Stare decisis:

    • basic legal principle that commands judicial respect for a court's earlier decisions and the rules of law they embody.

    • promotes the evenhanded, predictable, and consistent development of legal principles,

    • fosters reliance on judicial decisions, and

    • contributes to the actual and perceived integrity of the judicial process.


Understanding the concept of stare decisis1
Understanding The Concept Of Stare Courts? Decisis

  • Adhering to our prior case law be the norm.

  • Not an “inexorable command”

  • Not “a mechanical formula of adherence to the latest decision” especially in constitutional cases

  • Departure from precedent is exceptional, and requires “special justification.”


Mandatory controlling versus persuasive
Mandatory/Controlling Courts? versus Persuasive

  • It all comes down to two questions:

    • When is a case found in legal research controlling on the court you are going to submit it to?

    • When is a case found in legal research persuasive on the court you are going to submit it to?


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