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Chapter 3 Civil Dispute Resolution
Terms in this set (115)
Lowest level of fed. courts, where fed. cases begin &trials are held (bank robbery, environmental violations, tax evasion)
The district courts are general trial courts in the federal system. Most federal cases begin in the _____________, and it is here that issues of fact are decided.
In law, an _________ session (French for "in bench") is a session in which a case is heard before all the judges of a court (before the entire bench) rather than by one judge or a panel of judges selected from them
Court of Appeals
federal courts that hear appeals from district courts; no trials
which primarily hears appeals from the district courts located within its circuit . In addition, these courts review decisions of many administrative agencies, the Tax Court, and the Bankruptcy Courts.
To annul or make void a court ruling on account of some error or irregularity.
An appellate court uses the term ________ to indicate that it annuls or avoids the judgment, or vacates the decree, of the trial court.
Change the lower court's judgment.
to send a case back to a lower court to be tried again
To send back. The sending by the appellate court of a cause back to the same court out of which it came, for the purpose of having some further action taken on it there
Uphold the lower court's judgment.
U.S. Supreme Court
the highest court of the United States; it sits at the top of the federal court system
Appeal by right
Mandatory review by a higher court.
Writ of certiorari
Order by the Supreme Court directing a lower court to send up the records of a case for review
Discretionary review by a higher court.
Courts created by Congress to deal with cases deriving from the delegated powers of Congress such as military appeals, tax appeals, and veteran appeals.
Inferior trial courts
hear minor criminal cases such as traffic offenses and civil cases involving small amounts of money and conduct preliminary hearings in more serious criminal cases
Small Claims Court
A special court in which parties can litigate small claims without an attorney.
Inferior civil courts with jurisdiction limited by dollar amount.
trial de novo
Literally, "new trial." The term is applied to cases that are retried on appeal, as opposed to those that are simply reviewed on the record.
Court of original jurisdiction where cases begin
These courts do not have a dollar limitation on their jurisdiction in civil cases and hear all criminal cases other than minor offenses. These trial courts of general jurisdiction maintain formal records of their proceedings as procedural safeguards.
Special Trial Courts
trial courts, such as probate courts and family courts, which have jurisdiction over a particular area of state law
Intermediate Appellate court
a state appellate court that relieves the case burden on the supreme court by hearing certain types of appeals
means the power or authority of a court to hear and decide a given case.
The right and power of a court to adjudicate concerning the subject matter in a given case.
Subject Matter Jurisdiction
Authority of a court to decide a particular kind of case.
Such jurisdiction that permits only one court (state or federal) to hear a case.
Exclusive Federal Jurisdiction
jurisdiction that permits only the federal courts to hear a case
The federal courts have exclusive jurisdiction over federal criminal prosecutions; admiralty, bankruptcy, antitrust, patent, trademark, and copyright cases; suits against the United States; and cases arising under certain federal statutes that expressly provide for exclusive federal jurisdiction
Concurrent Federal Jurisdiction
both state and federal courts have jurisdiction over a case
power shared by federal and state courts to hear certain cases
Authority of more than one court to hear the same case
the jurisdiction of courts of law over cases concerning ships or the sea and other navigable waters; maritime law.
A question that has to do with the U.S. Constitution, acts of Congress, or treaties. A federal question provides a basis for federal jurisdiction.
Any case arising under the Constitution, statutes, or treaties of the United States.
Diversity of Citizenship
A basis for federal court jurisdiction over a lawsuit between citizens of different states and countries.
Under Article III, Section 2, of the Constitution, a basis for federal court jurisdiction over a lawsuit between (1) citizens of different states, (2) a foreign country and citizens of a state or of different states, or (3) citizens of a state and citizens or subjects of a foreign country. The amount in controversy must be more than $75,000 before a federal court can take jurisdiction in such cases.
treat a specified country as a permanent home
between the states
Conflict of laws
A body of legal principles used to determine the appropriate law to apply to a litigated case when more than one state is involved
That branch of jurisprudence, arising from the diversity of the laws of different nations, states, or jurisdictions, that reconciles the inconsistencies, or decides which law is to govern in a particular case.
the science or philosophy of law
the theory or philosophy of law.
a legal system.
