Legal System and Gender

The U.S. legal system is very complex in terms of the types of cases heard, jurisdictions, types of courts, and specific processes within each court. The common denominator for all courts is that they are either criminal or civil courts and that they follow the stages of the judicial process; these steps will be elaborated on later in this entry. The primary difference between a criminal and a civil court depends on the type of case that is heard—essentially who brings the case to the court’s attention. In civil cases, a party approaches the legal system to seek resolution to some issue or dispute; this usually entails the examination of some relief as the plaintiff believes that they have been harmed in some way by ...

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