How Federal Courts Work

Cameron Owle

Marshall – Makes arrests, collects fines, takes convicted people to prison. Also, protects jurors, keeps order in court, and servers subpoenas.


US Attorney – A government lawyer who prosecutes people accused of breaking federal law


Magistrate Judge – They decide whether accused people should be held in jail or released on bail. They do the judges’ routine work and hear preliminary evidence to determine whether the case should go to trial.


Life Terms – When someone can hold office for as long as they would like


Precedent – Model for other judges to follow in marking their own decisions on similar cases


Opinion – Explains the legal thinking behind the court’s decision in the case


Remand – Send the case back to the lower court to be tried again


Circuit – A geographic area of a US Court of Appeals


Appellate Jurisdiction – The authority to hear a sase appealed from a lower court


Original Jurisdiction – The authority to hear a case for the first time


District Courts – Federal courts where trials and held and lawsuits are begun


Court of Appeals – The Federal court that reviews decisions made in the district courts.