Jurisdiction over the parties
power of the court to bind the parties to a lawsuit. Note: Plaintiff is automatically under jurisdiction of court when he files petition - we are generally concerned with how to get jurisdiction over the defendant.
Power of a court to bind the parties to a suit.
in personam jurisdiction
jurisdiction over the parties to a lawsuit
Jurisdiction based on claims against a person, in contrast to jurisdiction over his property.
in rem jurisdiction
Court jurisdiction over a defendant's property.
Courts in a state have the jurisdiction to adjudicate claims to property situated within the state if the plaintiff gives those persons who have an interest in the property reasonable notice and an opportunity to be heard.
over a defendant's property to obtain payment of a claim not related to the property
Declares that all persons born in the U.S. are citizens and are guaranteed equal protection of the laws
The court process to determine whether someone committed a criminal act
long arm statute
A state statute that permits a state to obtain personal jurisdiction over nonresident defendants. A defendant must have "minimum contacts" with that state for the statute to apply.
To hear and decide judicially; to judge
attachment jurisdiction (quasi in rem)
jurisdiction over property not based on claims against it.
like in rem jurisdiction, is jurisdiction over property rather than over a person. But ___________ is invoked by seizing the defendant's property located within the state to obtain payment of a claim against the defendant that is unrelated to the property seized.
The geographic district in which a legal action is tried and from which the jury is selected.
"Jurisdiction" of the court means the inherent power to decide a case, whereas "_____" designates the particular county or city in which a court with jurisdiction may hear and determine the case.
the process of taking legal action
a lawsuit in which the plaintiff or defendant is a collective group of individuals
Named Plaintiff ( or lead Plaintiff)
When a class action is permitted, the group files the lawsuit with a representative plaintiff, called the "____________" or "__________."
are a series of responsive, formal, written statements in which each side to a lawsuit states its claims and defenses. The purpose of _______is to give notice and to establish the issues of fact and law the parties dispute.
The formal allegations by the parties of their respective claims and defenses.
Issue of fact
facts that are part of a legal case
is a dispute between the parties regarding the events that gave rise to the lawsuit.
are decided by the jury, or by the judge when there is no jury.
Issue of law
An issue involving interpretation of law where the facts are not disputed and from which only one conclusion can be drawn. __________are decided by judges, not juries.
is a dispute between the parties as to what legal rules apply to these facts.
___________ are decided by the judge.
The pleading made by a plaintiff alleging wrongdoing on the part of the defendant; the document that, when filed with a court, initiates a lawsuit.
One who applies to the courts for legal redress by filing a _________ (i.e., plaintiff).
a notice directing someone to appear in court to answer a complaint or a charge
Writ or process directed to the sheriff or other proper officer, requiring him to notify the person named that an action has been commenced against him in the court from which the process has issued and that he is required to appear, on a day named, and answer the complaint in such action
a judgement entered by a court against a defendant who has failed to appear in court to answer or defend against the plaintiff's claim.
Judgment against a defendant who fails to respond to a complaint.
a motion a party can make to try to dispose of all or part of a lawsuit prior to trial
A motion to dismiss a case because the claim is legally insufficient.
An allegation of a defendant that even if the facts as stated in the pleading to which objection is taken be true, their legal consequences are not such as to require the demurring party to answer them or to proceed further with the cause.
The answer is the formal written statement made by a defendant setting forth the ground of his defense.
A response to a plaintiff's claim that does not deny the plaintiff's facts but attacks the plaintiff's legal right to bring an action. An example is the running of the statute of limitations.
A response that attacks the plaintiff's legal right to bring an action as opposed to attacking the truth of the claim; e.g., accord and satisfaction; assumption of risk; contributory negligence; duress; estoppel.
A second lawsuit by the defendant against the plaintiff
A claim presented by a defendant in opposition to or deduction from the claim of the plaintiff.
