Exam 3 Chapter 5 & 6 Terms and case holdings Flashcards Preview

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Flashcards in Exam 3 Chapter 5 & 6 Terms and case holdings Deck (47):

tier of fact

Also called factfinder; the entity that determines fact in a trial. In a jury trial, the jury is entrusted with factfinding; in a bench trial, the judge necessarily must find the facts as well as make conclusions of law.



The factfinding by a jury. For example, in a civil case, the jury might find the defendant liable in a dollar amount; in a criminal case, the verdict is usually guilty or not guilty of each criminal charge.



The official decision of a court about the rights and claims of each side in a lawsuit; usually a final decision after trail based on finding of fact and making conclusions of law.


question of law

A question for the judge; that is, a question as to the appropriate law to be applied, or correct interpretation of the law


appellate court substitutes its judgement

The standard of review of conclusions of the law made by a lower court.


question (issue) of fact

A question for the jury in a jury trial or for the judge in a bench trial. Fact questions are evidentiary questions concerning who, when, where, and what.


clearly erroneous

The test or standard used at the appellate level to determine if judicial factfinding at trial constitutes prejudicial error. Highly deferential toward the trial court.


with substantial evidence

The test or standard used at the appellate level to determine if jury factfinding at trial constitutes prejudicial error. Often used interchangeably with clearly erroneous.



A judicial examination, in accordance with the law, of a criminal or civil action. It is an "on-the-record hearing," which means the determination is to be made on the basis of what is presented in court. It is a trial of fact with judgement entered on the law.



All the evidence presented at trial, whether or not recorded


jury instructions

detailed directions (instructions) given by the judge to the jury about its functions in the lawsuit.


trial court

lower court judges must act on a number of problems that are not truly adversarial in nature but that require orders from a court.


appellate court

As distinguished from trial courts, courts that function primarily correct errors of the lower, trial courts and do not ordinarily serve as factfinders. The two common forms of appellate courts are intermediate appellate courts, usually called court court of appeal(s), and the highest courts, usually called supreme courts.



The party bringing an appeal against the other party, the appellee



the party against whom an appeal is brought


court of last resort

Florida supreme court


* need to know for exam

The appellate process is quite different from trial. The appellate court does not retry facts, nor does it call witnesses. It receives a record from the trial court, which includes a written transcript of the testimony at trial, exhibits introduced during trial, copies of the pleadings and motions filed with the court before and during trial, and written briefs submitted by the attorneys for appellant and appellee arguing that issues raised on appeal.



The principal or doctrine that federal statues that overlap or are in conflict with state statutes will take precedence and prevail (be preferred), even to the point of invalidating state statues entirely.


Supreme law of the land

neither state nor federal legislatures could enact laws in conflict with the Constitution, nor could any official agency of government act in violation of the Constitution.


procedural due process

Due process that is concerned with the fairness if notice and hearing provided by government in the adjudication of rights and duties


substantive due process

requires that legislation be reasonable, that it have a legitimate purpose, that it use reasonable means to effect a reasonable end, and so on.


equal protection of laws

A constitutional guaranty specifying that every state must give equal treatment to every person who is similarly situated or to persons who are members of the same class; this protection is a requirement of the Fourteenth Amendment, originally enacted to protect former slaves.



A person's right to bring a lawsuit because he or her is directly affected by the issues presented, having a stake in the outcome of the suit.


cases and controversy

actual disputes between real parties


full faith and credit

The Constitution requires that each sate respect the legal pronouncements of sister states, "Full faith and credit shall be given in each state to the public acts, records, and judicial proceedings of every other state" (Article IV)


subject matter jurisdiction

The jurisdiction of a court to hear and determine the type of case before it. Example: in Florida, election contests are heard in the circuit court but not in county court. The reference to Leon County in "the Circuit court of Leon County" refers only to the court -- it is a circuit court, not a county court.


general jurisdiction

have authority to decide a wide variety of cases and apply the full range of judicial remedy and relief


limited jurisdiction

handle only a restricted class of cases. A probate court for example, handles matter concerning decedents' estates.


federal question cases

issues in cases arising under the Constitution, laws, and treaties of the United States, over which federal courts have subject matter jurisdiction


diversity if citizenship cases

The subject matter jurisdiction of federal courts to hear cases between citizens of different states.


conflict of law/choice of law

Concerns the problem that arises when there is a question about which state's law should apply in particular case.


*Must know this for exam

Erie has been applied to substantive law but not procedure - when suing in federal court, federal procedure is followed.


legal remedy

a remedy under the common law, as distinguished from an equitable remedy


significant relationship test

the modern rule followed in a conflict-of-laws setting; it is used in both tort and contract contexts and makes the court apply the law of the state that had the most "significant relationship" to the cause of action.


equitable remedy

a special remedy, such as in injunction or specific performance not available at common law


clean hands doctrine

An equitable maxim according to which a court of equity will refuse to provide a remedy to a petitioner who has acted in bad faith (with "unclean hands").


statute of limitations

A federal or state law that specifies time limits within which suits must be filed for civil and criminal actions; they vary from state to state and from action to action.



An equitable principle roughly equivilant to a statute of limitations at common law; it prevents a party from bringing a petition (suit) when there has been unreasonable delay in doing so.


memorandum decisions (per curiam opinion)

A court's decision that gives the ruling (what it decides and orders done) but no opinion (reasons for he decision). A memorandum opinion is the same as per curiam opinion without a named author, usually a brief and unanimous decision.


punitive damages

Sometimes awarded beyond mere compensation to punish a defendant for outrageous conduct in tort


compensatory damages

Amount awarded to an injured party to make her whole; that is, in tort, to compensate for all injuries, and in contract, to put the nonbreaching party in the position he would have been in if the contract had been preformed.


substitution of judgement

law- None, appellate court "substitutes its judgement" for that of trial court


Clearly erroneous

fact- Great deference -- This is commonly applied to the trial judge's factfinding


Substantial evidence

fact- Great deference -- When referring to jury factfinding, appellate courts rarely overturn finding of fact.


commerce clause

gives Congress power to regulate interstate commerce



A plaintiff is the person who initiates a court action by filing a complaint with the clerk of the court against the defendant(s) demanding damages, performance and/or court determination of the rights. Sometimes called a petitioner.



a defendant is any person accused (charged) of committing an offense (a crime)