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Legal Research Basics

Introduction

In the United States, there is a federal court system as well as separate court systems for each state. It is essential that attorneys understand the structure and functions of these different court systems.

Federal Court System

Court of Last Resort - United States Supreme Court

Intermediate Appellate Court - United States Courts of Appeals ("Circuit Courts")

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Trial Court - United States District Courts

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California Court System

Court of Last Resort - California Supreme Court

Intermediate Appellate Court - California Courts of Appeal

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Trial Court - California Superior Courts