Chapter 1 - Introduction to Litigation - Concepts Flashcards Preview

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Flashcards in Chapter 1 - Introduction to Litigation - Concepts Deck (54):

The resolution of disputes through the court system



Resolution of disputes between private parties through the court system

Civil litigation


(1) is not between private parties but consists of government prosecuting an action against individuals who have committed crimes against society. If it results in damages to (2) or (3), civil suit may also be brought.

1. Criminal litigation
2. person
3. property


Administrative litigation is the process by which (1) resolve disputes that concern their (2) and (3).

1. administrative agencies
2. rules
3. regulations


Civil litigation allows parties to settle disputes in an (1) and (2) manner according to (3). Each (4) has its own procedure; actions filed in federal court follow the (5).

1. orderly
2. nonviolent
3. formal rules
4. states
5. Federal Rules of Civil Procedure


3 sources of law

1. statutes
2. court cases
3. constitution


Statutes are laws enacted by (1) or (2) legislatures that govern (3) and (4) rights and principles, as well as (5)

1. state
2. federal
3. substantive
4. legal
5. procedural rules


All laws of Congress are found in the (1), which is divided into various (2) pertaining to subject matter. (3) are usually similarly divided.

1. United States Code
2. Titles
3. State statutes


In addition to US Code and state codes, (1) may also enact their own laws; these are referred to as (2). These typically govern (3) and may not (4).

1. individual municipalities
2. ordinances
3. matters of local interest
4. conflict with state/fed laws


An individual court may adopt (1) governing cases filed as long as they do not (2). These are referred to as (3).

1. procedural rules
2. conflict with state statutes
3. local rules of court


(1) are decisions of the courts interpreting the law. Once a decision is made, the court will generally write an (2). Ones that address important or unique issues are often (3) for use as (4).

1. Cases
2. opinion
3. published
4. precedents


a body of law brought by colonists from England that has developed from usage and custom, and was affirmed by English judges and courts. Still used where applicable and not in consistent with constitutions.

common law


The (1) is the highest law of the land. No rule of law enacted by a state may violate the (2), and no (3) or (4) may violate the (5).

1. federal constitution
2. state's constitution
3. state constitution
4. state/federal law
5. federal constitution


Litigation begins when the aggrieved party files a (1) in the appropriate court, or when the (2) files this against the (3).

1. complaint
2. plaintiff
3. defendant


In a complaint, the plaintiff must state the (1) and (2). The complain is served along with a (3) commanding the defendant to appear before the court.

1. basis of the claim
2. request specific relief from the court
3. summons


The complaint is always filed in the (1), which for the federal court system is the (2). Each state has at least one (3). In some states the trial court is called the (4) or (5), with inferior courts (quicker, less expensive) referred to as municipal courts, justice courts, city and parish courts and small claims courts.

1. trial court
2. United States District Court
3. district court
4. superior court
5. court of common pleas


Losing parties have an (1). In the federal system, this is referred to as the (2) for the (3) in which the district sits. There are (4) circuits plus (5) with its own. There is one additional Court of Appeals to hear appeals from (6).

1. automatic right to appeal to the next highest court
2. Court of Appeals
3. circuit
4. 11
5. District of Columbia
6. special courts


Appellate courts are limited to a (1) of the court below, and will not (2) or (3). The appealing party must show an error in (4) or (5).

1. review of the record
2. hear from witnesses
3. take new evidence
4. application of law to the facts
5. reaching a decision based on the facts


All parties in an appeal (1) and (2). The latter is a chance for lawyers to (3) and (4).

1. submit written briefs on issues
2. present an oral argument
3. answer questions
4. explain their clients' positions more fully


4 decisions judges in an appellate court may make

1. affirm
2. affirm with modification
3. reverse
4. reverse and reprimand


Appellate court rules that the decision of the court below should remain the same with exception to a particular element

affirm with modification


Appellate court rules that the decision of the court below should be changed and that the case should be sent back to the court below for further proceedings

reverse and remand


A losing party in appellate court may (1) the next highest court for review. In the federal system this is the (2). In addition to hearing appeals from the (3), the SC can hear appeals from a state's highest court if it involves a (4). Appeal is not automatic, but (5). If review is denied, (6).

1. petition
2. United States Supreme Court
3. Courts of Appeals
4. constitutional issue
5. discretionary
6. the decision becomes final


4 basic stages of litigation

1. information gathering (often on both sides)
2. pleading
3. discovery and motions
4. trial and post-trial proceedings


Pleading stage: upon receipt of summons and complaint, the defendant must file a (1), or else he will be in (2) and a judgment may be entered. If the defendant believes that there is some defect (procedural or insufficient facts) in the complaint, he may file a (3) to request the court for an order or ruling. If this is rejected or not file, the defendant files an (4) responding to specific allegations and stating defenses.

1. response
2. default
3. motion
4. answer


In the discovery and motion stage, both parties conduct (1) through (2) and (3) received from the other side, or from (4). This stage may also include (5).

