Unit A-Business Law Essential Standard 1.00. Objective 1.02 Understand C ourt Systems and T rial P rocedures. Federal Courts. U. S. Supreme Court highest court in land both original and appellate jurisdiction exercises its appellate jurisdiction over cases from lower courts
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Understand Court Systems
and Trial Procedures
U. S. Supreme Court
highest court in land
both original and appellate jurisdiction
exercises its appellate jurisdiction over cases from lower courts
U. S. Court of Appeals
appellate jurisdiction over the district courts, certain specialized federal courts and many Federal agencies.
do not accept any new evidence or call witnesses.
review the trial transcripts, legal briefs and oral arguments from attorneys.
13 Federal Courts of Appeal - 12 of these are Circuit Courts and each is assigned a geographic area of the U. S.
thirteenth court is assigned to the federal circuit
handles appealed patent cases from district court
handles appeals from courts with special jurisdictions.
U. S. District Courts
lowest level of Federal court with general jurisdiction
first to hear the dispute in the Federal system
power to determine the facts and make initial determinations
original jurisdiction on Federal cases that fall under the Constitution, U. S. Law and U. S. treaties and between a U. S. citizen and a foreign nation or a foreign citizen.
N. C. Supreme Court
state’s highest court
Chief Justice and six associate justices
decide cases appealed from lower courts, including from the Court of Appeals.
makes no determinations of fact
considers only questions of law
means resolving a party’s claim that there were errors in legal procedures or in judicial interpretation of the law in the trial court or the Court of Appeals.
N. C. Court of Appeals
intermediate appellate court
sit in panels of three to hear cases with one Chief Judge of the Court of Appeals appointed by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court
decides only questions of law
N. C. Superior Court
trial court divisions
to determine the facts of cases
N. C. District Court
hold trials to determine the facts of cases
both civil and criminal matters
preside over “small claims "court
conduct certain preliminary proceedings and are authorized to dispose of some criminal cases by pleas of guilty or by trial.
civil jurisdiction of the trial court divisions – the superior court and district court – is concurrent
depends on the type of offense charged
with a few exceptions, the superior court has exclusive jurisdiction over all felonies.
exclusive, original jurisdiction over all juvenile cases
children under the age of sixteen who are accused of being “delinquent” and children under the age of eighteen who are “undisciplined,” “abused,” “neglected” or “dependent.”
all records of juvenile proceedings are confidential and not open to the public.
a person who has allegedly committed a felony offense or a serious misdemeanor offense that does not meet the requirements for a person to be released on a signature summons.
the arrested person is taken before a magistrate and based on the charge, circumstances and the offenders prior criminal record, the magistrate sets an initial bail-bond amount in order for the person charged to be released.
the charged person is brought before a judge to determine probable cause to have the case heard by a grand jury for possible indictment (if a felony charge). This arraignment is also used to change or set any bail requirements.
Criminal Cases (continued)
panel of eighteen citizens
randomly drawn from the same pool as those selected for jury duty for a trial
determine if probable cause exists for the case to go to trial
person or entity bringing or filing the lawsuit.
person or entity against which the lawsuit is brought
initial pleading by which a lawsuit is begun
response to a civil complaint
issued by the Clerk of Court
official notice of the lawsuit
papers requesting something or responding to a request that are filed in the case, including the complaint and answer
Steps to a Trial
(Criminal and Civil)
attorneys for both prosecution (plaintiff if civil) are allowed to strike a specific number of jurors without justification referred to as Voir dire
beginning of the trial
limited to outlining facts
set the basic scene for the jurors
introduce them to the core dispute(s) in the case
provide a general road map of how the trial is expected to unfold
declaration by a witness under oath, as that given before a court or deliberative body
Item such as a coroner's report, a weapon in a criminal case or photographs in a civil case that can help corroborate or refute the testimony of other witnesses
opportunity to remind jurors about key evidence presented and to persuade them to adopt an interpretation favorable to each sides position
given by the trial judge
specifically state what the defendant can be found guilty of and what the prosecution or plaintiff has to prove in order for a guilty verdict.
jury is charged to find the defendant guilty or not guilty
in criminal case by all 12 members
in civil case by the majority of the jurors in a civil trial
in a criminal trial the jury must make a decision beyond a reasonable doubt
in a civil trial the jury must make a decision by a preponderance of the evidence.
in a civil case the verdict is sometimes called a judgment.