I. Dispute Resolution
A. Dispute Prevention
B. Litigation versus Alternative Dispute Resolution
II. Alternative Dispute Resolution
D. Other Forms of ADR
III. Court Systems
A. State Courts
1. Trial Courts
b. Trial Courts of Limited Jurisdiction
c. Trial Courts of General Jurisdiction
2. Appellate Courts
a. Court of Appeals
b. State Supreme Court
B. Federal Courts
1. Federal Question Cases
2. Diversity Cases
3. Trial Courts
a. United States District Court
b. Other Trial Courts
4. Appellate Courts
a. United States Courts of Appeals
b. United States Supreme Court
5. Class Actions
6. Judgment on the Pleadings
3. Production of Documents/Things
4. Physical and Mental Examination
5. Requests for Admission
6. Crucial Clue
C. Final Preparation
A. Adversary System
B. Right to Jury Trial
C. Voir Dire
D. Burden of Proof
E. Plaintiff's Case
F. Rules of Evidence
G. Motion for Directed Verdict
H. Defendant's Case
I. Closing Argument
J. Jury Instructions
L. Motions after the Verdict
VI. Appeal Court Options
WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW
After reading this chapter you should understand:
what ADR and litigation are and how they differ;
the structure of the state and federal court systems;
how a court can exercise power over parties to a lawsuit;
how the federal and state court systems are structured;
the stages of a lawsuit; and
what happens when a case is appealed.
REVIEW OF TERMS AND PHRASES
Select the term or concept that best matches a definition or statement set forth below. Each term or concept is
the best match for only one definition or statement.
Terms and Concepts
a. Alternative dispute resolution e. Federal question case h. Mediation
b. Arbitration f. Jurisdiction i. Mini-trial
c. Award g. Litigation j. Summary jury trial
d. Diversity case
Definitions and Statements
____ 1. Type of ADR whereby a third person renders a legally-binding decision regarding a dispute
between two parties.
____ 2. Type of ADR whereby a third person tries to help parties reach a settlement of a dispute by
meeting with the parties to help them resolve their dispute on mutually-agreed terms. The third
person does not render a legally-binding decision.
____ 3. Federal case the jurisdiction for which is the fact that it involves residents of different states.
____ 4. Type of ADR initiated and supervised by a court that involves the parties' lawyers presenting to
a mock jury a brief synopsis of what the witnesses at trial would say.
____ 5. Federal case's jurisdiction is based on the fact that the lawsuit involves the United States
Constitution, a federal statute, or a federal treaty.
____ 6. Name for out-of-court procedures that help parties settle legal disputes without going to court.
____ 7. Decision of an arbitrator.
____ 8. Term that refers to lawsuits, the process of filing claims in court, and going to trial.
____ 9. Type of ADR that involves a staged trial before a panel of three "judges." This type of ADR
may be particularly useful in commercial disputes.
____ 10.Term that refers to the power of any court to hear and decide a case.
Fill in the blanks with the words that most accurately complete each statement. Answers may or may not include
terms used in the matching exercise. A term cannot be used to complete more than one statement.
1. In a civil lawsuit, the plaintiff's burden of proof is to prove his or her case by a _______________ _____
2. In a criminal case, the prosecution's burden of proof is to prove its case _______________ _____
3. A _______________ is a type of discovery procedure that allows a party to take the oral testimony of
a witness outside of court.
4. A _______________ __________ is a ruling by the court that the plaintiff has completely failed to prove his or
her case and that the defendant is entitled to win as a matter of law.
REVIEW OF CONCEPTS
Circle T (true) or F (false)
T F 1. If you suffer a legal harm you must file a lawsuit in order to resolve the controversy.
T F 2. Alternative dispute resolution is the process that involves filing a complaint with a court and
ultimately going to trial.
T F 3. The major benefits of arbitration include quicker resolution of disputes and reduced costs.
T F 4. If a contract contains a mandatory arbitration clause, the contracting parties must arbitrate claims
relating to the contract instead of filing a lawsuit based on such claims.
T F 5. A trial court focuses on determining the facts in the case pending before it and applying the law
to those facts in order to resolve the legal controversy.
T F 6. The verdict is the jury's determination of who should win a lawsuit.
T F 7. In order for a federal court to hear a case based on the fact that it involves citizens of two
different states, the case must involve at least $100,000.
T F 8. The first step in the trial process is the plaintiff's filing of a complaint with a court.
T F 9. Only the defendant can make a motion for summary judgment.
T F 10. The documents that commence a lawsuit are collectively called pleadings.
MULTIPLE CHOICE QUESTIONS
1. ____ Some courts, such as probate courts and small claims courts, may hear only cases involving
certain kinds of legal harms. These courts are known as:
a. Courts of general jurisdiction.
b. Courts of limited jurisdiction.
c. Courts of de novo jurisdiction.
d. Appellate courts.
