The American legal system<br />An overview<br />
Sources of law<br />Constitutional law<br />U.S. Constitution<br />State constitutions<br />May grant more rights than the...
Sources of law<br />Constitutional law<br />Statutory law<br />Congress<br />State legislatures<br />Local authorities<br />
Sources of law<br />Constitutional law<br />Statutory law<br />Administrative law<br />Federal Communications Commission<b...
Criminal and civil law<br />Criminal = offense against society<br />
Criminal and civil law<br />Criminal = offense against society<br />Civil = offense against individual(s)<br />
Criminal and civil law<br />Criminal = offense against society<br />Civil = offense against individual(s)<br />How would y...
Criminal and civil law<br />Criminal = offense against society<br />Civil = offense against individual(s)<br />How would y...
Criminal and civil law<br />Criminal = offense against society<br />Civil = offense against individual(s)<br />How would y...
Criminal and civil law<br />Criminal = offense against society<br />Civil = offense against individual(s)<br />How would y...
Types of civil law<br />Contracts<br />
Types of civil law<br />Contracts<br />Torts<br />
Types of civil law<br />Contracts<br />Torts<br />Common media torts:<br />Libel<br />Invasion of privacy<br />Copyright i...
Court systems<br />State Supreme Courts<br />U.S. Supreme Court<br />State Appeals Courts<br />U.S. Appeals Courts<br />U....
U.S. Supreme Court<br />Final word on U.S. Constitution<br />
U.S. Supreme Court<br />Final word on U.S. Constitution<br />Takes cases through a writ of certiorari — “granting cert”<br />
U.S. Supreme Court<br />Final word on U.S. Constitution<br />Takes cases through a writ of certiorari — “granting cert”<br...
U.S. Supreme Court<br />Final word on U.S. Constitution<br />Takes cases through a writ of certiorari — “granting cert”<br...
U.S. Supreme Court (2011)<br />
U.S. Supreme Court<br />John Roberts, 56Chief Justice<br />Antonin Scalia, 75<br />AnthonyKennedy, 75<br />ClarenceThomas,...
Jurisdiction<br />Geographic<br />Libel cases usually handled at state level<br />What if the parties are in different sta...
Jurisdiction<br />Geographic<br />Subject matter<br />Copyright always handled at federal level<br />Obscenity can be hand...
Jurisdiction<br />Geographic<br />Subject matter<br />Internet<br />Cybersell of Florida and Arizona<br />Yahoo! and Frenc...
The appeals process<br />“Justiciable controversy”<br />Courts cannot rule on cases that are not before them<br />An excep...
The appeals process<br />“Justiciable controversy”<br />Appeals courts do not retry cases<br />Was the law correctly appli...
The appeals process<br />“Justiciable controversy”<br />Appeals courts do not retry cases<br />Judges must follow preceden...
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The American legal system: An overview

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The basics of the U.S. legal system, including types of law (constitutional, statutorial and administrative), types of offenses (criminal and civil) and an explanation of how the appeals process works.

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The American legal system: An overview

  1. 1. The American legal system<br />An overview<br />
  2. 2. Sources of law<br />Constitutional law<br />U.S. Constitution<br />State constitutions<br />May grant more rights than the U.S. Constitution, but not fewer<br />Same-sex marriage in Massachusetts<br />Judicial review<br />
  3. 3. Sources of law<br />Constitutional law<br />Statutory law<br />Congress<br />State legislatures<br />Local authorities<br />
  4. 4. Sources of law<br />Constitutional law<br />Statutory law<br />Administrative law<br />Federal Communications Commission<br />
  5. 5. Criminal and civil law<br />Criminal = offense against society<br />
  6. 6. Criminal and civil law<br />Criminal = offense against society<br />Civil = offense against individual(s)<br />
  7. 7. Criminal and civil law<br />Criminal = offense against society<br />Civil = offense against individual(s)<br />How would you categorize:<br />Obscenity?<br />
  8. 8. Criminal and civil law<br />Criminal = offense against society<br />Civil = offense against individual(s)<br />How would you categorize:<br />Obscenity?<br />Copyright infringement?<br />
  9. 9. Criminal and civil law<br />Criminal = offense against society<br />Civil = offense against individual(s)<br />How would you categorize:<br />Obscenity?<br />Copyright infringement?<br />Reporting on the movement of troops in time of war?<br />
  10. 10. Criminal and civil law<br />Criminal = offense against society<br />Civil = offense against individual(s)<br />How would you categorize:<br />Obscenity?<br />Copyright infringement?<br />Reporting on the movement of troops in time of war?<br />Invasion of privacy?<br />
  11. 11. Types of civil law<br />Contracts<br />
  12. 12. Types of civil law<br />Contracts<br />Torts<br />
  13. 13. Types of civil law<br />Contracts<br />Torts<br />Common media torts:<br />Libel<br />Invasion of privacy<br />Copyright infringement<br />
  14. 14. Court systems<br />State Supreme Courts<br />U.S. Supreme Court<br />State Appeals Courts<br />U.S. Appeals Courts<br />U.S. District Courts<br />State District Courts<br />
  15. 15.
  16. 16. U.S. Supreme Court<br />Final word on U.S. Constitution<br />
  17. 17. U.S. Supreme Court<br />Final word on U.S. Constitution<br />Takes cases through a writ of certiorari — “granting cert”<br />
  18. 18. U.S. Supreme Court<br />Final word on U.S. Constitution<br />Takes cases through a writ of certiorari — “granting cert”<br />Only four of the nine justices are needed to grant cert<br />
  19. 19. U.S. Supreme Court<br />Final word on U.S. Constitution<br />Takes cases through a writ of certiorari — “granting cert”<br />Only four of the nine justices are needed to grant cert<br />Chief justice is also administrative head of federal court system<br />
  20. 20. U.S. Supreme Court (2011)<br />
  21. 21. U.S. Supreme Court<br />John Roberts, 56Chief Justice<br />Antonin Scalia, 75<br />AnthonyKennedy, 75<br />ClarenceThomas, 63<br />Ruth BadeGinsburg, 78<br />Stephen Breyer, 73<br />Samuel Alito, 61<br />SoniaSotomayor, 57<br />Elena Kagan, 51<br />
  22. 22. Jurisdiction<br />Geographic<br />Libel cases usually handled at state level<br />What if the parties are in different states?<br />
  23. 23. Jurisdiction<br />Geographic<br />Subject matter<br />Copyright always handled at federal level<br />Obscenity can be handled at state or federal level<br />
  24. 24. Jurisdiction<br />Geographic<br />Subject matter<br />Internet<br />Cybersell of Florida and Arizona<br />Yahoo! and French law<br />“Libel tourism”<br />
  25. 25. The appeals process<br />“Justiciable controversy”<br />Courts cannot rule on cases that are not before them<br />An exception: the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court issues “advisory opinions”<br />
  26. 26. The appeals process<br />“Justiciable controversy”<br />Appeals courts do not retry cases<br />Was the law correctly applied?<br />Is the law constitutional?<br />Rulings are decided on narrow grounds, and cases are usually sent back to lower court<br />
  27. 27. The appeals process<br />“Justiciable controversy”<br />Appeals courts do not retry cases<br />Judges must follow precedent<br />Relevant higher-court ruling prevails<br />Ruling from another district can be a guide<br />State and federal judges must consider each other’s rulings<br />Doctrine of stare decisis<br />
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