The Judicial Process: Law, Courts, and Judicial Politics is an all-new, concise yet comprehensive core text that introduces students to the nature and significance of the judicial process in the United States and across the globe. It is social scientific in its approach, situating the role of the courts and their impact on public policy within a strong foundation in legal theory, or political jurisprudence, as well as legal scholarship. Authors Christopher P. Banks and David M. O’Brien do not shy away from the politics of the judicial process, and offer unique insight into cutting-edge and highly relevant issues. In its distinctive boxes, “Contemporary Controversies over Courts” and “In Comparative Perspective,” the text examines topics such as the dispute pyramid, the law and morality of same-sex marriages, the “hardball politics” of judicial selection, plea bargaining trends, the right to counsel and “pay as you go” justice, judicial decisions limiting the availability of class actions, constitutional courts in Europe, the judicial role in creating major social change, and the role lawyers, juries and alternative dispute resolution techniques play in the U.S. and throughout the world. Photos, cartoons, charts, and graphs are used throughout the text to facilitate student learning and highlight key aspects of the judicial process.

Trial Courts: Civil Cases and Litigation

Trial Courts: Civil Cases and Litigation

IN 2004, GENERAL MOTORS (GM) PUT FAULTY IGNITION SWITCHES IN CHEVY COBALT and other cars that caused engines to go into “moving stalls” on the highway. The loss of engine power also meant the air bags did not deploy, causing at least a dozen deaths in over fifty collisions. Subsequent discovery revealed that GM knew about what its engineers called “the switch from hell” for years. But GM did not issue a recall until 2014, and then when it did act, it was incomplete and ineffective. A subsequent GM-initiated investigation reported that GM’s failure to act responsibly could be traced to the “GM nod”—the corporate norm of looking the other way and doing ...

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