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BLS SG ch 3
Terms in this set (54)
the response of the defendant to the plaintiff's complaint
a higher court, usually consisting of more than one judge, that reviews the decision and results of a lower court (either a trial court or a lower-level appellate court) when a losing party files for an appeal. do not hold trials but may request additional oral and written arguments from each party; they issue written decisions, which collectively constitute case law or the common law.
a written legal argument, which a party presents to a court, that explains why that party to the case should prevail (factum)
a term used in the U.S. Constitution to describe the structure and requirements of conflicting claims of individuals that can be brought before a federal court for resolution. requires an actual dispute between parties over their legal rights that remains in conflict at the time the case is presented and that is a proper matter for judicial determination
case or controversy
a formal written document that begins a civil lawsuit; contains the plaintiff's list of allegations against the defendant, along with the damages the plaintiff seeks
a claim made by the defendant against the plaintiff that is filed along with the defendant's answer
a higher court, usually consisting of more than one judge, that reviews the decision and results of a lower court (either a trial court or a lower-level appellate court) when a losing party files for an appeal. Appellate courts do not hold trials but may request additional oral and written arguments from each party; they issue written decisions, which collectively constitute case law or the common law
(appellate court) court of appellate jurisdiction
(trial court) a court in which most civil or criminal cases start when they first enter the legal system. The parties present evidence and call witnesses to testify. Trial courts are referred to as courts of common pleas or county courts in state court systems and district courts in the federal system
court of original jurisdiction
judgment for the plaintiff that occurs when the defendant fails to respond to the complain
the person, party, or entity against whom a civil or criminal lawsuit is filed in a court of law
a pretrial sworn and recorded testimony of a witness that is acquired out of court with no judge present
a ruling by the judge, after the plaintiff has presented her case but before any evidence is put forward by the defendant, in favor of the defendant because the plaintiff has failed to present the minimum amount of evidence necessary to establish his claim
the pretrial phase in a lawsuit during which each party requests relevant documents and other evidence from the other side in an attempt to "discover" pertinent facts and to avoid any surprises in the courtroom during the trial. include requests for admissions, interrogatories, depositions, requests for inspection, and document production requests
: the power of a court to require that a party (usually the defendant) or a witness come before the court; extends to that state's borders in the state court system and across the court's geographic district in the federal system
In personam jurisdiction
the power of a court over the property or status of an out-of-state defendant located within the court's jurisdiction area
ex. suppose a utah resident has not paid property taxes on a piece of land she owned in idaho. an Idaho state court has the power to seize the property and sell it to pay the property taxes.
in rem jurisdiction
a formal set of written questions that one party to a lawsuit asks the opposing party during the pretrial discovery process to clarify matters of evidence and help determine what facts will be presented at a trial in the case. The questions must be answered in writing under oath or under penalty of perjury within a specified time
the power of a court to hear cases and resolve disputes
a statute that enables a court to obtain jurisdiction against an out-of-state defendant as long as the defendant has sufficient minimum contacts within the state, such as committing a tort or doing business in the state
served to alleviate the problem of in personam jurisdiction
a contrived or imitation trial, recruited by a jury selection firm, that attorneys sometimes use in preparing for a real trial in order to test theories, experiment with arguments, and try to predict the outcome of the real trial
in a civil case, a request made by either party that asks a judge or a court to issue an order in that party's favor
in a civil case, a request made by either party, after pleadings have been entered, that asks a judge or a court, to issue a judgment
motion for judgment on the pleadings
in a civil case, a request made by either party that asks a judge or a court to promptly and expeditiously dispose of the case without a trial. Any evidence or information that would be admissible at trial may be considered on a motion for summary judgment. The court may hold oral arguments or decide the motion on the basis of the parties' briefs and supporting documentation alone
motion for summary judgment
in a civil case, a request by the defendant that asks a judge or a court to dismiss the case because even if all the allegations are true, the plaintiff is not entitled to any legal relief (demurrer)
motion to dismiss
in a jury trial, the right of the plaintiff and the defendant in jury selection to reject, without stating a reason, a certain number of potential jurors who appear to have an unfavorable bias
ex. a lawyer could challenge for cause a potential juror who was a college roommate of the defendant
the process in which an officer of the court hands legal documents, such as a summons or complaint, to the defendant
the person or party who initiates a lawsuit (an action) before a court by filing a complaint with the clerk of the court against the defendant(s). (claimant, complainant)
an error of law that is so significant that it affects the outcome of the case
ex. the judge improperly admitted hearsay evidence that allowed the plaintiff to prove an element of her case
prejudicial error of law
a meeting of the judge and the attorneys for both sides to narrow the issues for trial and identify witnesses for trial
a type of jurisdiction exercised by a court over an out-of-state defendant's property that is within the jurisdictional boundaries of the court; applies to personal suits against a defendant in which the property is not the source of the conflict but is sought as compensation by the plaintiff (attachment jurisdiction)
*the defendants property is unrelated to the plaintiff's claim
ex. suppose Charlie, a Massachusetts resident, ran a red light while he was vacationing in Cali and collided with Jessica's car. Jessica suffered extensive injuries from the accident and successfully sued Charlie for $200000 in Cali state court. They court can exercise this by seizing and selling charlies vaca house to cover the money owed to Jessica.
