United States Courts

Supreme Court

At its discretion, and within certain guidelines established by Congress, the Supreme Court
each year hears a limited number of the cases it is asked to decide. Those cases may begin in the
federal or state courts, and they usually involve important questions about the Constitution or
federal law. The bound copy is the final authority for Supreme Court decision.

<strong>Court of Appeals</strong><br /> <br />The 94 U.S. judicial districts are organized into 12 regional circuits, each of which has a<br /> United States court of appeals. A court of appeals hears appeals from the district courts located<br /> within its circuit, as well as appeals from decisions of federal administrative agencies. In<br /> addition, the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit has nationwide jurisdiction to hear appeals<br /> in specialized cases, such as those involving patent laws and cases decided by the Court of<br /> International Trade and the Court of Federal Claims.<br /> <br /><title><strong>District Courts</strong><br /> <br />The United States district courts are the trial courts of the federal court system. Within<br /> limits set by Congress and the Constitution, the district courts have jurisdiction to hear nearly<br /> all categories of federal cases, including both civil and criminal matters.<br /> <br /><title><strong>Bankruptcy Courts</strong><br /> <br />Each of the 94 federal judicial districts handles bankruptcy matters, and in almost all<br /> districts, bankruptcy cases are filed in the bankruptcy court. Bankruptcy cases cannot be filed in<br /> state court<br /> <br /> <h2>Related non-government law resources</h2> <p><a title="FindLaw" target="_blank" href="http://www.findlaw.com/"><strong>FindLaw</strong></a><br /> <br />FindLaw is the highest-trafficked legal Web site, providing the most comprehensive set of<br /> legal resources on the Internet for legal professionals, corporate counsel, law students,<br /> businesses, and consumers. These resources include Web search utilities, cases and codes, legal<br /> news, an online career center, and community-oriented tools, such as a secure document management<br /> utility, e-mail newsletters, and message boards.<br /> <br /><a title="Legal Information Institute" target="_blank" href="http://www.law.cornell.edu/"><strong>Legal Information Institute</strong></a><br /> <br />The “ Law about” section offers a wide array of articles and related works on the law. <br /> Also includes sections on the constitution and codes, and court opinions.