The Federal Court System

and how it works!

How Federal Courts are Organized

1. District courts are the federal courts where trials are held and lawsuits are begun

2. U.S. Courts of Appeals: People who lose in a district court often appeal to the next highest level

3. One Extra Court: A thirteenth appeals court, the court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit has nationwide Jurisdiction.

Appeal courts do not decide guilt of innocence or which side should win a suit.

Jobs in Federal Courts

Magistrate Judges: They decide whether accused people should be held in jail or released on bail

U.S. Attorney: A government lawyer who prosecutes people accused of breaking federal law.

U.S. Marshall: Marshals make arrests, collect fines, and take convicted people to prison

Federal Court

Life term: A judge will serve a life term

One appellate judge writes an opinion that explains the legal thinking behind the courts decision in the case.

The opinion sets a precedent or model for other judges to follow in making their own decisions on similar cases

The Judges may decide in one of three ways: uphold the decision, reverse the decision, or remand the case.