Study of the state and federal court systems and the impact those systems have on American politics and society. Prerequisite: POSC 111.
Prerequisite(s) / Corequisite(s):
Course Rotation for Day Program:
Most current editions of the following:
Any current edition of a text on judicial process covering all topics in the Topical Outline. Suggested texts:
Introduction to the Law and the Legal System
By Schubert, Frank A. (Houghton Mifflin) Recommended
Judicial Process in America
By Karp and Stidham (Congressional Quarterly Press) Recommended
Judicial Process: Law, Courts, and Politics in the United States
By Neubauer and Meinhold (Thompson/Wadsworth) Recommended
To understand the structure and functions of the American court system on both the national and state levels.
To understand the role of judges, lawyers and litigants.
To understand trial and appellate processes.
To understand the types of American law and the role of law in the American political and legal system.
To understand the structure, processes and power of the U.S. Supreme Court and the impact that Court has had in America’s historical development.
Describe and explain the development of the various types of American law.
Describe the structure of both state and national court systems.
Explain the basic processes for trials and appeals.
Explain the basic rules of evidence used by civil and criminal trial courts.
Describe the legal profession and the various ways judges are selected.
Describe the historical development of the U.S. Supreme Court and the procedures it employs.
Evaluate the role of courts in American society.
Note: A significant writing component is required for this course. The requirement may be satisfied by requiring students to submit a single type-written paper of twelve pages in length, properly cited, or by multiple assignments of equivalent length.
Law - Types of law - Theories of law - Sources of American law
Court structure and organization - Typical structure of state courts - Structure of U.S. Article III courts - Structure of U.S. “specialized” courts
The legal profession - American Bar Association role in school accreditation - Becoming an attorney - State bar requirements
The selection of judges - Appointment - Election - Missouri Bar Plan
Basic trial procedures - Criminal trials and rules of evidence - Civil trials and rules of evidence - Discovery
The U.S. Supreme Court - Historical development - Judicial Review - Power and influence
Recommended maximum class size for this course: 35
NOTE: The intention of this master course syllabus is to provide an outline of the contents of this course, as specified by
the faculty of Columbia College, regardless of who teaches the course, when it is taught, or where it is taught. Faculty members teaching this
course for Columbia College are expected to facilitate learning pursuant to the course objectives and cover the subjects listed in the topical
outline. However, instructors are also encouraged to cover additional topics of interest so long as those topics are relevant to the course's
subject. The master syllabus is, therefore, prescriptive in nature but also allows for a diversity of individual approaches to course material.