1. formal factual investigation
2. written responses
3. oral testimony
4. outside witnesses/information
5. pre-trial motions


2 examples of pre-trial motions

1. request to court to enter judgment without trial if none of the facts are in dispute
2. requests to obtain discovery from other side if not provided voluntarily


3 examples of trial/post-trial proceedings

1. motions for judgments if one side has failed to prove its case
2. request to court to enter a different judgment if jury's verdict is inconsistent with evidence produced
3. appeal


2 types of remedies/reliefs requested in civil action

1. legal (usually money)
2. equitable (to prevent future injury)


The most common legal remedy is (1). One type is (2), which compensate for (3) or (4) injuries. Another type is (5), or (6), which punish the wrongdoer for his conduct, and may stack with compensatory damages.

1. money damages
2. compensatory
3. general (pain and suffering)
4. specific (medical expense, loss of work)
5. punitive
6. exemplary


The two most commonly used equitable remedies in civil litigation are (1), used to stop certain conduct or actions, and (2), used when a controversy arises over rights and obligations of the parties and neither party has yet failed to live up to these obligations.

1. injunction
2. declaratory relief


3 things a paralegal can't do

1. represent a client
2. appear a depositions
3. give legal advice


6 things a computer can assist with

1. research facts
2. organize facts
3. present facts (imaging software)
4. file motions and briefs (in paperless courts)
5. locate witnesses
6. become an "expert" quickly"


The conduct of lawyers is governed by the (1) enacted by their states. The (2) sets many of these standards. There are no rules specifically governing (3), but they should consider (4).

1. rules of professional conduct
2. American Bar Association
3. paralegals
4. ethical guidelines


The communication between an attorney and client is (1), meaning the attorney cannot reveal information received to anyone else. This extends to (2). Any info received about the (3) or (4) must be kept confidential.

1. privileged
2. paralegals
3. client
4. client's business


(1) should also be considered. A paralegal, like a lawyer, should avoid situations in which two or more parties have adverse interests, such as between two (2),

1. Conflicts of interest
2. defendants


Another ethical consideration is to avoid (1) with a party (2). Even if the party contacts you directly, you must (3).

1. direct contact
2. represented by counsel
3. refuse to speak to him/her without presence of the attorney


You must also never (1). Always identify yourself as a (2), when speaking with parties or (3).

1. give anyone the impression that you are a lawyer
2. legal assistant or paralegal
3. writing a letter on behalf of the law firm


Civil litigation is (1) rather than (2). The government can still sue on the civil side, but (3).

1. private
2. criminal
3. privately


All areas of law (1) from the US Constitution

1. trickle down


When a jury renders a verdict in trial court, it is changed into a (1) by a judge.



3 tiers of the federal court system

1. District court (trial court)
2. Circuit of Appeals
3. Supreme Court


District court is the court of limited jurisdiction. One of the parties must be a (1), (2) or (3), the case must relate to a (4) or involve a (5) case over $75,000. AZ has (6) of district courts throughout the state.

1. US employee
2. officer
3. agency
4. federal question
5. diversity of citizenship
6. five divisions


There are (1) circuits of Appeals courts. AZ is located in the (2) which is based in San Francisco and is the (3). Judges are allotted by population to circuits, and ours has (4), but only (6) judges decide most cases.

1. 13
2. 9th
3. largest
4. 29
5. 3-6


If Appeals Court affirms the decision of the trial court, a (1) can be sent to the US Supreme Court to petition them to hear the case. They have (2) and will usually make decisions based on the (3). The Supreme Court is located in DC and has (4) justices, though only a minimum of (5) are needed to hear a case. All judges sat for the (6) case.

1. writ of certiorari
2. discretion
3. number of people affected (constitutionality in 101)
4. 9
5. 4
6. SB1070


3 Tiers of AZ state courts

1. Superior Court (trial)
2. AZ Court of Appeals
3. AZ Supreme Court


AZ Superior Court is the (1) and handles matters of at least (2) Parties must include at least one (3) and the incident must have (4).

1. court of general jurisdiction
2. $10,000
3. AZ resident
4. occurred in AZ


There are (1) AZ Superior Courts--one for each county. Maricopa has (2) locations plus (3) juvenile courts.

1. 15
2. 5
3. 2


Superior court handles (1), (2), (3) and (4). It consists of (5) and (6)--the latter of which are appointed by the head judge and handle probate, family law and default matters.

1. civil matters
2. criminal matters
3. probate
4. family law
5. judges
6. commissioners


The AZ Court of Appeals has no (1) and must hear all cases appealed from Superior Court. There are (2) divisions and a (3) decides the cases.

1. discretion
2. 2
3. 3-judge panels


AZ Supreme Court is, for the most part, the (1). It consists of (2) who are chosen by the (3) according to (4). This court has discretion but must give (5) for refusal to hear a case. The exception is (6).

1. court of last resort
2. justices
3. governor
4. recommendations by the state bar
5. reasons
6. death penalty cases


In the complaint, the plaintiff submits a (1) for the court to award damages. These can be (2) and further subdivided into (3) or (4), or they can be (5).

1. "prayer"
2. compensatory
3. general (pain and suffering) (decided by jury)
4. special damages (specific amounts such as breach of contract)
5. punitive (exemplary)


When a judgment is rendered on damages, sometimes a (1) is needed to collect.

1. debtor's examination hearing


6 tasks paralegals may not perform

1. accept cases
2. set fees
3. give direct legal advice
4. negotiate legal matters on behalf of clients
5. represent clients in court settings (except administrative hearings)
6. prepare documents without certification