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Biz law test 1 Ch 3
Undergraduate 3

Additional Business Flashcards




State court- Limited-Jurisdiction Trial Courts
hear matters of a specialized or limited nature
Ex: traffic courts, juvenile courts, justice-of-the-peace courts, probate courts, family law courts, and courts that hear misdemeanor criminal law cases and civil cases involving lawsuits under a certain dollar amount
Evidence can be introduced and testimony can be given
Most keep records of their proceedings and decisions can usually be appealed to a general-jurisdiction court or an appellate court
Small Claims Courts: civil cases involving small dollar amounts ($5,000 or less)
Generally parties must appear individually and cannot have lawyers
Often appealable to general-jurisdiction trial courts or appellate courts
State court- General-Jurisdiction Trial Courts
testimony and evidence at trial are recorded and stored for future reference
Hear cases that are not within the jurisdiction of limited-jurisdiction trial courts, such as felonies, civil cases over a certain dollar amount, etc
Some states divide civil cases and criminal cases
Decisions handed down by these courts are appealable to an intermediate appellate court or the state supreme court, depending on the circumstances
State court- Intermediate Appellate Courts
hear appeals from trial courts and review the trial court record to determine whether there have been any errors at trial that would require reversal or modification of the trial court’s decision
No new evidence or testimony is permitted
Parties usually file legal briefs with the appellate court, stating the law and facts that support their positions
Appealable to the state’s highest court
Highest State Court or state supreme court
hear appeals from intermediate state courts and certain trial courts
No new evidence or testimony
Parties usually submit pertinent parts of or the entire lower court record for review, and legal briefs and are usually granted a brief oral hearing
Decisions are final unless a question of law is involved that is appealable to the US SC
Special Federal Courts
established by Congress have limited jurisdiction
US Tax Court: cases that involve fed tax laws
US Court of Federal Claims: cases brought against the US
US Court of International Trade: hears appeals of rulings of the US Customs offices that involve tariffs and international commercial disputes
US Bankruptcy Court: cases that involve federal bankruptcy laws
US Court of Appeals for the Armed Services: exercises appellate jurisdiction over members of the armed services
US Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims: exercises jurisdiction over decisions by the Department of Veteran Affairs
US District Courts
federal court system’s trial courts of general jurisdiction (94, at least one in each state)
Empowered to impanel juries, receive evidence, hear testimony, and decide cases
Most federal cases originate in federal District Courts
US Court of Appeals
federal court system’s intermediate appellate courts (13, 12 are geographic)
13th: Court of the Appeals for the Federal Circuit
n DC, special appellate jurisdiction to review the decision of the Court of Federal Claims, the Patent and Trademark Office, and the Court of International Trade.
Created to provide uniformity in the application of federal law in certain areas, esp patent law
Each Court of Appeals hears appeals from the District Courts located in its circuit as well as from certain special courts and federal administrative agencies
Reviews the record of the lower court / admin agency to determine whether there has been any error that would warrant reversal or modification of the lower ct decision
Hears no new evidence or testimony
Parties file legal briefs with the Court and are given a short oral hearing
Appeals usually heard by a 3-judged panel
After decision is rendered, a petitioner can request a review en banc by the full court
United States Supreme Court
highest court in the land in DC with 9 justices who are nominated by the president and confirmed by the Senate
President appoints one chief justice who is responsible for administration of the SC, the others are associate
Jurisdiction of the US Supreme Court
Appellate court, hears appeals from US Courts of Appeals and under certain circumstances, from US District Courts, special federal courts, and the highest state courts
Hears no new evidence or testimony
Like other appellate courts, reviews the lower court record to determine whether there has been error that warrants a reversal or modification
Legal briefs are filed, parties are granted a brief oral hearing
SC decision is final
Decisions by the US Supreme Court
Constitution gives Congress the authority to est. rules for the appellate review of cases by the SC, except in rare case in which mandatory review is required. Congress has given the SC discretion to decide what cases it will hear
Petition for certiorari
petitioner must file asking the SC to hear the case
If the court decides to hear the case, it issues a writ of certiorari.