2. ____ Todd has a dispute with Carla and he wants to use a type of ADR that will produce a legally
binding decision. Which of the following would meet Todd’s needs?
d. a and c.
3. ____ James and Ellen have a dispute involving a contract. James contractually agreed to buy
Ellen's car for $5,000. Ellen delivered the car to James but he refuses to pay. Ellen suggests
that she and James sit down and that they attempt to resolve their dispute. Ellen is suggesting
that she and James:
a. Arbitrate their dispute.
b. Conduct an informal mini-trial.
c. Negotiate their dispute.
d. Take part in a court-annexed mediation.
4. ____ Kevin intends to sue his employer in federal court for violation of federal antidiscrimination
laws. Under these facts, the federal trial court that will first hear and decide this case is the:
a. District court.
b. Court of appeals.
c. Supreme Court of the United States.
d. Tax Court.
5. ____ Tina plans to file a civil lawsuit against Julia based on the fact that Julia negligently
applied a harmful chemical to Tina's hair, which caused her hair to fall out. Under these
a. Tina should start her lawsuit by filing a complaint with the court.
b. Tina should start her lawsuit by filing a motion for directed verdict with the court.
c. Tina should start her lawsuit by filing an answer with the court.
d. Tina should start her lawsuit by filing a counter-claim with the court.
6. ____ Joanne worked for the Metropolis city government. One day at work a co-worker
approached her and asked whom she planned to vote for as mayor in the next election.
Joanne told her colleague that she didn't think much of either candidate, and she didn't
plan on voting for either one. The next day Joanne's boss fired her because he felt that
Joanne should not have expressed any negative views about elected officials.
Joanne plans to file a lawsuit against the city based on its violation of her federal
constitutional freedom of speech. If Joanne files her lawsuit in federal district court:
a. The court may hear her case based on federal-question jurisdiction.
b. The court may hear her case based on diversity jurisdiction.
c. The court cannot hear her case because it does not have jurisdiction of this matter.
d. a and b.
7. ____ Phyllis and Daryl were involved in an automobile accident. Phyllis properly commenced a lawsuit
against Daryl. Daryl does not believe that he is liable to Phyllis. Also, Daryl believes that Phyllis
is liable to him due to this accident. In this case, Daryl should:
a. File an answer denying the incorrect allegations stated in Phyllis' complaint.
b. File a counter-claim asserting his claim against Phyllis and requesting appropriate relief.
c. Do nothing.
d. a and b.
8. ____ Bob filed a civil lawsuit against Acme Corp. Bob is suing Acme for physical injuries that he suffered
due to Acme's negligence. All pleadings have been filed. Select the correct answer regarding Acme's
right to discover information from Bob.
a. Acme cannot discover any information from Bob.
b. Acme can request Bob to submit to a physical examination by a doctor.
c. Acme can take Bob's deposition regarding the accident.
d. b and c.
9. ____ Fernando sued Larry claiming that Larry recklessly drove his car into Fernando's truck,
which was parked on the street. Judgment was rendered by the trial court against
Fernando. Fernando then filed an appeal claiming that the trial court made a number of
errors during the trial. In general, what type of error will the appellate review?
a. Errors of law.
b. Errors of fact.
c. Errors of both law and fact.
d. The appellate court will not hear the appeal since it is only a civil lawsuit.
10. ___ Kim sued Tyler for breach of contract and the trial court entered judgment against Kim.
Kim appealed her case, and the appellate court determined that Kim should have
prevailed. The appellate court issued its opinion stating that Kim and not Tyler won the
lawsuit. Under these facts, the appellate court has:
a. Remanded the trial court's decision.
b. Affirmed the trial court's decision.
c. Reversed the trial court's decision.
d. Modified the trial court's decision.
11. ___ Rosa sued T&S Co. for breach of contract. Based on substantial factual evidence, the jury returned a
verdict for $5,000 in favor of Rosa, and the judge entered judgment in favor of Rosa for this amount.
If T&S Co. appeals this judgment to the court of appeals, the court of appeals:
a. May set aside or modify the judgment if the lower court committed serious errors of law.
b. Will have the witnesses testify again.
c. Will conduct a new trial.
d. b and c.
1. Discuss the types of alternative dispute resolution. Discuss the strengths and weaknesses of
alternative dispute resolution compared to the litigation process.
2. Identify and describe three discovery procedures.
Answer the following case problem, explaining your answer.
Carson Trucking bought a forklift from Dependable Equipment Sales. The forklift’s engine went out one
week later. Carson demanded its money back, but Dependable refused. The sales contract for the forklift
states, “All disputes arising out of this agreement shall be submitted to binding arbitration.”
1. Must the parties arbitrate this dispute?
2. If the dispute is arbitrated, is the arbitrator’s award legally binding?
3. Discuss Carson's right to join other parties as plaintiffs in a class action lawsuit against Dependable
and its right to a jury trial in this matter.