The final project for this course is the creation of a scenario analysis. Federal, state, and local judicial systems each have unique processes and require administration to effectively move cases through the systems. Players from each system interact in the administration of justice; therefore, it is important to understand how the systems work and engage with each other for efficient judicial administration. Understanding how judicial systems work is key for anyone looking to pursue a career within the courts. In this assessment, you will examine and evaluate the roles and processes of the systems, regardless of your position within the systems. Through analyzing a scenario, you will determine proper venue, jurisdiction, and litigation process, as well as make administrative decisions. You will also assume multiple perspectives in order to determine efficient and effective ways to move a case through the judicial process. The project is divided into two milestones, which will be submitted at various points throughout the course to scaffold learning and ensure quality final submissions. These milestones will be submitted in Modules Three and Five. The final product will be submitted in Module Seven. In this assignment, you will demonstrate your mastery of the following course outcomes: Analyze venue and jurisdiction for their implications to different levels of government Illustrate the various roles played in the judicial system for informing the development of effective administration strategies Assess the function of calendars and dockets in the legal system for creating efficiency Evaluate the civil and criminal litigation processes at different levels of government for their ability to efficiently carry out justice Prompt In this assessment, you will analyze and evaluate the following scenario from the perspectives of an attorney and a judge. You will address how this scenario would be handled by the judicial systems by creating a scenario analysis. Based on the scenario, examine how it would be tried within the judicial systems. Scenario Jed, Herman, and Jane live in Washington, D.C. Jed and Jane entered the local bank and took $65,000. Jed and Herman both used shotguns during the robbery, though no one was hurt. Jane drove the getaway vehicle. Two hours later, as they headed toward the Canadian border, they were stopped by the police for speeding and taken into custody. The police determined that Jed and Jane matched the eyewitness descriptions of the robbers. Jane confessed their bank robbery scheme. Jed and Herman denied their involvement. The police only recovered $25,000 in cash, but were unable to determine if the recovered money was taken from the bank. The police determined that Jed was a convicted felon at the time of the armed bank robbery. The local police and FBI were involved in the investigation. The defense attorneys for each defendant (Jed, Herman, Jane) request a continuance for four months to sift through the evidence. The prosecution objects and argues that the delay would significantly clog the court’s already heavy workload. In the alternative, the prosecution argues that if the court grants a continuance, then the prosecution should be allowed to prolong turning over the remaining discovery. The defense attorneys object and argue that this hinders their effective representation of their clients and would hinder a prompt resolution. The defense attorneys further argue that their clients deserve a well prepared and thorough defense. The judge currently has trials blocked over the next 10 months and wants to try the case now. Specifically, the following critical elements must be addressed: I. Judicial Systems A. Describe the hierarchical structure for federal, state, and local court systems. What is the primary role of each level? B. Explain the primary differences between the federal and state levels of judicial systems. Describe the importance in having these different levels. C. Explain the subject matter jurisdiction for federal, state, and local courts. What impact does this have on the efficiency of court systems? D. Distinguish which court(s) would have jurisdiction in this scenario? Defend your response. E. Determine how venue is decided upon. What are the implications of venue? F. What would the venue be for this scenario? Defend why this venue is the most appropriate. G. Explain the applicable sentencing guidelines in the federal and state judicial systems for this scenario. Defend your response. H. Determine how sentencing guidelines impact the functionality of a court system. Defend your response. II. Judicial Administration A. Analyze how federal, state, and local courts calendar and docket cases. Are these processes effective in promoting efficiency? Defend your response. B. Describe how the calendaring and continuance of this scenario would be handled differently in the state system versus the federal system. Defend your response. C. Identify the key role within federal and state judicial systems that most impacts