the power of a court to hear a case and render a binding decision. There are two main types: appellate and original jurisdiction.
The power to initially hear and try a case (Where a case originates; trial court)
The power to review a previously-made decision by the trial court (Court of Appeals)
in personam jurisdiction
The power of the court to render a decision that affects the legal rights of a specific person. (Deciding something that affects the specific person involved; i.e. child custody)
Party on whose behalf the complaint is filed
defendant - Party against whom an action is being brought
The initial pleading of a case that states the names of the parties to the action, the basis for the court's subject matter jurisdiction, the facts on which the party's claim is based, and the relief that the party is seeking.
Order by a court to appear before it at a certain time and place
Providing the defendant with a summons and a copy of the complaint
a statute authorizing a court to obtain jurisdiction over an out-of-state defendant when that party has sufficient minimum contacts with a state
- the power of a court to render a decision that affects property directly rather than the owner of a property
subject matter jurisdiction
the power of a court to render a decision in a particular type of case
state court jurisdiction
Applies to cases that may be heard only in the state court system (Breach of contract, Products Liability Actions, Divorces)
exclusive federal jurisdiction
Applies to cases that may be heard only in the federal court system (Admiralty, Bankruptcy, Federal criminal prosecutions, claims against the U.S., claims arising under those federal statutes that include a provision for this exclusive federal jurisdiction)
Applies to cases that may be heard in either federal or the state court system
County of the trial court; prescribed by state statute (Geographic location, based on the residence of the defendant, the location of the property in dispute, or the location in which the incident out of which the dispute arose occurred). Change of venue is granted at the judge's discretion. Used if the location of the court in which the case is filed is not convenient for one of the parties.
Provides that information furnished by a client to an attorney in confidence, in conjunction with a legal matter, may not be revealed by the attorney without the client's permission
Provides that formal and informal documents prepared by an attorney in conjunction with a client's case are privileged and may not be revealed by the attorney without the client's permission
A judicial philosophy that says the courts need take an active role in encouraging political, economic, and social change
A judicial philosophy that says courts should refrain from determining the constitutionality of a legislative act unless absolutely necessary and that social, political, and economic change should come out of the political process
A jury of 12 citizens impaneled to decide on the facts at issue in a criminal case and to pronounce the defendant guilty or not guilty
A formal written accusation in a felony case
A group of 12 to 23 citizens convened in private to decide whether enough evidence exists to try the defendant for a felony
System of litigation in which the judge hears evidence and arguments presented by both sides in a case and then makes an objective decision based on the facts and the law as presented by each side
rules of civil procedure
The rules governing proceedings in a civil case; federal rules of procedure apply in all federal courts, and state rules apply in state courts
Papers filed by a party in court and then served on the opponent in a civil lawsuit.
motion to dismiss
Defendant's application to the court to put the case out of judicial consideration because even if the plaintiff's factual allegations are true, the plaintiff is not entitled to relief
Defendant's statement of facts showing cause for action against the plaintiff and a request for appropriate relief
The pretrial gathering of information from each other by the parties
Pretrial testimony by witnesses who are examined under oath
Process whereby the judge and/or the attorneys determine whether they will be able to render an unbiased opinion in the case
Group of individuals, demographically matched to the actual jurors in a case, in front of whom lawyers practice their arguments before presenting their case to the actual jury
Group of individuals, demographically matched to the actual jurors in a case, that sits in the courtroom during a trial and then "deliberates" at the end of each day so that lawyers have continuous feedback of how their case is going
Questioning by the directing attorney following cross-examination. The scope of the questions is limited to questions asked on the cross-examination
A brief additional argument by the plaintiff to address any important matters brought out in the defendant's closing argument
Term used for an appellate court's decision to uphold the decision of a lower court in a case that has been appealed
Term used for an appellate court's decision that, although the lower court's decision was correct, it granted an inappropriate remedy that needs to be changed
Term used for an appellate court's decision that the lower court's decision was incorrect and cannot be allowed to stand
Term used for an appellate court's decision that an error was committed that may have affected the outcome of the case and that therefore the case must be returned to the lower court
3-1 World-Wide Volkswagen Corporation v. Woodson (1980)
3-1 World-Wide Volkswagen Corporation v. Woodson (1980) - Focuses on the "minimum contact" clause. Mr. and Mrs. Robinson (Plaintiffs) bought a car in New York, which was later involved in a car accident. The married couple wanted to sue Volkswagen for damages incurred involving the aforementioned car, in Oklahoma. The Volkswagen Corporation (Defendants) argued that the Oklahoma court had no jurisdiction over them because of the insufficient amount of minimum contact with the state to be subject to its in personam jurisdiction. The case was brought to the Oklahoma Supreme Court after the defendant's claim was rejected, and was further brought to the U.S. Supreme Court. The reason that it was brought to the Supreme Court was that the issue on appeal was whether the trial court acted properly in asserting jurisdiction. Ultimately the case was reversed in favor of the Volkswagen Corporation.
