What is law?
rules and regulations made and enforced by government, that regulate the conduct of people within a society
What are the 6 functions of law?
1. to protect basic human rights
2. promote fairness
3. help resolve conflicts
4. promote order and stability
5. promote desirable social and economic behavior
6. represent the will of the majority
7. protect the rights of the minority
What is the purpose of the civil justice system?
The purpose of the civil justice system is to regulate the way people treat each other so individuals will not financially harm or have their reputations hurt by others.
What is the purpose of the criminal justice system?
The purpose of the criminal justice system is to protect the people by regulating actions (crimes) that harm society.
What type of cases are heard in civil justice system?
1. Law suits to recover damages suffered in a car accident
2. Grievances related to negligence
4. Real Estate
6. Consumer Protection
What types of cases are heard in criminal justice system?
1. Misdemeanors (minor traffic violations etc.)
2. Felonies (murder, distribution of illegal drugs)
What standard of proof is required in a civil case and who must prove it?
The plaintiff must prove by a 'preponderance' of evidence that the defendant is liable for the "harm" the plaintiff suffered.
What standard of proof is required in a criminal case and who must prove it?
The prosecutor must prove the defendant is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
What are the penalties in a criminal case?
The defendant may have to:
1. Serve time in jail or prison
2. Pay a fine
3. Do community service
4. Complete probation
How does the Bill of Rights help ensure fair trials in civil cases?
The 7th Amendment give plaintiffs and defendants the right to trial by jury if requested.
How does the Bill of Rights help ensure fair trials in criminal cases?
4th Amend. protects defendants from having illegally seized evidence used against them in trial.
5th Amend. protects against self incrimination and right to grand jury.
6th Amend. give the right of a speedy trial and ability to cross examine witnesses, compel witnesses to testify, and assistance from a lawyer.
8th Amend. protects against cruel and unusual punishment.
What are the alternatives to going to court?
What is the difference between negotiation and arbitration?
During a negotiation two parties work out their differences directly or indirectly with the use of lawyer. During arbitration the verdict is reached through a third party's judgement.
What type of trial system do we have in the U.S. and what does it mean?
Jury System- to create equal justice under the law
Which amendment guarantees a defendant in a criminal case the right to a trial by jury?
How do most criminal cases end?
Plea-Bargain where the defendant is charged with some sort of offense sometimes not being the same crime originally charged with
What is the criteria to serve on jury duty?
-reside in state
-no felony charges
-not subject to felony charges
What are two ways attorneys can remove jurors?
1. Cause (a biased or prejudice)
2. Preemptory Challenge (no cause needed; but attorneys are only allotted a certain amount of preemptory challenges)
When is an appeal possible?
After a verdict is named in the trial court and the case is taken to an appellate court
What is a precedent?
Something that is going to be considered a second time. (during an appeal your case is precedent)
What are the possible decisions from the justices?
1. Uphold the original decision
2. Reverse the decision
3. Remand the case (send it back to the lower court to be tried again)
What is it called when you make additional closing arguments that respond to points made by the defense?
What type of jurisdiction do appellate courts have?
Which is the highest court in the land and what type of jurisdiction does it have?
to reverse , affirm or remand a case, supreme, cases involving foreign diplomats or a state
How many justices are on the Supreme Court? How many must agree to hear a case? How many must agree on the decision in a case?
How can they leave this position?
Justices can either die, resign, retire, or be impeached by the House of Representatives, then tried by the Senate, on the grounds of misconduct.