Distinction In Appellate Courts

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Distinction is between courts of original jurisdiction and courts of appellate, or review, jurisdiction.
Courts having original jurisdiction are courts of the the first instance, or trial courts. Almost every case begins in a trial court. It is in this court that a trial (or a guilty plea) takes place, and the judge imposes a sentence if the defendant is found guilty.
Trial courts are primarily concerned with questions of fact. They are designed to determine what exactly events occurred that are relevant to questions of the defendant's guilt or innocence.
Courts having appellate jurisdiction act as reviewing courts, or appellate courts.
In general, cases can be brought before appellate courts only on appeal by one of the parties in the trial …show more content…

It is important to understand that appellate courts do not determine the defendant's guilt or innocence they only make judgements on questions of procedure. They are concerned with questions of law and normally accept the facts as established by the trial court. The appellate judges will review the manner in which the facts and evidence were provided to the jury and rule on whether errors were made in the process.
The supreme court has original, or trial, jurisdiction only in rare instances. In other words, only rarely does a case originate at the supreme court level. Most of the court's work is as as appellate court. It has appellate authority over cases decided by the U.S. courts of appeals, as well as over some cases decided in the state courts when federal questions are at issue.
There is no absolute right to appeal to the United States supreme court. Although thousands of cases are filed with the supreme court each year, in 2013-2014 the court heard only 75. With a writ of certiorari, the supreme court orders a lower court to send it the record of a case for review. A party can petition the supreme court to issue a writ …show more content…

Although the justices are not required to give their reasons for refusing to hear a case, most often the discretionary decision is based on whether the legal issue involves a “substantial federal question.” Often, such questions arise when lower courts split on a particular issue. Different federal and state courts had produced varying opinions on the question of whether an anonymous tip provides reasonable suspicion for police officers to pull over a driver that the officers do not actually see breaking any traffic laws. To clear up confusion on this question, such stops can lead to warrantless searches the court agreed to consider the matter. In 2014, it ruled that law enforcement agents can stop drivers based on nothing more than a 911 tip phoned in by an anonymous caller. Practical considerations aside, if the justices feel that a case does not address an important federal law or constitutional issue, they will vote to deny the writ of certiorari.
The defense attorney is the lawyer representing the defendant. Most persons charged with crimes have little or no knowledge of criminal procedure. Without assistance, they would be helpless in court. By acting as a staunch advocate for her

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