process. How does this role aid in creating and maintaining an efficient and effective judicial process? D. Describe the litigation process that would be used for this scenario at the state and federal levels. E. Explain the statute of limitations on charging and trying cases. Determine how statute of limitations could impact efficiency in the litigation process of this case. F. Determine the impact of venue on process efficiency in this scenario. Defend your response. G. Explain how a four-month continuance affects the efficiency of any court under the circumstances presented in the scenario. Defend your response. H. How would you balance the prosecutor and defense attorneys’ concerns regarding continuances in this scenario? Defend your response. I. Review the discovery laws in federal court. Determine if the prosecution’s requested discovery delay violates the federal laws. Defend your response. J. Would you grant the prosecution’s request (assuming that you granted the four-month continuance)? Defend your response. Milestones Milestone One: Draft of Judicial Systems In Module Three, you will submit a draft of the Judicial Systems section of your scenario analysis. Using your assigned reading and course materials, you will analyze the structure of the courts and the application of principles of jurisdiction and venue to the scenario provided. Your draft should be two to three pages in length. This milestone is graded with the Milestone One Rubric. Milestone Two: Draft of Judicial Administration In Module Five, you will submit a draft of the Judicial Administration section of your scenario analysis. Using your assigned reading and course materials, you will analyze the impact of judicial administration components— calendaring and docketing, and the roles of court staff and litigation participants. Your draft should be two to three pages in length. This milestone is graded with the Milestone Two Rubric. Final Submission: Scenario Analysis In Module Seven, you will submit your scenario analysis. It should be a complete, polished document containing all of the critical elements of the final product. It should reflect the incorporation of feedback gained throughout the course, as well as include the items that were omitted from your analyses in Milestone One and Milestone Two. The final submission will be graded using the Final Project Rubric. Final Project Rubric Guidelines for Submission: Your scenario analysis must be four to six pages in length with double spacing, 12-point Times New Roman font, and APA formatting.
Courts Structure and Functioning
The U.S. judicial system uses courts –state and federal –to administer justice through hearing of cases and prosecution of law breakers. The powers, jurisdiction, and mandate of these courts differ. Notably, some cases are determined by federal courts while other are strictly handled by state courts. While federal courts prosecute cases concerning “laws and treaties of the U.S. ambassadors and public ministers, disputes between two or more states, admiralty/maritime law, and bankruptcy cases”, state courts “deal with family cases, contact cases, tort cases, and probate cases” (FindLaw, 2019).
Notably, both courts have broad authority to investigate and prosecute relevant jurisdictions. However, it is vital to note that federal courts are not restricted to prosecuting cases involving a specific state –meaning that they handle cases from the whole of United States. On the other hand, the power of state courts is limited to prosecution of “criminal acts committed within their boundaries” (ABA, 2019). In the scenario of bank robbery presented in this case, the three criminals –Jane, Herman, and Jed –will be prosecuted by the federal court under Federal Bank Robbery Act.
Considerably, there are a number of federal courts with which operate at different levels. The bank robbery involving the three suspects will be prosecuted at District Court. In this case, the issue of venue comes into place, that is, place where the lawsuit will be tried. The robbery incident took place in Washington and since district courts have a trail court in each state, this case will be tried in Washington. Once the ruling has been made, the defendants will have a room for file an appeal at one of the 13 appellate courts (U.S. Courts, 2019). However, it is important to understand that criminal law and practice apply equally to both federal and state prosecutions and constitution must be upheld.
ABA. (2019). How Courts Work. Retrieved from: < https://www.americanbar.org/groups/public_education/resources/law_related_education_network/how_courts_work/jurisdiction/> [Accessed November 24 2019].
FindLaw. (2019). Federal vs. State Courts – Key Differences. Retrieved from: < https://litigation.findlaw.com/legal-system/federal-vs-state-courts-key-differences.html> [Accessed November 24 2019].
U.S. Courts. (2019). Court Role and Structure. Retrieved from: < https://www.uscourts.gov/about-federal-courts/court-role-and-structure> [Accessed November 24 2019].
