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Civil Versus Criminal Law

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BADM 302 Written Assignment I- Workshop I

The federal court system is divided into a three part structure. If visualized like a pyramid, the Supreme Court serves as the highest level of the federal court system. The intermediate level of the federal court system is known as The Federal Courts of Appeal, followed by the Federal District Courts. Most cases begin at the lowest level of the federal court system which is called District Courts. There are ninety-four judicial courts in the country including Puerto Rico, Guam, and the District of Columbia. The aforementioned judicial courts are placed into twelve regional courts each having a United States Court of appeals and one United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. If a case is appealed from a state supreme court or The Federal Court of Appeals, the Supreme Court may hear the case if they choose to issue a ‘writ of certiorari.” The litigants in a particular case must file a ‘writ of certiorari” before the Supreme Court justices will consider hearing the case. If four of the nine justices agree to hear the case, a writ will then be issued. (http://www.catea.org/grade/structure.html)

District Courts, also known as trial courts, have jurisdiction of most federal case categories. District Courts hear both civil and criminal cases and at this level is where most cases originate. There are also two special courts that also fall under District Courts known as The United States Court of Federal Claims and The Court of International Trade. The United States Court of Federal Claims are involved with money damages against the U.S. such as disputes over federal contracts. The Court of International Trade deals primarily with customs and international trade disputes. District Courts involve a judge and jury hearing a case and issuing a verdict for or against a litigator. Depending on the circumstances, the case could be either closed or appealed to a higher court. District Court Cases can be pushed in either direction. Some cases make it all the way to the Supreme Court, while others may be pushed to an even lower court on a more local level. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Federal_Government_of_the_United States)

The US Court of Appeals will hear cases that were appealed in District Court Cases. Also known as “appellate courts” these cases may also hear cases from state supreme courts dealing with constitutional issues. These courts are divided into twelve regions called circuits. Appellate Courts will hear specific cases that are based within its region. Appellate Courts do not handle jury trials, the verdict is final. They might handle a case if the parties involved believe that the judge in the case mishandled a case by giving improper information to jurors or did not admit a vital piece of evidence. In order to hear an appeal, the parties involved must submit what is called a brief. This brief explains

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