Black`s Law Dictionary, 10th edition (Reservations and reference KF156. B53 2019) – is considered the most authoritative American legal dictionary. Cases are legal decisions based on a specific set of facts involving parties who have a real interest in the controversy. Civil law systems rely less on precedents than on codes that explicitly provide rules for many specific disputes. If a judge has to go beyond the letter of a code to resolve a dispute, his or her decision will not become binding or even relevant in subsequent decisions involving other parties. The U.S. Supreme Court is the highest court in the U.S. judicial system and has the power to rule on appeals in all cases filed in federal or state court, but dealing with federal law. For example, if a First Amendment free speech case were decided by a state`s highest court (usually the state Supreme Court), the case could be challenged in federal court. However, if the same case were decided entirely on the basis of a state law similar to the First Amendment, the U.S. Supreme Court would not be able to hear the case. The level or hierarchy of courts largely defines the extent to which a decision of one court has binding effect on another court. The federal court system, for example, is based on a three-tier structure in which the United States District Courts are the courts at the process level; The United States Court of Appeals is the trial court.
and the U.S. Supreme Court is the final arbiter of the law. Second, the federal judicial system is based on a system of “jurisdiction,” that is, the geographical distribution of courts at certain levels. For example, while there is only one Supreme Court, the Court of Appeal is divided into 13 counties and there are 94 district courts. In addition, each state judicial system has its own “jurisdiction”. As already mentioned, the jurisdiction in which a case has been raised determines which judicial decisions constitute binding precedents. The Federal Court System in the United States: An Introduction for Judges and Judicial Administrators in Other Countries, 4th edition (2016). Judicial Office of the U.S. Courts Programs – Written for foreign lawyers, this booklet covers the structure, jurisdiction, administration, and interaction between the judiciary and other branches of government and the public.
Criminal cases should not be placed under the jurisdiction of diversity. States can only sue in state courts, and the federal government can only sue in federal court. It is important to note that the principle of double prosecution – which does not allow an accused to be charged twice on the same count – does not apply between the federal and state governments. For example, if the state lays a murder charge and does not receive a conviction, in some cases the federal government can lay charges against the defendant if the act is also illegal under federal law. F. Allan Farnsworth, An Introduction to the Legal System of the United States, 4th edition (Reservations KF387. F37 2010) – discusses the culture of legal education and practice in the United States, explains the legal system and procedures of the United States, summarizes common areas of U.S. law, and has an appendix for reading case law and statutes. Here are some of the fundamental principles that make up the U.S.
legal system. Each of these chapters is discussed in more detail in this chapter and in other chapters of this book. They are summarized below to give the reader an overview of some of the fundamental principles of American common law. Hélène S. Shapo, Marilyn R. Walter & Elizabeth Fajans, Writing and Analysis in the Law (Reservations KF250. S52 2013) – the textbook used in the LLM Legal Research and Writing course; advises on the structure of legal writing as well as tone, content and editing. Hegland, Kenney F. Einführung in das Studium und die Praxis des Rechts in einer Nussschshell, 7th edition (Reserves KF273.
H4 2017) – brief overview of case analysis and legal arguments based on simplified false cases; Includes advice on the study and structure of the Faculty of Law. United States Department of State, Office of International Information Programs. Overview of the U.S. Legal System – explains the history and organization of the U.S. federal and state judicial systems. Comprehensive customer relationship management system for law firms. William Burnham, Introduction to the Law and Legal System of the United States, 6th ed. (KF386. B88 2016) – explains the structure of the U.S. legal system, sources of U.S. law, and legal procedures, including a brief background history, and covers key law school topics such as tort, property law, and contract law; also includes a section on the impact of international law on the United States.
The U.S. system is a common law system that relies heavily on precedent for formal judgments. In our common law system, court decisions in previous court proceedings are extremely important to the court`s decision on the pending case, even if it is a statute. Create your legal strategy and do important work with authoritative primary law, analysis, advice, court records and validation tools. Kevin J. Fandl, Lost in Translation: Effective Legal Writing for the International Legal Community (Reservations K94 F36 2013) – covers contract drafting and academic legal writing, and provides exercises to practice legal writing skills. John A. Humbach, Whose Monet?: An Introduction to the American Legal System (KF8863. H86 2016) – teaches the legal system by following a real case from start to finish, explaining the process and legal issues at different stages of a case. Eldon H. Reily & Connie de la Vega, The American Legal System for Foreign Lawyers (KF387 R448 2012) – a detailed explanation of the U.S.
legal structure, including the basis and scope of judicial review in Chapter 8. Either party can then file a motion for “judgment independent of judgment” (sometimes called JNOV for short) if they are not satisfied with the decision. This motion asks the judge to overturn the verdict and give his own judgment on the case. Typically, this only works if one party wants to reduce the amount of money the jury thinks they will pay. Similarly, defendants in criminal proceedings may make such a request if they believe that there has been a flagrant error in the trial. The system is generally three-tiered. A case is usually heard at the lowest level or court, usually a “district” court or a “procedural” court. Once this case has been heard and a decision or “judgment” has been rendered, both the defendant and the plaintiff have the opportunity to appeal the decision to a “court of appeal” or a “court of appeal”. In other words, if they don`t like what the judge and/or jury have decided, they can complain to the next higher level of the court system and try to overturn the decision. However, they can only appeal if they believe the judge erred in law, and not just because they are disappointed with the outcome.
The American legal system is based on a system of federalism or decentralization. While the national or “federal” government itself has significant powers, individual states retain powers that are not explicitly listed as exclusively federal. Most states have judicial systems similar to those of the federal court system. This guide is intended for international LLM students who may not be familiar with common law systems and the U.S. legal system. However, this guide is also useful for those who want to gain a basic understanding of the U.S. legal system. Many of these books cover topics in more than one of the topics listed above, but are grouped according to their primary focus. One of the most complex concepts in U.S. jurisprudence is the extent to which the various sources of law in state and federal systems are interrelated.
There is a complex set of rules that define relative priority between different sources of law and between state and federal systems. The federal court system has three main levels: the district courts (the trial court), the district courts, which are the first instance of appeal, and the Supreme Court of the United States, the court of last resort in the federal system. There are 94 district courts, 13 district courts and one Supreme Court throughout the country. John B. Thorton, USA Legal Reasoning, Writing, and Practice for International Lawyers (KF386 T483 2014) – includes a chapter comparing civil law systems with the American system and exercises for practicing drafting instructions. The following books are good introductory books to the legal system of the United States: JR Swanegan & Ellen S. Podgor, Overview of U.S. Law, 2nd ed. (Reservations KF 385. O93 2019) – provides a preliminary explanation of seventeen topics typically offered by U.S. law schools, as well as a chapter comparing the U.S. legal system to a civil code system.
The U.S. legal system is adversarial and rests on the premise that a genuine and living dispute, involving parties who have a genuine interest in its outcome, allows for the most vigorous legal debate on issues, and that courts should not have the power to make decisions unless they respond to genuine controversy.