Module Two: Judicial Structure

Purpose

Outline

Goals

Teacher Notes

Key Concept Chart 1: Judicial Structure

Activity: Negotiating the Budget

Magistrates District Court Judges
Superior Court Judges
Court Reporters
Public Defenders
District Attorneys
Deputy Clerks of the Court
Administrative Office of the Court (AOC)
North Carolina Judicial Branch Budget Request
Budget Request (Teacher's Copy)
Debriefing Materials -- Tally Sheets
 
 

 

Module Two: Judicial Structure

Purpose

 

Outline

  1. Introduction: Structure and Jurisdiction (Lecture)
  1. In-Depth Comparison: North Carolina Courts (Lecture)
  1. Reinforcement and Reenactment: Negotiation Simulation (Class Exercise)

Goals

At the end of Module Two, the students will be able to:

  1. Describe the adversarial nature of the judicial processes (Lecture Materials)

ELP Curriculum Connection:

  1. Summarize the courts role in making and influencing laws -- make clear that the courts merely interpret the written laws (Lecture Materials)

ELP Curriculum Connection:

  1. Identify the jurisdiction and structure of state and federal courts (Lecture Materials)

ELP Curriculum Connections:

  1. Outline the appeals process in the state judicial system (Lecture Materials)

ELP Curriculum Connection:

  1. Summarize the process by which the state court system is funded (Lecture and Activity One Materials)

ELP Curriculum Connection:

  1. Evaluate the roles of debate, consensus, compromise, and negotiation in resolving conflicts (Activity Two)

ELP Curriculum Connections:

 

 

Teacher Notes

  1. Judicial Structure Lecture
  2. Purpose: To introduce students to the adversarial nature of the court system, the structure and jurisdiction of the federal and state court systems, the judge's role as an interpreter of the law, and the funding process of the North Carolina court system.

    Teacher Preparation: Use the Student / Teacher Resource 1, Module 2 Key Concept Chart to structure the lecture around these topics.

    Assessment: Gauge the students' understanding of the judge's role as a law maker by asking the students to examine the United States and North Carolina constitutions to find the ambiguities that judges have had to interpret later. These ambiguities include phrases in the U.S. Constitution such as "due process of the law," "equal protection of the laws," and "unreasonable searches and seizures."

  3. Budget and Negotiation Activity

Purpose: The students will be introduced to the ways in which negotiation and conflict resolution are integral features in the funding process of the North Carolina Judicial Branch. The negotiation simulation will also reinforce the funding process of the N.C. court system.

  1. Teacher Preparation:
  1. Preliminary Preparation

A. As part of the lecture, explain the process in which the North Carolina court system is funded and how negotiation is an integral part of that process (please find Teacher / Student Resource 1, Module 1).

    1. Divide students into seven groups -- Magistrates, District Court Judges, Superior Court Judges, Court Reporters, Public Defenders, District Attorneys, and Administrative Office of the Court employees (AOC). The first six groups should have about three students each. The AOC group should have about four to six students. If there are more students, the Clerks of the Court group can be added to the other interest groups.

NOTE: The Clerks of the Court group will not have to confer with any of the other interest groups during the first negotiation.

C. Provide the following directions on how negotiation is going to work:

1. The interest groups will begin negotiating among themselves.

    1. First, the interest groups must decide how many positions they will lobby for given their original negotiation range and the relationship parameters with the other interest groups. Explain to the students that their groups should narrow their "given" range to a "narrowed" range during this negotiation. For example, it will be easier for the Superior Court Judge interest group to lobby for thirteen to seventeen superior court judges than for a specific number with their original ten to twenty number spread.
    2. Encourage the groups to talk with each other after deciding on their narrowed range to make sure all the interrelationship parameters are satisfied (ex. the Superior Court Judges meet with the Court Reporters to decide how many positions both groups should lobby for since one court reporter is needed for every new superior court judge).
    3. Next, each group needs to decide on a negotiation number from their narrowed range. This number will open up the second negotiation process with the AOC.
    4. The interest groups should propose two to four reasons why their negotiation number is reasonable so they can argue effectively in the second negotiation.
    1. The AOC group will decide how many positions each interest group needs given the ranges and the inter-relationship parameters. Specifically, the AOC group needs to decide on narrower ranges for each interest group by which to base their second negotiations on.
    2. The AOC group needs to come up with some reasons why their negotiation range is more reasonable than the interest groups' negotiation numbers (i.e. the General Assembly will not approve of so many positions because they will cost too much).
    3. Additionally, the AOC must decide which of its members will negotiate with the different group or groups (i.e. Sally will negotiate with the court reporters, Tom will negotiate with the superior court judges, etc.).

