The Court Of The Federal Court System

1438 Words6 Pages
Heber Concepcion
Courtroom #3: United States District Court, Southern District
The third and final court visited was the United States District Court. The United States district courts are the trial courts of the federal court system. Within limits set by Congress and the Constitution, the district courts have jurisdiction to hear nearly all categories of federal cases, including both civil and criminal matters. Everyday hundreds of people across the nation are selected for jury duty and help decide some of these cases. There are 94 federal judicial districts, including at least one district in each state, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. Three territories of the United States -- the Virgin Islands, Guam, and the Northern Mariana
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I was the sole public member here at this specific court, which made it seem a bit more daunting than usual. This court was probably where I had an awe moment for myself. The room was filled with marble and gold trimming everywhere. The official courtroom was carpeted with wood everywhere. The judge on duty, Honorable Alvin K. Hellerstein had not yet arrived when I was there. Outside the courtroom, counsels and attorneys are discussing and/or gossiping at the moment before the case starts. The atmosphere of this courtroom is exactly what I expected a courtroom to be like. This feeling was not met in the NY criminal and civil courts. One thing that was noticed was that there were zero court officers in the courtroom so far which seemed very odd, given the daunting nature of the whole room. The transcriber, more commonly known as the court reporter, arrived. The lack of my phone gives me no sense of time. It felt like I was there for about 5 minutes but it was more like ten to fifteen minutes had passed. There was an abnormal lack of modern feel, but certainly no lack of modern devices. The courtroom that I was in had several computers, which were equipped with some of the latest software made for them.
The case presented is United States of America v. Local 1804-1, which is a union. This hearing was for oral arguments only. There was a significant sense of order in the room. Attorneys have a respect for the courtroom. Proceedings at the United States District
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