Far too often when we discuss American courts and their judicial systems, we take little note of the significant differences in the ways in which cases are handled and law is practiced. We probably contemplate the dichotomy between trial and appellate courts; between rural and urban courts; between general and special jurisdiction courts; between state and federal courts; between courts with elected and selected judges; and between civil and criminal courts. We also surely contemplate the differences in attitudes, work habits, ideology, staff and the like which separate individual judges, and we inevitably contemplate the divergent judicial approaches to the balance of individual and societal interests. In the last decade, there has been special attention paid to fundamental rights, particularly those normally asserted within the judicial branch; including search and seizure, jury trial, self-incrimination, speedy trial, competent counsel, public access, cruel and unusual punishment, and confrontation.
Jeffrey A. Parness,
Comparative American Judicial Systems,
U. Rich. L. Rev.
Available at: http://scholarship.richmond.edu/lawreview/vol24/iss2/4