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Differences and similarities among the federal, state, and civil laws and legal systems in USA

List and explain any differences and similarities you find among the federal, state, and civil laws and legal systems in the United States. This will take some research. Are there significant differences? If so, explain what they are. Do you see one system being more stringent, citizen friendly, liberal, harsh, etc.?

There are many differences as well as similarities when discussing federal, state, and civil laws and legal systems in the United States. First the establishment of federal courts came from the power of the U.S. Constitution in order to solve disputes involving the Constitution and laws passed by Congress. The state courts on the other hand were established by each individual state and operate at the state level in terms of solving disputes involving any state passed law.

[ CITATION Uni1 \l 1033 ]. The jurisdiction of each different court varies between the state and federal level. State courts usually have a broader range of cases and handle the majority of the everyday citizen at court, i.e. robberies, traffic violations or family disputes. Once a case either involves the United States, includes violations of the U.S. Constitution or federal law, and certain legal disputes between citizens in different states to name a few. [ CITATION Fin1 \l 1033 ]. The state courts as a whole have a large much higher processing of cases per year, 30 million filed compared to the federal court’s 1 million filed. On the other side of this federal cases are usually the ones that get national attention and a higher media presence than state cases. [ CITATION Fin1 \l 1033 ].

Similarities between the state and federal level courts exist as well. First both have their own hierarchy of levels of courts for their jurisdiction. Whether in either the state or federal court you have the opportunity to appeal to a higher court to rule on your case. They both are presided over by judges, who either give rulings or hold the integrity of the court for jury trials to pass the ruling. They both hold to a set list of rules and procedures on how everyone should conduct themselves once inside the courtroom as well as out of it, this includes officers in the investigation stage.


Courts, U. S. (n.d.). Comparing Federal & State Courts. Retrieved from United States Courts:

FindLaw. (n.d.). Federal vs. State Courts - Key Differences. Retrieved from FindLaw:

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