The federal court system consists of the following: trial courts (primarily the U.S. district courts, but also various specialized courts), appellate courts (U.S. courts of appeals), and one Supreme Court.
Original jurisdiction: (Check all that apply)
means the power to hear and determine the case first
given to the Supreme Court
District courts have original jurisdiction.
Trial courts do not have original jurisdiction.
What are some of the things that take place at a trial? (Check all that apply)
parties resolve their disputes
the parties present evidence supporting their position
judge rules on all legal issues that arise during the trial.
recorded statements of experts are taken in preparation of litigation
A judge always makes the decisions in a trial.
What are the two steps involved in resolving a dispute in a trial court? Check two.
The court must determine the facts of the dispute.
The court must issue punishment.
The court must apply the appropriate law to the facts.
The court must seek outside analysis from an expert witness on its own.
The court picks the attorney who is the most ethical when determining how to resolve the dispute.
Who can be a trier of fact in a trial court? (Check all that apply)
In criminal cases, federal jurisdiction exists when the crime is a violation of federal law.
In civil cases, federal jurisdiction only occurs when the dispute revolves around the U.S. Constitution.
Diversity of citizenship (check all that apply): A basis for federal court jurisdiction where the plaintiff and defendant are residents of different states and the amount in controversy exceeds $75,000.
is a basis for federal court jurisdiction.
is against the law
occurrs when the plaintiff and defendant are residents of different states
requires that the amount in controversy exceed $75,000
requires citizenship to live in the U.S.
Thirteen federal jurisdictions make up the intermediate appellate level of the federal court system and the United States is divided into twelve separate geographical appellate areas, called circuits.
Any court can hear appeals in patent, copyright, and trademark cases, as well as all appeals from the U.S. Claims Court and the U.S. Court of International Trade.
En banc relates to a case that involves a financial institution.
Check all of the answers that apply to the appellate process!
The appellate court is the first to hear a case.
An appellate court is a court of review.
The purpose of appellate review is to guarantee that parties receive a fair trial.
The appellate judges review the case to see if they agree with the outcome at the trial court.
The appellate judges review what happened at the trial court to make sure that the trial was fair.
When there is an appeal, what needs to be prepared? (Check all that apply)
Transcripts of trial court proceedings.
In exercising its appellate jurisdiction, the court examines the record to determine whether any substantial legal errors were committed that denied the appealing party (the appellant) a fair trial. What are some examples of legal errors?
erroneously admitted or excluded evidence
unfavorable testimony to either side
improper jury instructions
friendship between attorneys on both sides
In reviewing a case, the appellate court can affirm or uphold the trial court’s decision and it can reverse, or change, the trial court’s decision. It can also reverse and remand.
The Supreme Court has 7 justices and two alternates, in addition to a Chief Justice.
The Supreme Court can hear any kind of case--even those that relate to state law only.
Parties desiring a hearing before the Supreme Court usually file a document known as :
petition for writ of certiorari
Technology of any kind is not permitted in any courtroom.
The U.S. Supreme Court is the highest court in the nation and any decision it makes is final.
State court systems are set up differently than the federal court system.
Trial courts are referred to in some states as: (Check all that apply)
Federal court judges are elected by the people.
Magistrates are appointed by the judges of the district court and must possess the qualifications to serve as a judge.
State court judges are installed in the same way as federal court judges.
Court personnel include: (Check all that apply)
What are the requirements for becoming a licensed attorney? (Check all that apply)
Must pass a state bar examination
Must pay $10,000 to the court
Must be licensed in the state in which they wish to practice law
Must have completed a four-year bachelor’s degree program followed by a three-year law school program.
All states now require licensed attorneys to regularly complete a certain number of hours of continuing education in order to maintain their license to practice law.
An attorney can work in
as a Law firm partner
the Prosecutor's office
the office of the Public defender
legal departments of corporations or insurance companies
all of the above
Paralegals can give legal advice.
A hearing before an administrative agency regarding a dispute between an individual and the agency is called an administrative hearing.
What are some common professional organizations for the various members of the legal community?
American Bar Association
State Bar associations
Local Bar associations
American Trial Lawyers Association
National Association of Legal Assistants (NALA)
National Federation of Paralegal Associations (NFPA)
The conduct of a judge is not regulated.
What kind of relationship exists between client and attorney?
What are some possible ethics sanctions for an attorney who fails to adhere to their state code of ethics? (Check all that apply)
A paralegal does not have to abide by the rules of ethics because they are not licensed by the state.
Lawyers have the discretion as to what client information they wish to keep confidential.
Competency requires that attorneys have the requisite legal knowledge to handle a case.
A conflict of interest occurs when the attorney cannot give all of his or her loyalty to the client because of some personal or financial relationship that exists.
An attorney can set up his/her bank accounts in any way they wish.
What are some tasks that would constitute the unauthorized practice of law if performed by a paralegal? (Check all that apply)
Appearing in court on behalf of a client
Giving legal advice
Giving legal information
Giving personal advice
signing pleadings for court filings