Procedurally, a plaintiff's response to a defendant's answer.
Plaintiff's pleading in response to the defendant's answer.
Judgement on the pleadings
a final ruling in favor of one party by the judge based on the pleadings
Final binding determination on the merits made by the judge after the pleadings.
A method by which the opposing parties obtain information from each other to prepare for trial.
The pretrial devices that can be used by one party to obtain facts and information about the case from the other party in order to assist the party's preparation for trial. Under the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, tools of ___________ include depositions upon oral and written questions, written interrogatories, production of documents or things, permission to enter upon land or other property, physical and mental examinations, and requests for admission.
sworn testimony recorded and transcribed by a court reporter
The testimony of a witness taken upon interrogatories, not in court, but intended to be used in court.
A series of written questions for which written answers are prepared by a party to a lawsuit, usually with the assistance of the party's attorney, and then signed under oath.
A type of pretrial discovery in which written questions propounded on behalf of one party in an action are directed to another party or to someone who is not a party. The person interrogated must give his or her answers in writing, and upon oath.
request for admissions
A set of statements sent from one litigant to an adversary for the purpose of determining what facts are in dispute and which facts both parties accept as true.
A conference, scheduled before the trial begins, between the judge and the attorneys litigating the suit. The parties may settle the dispute, clarify the issues, schedule discovery, and so on during the conference.
A ruling by the court that no trial is necessary because some essential facts are not in dispute
Rule of Civil Procedure 56 permits any party to a civil action to move for a summary judgment on a claim, counterclaim, or cross-claim when he believes that there is no genuine issue of material fact and that he is entitled to prevail as a matter of law.
jury selection process
Jury selection process of questioning prospective jurors, to ascertain their qualifications and determine any basis for challenge.
challenge for cause
ability to exclude a prospective trial juror if bias or prejudice is indicated. Each party has an unlimited number of __________
a rejection of a prospective juror for which no specific reason need be given. Each party has a limited number of _________________
a statement made by the lawyer for each side at the beginning of a trial, in which each lawyer outlines the case he or she intends to present
The examination of a witness by the attorney who calls the witness to the stand to testify on behalf of the attorney's client.
questioning of a witness conducted by the lawyer for the opposing side
Offer of proof
Presentation of evidence to the court (out of the hearing of the jury) for the court's decision of whether the evidence is admissible.
a ruling that the plaintiff has entirely failed to prove some aspect of her case
In a case in which the party with the burden of proof has failed to present a prima facie case for jury consideration, the trial judge may order the entry of a verdict without allowing the jury to consider it because, as a matter of law, there can be only one such verdict.
prima facie case
A case in which the plaintiff has produced sufficient evidence of his or her claim that the case will be decided for the plaintiff unless the defendant produces evidence to rebut it.
a direct address each lawyer gives to the judge or jury at the end of a trial, summarizing his or her case and attempting to weaken the other side's case
jury instructions (charges)
instructions that the judge gives to the jury that inform the jurors of the law to be applied in the case
The attorneys previously have given possible written jury instructions on the applicable law to the trial judge, who gives to the jury those instructions that he approves and denies those that he considers incorrect. The judge also may give the jury instructions of his own.
the decision a jury makes in a trial; the decision said by the jury
The formal and unanimous decision or finding of a jury, impaneled and sworn for the trial of a cause, upon the matters or questions duly submitted to it upon the trial
A kind of verdict reached by a jury that makes findings of fact by answering specific questions posed by the judge. The judge then applies the law to the facts as the jury has found them.
motion for a new trial
The unsuccessful party may then file a written __________or for judgment notwithstanding the verdict.
A _____ may be granted if (1) the judge committed prejudicial error during the trial, (2) the verdict is against the weight of the evidence, (3) the damages are excessive, or (4) the trial was not fair.
Judgment n.o.v. (notwithstanding the verdict)
A judgment by a trial judge that overrules all or part of the jury verdict
Judgment non obstante veredicto in its broadest sense is a judgment rendered in favor of one party notwithstanding the finding of a verdict in favor of the other party.
