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					                     Court Culture


1. Magistrate/city courts (state courts) –
   -- informal culture
   -- lawyers, when present, joke with the judge (tell gossip)
   -- maybe call each other by first names
   -- procedures are informal
   -- judge does not have to be a lawyer
   -- usually runs for office???
                      Court Culture


2. Trial Court (state courts) --
    -- formalized culture
    -- judge wears a costume, sits up higher
    -- lawyers almost always present
    -- procedures are formal (rules of evidence, pleading)
    -- judge is a lawyer with 5 years practicing experience
    -- in many states, runs for election
    -- considered an elite within the local attorney culture
                     Court Culture


3. Federal court culture --
   -- highly over glorified bureaucracy
       (my first time in federal court)
       [security, crystal, courtroom, defendant tables]
   -- district court judges appointed for life
   -- circuit judges appointed for life
   -- larger courtrooms, better clerks, better support staff,
   better security
   -- considered an elite within the local attorney culture
                    Court Culture


4. Federal magistrate --
   -- lawyer, with experience, appointed to a fixed term (5
   years??)
   -- always a court of record
   -- will handle some procedural issues in major criminal
   cases [e.g., referring a suppression issues]
   -- presides over its own trials for misdemeanors and minor
   civil cases
   -- there is no such thing as a story-telling court
   -- procedure and culture are as formal -– perhaps more -–
   than in state trial courts

				
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posted:1/23/2011
language:English
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