Glossary of Law and Society-courts
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- Define jurisdiction
- the power and authority given to a court ot hear a case and make a judgement
- Define diversity of citizenship
- when the US district court has jurisdiction to hear a civil case because the parties come from different states
- Define original jurisdiction
- district courts have authority to try a case the first time it is heard, most federal cases bein one of the US district courts
- Define intermediate courts
- court between the lower court and the highest court - also called the appellate court
- Define appellate jurisdiction
- authority of a court to review and/or modify a decision of a lower courts
- Define special federal courts
- only have jurisdiction for certain cases
- Define Supreme Court
- highest court in the land
- Define local trial courts
- courts of limited jurisdiction
- Define limited jurisdiction
- authority of a court to hear only one particular type of case
- Define general jurisdiction
- courts for states major civil and criminal cases, aka circuit court, court of common pleas
- Define PA Court of Common Pleas
- court of general criminal and civil jurisdiction
- Define special state courts
- jurisdiction limited to particular subject matter
- Define docket
- a list or schedule of cases
- How many justices sit on the US Supreme Court?
- What is a complaint?
- the legal paper that the plaintiffs lawyer writes
- What is the answer?
- the legal paper that the defendants lawyer writes
- Do most cases go to trial?
- What happens to cases that don't go to trial?
- the two parties settle
- What is the discovery phase of a trial?
- finding faults and evidence
- How are appeals court proceedings different from trial court proceedings?
- No jury, questions whether the law was followed in a case. If there is no mistake in following the law then there is no appeal
- What is a grand jury?
- 23 people jury
- What is an indictment?
- The jury votes the most probable outcome before the defendant makes a plea
- What happens to the vast majority of criminal cases?
- Charges dropped due to insufficient evidence
- The Supreme Court is the only court created in the...
- It is the court of...
- last resort
- It is the .... of the government
- It has.... in some cases (ambassadors)
- original jurisdiction
- ...judges appointed for life one of which is the Chief Justice
- What is the rule of four?
- Four of the nine judges must agree to hear a case
- Courts hear but a .... of the cases submitted (100/5-6,000)
- What are oral arguments?
- each side (attorneys) have 30 minutes to present their case
- What are briefs?
- written documents that each side submits to the court prior to oral arguments
- What is the conference?
- secret meeting and no transcripts are made
- What is the opinion of the court?
- decision of the court
- What is a concurring opinion?
- a different spin on the majority opinion
- What is the dissenting opinion?
- written by judges who voted against the majority opinion
- Lower courts findings may be .... or ....
- affirmed or reversed
- What are the three possible decisions by appellate judges?
- 1. Let the original verdict stand
2. Overturn the original decision
3. Send the case back to the lower court for a new trial
- What are the three basic views as to how the court should make it's decisions?
- 1. Justices should use the literal meaning of the Constitution
2. The justices should follow the intent of the framers of the Constitution
3. The justices should use perspective.
- How are most decisions made?
- Justice try to use the three methods but also review precedents (decisions made in previous Supreme Court decisions).
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