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Federal Court Concepts
This free online module, Federal Court Concepts, is designed to introduce secondary and postsecondary students to the American federal court system. It contains basic information about the structure of the federal courts, what kind of cases that federal courts hear, and how to use federal court decisions in research.
After completing this module, students should be able to:
- Understand the differences and similarities between the various types of federal courts.
- Identify the levels of the federal court system.
- Grasp the basic principles of legal research.
Index of Contents
- Introduction to Federal Courts: A brief overview of the federal court system.
- Structure of the Federal Courts: A description of how federal courts are organized.
- Jurisdiction of the Federal Courts: A guide to the types of cases that federal courts routinely hear.
- Federal District Courts: Information about the lowest level of federal courts.
- Federal Courts of Appeal: Information about the intermediate level of federal courts.
- Supreme Court: Information about the "highest court in the land."
- Other Federal Courts: Information about federal courts with special jurisdictions.
- About Legal Research: An introduction to how students can research court decisions, and integrate these decisions into their research.
- Resources: A list of online resources about the federal court system.
- Glossary: A list of terms used in this module. Words found in the glossary are indicated with the following icon .
- Accessibility: An overview of the accessibility features of this module, with information about courtroom accessibility for people with disabilities. For more details on the process of creating the module and its accessibility features, review Closing the Circuit: Accessibility from the Ground Up.
Link to Module
Development & Support
This module is maintained by the Southeast ADA Center, one of ten regional centers in the ADA National Network on the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and a project of the Burton Blatt Institute at Syracuse University.
- For questions or comments on this module, contact the Southeast ADA Center.
- For more information on the ADA or web access, contact your ADA Center at 1-800-949-4232 (voice/tty).
This module was originally developed by Curtis D. Edmonds, J.D. under the Georgia Tech Research on Accessible Distance Education (GRADE) project at the Georgia Tech Center for Assistive Technology and Environmental Access (CATEA) in 2003 with funding by the Office of Post Secondary Education (OPE) under Grant #P333A020050.