Court issues only about 100 opinions / year, writs are granted only in cases involving constitutional and other important issues
SC: Unanimous Opinion:
all justices voting agree as to the outcome and reasoning used to decide a case
Precedent for later cases
Ex: Petitioner wins when all agree, like if Equal Protection Clause of Constitution has been violated
SC Majority Opinion:
f majority (5 – 8) of justices agree to outcome / reasoning
Precedent for later cases, same force of law as unanimous
SC Plurality Opinion
if a majority of the justices agree to the outcome but not as to the reasoning for reaching the outcome
Settles the case but it is not precedent for later cases
SC Tie vote
C sits without all nine justices present (illness, conflict of interest) and tie vote, the lower court decision is affirmed
Such votes are not precedent for later cases
SC concurring opinion
a justice who agrees with the outcome of a case but not the reason proffered by other justices can offer a concurring opinion that sets forth the reasons for deciding the case
SC Dissenting Opinion
a justice who does not agree with a decision can file a this that sets forth the reasons for the dissent
Jurisdiction- Federal Questions
cases arising under the US Constitution, treaties, and federal statutes and regulations
No dollar amount limit on federal question cases that can be brought in federal court
Ex: Larry has been sued by the US for engaging in insider trading in violation of the Securities Exchange Act and regulations of SEC. Involves federal questions – a federal statute and a federal regulation – and therefore qualifies to be brought in the appropriate US District Court
Jurisdiction- Diversity of Citizenship
ccurs if the lawsuit involves either citizens of different states or a citizen of state and a citizen or subject of a foreign country
Used to bring or maintain a lawsuit in federal court when the subject matter involves a nonfederal question
A corporation is considered to be a citizen of the state in which it is incorporated and in which it has its principal place of business
Reason for providing diversity of citizenship jurisdiction was to prevent state court bias against nonresidents
Fed court must apply the appropriate state’s laws in deciding the case
Dollar amount of the controversy must exceed $75,000; If not met, brought to appropriate state court
Ex: Henry (Idaho) negligently drives into Mary (New York). No federal question, but diversity of citizenship. Mary (plaintiff) may bring her lawsuit in federal court, and if she does the case will remain in federal court. If Mary brings the case to the state court (usually the one in which the accident occurred), it will remain in state court if Henry agrees. Henry can move the case to fed court though
Exclusive Jurisdiction
Fed courts hear cases involving federal crimes, antitrust and bankruptcy; patent and copyright cases; suits against the US; and most admiralty cases. State courts may not hear these.
Jurisdiction of State Courts
hear cases that federal courts do not have jurisdiction to hear
Usually involve state law such as real estate law, corporation law, partnership law, limited liability company law, contract law, sales and lease contracts law, negotiable instruments law, and other state law (nonfederal question) subject matters that do not involve diversity of citizenship
Concurrent jurisdiction: state courts have concurrent jurisdiction with federal courts to hear cases involving diversity of citizenship and federal questions over which fed courts do no have exclusive jurisdiction (eg, cases involving fed securities law)
So, if a plaintiff brings a case involving concurrent jurisdiction to fed court, case remains in fed court. If it is brought to state court, the defendant can either let the case be decided by state or move it to federal court
Standing to Sue
to bring a lawsuit, a plaintiff must have some stake in the outcome of the lawsuit
Ex: Linda’s friend Jon is inured in an accident caused by Emily. Jon refuses to sue. Linda cannot sue on Jon’s behalf because she doesn’t have an interest in the result of the case
A few states permit investors to invest money in a lawsuit for a percentage return of any award of judgment. Courts hear and decide actual disputes involving specific controversies
Hypothetical questions will not be heard and trivial suits will be dismissed
In Personam Jurisdiction
jurisdiction over a person (personal jurisdiction)
A plaintiff gives the court in personam jurisdiction over himself by filing a lawsuit
Court must also have in personam jurisdiction over the defendant, which is usually obtained by having a summons served to that person within the territorial boundaries of the state
Service of process: accomplished by personal service of the summons and complaint on the defendant
If not possible, alternative forms of notice, such as mailing of the summons / notice in newspaper may be permitted
A corporation is subject to personal jurisdiction in the state in which it is incorporated, has its principal office, and is doing business
A party who disputes the jurisdiction of a court can make a special appearance in that court to argue against imposition of jurisdiction
In Rem Jurisdiction
jurisdiction of the property of the lawsuit
Ex: John (Massachusetts) owns a piece of vacant land in the state of NH. Sarah (FL) owns the property adjacent to it. John and Sarah dispute the boundary line – court of NH will hear nd decide the lot line dispute because the dispute is located in NH
Long Arm Statutes
a state court can obtain jurisdiction over persons and businesses located in another state or country through the state’s long-arm statute
Extends a state’s jurisdiction to nonresidents who were not served a summons within the state
Nonresident must have had some minimum contact with the state and maintenance of the suit must uphold the traditional notions of fair play and substantial justice
Exercise of long-arm is generally permitted over nonresidents who have: (1) committed torts within the state (caused accident) and (2) entered into a contract either in the state or that affects the state, or (3) transacted other business in the state that allegedly caused injury to another person
Parties to contract may include a forum-selection clause that designates a certain court to hear any dispute concerning nonperformance of the contract
Venue (jurisdiction)
equires lawsuits to be heard by the court with jurisdiction nearest the location in which the incident occurred or where the parties reside
Ex: Harry (GA) commits a felony crime in LA, CA. The CA court located in LA is the proper venue because the crime was committed there. Witnesses located there, etc
Occasionally, pretrial publicity may prejudice jurors located in the proper venue. In such cases, change of venue, may be requested so that a more impartial jury can be found
Courts frown upon forum shopping
Forum-Selection Clauses
clauses in contracts that state what state/fed/country’s court will have jurisdiction to hear a legal dispute should one arise
Prevents time / money spent if parties don’t decide which court, the courts decide jurisdiction
Choice-of-Law Clauses
agree to what state’s law or country’s law will apply
Ex: IL company and ME company contract purchases of $100,000. Parties place a clause in the contract that states if any dispute arises, lawsuit will be brought in the court of ME (forum-selection). Also provides that laws of Maine will apply (choice-of-law clause).
Ex: LA, CA company contracts with India company. International contract specifies that any dispute regarding the contract will be heard / decided by courts of India (forum-selection). Specifies law of India will apply (choice-of-law).
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