Circuit Courts vs. District Courts

courthouse

In addition to the United States Supreme Court, the federal judiciary is comprised of District Courts and Circuit Courts (or Federal courts of appeals).

Federal courts are courts of limited jurisdiction, meaning they usually only hear cases authorized by the United States Constitution or federal statutes. There are exemptions to this such as cases entirely based on state law being brought to federal court under “diversity jurisdiction.” Diversity jurisdiction allows a plaintiff of one state to file a lawsuit in federal court when the defendant is located in a different state. In such cases, the “amount in controversy” must be more than $75,000. Criminal cases may not be brought under diversity jurisdiction.

District Courts are “lower” and have the responsibility for holding trials. Litigation goes first to the District Court level. Circuit Courts are appellate courts that do not hold trials but are for appeals for cases decided by the lower court. Several different district courts may fall under the same appellate (circuit) court. District courts hear both civil and criminal cases.

In a District Court case, only one judge is assigned to a case. There are 94 District Courts throughout the US and the associated territories, including Guam, the Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, the District of Columbia and the Northern Mariana Islands.There are over 670 district court judges nationwide. Each federal district also has a bankruptcy court for those proceedings. Additionally, some courts have nationwide jurisdiction for issues such as tax (United States Tax Court), claims against the federal government (United States Court of Federal Claims), and international trade (United States Court of International Trade).

The Circuit Court System is smaller with only administrative regions. Many of the Circuit Court systems are spread over many buildings and cities. Circuit Court judges rotate through each of these regions in the “circuit.” Each case in circuit court has a panel of three judges. Though it’s rare, the entire circuit court may consider certain appeals in a process called an “en banc hearing.” The Ninth Circuit has a different process for en banc than the rest of the circuits.

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Contracts


Life has become an endless series of contracts – this is the manual.There’s no reason to risk your hard-earned money signing a contract you don’t understand. With Contracts: The Essential Business Desk Reference, you get easy-to-understand explanations for every common contract term. In no time, you’ll grasp mysterious concepts such as “waiver,” “indemnity,” and “most favored nation.”Contracts: The Essential Business Desk Reference is more than just an A–Z explanation of over 300 terms. It also includes:common negotiating strategiesexamples of contract provisionssample contracts with explanationsillegal and dangerous contract clauses to watch out forwhat to expect if a contract is brokenup-to-date explanations of electronic contracts, andtips on amending and modifying agreements.Whether you’re starting a business, signing a lease, hiring a new employee or independent contractor, licensing a concept, selling a boat, or contracting for a new fireplace, Contracts: The Essential Business Desk Reference can help. A must-have for small business owners, entrepreneurs, lawyers, and law students—and anyone else whose success is built around understanding and negotiating agreements.“… helps laypeople navigate the sometimes murky waters of contractual agreements.”-Library Journal “Nolo is a pioneer in both consumer and business self-help books and software.” – Los Angeles Times
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Details and other legal instruction: Contracts

US v. Williams

(United States Ninth Circuit) – In a prosecution for conspiracy to violate the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO), 18 U.S.C. section 1962(d), murder in aid of racketeering, 18 U.S.C. section 1959(a)(1), and related firearms offenses, the district court’s grant of defendant’s motion to suppress evidence is affirmed where, when a defendant charged with murder invokes his Miranda rights, the government may not in its case-in-chief admit evidence of the prisoner’s unadmonished responses to questions about his gang affiliation.
FindLaw Opinion Summaries – Criminal

Elliott Homes, Inc. v. Super. Ct.

(California Court of Appeal) – In a suit against a homebuilder seeking damages for construction defects, defendant’s petition for writ of mandate is granted where the trial court erred in concluding that real parties in interest need not comply with the prelitigation procedure set forth in the ‘Right to Repair Act’, Civil Code sections 895-945.5, prior to filing the underlying action and in denying the motion to stay.
FindLaw Opinion Summaries – Civil Procedure

Supreme Court to Hear Printer Cartridge Patent Case – New York Times


New York Times
Supreme Court to Hear Printer Cartridge Patent Case
New York Times
Lexmark sued for patent infringement, and the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, a specialized court in Washington, accepted both of its main arguments. The appeals court acknowledged that the general rule is that buyers of
US top court to hear printer cartridge dispute on patent rightsReuters

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united states court of appeals – Google News

Chapter 13 Bankruptcy


Wipe out debt – and save your houseWhen you file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you can wipe out some of your debt and pay off the rest over time with a repayment plan approved by the bankruptcy court.  You may be able to:avoid foreclosurestop car repossessionreduce car loan debtstop most debt collectors, andremove junior liens from your home.Here, you’ll find clear explanations of the Chapter 13 process and worksheets to help you:decide if Chapter 13 is your best optionestimate your monthly plan repayment, andfind and work effectively with an excellent lawyer.This revised edition includes all the latest changes in bankruptcy law, including updated 50-state exemption tables, and important U.S. Supreme Court decisions.If you are considering or have decided to file Chapter 13 bankruptcy, Nolo’s Chapter 13 Bankruptcy is the essential guide you need to understand the procedures and law. Please note: This book does not cover business bankruptcies, farm reorganizations, or Chapter 7 personal bankruptcy. For Chapter 7 bankruptcy, see Nolo’s  How to File for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy. Updated by Patricia Dzikowski, a practicing bankruptcy lawyer in Florida for 30 years. Patricia served as a panel bankruptcy trustee for more than 15 years, having administered more than 18,000 Chapter 7 cases.  She has also served by appointment as a Chapter 11 Trustee, Chapter 11 Examiner, and the in-country (U. S.) trustee in a proceeding ancillary to a foreign bankruptcy case.  Patricia has authored numerous articles on bankruptcy, consumer finance, debt resolution, and other consumer law topics on Nolo.com as well as for other websites in the Nolo network. Patricia is a graduate of the University of Miami Law School (JD) and also has a Master’s degree in Business Administration (MBA) and an undergraduate degree (BA) in Politics.    “An excellent book that can guide you through the process.”-Forbes“This is the best book going if you choose to file alone or if you want background on the Chapter 13 process.”-Attorney Gary Klein, Co-Author of Consumer Bankruptcy Law and Practice“An excellent resource …”-Consumers Digest
List Price: 39.99
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Details and other legal instruction: Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

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