3-2 Ambrosia Coal & Construction Company v. Hector Carlos Morales, et al (2007).
Focuses on partnerships and parent/child companies as well as jurisdiction/subject matter jurisdiction. Ambrosia financed Garita Hotel Limited Partnership (L.P.) a sum of $4 million for Garita to purchase a 99-year-leasehold interest in Puerto Rican beach property. In exchange for this, Ambrosia received 100% ownership interest in Garita Hotel Corp, a Puerto Rican corporation. Ambrosia won a case regarding the unlawful sale of the leasehold, and later reached a settlement deal with Isla Verde. Ambrosia relinquished its leasehold rights in exchange for enumerated considerations. They felt that their ability to collect payment on the settlement was jeopardized. Ambrosia's subsidiaries (Garita L.P. and Garita Corp.) put their claims under the 1994 settlement agreement to Ambrosia. The subsidiaries in Puerto Rico and Ohio weren't part of the action between Ambrosia and Isla Verde and related parties. Trying to figure out who has the power of jurisdiction and who had rights over the leasehold in Puerto Rico, the court favored the Ambrosia Coal & Construction Company and the case was reversed and remanded.
3-3 J.E.B. v. Alabama, EX REL. T.B. (1994)
Focuses on jury panel selection. T.B. is the unwed mother of a minor child, on behalf of which the State of Alabama filed a complaint for paternity and child support against J.E.B. The original jury panel consisted of 12 males and 24 females. With the removal of several jury panel members for various reasons, the State used its peremptory challenges to remove the remaining male jurors, and J.E.B. removing the tenth male, leaving the jury panel as an all-female jury. J.E.B. objected to the gender-based challenges, and the jury found J.E.B. to be the father of the minor child. J.E.B. went to appellate court, in which that court affirmed the decision that the Equal Protection Clause doesn't prohibit gender-based challenges. Alabama Supreme Court denied certiorari and J.E.B. appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court. The case was a matter of gender-based discrimination because of the entirely-female juror panel. Discrimination in jury panel does hurt the litigants and, the community, and the people who were dropped from the panel. The Equal Protection Clause prohibits discrimination in jury selection on the basis of gender. The case was reversed and remanded in favor of J.E.B. according to Justice Blackmun. Justice Scalia dissented, because J.E.B. used his last peremptory challenge to strike the last remaining male off the jury panel. It seems that Scalia is pro-woman in this case due to knowing how their predecessors were chauvinistic males.
When a court decides whether it could exercise its jurisdiction over a nonresident, what must consider?
1) The burden on the defendant of defending an action in the forum
2) The forum state's interest in adjudicating the dispute
3) The plaintiff's interest in obtaining relief
4) Judicial economy
5) The states' shared interest in furthering fundamental substantive social policies.
Subject Matter Jurisdiction
important because if a judge renders a decision in a case over which the court does not have subject matter jurisdiction, the decision is void or meaningless. The parties cannot give the court subject matter jurisdiction. It is granted by law.
Federal Trial Courts
FEDERAL COURT SYSTEM--The U.S. is divided into 96 districts, and each district has at least one trial court of general jurisdiction (the court has the power to hear cases involving a wide variety of subject matter and that it is not limited in the types of remedies that it can grant).
Intermediate Courts of Appeal
FEDERAL COURT SYSTEM--U.S. is divided into 12 geographic areas, including Washington D.C. Each circuit court of appeals hears appeals from all of the district courts located within its geographic area
Court of Last Resort
FEDERAL COURT SYSTEM--U.S. Supreme Court is the final appellate court in the federal system. It can also hear cases from the court of last resort in a state system (State Supreme Courts)
State Court Systems
There is no uniform state court structure because each state has its own court system; however, most states follow the structure similar to the federal court system.
State Trial Courts
STATE COURT SYSTEM--Have the power to hear all the cases that would be tried in the state court system, except for those in which special trial courts of limited jurisdiction have been established. These courts are limited in the remedies they may grant. These courts handle cases such as traffic cases and misdemeanors.
Intermediate Courts of Appeal
STATE COURT SYSTEM--These exist in approximately half the states and may also be known as Superior Courts
Courts of Last Resort
STATE COURT SYSTEM--Supreme Court/Court of Appeals.
What are the 4 basic stages in a lawsuit
1)PRETRIAL STAGE-informal negotiation, pleadings, defendants repose (motion to dismiss/counterclaim), pretrial motion, discovery, pretrial confrence 2)TRIAL-jury selection,opening statement, plantiff's case, defendants case, jury instructions, closing arguments 3)POST-TRIAL MOTION-motion for a new trial or a moyion for a judgment withstanding the verdict - 4)APPELATE STAGE-party who lost at the trial appeals their case