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Appellate and Trial Courts

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Trial and appellate courts are both minor courts or often municipal courts. Minor courts deal with misdemeanors or violations of local and state laws that are relatively minor in violation severity. These include traffic incidents, civil suits, and sometimes initial hearings and setting bail for more severe violations. Outcomes made in these courts can sometimes be appealed and tried all over again. These courts are funded and run by local governments. They are courts of limited jurisdiction as they mostly only hear cases related to traffic, family, small claims, or police issues.

Major trial courts have original jurisdiction, or the authority to hear the case for the first time (Magleby et al., 2014, p. 159). This, naturally, is the first place that local disputes are heard and can take place in a number of different courts including county courts, circuit courts, superior courts, district courts, or common pleas courts. In trial courts, there is a prosecutor and defendant, witnesses that testify, and jurors that decide on a verdict. In many cases, the case is brought before a judge who determines the sentence.

Felonies, or serious crimes, are usually tried in major trial courts and individuals found guilty can be sent to prison for several years or be sentenced to death. Many states differentiate their courts between civil and criminal offences. Trial courts have the option of taking a case, diverting it to a separate and more appropriate department or agency, dismiss any charges completely, accept the case before a grand jury, and indicting or formally charging an individual with an offence (Magleby et al., 2014, p. 168). Trials can be expensive, as is usually the case with lengthy murder trials. In some of these cases, the lawyers involved can offer a plea bargain which has the prosecution offer a reduced charge or sentence in return for a guilty plea.

If a participant does not agree with the result of a trial, it can be brought before an appellate court that can review the decisions made in the trial court. Most states have separate appellate courts but those states with minimal cases appeal directly to their state supreme court. This is the case for states such as Rhode Island, Nevada, Vermont, and New Hampshire. Appellate courts can reverse convictions made in trial courts for a number of reasons. If a juror makes an honest mistake in response to a material question, thereby concealing bias, the appellate court will reverse the conviction. If a juror intentionally conceals bias during a case, the appellate court can grant an entirely new trial (Rosenfeld et al., 2001).

The primary purpose of the appellate court is the review the decisions made in the trial court. They are the intermediate court between trial courts and the supreme court (Ginsburg, 2010). The appellate court usually sticks to the information that was provided in the trial court. It does not hear any new additional information. It then agrees with the ruling of the trial court, calls for a new trial in the major trial court, or is moved to the final judgment of the supreme court.

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I have made some comments that will help you.

The first thing to identify is that appellate courts are not "minor" courts, but courts that deal with legal issues or the rule of law. These issues rise in court cases such as trials (criminal and civil) and in other matters brought before the lower courts. After trial verdicts are decided, cases can be appealed based on laws not applied properly or processes not followed. The appellate court analyzes court cases ...

Solution Summary

A review of the differences between trial and appellate court and their purposes.

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