Federal Court System

Jessica Carter

Levels of the Federal Court System

1.District Courts-All trials start here and have original jurisdiction, they hear the cases for the first time

2. US Court of Appeals is the next level and have appellate jurisdiction, or the authority to hear an appealed case. There are 12 Court of Appeals covering a geographic areas on circuit

3.There is one last court, the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit which has jurisdiction nationwide. The court does not hold trials but a panel of judges reviews the case. They can choose to uphold the decision, reverse the decision, or remand-retry the case in a lower court

The Court of Appeals does not decided if someone is guilty but decides if the trial in the lower case was fair. One judge writes an opinion that explains the legal thinking behind the ruling and another judge sets a precedent for other similar cases


  • Federal court judges are appointed by the president and serve life terms.
  • Magistrate Judges decided if a accused person should be held in jail or given bail.They also decide if a case should go to trial
  • US Attorney is a government lawyer who prosecutes people accused of breaking federal law and represent the government involving civil cases
  • US Marshall make arrest, collect fines, take people to prison, protect jurors, and keep order in the court