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Federal Court System

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The federal court system of the United States is basically a 3 tiered model consisting of: US District Courts (trial courts of general jurisdiction) and various courts of limited jurisdiction, US courts of appeals, and the US Supreme court. The federal court judges including the justices of the Supreme Court are appointed by the president of the US and subject to confirmation by the US senate. Federal judges have a lifetime appointments, although they can be impeached for misconduct but it is rarely done. Because the federal government is a government of limited powers, the jurisdiction of the federal courts is limited. Federal courts have subject-matter jurisdiction in two situations. First, Federal questions which is when a plaintiff cause of action is based, at least in part, on the US constitution, a treaty, or a federal law. Second, diversity of citizenship which is when the plaintiff and the defendant being residents of different states dealing with a monetary controversy that exceeds $75k then it becomes a federal court case.

The Judicial Procedure can be broken up into 3 sections Pretrial Procedures, Trial procedures, and Post Trial Options. During pretrial procedures there is pleadings (the plaintiffs complaint & defendants response), pretrial motions (Motions to dismiss - Motion for judgment on the pleadings - Motion for summary judgment), discovery (process of gathering evidence), pretrial conference (pretrial hearing), jury selection. During trial procedures there is opening statements, rules of evidence, examination of witnesses, closing arguments, jury instructions, and verdict. During Post Trial Options there is post-trial motions (for example motion for a new trial) and appeal (either party appeal the trial courts judgment to an appropriate court of appeals.

Under the same courts systems exist the system of Administrative law which is the body of law that governs the activities of administrative agencies of government. Government agencies actions include rulemaking, adjudication, or the enforcement of specific regulatory agenda. The rules, orders, and decisions of administrative agencies make up the body of administrative law. There are two types of agencies executive agencies and independent regulatory agencies. Federal executive agencies include the cabinet departments of the executive branch, which were formed to assist the president carrying out executive functions, and the sub agencies within the cabinet departments, such as the NSA, FBI, DEA, and US Marshalls to name some. All administrative agencies are part of the executive branch of government, but independent regulatory agencies are outside the major executive departments. The Federal Trade commission and the Securities and Exchange Commission are examples of Independent regulatory agencies. The accountability of the regulators is the most significant difference between the 2 types of agencies. Agencies that are considered part of the executive branch are subject to the authority of the president, who has the power to appoint and remove federal officers. The independent agencies officers serve fixed terms and cannot be fired without just cause. In many ways administrative agencies function independently. None of the branches of government nor the



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