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Flashcards in Federal Courts Deck (24)
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Name the two types of federal-court jurisdiction

Federal-question jurisdiction.
Diversity jurisdiction.


Define Jurisdiction.

“The power, right, and authority to interpret the law.”


What must be determined first before a case is tried in the federal or state court system?



Two types of federal-court jurisdiction: Federal-Question

What must the case involve to be considered as a Federal-Question jurisdiction? Give an example.

• Case involves:
• Federal statute or law.
• U.S. constitution.
• Examples:
• Americans with Disabilities Act.
• Separation of church and state issue.


Two types of federal-court jurisdiction: Diversity

What must the case involve to be considered as a Diversity jurisdiction? Give an example.

• Federal courts can hear questions of state law, IF:
• The parties are citizens of different states,
• The value of the case EXCEEDS $75,000 (the “amount in controversy” requirement).


Name the three different levels of the federal court from top to bottom.

-United States Supreme Court

-United States Courts of Appeals

-United States District Courts


What is the acronym used to remember the three different levels in both the federal and state court system?


H: Highest. Supreme.
A: Appelate
T: Trial


U.S. District Courts

Which court is the original case filed and tried in both the state and federal court system?

The District Court


U.S. District Courts

How many district courts are there in he US?

There are 94 U.S. District Courts


U.S. District Courts

How are federal district courts arranged geographically?

At least one within each state.
• But NOT connected with state government.


U.S. District Courts

How many district courts does Florida have? Name them.

Florida has three U.S. District Courts (Northern, Middle, Southern).


U.S. District Courts

Name the two different parties and their roles.

• Plaintiff (initiates action).
• Defendant (person being sued).


U.S. District Courts

How many judges preside over a federal district court case?

One judge


U.S. District Courts

A case may be tried in front of a ? or may be a ?

Case may be tried to a jury or may be a “bench trial.”


U.S. District Courts

Assume a plaintiff sues a defendant in the United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida.
• The plaintiff wins.
• What happens next?
• 1.
• 2.


2. Party who loses in district court has an AUTOMATIC right to an appeal.


U.S. Courts of Appeals

How many US courts of appeal are there? and how are they arranged geographically?

There are 13 U.S. Courts of Appeals.
• 12 are geographic.
• One is a specialty court (Federal Circuit).


U.S. Courts of Appeals

Give an example of a name of a US Court of Appeal

United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit


U.S. Courts of Appeals

Name the two parties in US Court of Appeals and their roles in the District Court.

• Appellant (party who LOST in trial court).
• Appellee (party who WON in trial court).


U.S. Courts of Appeals

How many judges preside over a US Court of Appeals case? and name some key differences from a district court case.

Three judges (“the panel”) hear legal arguments only.
• No jury.
• No new evidence/no witnesses.


U.S. Courts of Appeals

Name the three different types of relief and define them.

Types of relief:
• Affirms = agrees with decision in trial court.
• Reverses = disagrees with decision in trial court.
• Remands = sends back to trial court for further proceedings (probably with some instructions).


U.S. Courts of Appeals

What happens to the party who loses in the appellate court?

Loser in U.S. Court of Appeals may file a Petition for Writ of Certiorari.


U.S. Supreme Court

Does the Supreme Court have to hear a trial?


Supreme Court does not have to hear the case (“cert. denied”).


U.S. Supreme Court

How many JUSTICES hear the case?


Nine JUSTICES hear the appeal.


U.S. Supreme Court

What are the two parties named in a case heard by the US Supreme Court?

Petitioner ( ? in Court of Appeals).

Respondent ( ? in Court of Appeals).