The Legal System and ADR Analysis
Marcus G. Bowman
May 12, 2014
P.O. Box 123 Anywhere, SC
Date of Memo May 12, 2014
To: Ms. Nettie
Subject: The Legal System and ADR Analysis
Business disputes are heard by the same court that deals with crimes and other non-business related cases in most states, except in Delaware, in which a special court deals with business litigations. It is important to know the structure of the state court systems as well as their functions. Based on their increasing scale, state courts may be classified into limited and general jurisdiction, intermediate appellate, and highest state court.
Limited-jurisdiction trial courts deal with matters of limited nature such as traffic, probate, juvenile and small claims courts. Business-wise, these trial courts deal with civil cases involving small dollar amounts (typically below $5,000). In these types of courts, evidence and testimonies may be presented. However, in general, the parties must appear individually or not represented by lawyers. The decisions in small claims courts are mostly appealable to the larger scale courts such as general-jurisdiction trial courts or appellate courts.
The next court type, which is general-jurisdiction trial court, deals with cases that are not included in the limited-jurisdiction trial courts such as felonies. Business-wise, the dollar amount of the civil cases in this type is larger than the limited-jurisdiction courts. In this type, evidences and testimonies may also be provided. The decisions in this type may be appealed to intermediate appellate or state supreme courts.
Intermediate appellate courts hear appeals from the previous trial courts. The records are reviewed to find possible errors, which may lead to a reversal or modification of the previous court’s decisions. New evidence or testimony is prohibited. In this type, it is suggested to file legal briefs containing...