NOTE: Depending on the AOC group size, some of the representatives may have to negotiate with more than one group. If this should happen, assign the AOC representatives to negotiate with "like" groups (for instance, Sally negotiates with the superior court judges and the court reporters; Tom negotiates with the magistrates and the district court judges; Anne negotiates with the public defenders and the district attorneys).

    1. The AOC group needs to appoint one person to serve as the AOC Director. This person, in addition to negotiating with groups, will compile the results of the negotiations and submit them in the form of a budget proposal (See Student Resource 2, Module 2: North Carolina Court System Budget Proposal) to the General Assembly Legislator (the teacher).

1. all the groups have narrowed their negotiation ranges

2. all the relevant groups have consulted one another (all except for the AOC group and Court Clerks if they are included)

3. all the of the interest groups have negotiating numbers to open up their second negotiation. Also, make sure the AOC representatives are clear as to which interest group they are supposed negotiate with and that they have appointed an AOC director.

NOTE: Inevitably, conflicts will arise in the second negotiation because the interest groups are given larger negotiation ranges than those of the AOC group. This disparity represents real-life situations faced by both sides. On one hand, the AOC focuses on submitting a reasonable budget that the fiscally conservative General Assembly will approve. On the other hand, the interest groups inflate their needs in order to negotiate down to the actual number of positions or equipment they need. Summarize this push-and-pull relationship as part of their debriefing at the end of the activity.

1. Make certain that the students are aware that they can change the ranges their groups agreed on in their first negotiation (including the AOC), but it must be a group decision to do so.

    1. Remind the students to argue their reasons for needing the number of positions.
  1. ELP Skills Curriculum Connections:

 

Activity: Negotiating the Budget

Materials Include:

 

Magistrates

Job Description: The Magistrate's duties include:

1. the issuance of search and arrest warrants after an initial finding of probable cause

    1. the acceptance of certain misdemeanor guilty pleas
    2. the handling of certain worthless check cases
    3. presiding over small claim proceedings
    4. the handling of other civil functions.

First Negotiation: With your interest group and with the District Court Judges

Given Negotiation Range: 21-30

Objective: Define a narrowed negotiation range (approximately a 3-4 number spread) from the one above based on conversations within your group and with the District Court Judges.

Conditions: Magistrates are on the frontlines of the court system so there is a significant need for more positions. Since most of the cases heard at the district level involve more than small claims, more District Court Judges are needed than Magistrates. Make sure that your group's narrowed range is smaller than theirs. Try to stay as close to the upper end of your range as possible in both of your negotiations.

Group's Narrowed Range: ________________________

Tip: To open up the negotiation with your AOC representative, never reveal your group's negotiation range. Instead, pinpoint a number that can either be argued upwards or downwards within your group's narrowed range. This will be called your group's negotiation number.

 

Group's Negotiation Number: ________________________

Next, brainstorm for reasons why these new positions are needed. Additionally, think of a strategy for negotiating with the AOC representative.

Negotiation Arguments

1. ____________________________________________

2. ____________________________________________

3. ____________________________________________

 

Second Negotiation: With AOC Representative

Objective: Open up this negotiation with your negotiation number and defend it with your group's reasons why these proposed positions are necessary and reasonable. Stay as close to the upper end of your group's narrowed negotiation range as possible. Remember, however, that the original range given to your group is acceptable too. It is okay to compromise, so long as the following conditions are satisfied:

(1) the compromised number falls within your group's original, given range

(2) the relationship requirements are met for the number of the proposed positions (i.e. that the number of proposed magistrates is less than the proposed number of District Court Judges)

(3) that the majority of everyone in your group agrees.

 

 

Number of Magistrate Positions Agreed on following the Second

Negotiation:______________________________

 

 

 

District Court Judges

Job Description: The District Court Judges hear cases brought within the high-volume criminal, civil, domestic, and juvenile jurisdictions of the District Court Division of North Carolina's court system.

First Negotiation: With your interest group, the Magistrates, and the Superior Court Judges

Given Negotiation Range: 26-35

Objective: Define a narrowed negotiation range (approximately a 3 to 4 number spread) from the one above based on conversations within your group and with the Magistrates and Superior Court Judges.

