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American LawAn Introduction$
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Lawrence M. Friedman and Grant M. Hayden

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780190460587

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2017

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190460587.001.0001

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The Structure of American Law: The Courts

The Structure of American Law: The Courts

(p.55) 4 The Structure of American Law: The Courts
American Law

Lawrence M. Friedman

Grant M. Hayden

Oxford University Press

This chapter discusses the American court system. It begins by laying out the basic structure of federal and state court systems. It then looks at the judges—where they come from and whether they occupy an elective or appointive office. Next, the work of the courts is examined, including the kinds of cases in federal and state courts, basic trial court procedure, actions in equity, the settlement process, and the work of appellate courts. Finally, the chapter explains and evaluates various theories of judicial decisionmaking.

Keywords:   courts, judicial system, judges, state courts, federal courts, trial, trial courts, appellate courts, equity, judicial decisionmaking

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