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lists parties names and party designation


person who filed the appeal or petition


summary of a particular point of law discussed in a case

court brief

the party's written argument

case brief

summary of a case used by researcher


where to find the case in the library or online


summarize the relevant facts

procedural history

what has happened in the court system so far


the question the court has to answer-one sentence on the form of a question. each issue should be a separate question


answer to the issue question-one sentence


discussion analysis-why did the court reach their decision-will contain the rules of law


outcome/disposition. reverse, affirm, or vacate-the courts final ruling with respect to the lower courts decision

trial court

2 parties present their evidence at the trial level-evidence may be testimony, documents or tangible evidence-the role of the trial court is to determine the facts and apply the applicable law to the facts

intermediate appellate court

an appellate court that is subject to judicial review by a higher appellate court

court of last resort

the highest teir in the federal and state court system, which usually contains 1 court-all members of the court participate in deciding cases


the right and power of a court to make legally binding decisions in a particular geographical area over particular persons and subject matters

geographical jurisdiction

refers to the geographical area within which the court has the right and power to make decisions that are legally binding

subject matter jurisdiction

the person about whom and the subject matters about which a court has the right and power to make decisions that are legally binding

general jurisdiction

the power of a court to hear and decide any of a wide range of cases that arise within its geographical area

limited jurisdiction

a court of limited jurisdiction is limited to hearing certain types of cases

in personam jurisdiction(personal)

the authority of the court to determine the rights of the defendent

in rem jurisdiction(property)

the authority of the court to determine the status of property

hierarchical jurisdiction

the level of court deciding a case. The court of original jurisdiction initially hears and decides a case. on appeal the case is heard by a court with appellate jurisdiction

original jurisdiction

the power of a court to take a case, try it and decide it(as opposed to appellate jurisdiction, the power of a court to hear and decide an appeal)

appellate jurisdiction

the power and authority of a higher court to take up cases that have already been in a lower court and the power to make decisions about these cases


evidence given by a witness under oath


the judges final summary of a case and instructions to the jury

questions of law

a point in dispute in a lawsuit; an issue for decision by the judge


a judge must decide whether a piece of evidence may be considered by the factfinder in deciding a case


a request that a judge make a ruling or take some other action-motions are either granted or denied by the judge

motion for a directed verdict

a request that the judge take the decision out of the jury's hands. The judge does this by telling the jurors what the jury must decide or by actually making the decision. The judge might do this when the person suing hads presented facts that ,even if believed by a jury, cannot add up to a successful case

motion for a summary judgement

a request that the judge enter a final judgement(victory) for one side of a lawsuit(or in one part of a lawsuit)without trial, when a judge finds that there is no genuine factual issue in the lawsuit

bench trial

a case tried w/o a jury

discretionary jurisdiction

a court that decides if the court should hear the case

appellate court

a court whose jurisdiction is to review decisions of lower courts or agencies

questions of fact

a point in dispute in a lawsuit; an issue for decision by judge or jury


sends back-for example a higher court may sendback a case to a lwer court,directing a lower court to take some action


a group of judges that decides a case

appellate brief

an attorney's written argument presented to an appeal court, setting forth a statement of the law as it should be applied to the client's facts

oral argument

the presentation of each side of a case before an appeals court

us district courts

us trial courts

federal question jurisdiction

Jurisdiction given to federal courts in cases involving the interpretation and application of the U.S. Constitution, acts of Congress, and treaties.

diversity jurisdiction

federal courts have diversity jurisdiction as long as the amount in controversy is more than 75,000 and the parties have the requistite diversity of citzenship with the parties from different states or one party a citizen of a state and the other party

united states courts of appeals

13 courts with appellate jurisdiction in 12 districts to ease Supreme Court workload


Title of a judge on the state Supreme Court or federal Supreme Court

cheif justice

The head of a court. The Cheif Justice of the United States is the highest ranking judicial official in the nation and is the head of the U.S. Supreme Court.

petition for a writ of certiorari

a request for a writ of certiorari is like an appeal, but one which the higher court is not required to take for decision

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