Judicial Terms!

What you need to know...

District Courts

Federal Courts where trials are held and lawsuits are begun.

Original Jurisdiction

The authority to hear a case for the first time.

Court of Appeals

The Federal Court that reviews decisions made in the District Court.

Appellate Jurisdiction

Authority to hear a case appealed from a lower court.


A geographic area of the US Court of Appeals.


Send the case back to the lower court to be tried again.


Explains the legal thinking behind the courts decision in the case.


Model for others judges to follow in making their decisions on similar cases.

Life Terms

When someone holds office for as long as they would like.

Magistrate Judges

Decide if accused people should be held in jail or not. They do preliminary evidence to determine whether the case should go to trial.

U.S. Attorney

A government lawyer who prosecutes people accused of breaking Federal Laws.

U.S. Marshall

Makes arrests, collects fines, takes convicted people to prison. This person also protects jurors, keeps order in court and serves subpoenas.