quasi in rem jurisdiction
a response by the plaintiff to the defendant's counterclaim
in a lawsuit, a discovery tool that forces the opposing party to produce certain information unless it is privileged or irrelevant to the case
request to produce documents
a measure of the readiness of a case for a decision to be made; designed to prevent premature litigation for a dispute that is insufficiently developed. A claim is not ripe for litigation if it rests on contingent future events that may not occur as anticipated or may not occur at all
the procedure by which a court delivers a copy of the statement of claim or other legal documents, such as a summons, complaint, or subpoena, to a defendant
service of process
an unofficial jury, hired by a party in a legal case, that watches the actual trial and deliberates at the end of each day to give the attorney an idea of how the real jurors are reacting to the case
the legal right of a party to bring a lawsuit by demonstrating to the court sufficient connection to and harm from the law or action challenged (i.e. the plaintiff must demonstrate that he or she is harmed or will be harmed). Otherwise, the court will dismiss the case, ruling that the plaintiff "lacks standing" to bring the suit
ex. if you hire a landscaper to mow your lawn ever week and she fails to show up every other week, you have the standing to sue your landscaper. But if your friend hired the landscaper to mow his lawn, you lack the standing to sue the landscaper on your friend's behalf bc you do not have a personal stake in the outcome of the case
the power of a court over the type of case presented to it
subject matter jurisdiction
a legal document issued by a court and addressed to a defendant that notifies him or her of a lawsuit and specifies how and when to respond to the complaint. may be used in both civil and criminal proceedings
a court in which most civil or criminal cases start when they first enter the legal system. The parties present evidence and call witnesses to testify. Trial courts are referred to as courts of common pleas or county courts in state court systems and district courts in the federal system. Also called court of original jurisdiction and court of first instance
the court with subject-matter and personal jurisdiction that is the most appropriate geographic location for the resolution of a dispute
the process of questioning potential jurors to ensure that the jury will be made up of nonbiased individuals
a Supreme Court order, issued after the Court decides to hear an appeal, mandating that the lower court send to the Supreme Court the record of the appealed case
writ of certiorari
_______ is the power of a court to render a decision affecting a person's legal rights.
_______ is the power of a court to render a decision in a particular type of case.
In personam jurisdiction
The three forms of subject-matter jurisdiction are
is the geographic location of the trial.
The U.S. has two parallel court structures: the state and federal systems. The federal structure has district courts (trial courts), circuit courts of appeal, and the U.S. Supreme Court. The state court structure varies by state, but generally includes courts of common pleas (trial courts), state courts of appeal, and a state supreme court.
structure of the court system
what are the threshold requirements? these ensure that courts only hear cases that genuinely require adjudication
-case or controversy (justiciable controversy)
for a person to have the legal right to file a case, the outcome of the case must personally affect that person.
There must be an issue before the court that a judicial decision is capable of resolving. Parties cannot ask the judge for an "advisory opinion".
case or controversy
The case cannot be moot; it must be ready for a decision to be made
what are the steps in civil litigation?
includes consultation with attorneys, pleadings, the discovery process, and the pretrial conference.
begins with jury selection, followed by opening statements, the plaintiff's case, the defendant's case, closing arguments, jury instructions, jury deliberations, the jury's verdict, and the judgment
parties may file this after the trial
post trial motions
The parties may then file _____ to the appropriate appellate court and in some cases, to the U.S. Supreme Court
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