American Judicial Systems Syllabus

American Judicial System 

First assignment:

  1. List 4 important people (positions) in the courtroom and their roles:, if links don’t work, google any four of the following terms: judge, prosecutor, bailiff, defense attorney, plaintiff, defendant, court reporter, jury. 
  2. Describe the American Judicial System in your own words. What types of cases do federal courts decide? How does this differ from state courts? American Judicial System (if link doesn't work, google the American Judicial System and what cases federal courts decide.
  3. Describe the role of a prosecutor (district attorney), federal prosecutor, and public defenders and the link doesn’t work, google the terms (prosecutor, federal prosecutor, public defenders).

Chapter Presentations will occur every Thurs. Choose Chapter and partners the first week of class.

Choose: Sept 12th (Ch 1), 19th (Ch 2), 26th (Ch 3), Oct 3rd (Ch 4), 10th (Ch 5), 17th (Ch 6), 24th (Ch 7), 31st (Ch 8), Nov 7th (Ch 9), Nov 14 (Ch 10), Nov 21 (Ch 11), Dec 5th (Ch 12), Dec 12 (Ch13), Dec 19 (Ch 14), Jan 9 (Ch 15), Jan 30 (18), Feb 6 (Ch 19), Feb 13 (Ch 20), Feb 27 (Ch 21), March 5th (Ch22), March 12th (Ch 23), March 19th (Ch24), March 26th (Ch 25), April 2 (Ch 26), April 16 (Ch 27), April 23 (Ch 28), April 30 (Ch 29), May 7 (Ch 30), May 14 (Ch 31), May 21 (Ch 32), May 28th (Ch 34).

All  homework must be typed.
COURSE SCOPE: The course will examine the American Judicial System. Students will examine the rights and duties of private parties and the remedies at law for private wrongs. The class will survey contract law, torts, and family law. Students will also learn about elements of crime, crimes against persons, and properties. We will have several guest speakers throughout the year to allow for students to interact with those who have a career in law.


Successful students will have shown through in-class exercises and specific course assignments the ability to pursue and retain knowledge, comprehend the various significant levels of acquired knowledge (analyzing and identifying their various components), evaluate the significance of that knowledge, synthesize ideas from multiple sources, and apply what is learned to work and life situations.




1.      Examine how the American Judicial System works.

2.     To become familiar with the wide range of civil wrongs and remedies covered by tort law.

3.     To identify the required elements of an enforceable contract.

4.     Examine the elements of a crime.

5.   To become familiar with the methods of dispute resolution.

6.     To build research, writing, and vocabulary skills related to the study of law.

7.     To explore careers in law.

8.   To explore family law. 

9.   Examine our court system.



Notebook or Folder for American Judicial Systems only



The quarter grade will be calculated by points.


If you cut, you forfeit your opportunity to make up materials/tests.



Each of the questions assigned is very important to your understanding of this class. A strong knowledge of the material will assist you in any legal career you embark on. Spend your time wisely and apply yourself to the material and you will do well. Each assignment and the court trial have specific grading values assigned to them. It is important that you complete each one as they are due.





Homework will be randomly checked and is due on the due date. There may be class assignments where homework can be used. They may be collected and graded. 

Missed assignments should be made up as they serve to enhance your learning. 



Homework: You must bring your text to class each day. We will work out of the text on a regular basis. You will have a current event article due each Friday. Use the template provided. Homework count as 15% and class participation and classwork is 35%. Be prepared to share.


Friday C.E. is due.

Bring the article to class and be prepared to discuss it. Use the template provided. Remember homework is 15% of your grade and class participation and work 35%.

Every Friday.  Bring the article to class and be prepared to discuss it. Print ahead of time. It is due at the start of class. You can hand in up to two late current events two weeks before the semester ends. Use the template provided. 

A current event is due every Friday. You will print articles that relate to law and share them on Fridays (News Day). You do not have to write a summary every Friday but be prepared to share. The first couple of weeks of school you will use the Current Event Template to complete this written assignmentThen we will switch to sharing orally only on Fridays (I will let you know when we make this shift).


We will also have a Mock Trial in class. You will be required to write a 2 page assessment.



Grading Criteria:


Assessments (50 %)


Homework (15%)


Classwork and Participation (35%)