Conditions: A significant number of new District Court Judge positions are needed to address the increase in cases at the district level. Major legislative changes over the past ten years have resulted in new, expanded, and changed laws which has created a significant increase in the number of cases these judges hear. Therefore, more District Court Judges are needed than Magistrates and Superior Court Judges.

Make sure that your range is larger than both of their narrowed ranges. Try to stay as close to the upper end of your range as possible in both of your negotiations.

Group's Narrowed Range: ________________________

Tip: To open up the negotiation with your AOC representative, never reveal your group's negotiation range. Instead, pinpoint a number that can either be argued upwards or downwards within your group's narrowed range. This will be called your group's negotiation number.

 

Group's Negotiation Number: ________________________

Next, brainstorm for reasons why these new positions are needed. Additionally, think of a strategy for negotiating with the AOC representative.

Negotiation Arguments

1. ____________________________________________

2. ____________________________________________

3. ____________________________________________

 

Second Negotiation: With AOC Representative

Objective: Open up this conversation with your negotiation number and defend it with your group's reasons why these proposed positions are necessary and reasonable. Stay as close to the upper end of your group's narrowed negotiation range as possible. Remember, however, that the original range given to your group is acceptable too. It is okay to compromise, so long as the following conditions are satisfied:

(1) the compromised number falls within your group's original, given range

(2) the relationship requirements are met for the number of the proposed positions (i.e. that the number of proposed District Court Judges is larger than the proposed number of Magistrates and Superior Court Judges); and

(3) that the majority of everyone in your group agrees.

 

 

Number of District Court Judge Positions Agreed on following the Second

Negotiation:______________________________

 

Superior Court Judges

Job Description: Superior Court Judges hear both criminal and civil cases that fall within the jurisdiction of the Superior Court Division. In connection with criminal cases, the Superior Court maintains exclusive jurisdiction over all felony trials and over misdemeanors appealed from a conviction in the District Court. The Superior Court hears civil cases involving claims of more than $10,000.

First Negotiation: With your interest group and with the District Court Judges

Given Negotiation Range: 10-20

Objective: Define a narrowed negotiation range (approximately a 3-4 number spread) from the one above based on conversations within your group and with the District Court Judges.

Conditions: New superior court judges are needed in the state to address the increasing caseloads and length of cases in superior court. Even with improved management of the rotation schedule for the judges, there are still inefficiencies in the system that would be alleviated by more judges on the circuit.

In terms of the overall volume of caseloads, however, the district level courts need more judges than the superior courts do. Make sure that your group's narrowed range is smaller than theirs.

Additionally, each new superior court judge needs one court reporter. Make sure your group's narrowed range is equal to the Court Reporters. Try to stay as close to the upper end of your narrowed range as possible in both of your negotiations.

Group's Narrowed Range: ________________________

Tip: To open up the negotiation with your AOC representative, never reveal your group's negotiation range. Instead, pinpoint a number that can either be argued upwards or downwards within your group's narrowed range. This will be called your group's negotiation number.

Group's Negotiation Number: ________________________

Next, brainstorm for reasons why these new positions are needed. Additionally, think of a strategy for negotiating with the AOC representative.

Negotiation Arguments

1. ____________________________________________

2. ____________________________________________

3. ____________________________________________

 

Second Negotiation: With AOC Representative

Objective: Open up this negotiation with your negotiation number and defend it with your group's reasons why these proposed positions are necessary and reasonable. Stay as close to the upper end of your group's narrowed negotiation range as possible. Remember, however, that the original range given to your group is acceptable too. It is okay to compromise, so long as the following conditions are satisfied:

(1) the compromised number falls within your group's original, given range

(2) the relationship requirements are met for the number of the proposed positions (i.e. that the number of proposed Superior Court Judges is smaller than the proposed number of District Court Judges and equal to the proposed number of Court Reporters)

(3) that the majority of everyone in your group agrees.

 

 

Number of Superior Court Judge Positions Agreed on following the Second

Negotiation:______________________________

 

Court Reporters

Job Description: Court Reporters are responsible for recording the courtroom proceedings word-for-word. This includes the testimony of witnesses, legal arguments, court orders, judgments, and the judge's instructions to the jury.

First Negotiation: With your interest group and with the Superior Court Judges

Given Negotiation Range: 10-20

Objective: Define a narrowed negotiation range (approximately a 3-4 number spread) from the one above based on conversations within your group and with the Superior Court Judges.