Calendaring in federal, state, and local courts refers to the listing of cases and hearing to be held at a specific day, week, month and year. Calendars are revised often to avoid a collision because of the high number of pending cases which makes scheduling difficult. Dockets, on the other hand, are judicial records of the proceedings and filings in a given court case. It shows names of the people or parties involved in the case, the case number and the proceedings, the presiding judge assigned to that case, information to whether the case is pending or resolved, the documents submitted to the court and when the hearings will be held (David C. Steelman, 2012).
These two processes are effective to some extent in promoting efficiency by creating order in court. Without the two of them, judges cannot manage to attend to the many cases pending due to collision in venues, crush over more than a case at the same time. However, more time is taken because a case may be scheduled after so long due to many pending cases that may have been allocated close dates in the past.
The federal system operates under an individual calendar and deals with criminal cases and one judge handles a case from the beginning to the end. They have a specific person calendaring the cases and therefore they have control over the cases. They handle fewer cases and therefore in this case calendaring would be done on a short period of time and continuance would be given but also for a short period of time but it is given once when appropriate (SCHWEIGERT, 2012). On the other hand, the State system handles many cases and calendaring is very difficult. There are several judges handling a case and issuing a continuance would affect the scheduling significantly and unless the reason is justifiable to the court a continuance wouldn’t be issued. In this case, there are no justifiable reasons for a continuance because the witnesses are themselves (Bureau of International Information Programs, 2004).
The key role in Federal judicial systems involves the jurisdiction of cases involving violation of the US constitution, for example, laws or treaties of the United States, US ministers and ambassadors, state-to-state disputes, admiralty law, bankruptcy and also habeas corpus. State judicial system, on the other hand, handles cases involving violation of federal law such as criminal cases within the state, and other cases relating to contracts, tort, family issues and others of that nature (Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts, 2019). Their role aids in creating an efficient and effective judicial system because all sectors of the constitution are well addressed because every system addresses specific concerns of the State (Find Law, 2019).
There are several factors that determine the venue of a case for example where the crime happened and where the suspects were found. A venue refers to the state where the suspect or the offender lives or where the accident happened. The venue for a federal case is heard in the District Court of the US in this scenario the US district court in Washington DC, and if the case will be handled by the state system the venue will be the nearest court close to the bank (American Bar Association, 2019). The impact of venue to this scenario, therefore, will depend on the laws violated depending on the status of the bank in insurance. Since the money was under FBI protection, the case will be heard at Washington DC at the district court which is more convenient for the proceedings.
Giving a four months continuance would affect the efficiency of the court because the judge handling the case is said to have blocked the trials for the next 10 months. The four months would delay the judicial system significantly. Since the case will be handled by the federal court, chances of getting continuance are minimal because the evidence available from one of them and no witnesses are required because they are witnesses of themselves.
Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts . (2019). Comparing Federal & State Courts. Retrieved from Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts : https://www.uscourts.gov/about-federal-courts/court-role-and-structure/comparing-federal-state-courts
American Bar Association. (2019, september 9). How Courts Work. Retrieved from American Bar Association: https://www.americanbar.org/groups/public_education/resources/law_related_education_network/how_courts_work/jurisdiction/
Bureau of International Information Programs. (2004). U.S.LEGAL SYSTEM. Bureau of International Information Programs, 79.
David C. Steelman, E. F. (2012). CALENDARING AND CASE MANAGEMENT IN THE ANCHORAGE DISTRICT COUR. National Center for State Courts, 26-28.
Find Law. (2019). Federal vs. State Courts – Key Differences. Retrieved from Find Law: https://litigation.findlaw.com/legal-system/federal-vs-state-courts-key-differences.html
SCHWEIGERT, M. B. (2012, march 25). Federal courts run on individual calendar — would it work here? Retrieved from Lancaster Online: https://lancasteronline.com/news/federal-courts-run-on-individual-calendar—-would/article_d99a04fb-0c61-5694-8fd8-4de07b4ac5cd.html
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