Writing for the US federal courts

Published

Book Section

© Cambridge University Press 2011. This chapter outlines standards and statutes governing psychiatric reports for the federal courts. Federal courts adjudicate disputes arising under the United States constitution, federal statutes and regulations, and the federal common law at three different levels: (1) federal district courts for each state or federal territory, grouped under twelve sets of appellate courts called circuits; (2) circuit courts providing appellate review of district court decisions; and (3) the US Supreme Court providing appellate review of circuit court decisions. The US Supreme Court also has limited “original jurisdiction,” for example, in cases brought by one state against another. There is a right to appeal any final decision rendered by the district court to the circuit court. Appellate cases heard by the Supreme Court are discretionary. If four justices agree to hear the case the Court issues a “writ of certiorari,” beginning a process of written and oral argument.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Johnson, S; Elbogen, E; Kuroski-Mazzei, A

Published Date

  • January 1, 2011

Book Title

  • The Psychiatric Report: Principles and Practice of Forensic Writing

Start / End Page

  • 187 - 200

International Standard Book Number 13 (ISBN-13)

  • 9780521131841

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1017/CBO9780511895074.017

Citation Source

  • Scopus