Judicial Process

Welcome to Judicial Process

Course Description: Role of the American court system. Roots of Anglo-American jurisprudence; political aspects of legal institutions; structure of American court system.

Course Requirements & Resources:

Prerequisites: CJ 101 or PLS 150

Required Books (3):

1. Judicial Process in America by Robert A. Carp et al., [ISBN 9781544316697] CQ Press 2019

2. American Courts Explained: A Detailed Introduction to the Legal Process Using Real Cases by Gregory Mitchell and David Klein [ISBN-13-9781634598798]

3. Gideon's Trumpet: How One Man, a Poor Prisoner, Took His Case to the Supreme Court-and Changed the Law of the United States by Anthony Lewis [ISBN-13: 978-0679723127; ISBN-10: 0679723129]

· Optional: LibGuide for Criminal Justice

· Optional: Newman's Subject Matter Index

· Optional: Newman's Own YouTube Station

Office Hours: In addition to being available before/after class, I will have office hours as follows: M/W 1-2 and Tue/Thurs 11-1; and by appointment. I will be occupying Professor Robert Hauhart's office in OM 315 while he is away. I am also available by appointment and via email at snewman@stmartin.edu. I try to respond to emails within 24 hours. Note these etiquette tips for emailing your professor and submitting materials.

Course Objectives:

1. Explain the nature and sources of law

2. Compare the major global legal systems

3. Evaluate the role of courts in contemporary society, including ADR and therapeutic courts.

4. Summarize and distinguish classical and contemporary theories of jurisprudence

5. Describe the organization and jurisdiction of state and federal court systems

6. Differentiate standing, mootness, ripeness and political questions.

7. Critique judicial selection and removal protocol, including for SCOTUS.

8. Appraise the pros and cons of law school and the legal profession.

9. Assess and justify the right to counsel.

10. Discuss and critique the use and abuse of prosecutorial discretion.

11. Explain how judges interpret statutes and the U.S. Constitution.

12. Differentiate and illustrate “judicial activism” and “judicial restraint”.

13. Analyze the life cycle and impact of civil cases (e.g. Promotion in Motion v. Beech-Nut).

14. Analyze the life cycle and impact of these criminal cases: Kentucky v. Woodall and Gideon v. Wainwright.


5 Exams @ 100/each 500


100 Active attendance and participation


Total Points:


· Voir dire Assignment

· US ConstitutionURL

· Washington State ConstitutionURL

· Citation Guide APA StyleURL

· Introduction to Basic Legal CitationURL

· Basic Legal Research Tips from NOLOURL

· SMU O'Grady Library CJ Research GuideURL

· Professor Newman's Subject Matter Index on Legal ResearchURL

· Debate Assignment Information