Local Judicial Systems

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.

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