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federal courts, state vs. federal courts


The most unique feature of the American judiciary is its dual system of trial courts, one state and one federal. This article explores the reasons traditionally given for the need for lower federal courts and whether, in practice, the federal courts are actually serving those needs. For example, it has been assumed that state courts are less hospitable to federal civil rights and consumer claims than federal courts, yet in many jurisdictions, plaintiffs’ lawyers prefer filing claims in state courts under state anti-discrimination or consumer laws rather than federal laws to prevent removal of the case to federal court. The article encourages third-year law students to take this capstone course because of its unique blend of the highly theoretical with the very practical questions facing any lawyer in deciding whether to file in - or remove to - federal court.

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