Law procedures in the United States are based on English common law. In common law, the laws are passed by a legislative branch and interpreted by the courts. The law develops through court decisions by judges during trial. Generally, the decision affects only those courts below it. Decision by courts of appeal and the U.S. Supreme Court judges become the law of the land.
Common, Statutory & Administrative Law
Common law is also referred to as case law or precedent. Statute law are Acts passed by legislature. This will cover both criminal and civil courts. Administrative law are rules and regulations made by the executive or administrative branch. Presidential executive order is an example. The powers are granted either from the constitution or delegated by the legislature.
Case law consists of decisions made by courts and the decisions are based on:
1. Long-standing precedents whose origins are lost.
2. Interpretations of statute and administrative law.
3. Constitutionality is also a consideration.
Courts are only involved to resolve conflicts, either civil or criminal in nature.
In the U.S. we operate under dual-sovereignty where the states have their own constitution, while the federal sovereign is limited to the supreme authority granted by the constitution.
Circuit, District & Appeals Courts
States are divided into circuits and districts. Nevada is in the 9th Circuit. Nevada has 11 district courts with Clark County being in the 8th District Court. Conflicted decisions move up the ladder. Justice and municipal courts are subject to decisions made by the 8th district judges. Conflicted decisions are then sent to the Nevada Court of Appeals and are either remanded back to the district court or approved for Nevada Supreme Court. These are Discretionary Appeals, Non-Discretionary Appeals and Remands flow directly to the Supreme Court from the District Courts. Courts of Appeal are referred to as Appellate Courts.
List of Federal Courts
The federal courts are: U.S. District Court, U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals and the U.S. Supreme Court. The 94 federal judicial districts are organized into 12 Regional Circuits, with a court of appeals. Appellate Courts consist of three judges and there is no jury. The primary authority of the federal courts is limited as the framers of the constitution feared that a powerful judiciary would threaten the independence of the states. U.S. Supreme court only has authority to cases that involve diversity of citizenship or raises a federal question.
Federal Courts has jurisdiction over.
• Any case that has a constitutional question or involves federal law falls under the Supreme Court. Federal law covers criminal and civil.
• Constitutional controversies, particularly case involving violation of civil rights.
• Employment law or interstate commerce. Another area is securities trading or anti-trust cases.
• Any case where the United States is a party, like Social Security Claims or federal tax violations.
• The federal courts intercede in cases involving disputes between state governments, and international trade or foreign treaties.
• Bankruptcy, patient and copyright violations.
• Maritime law
• Cases involving Native Americans
• Diversity of Citizenship include cases between citizens of different states, between U.S. citizens and a foreign national. All cases involving claims under $75,000 are referred to the state courts.
Criminal Defense, Personal Injury, Business Attorneys & More in Greater Las Vegas, Nevada
To be a competent attorne,y at least a passing familiarity with all the state, local and federal requirements is necessary. Although Nevada does not recognize experts, many attorneys pick a field that they are more comfortable with but must on occasion compete outside of their comfort zone. Most large law firms have experts in all fields while some firms limit their clientele to a narrow practice like family law, or wills, trusts and asset protection. Others cover criminal defense. Many specialize in bankruptcy and tax law. Kajioka & Associates Attorneys At Law is proud to specialize in Criminal Defense, Personal Injury and Business Law. Contact us for a consultation today.