Conditions: Court reporters are required for every superior court proceeding. Therefore, each new superior court judge needs one court reporter for his/her courtroom. Make sure your range is equal to the Superior Court Judges'. Try to stay as close to the upper end of your range as possible in both of your negotiations.

Group's Narrowed Range: ________________________

Tip: To open up the negotiation with your AOC representative, never reveal your group's negotiation range. Instead, pinpoint a number that can either be argued upwards or downwards within your group's narrowed range. This will be called your group's negotiation number.

 

Group's Negotiation Number: ________________________

Next, brainstorm for reasons why these new positions are needed. Additionally, think of a strategy for negotiating with the AOC representative. Your group may want to work with the Superior Court Judges to come up with some arguments.

Negotiation Arguments

1. ____________________________________________

2. ____________________________________________

3. ____________________________________________

 

 

Second Negotiation: With AOC Representative

Objective: Open up this negotiation with your negotiation number and defend it with your group's reasons why these proposed positions are necessary and reasonable. Stay as close to the upper end of your group's narrowed negotiation range as possible. Remember, however, that the original range given to your group is acceptable too. It is okay to compromise, so long as the following conditions are satisfied:

(1) the compromised number falls within your group's original, given range

(2) the relationship requirements are met for the number of the proposed positions (i.e. that the number of proposed court reporters is equal than the proposed number of Superior Court Judges)

(3) that the majority of everyone in your group agrees.

 

 

Number of Court Reporters Positions Agreed on following the Second

Negotiation:______________________________

 

Public Defenders

Job Description: The Public Defender is paid by the state of North Carolina to represent and defend the indigent (people who cannot afford an attorney) in court.

First Negotiation: With your interest group and with the District Attorneys

Given Negotiation Range: 25-35

Objective: Define a narrowed negotiation range (approximately a 3-4 number spread) from the one above based on conversations within your group and with the District Attorneys.

Conditions: Caseloads have increased sharply over the years without proportionate increases in public defender or district attorney staff.

In general, the state will hire the same number of Public Defender Assistants as it will District Attorney Assistants. Therefore, once your group decides on a narrowed range, make sure that your narrowed range is equal the District Attorneys'. Try to stay as close to the upper end of your range as possible in both of your negotiations.

Group's Narrowed Range: ________________________

Tip: To open up the negotiation with your AOC representative, never reveal your group's negotiation range. Instead, pinpoint a number that can either be argued upwards or downwards within your group's narrowed range. This will be called your group's negotiation number.

Group's Negotiation Number: ________________________

Next, brainstorm for reasons why these new positions are needed. Additionally, think of a strategy for negotiating with the AOC representative.

Negotiation Arguments

1. ____________________________________________

2. ____________________________________________

3. ____________________________________________

 

Second Negotiation: With AOC Representative

Objective: Open up this negotiation with your negotiation number and defend it with your group's reasons why these proposed positions are necessary and reasonable. Stay as close to the upper end of your group's narrowed negotiation range as possible. Remember, however, that the original range given to your group is acceptable too. It is okay to compromise, so long as the following conditions are satisfied:

(1) the compromised number falls within your group's original, given range

(2) the relationship requirements are met for the number of the proposed positions (i.e. that the number of proposed Public Defender Assistants is equal to the proposed number of District Attorney Assistants);

(3) that the majority of everyone in your group agrees.

 

 

Number of Public Defender Assistant Positions Agreed on following the Second

Negotiation:______________________________

 

District Attorneys

Job Description: The District Attorney is paid by the state of North Carolina to represent the state of North Carolina in the court of law.

First Negotiation: With your interest group and with the Public Defenders

Given Negotiation Range: 25-35

Objective: Define a narrowed negotiation range (approximately a 3-4 number spread) from the one above based on conversations within your group and with the Public Defenders.

Conditions: Caseloads have increased sharply over the years without proportionate increases in Public Defender or District Attorney staff. In general, the state will hire the same number of Public Defender Assistants as it will District Attorney Assistants. Make sure that your narrowed range is equal the Public Defenders. Try to stay as close to the upper end of your range as possible in both of your negotiations.

Group's Narrowed Range: ________________________

Tip: To open up the negotiation with your AOC representative, never reveal your group's negotiation range. Instead, pinpoint a number that can either be argued upwards or downwards within your group's narrowed range. This will be called your group's negotiation number.

Group's Negotiation Number: ________________________

Next, brainstorm for reasons why these new positions are needed. Additionally, think of a strategy for negotiating with the AOC representative.

