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  • A legal forum for resolving disputes, reviewing matters of law, or adjudicating criminal matters. Both federal and state courts are based on a hierarchical system. The only court established by the U.S. Constitution (Article 3, Section 1) is the Supreme Court; all other courts are established by statute. Typically, federal courts are courts of general jurisdiction; they can handle both civil and criminal cases. The first level of the federal court system is the trial court, known as the U.S. District Court; all federal cases are tried in this court. Every state has at least one district court. The intermediate courts, known as the U.S. Court of Appeals or U.S. Circuit Courts, do not hear evidence; they serve as a medium for review and appeal ...

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