Non obstante veredicto (motion for judgment)
A post trial motion that asks the judge to disregard a jury's verdict.
To ask a higher court to review the decision and determine if justice was done
Resort to a superior (appellate) court to review the decision of an inferior (trial) court or administrative agency.
A written statement by an attorney that summarizes a case and the laws and rulings that support it
stage in Supreme Court procedure in which attorneys for both sides appear before the Court to present their positions and answer questions posed by justices
writ of execution
Order served by sheriff upon debtor demanding pay-ment of a court judgment against debtor.
A court ruling that requires that money be deducted from a person's paycheck involuntarily in order to pay a debt.
full faith and credit
A clause in Article IV of the Constitution requiring each state to recognize the public acts, records, and judicial proceedings of all other states.
settling a dispute by agreeing to accept the decision of an impartial outsider
The reference of a dispute to an impartial (third) person chosen by the parties, who agree in advance to abide by the arbitrator's award issued after a hearing at which both parties have an opportunity to be heard
arbitration voluntarily entered into by the parties.
Federal Arbitration Act (FAA)
a federal statute that provides for the enforcement of most arbitration agreements
Uniform Arbitration Act (UAA)
Gives arbitrators the power to swear witnesses and issue subpoenas
Arbitration required by statute for specific types of disputes.
The decision of an arbitrator.
arbitration in which the arbitrator's decision is simply a recommendation and need not be complied with
a method of outside resolution of labor and management differences in which a third party is brought in to keep the two sides talking
Nonbinding process in which a third party acts as an intermediary between disputing parties.
Nonbinding process in which a third party acts as an intermediary between the disputing parties and proposes solutions for them to consider.
(v.) to proclaim or issue officially; to make known far and wide
A type of dispute resolution process in which both parties agree to start out in mediation and, if unsuccessful, to move on to arbitration.
nonbinding process in which attorneys for the disputing parties (typically corporations) present evidence to managers of the disputing parties and a neutral third party, after which the managers attempt to negotiate a settlement in consultation with the third party
summary jury trial
a mock or dry-run trial for parties to get a feel for how their cases will play to a jury
A method of settling disputes in which a trial is held, but the jury's verdict is not binding. The verdict acts only as a guide to both sides in reaching an agreement during the mandatory negotiations that immediately follow the ____________.
is a consensual bargaining process in which the parties attempt to reach an agreement resolving their dispute. __________ differs from other methods of alternative dispute resolution in that no third parties are involved.
Petition for Cert
An appeal filed with the Supreme Court asking the Court to review a lower court decision.
The rule of four
At least four justices of the Supreme Court must vote to consider a case before it can be heard
when two or more circuit courts have different rules on the same issue of law; often the Supreme Court will step in to resolve the split
Representing oneself. Serving as one's own lawyer.
Briefing a case
Summarizing a case. A typical case brief will indicate the full citation for the case, the factual background and procedural history of the case, the issue(s) raised in the case, the court's decision, the court's holding, and the legal reasoning on which the court based its decision. The brief may also include conclusions or notes concerning the case made by the one briefing it.
principal place of business
The state where a corporation conducts a majority of its business, or, if this is not certain, the state where corporate headquarters is located.
Traditional notions of fair play
a requirement or standard of fairness which a court's assertion of personal jurisdiction over a nonresident defendant must meet in order to avoid a violation of the defendant's right to due process
A constitutional fairness requirement that a defendant have at least a certain minimum level of contact with a state before the state courts can have jurisdiction over the defendant.
a legal rule stating who is authorized to start a lawsuit
legitimate justification for bringing a civil case to court
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
Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR)
The resolution of disputes in ways other than those involved in the traditional judicial process. Negotiation, mediation, and arbitration are forms of ADR.
action of law (lawsuit)
complaint, answer, reply
A trial in which the judge alone hears the case
a wrongful act or an infringement of a right (other than under contract) leading to civil legal liability.
A civil wrong
A violation of criminal law for which some governmental authority applies formal penalties.
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