Negotiation Arguments

1. ____________________________________________

2. ____________________________________________

3. ____________________________________________

 

Second Negotiation: With AOC Representative

Objective: Open up this negotiation with your negotiation number and defend it with your group's reasons why these proposed positions are necessary and reasonable. Stay as close to the upper end of your group's narrowed negotiation range as possible. Remember, however, that the original range given to your group is acceptable too. It is okay to compromise, so long as the following conditions are satisfied:

(1) the compromised number falls within your group's original, given range

(2) the relationship requirements are met for the number of the proposed positions (i.e. that the number of proposed District Attorney Assistants is equal to the proposed number Public Defender Assistants)

(3) that the majority of everyone in your group agrees.

 

 

Number of District Attorney Assistant Positions Agreed on following the Second

Negotiation:______________________________

 

 

Deputy Clerks of the Court

Job Description: The Deputy Clerks are authorized to

First Negotiation: With your interest group

Given Negotiation Range: 30-45

Objective: Define a narrowed negotiation range (approximately a 3-4 number spread) from the one above based on conversations within your group.

Conditions: The Clerks of Superior Court need more Court Deputies to handle the increasing caseloads in district and superior court. The complexity of the cases often result in multiple transactions per case. The Clerks have requested more positions to alleviate some of the workload. With this in mind, try to stay as close to the upper end of your range as possible in both of your negotiations.

Group's Narrowed Range: ________________________

Tip: To open up the negotiation with your AOC representative, never reveal your group's negotiation range. Instead, pinpoint a number that can either be argued upwards or downwards within your group's narrowed range. This will be called your group's negotiation number.

Group's Negotiation Number: ________________________

Next, brainstorm for reasons why these new positions are needed. Additionally, think of a strategy for negotiating with the AOC representative.

Negotiation Arguments

1. ____________________________________________

2. ____________________________________________

3. ____________________________________________

 

Second Negotiation: With AOC Representative

Objective: Open up this negotiation with your negotiation number and defend it with your group's reasons why these proposed positions are necessary and reasonable. Stay as close to the upper end of your group's narrowed negotiation range as possible. Remember, however, that the original range given to your group is acceptable too. It is okay to compromise, so long as the following conditions are satisfied:

(1) the compromised number falls within your group's original, given range

(2) that the majority of everyone in your group agrees.

 

 

Number of Clerk Deputies Positions Agreed on following the Second

Negotiation:______________________________

 

 

Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC)

Job Description: The AOC prepares the judicial department's budget, recommends new positions, purchases and distributes supplies, collects and reports statistical information to keep track of caseloads, and oversees the implementation and evaluation of court-ordered programs.

Preliminary Work:

Background

Information: The Administrative Office of the Courts is responsible for presenting the judicial budget proposal to the legislators in the General Assembly. Before doing this, however, the AOC must negotiate with each of the following groups in order to make a needs assessment for the coming year.

First Negotiation: Within your group.

From these given ranges, define narrowed negotiation ranges (approximately a 3-4 number spreads) from the ones below based on conversations within your group.

Remember that the legislators are going to be a bit conservative with money and they will not approve a budget that looks too expensive. Decide on narrowed ranges that are as close to the lower end of your given ranges as possible.

 

Interest Group

Given Range

Narrowed Range

Magistrates

15-22

 

District Court Judges

20-28

 

Superior Court Judges

5-11

 

Court Reporters

5-11

 

Public Defenders

12-22

 

District Attorneys

12-22

 

Deputy Clerks of the Court

25-33

 

 

 

Next, brainstorm for some arguments for the second negotiation. Specifically, are these numbers more appropriate?

Second Negotiation Arguments:

1. ____________________________________________

2. ____________________________________________

3. ____________________________________________

 

Second Negotiation: With the interest groups

Objective: Let the interest groups open up the second negotiation. Stay as close to the lower end of your group's narrowed range as possible and defend the reasons why these proposed positions are necessary and reasonable. Remember, however, that the original range given to your group is acceptable too. It is okay to compromise, so long as the compromised number falls within your group's original, given range.

Following the negotiations, the AOC Director needs to fill out the budget request sheet stating how many positions were agreed upon in the second negotiations.

 

 

 

 

North Carolina Judicial Branch Budget Request

 

Description # of Positions Requested

Magistrates __________

District Court Judges __________

Superior Court Judges __________

Court Reporters (for Superior Court only) __________

Public Defenders __________

District Attorneys __________

Deputy Clerks of the Courts __________