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Re: [Czechlist] Term - Eng - Jurisdiction

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  • Michael Trittipo
    ... Yes, you re right, if I m understanding the question: just being a U.S. citizen doesn t mean being subject to suit any any court in the U.S. To the
    Message 1 of 12 , May 3, 2008
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      Jirka Bolech wrote:
      > I'd like to ask, if you spare a minute, just out of curiosity (being a
      > perfect legal layman): is it in the United States in this kind of proceeding
      > that, although all of the participants are US citizens, they may fall under
      > different jurisdictions? Is that only about courts' scopes of power or may
      > different rules apply to them because of different state legislations?

      Yes, you're right, if I'm understanding the question: just being a
      U.S. citizen doesn't mean being subject to suit any any court in the
      U.S. To the contrary, most people can be made defendants in only a
      few courts, and all the others lack power over them. It is because
      the scope of the court's proper exercise of power is limited.

      That's because each state is technically a different country (that
      has given up some of its sovereignty to the central government), and
      most lawsuits are handled in state courts, not in the federal
      (national) system.

      Just as France's courts can't reach into the Czech Republic, and the
      Slovak courts can't reach into Spain, even though all of each
      country's citizens are "Europeans," neither can Indiana's courts
      touch a California defendant, nor Oregon touch a South Dakotan
      defendant, unless the defendant's contacts with the would-be forum
      state exceed a certain minimum threshold level.

      Thus, Jamie can't maintain a lawsuit against me in Michigan; I have
      insufficient contacts with Michigan for it to do so. He could
      always waste money trying to sue me there, but I can guarantee he'd
      fail: the Michigan courts would throw the suit out because they
      couldn't obtain jurisdiction over me.

      That's actually true of the federal courts, too, in most cases.
      There are some extra wrinkles, that I won't get into. But there's
      not a month that goes by that I don't read a judge's decision
      telling the plaintiff that the judge has to throw out plaintiff's
      lawsuit, precisely because the defendant doesn't have sufficient
      contacts with the state where the court sits.

      Actually, the existence of different rules because of different
      state legislations (different rules in Italy than in Switzerland) is
      not a limit on the courts' powers. There's no reason why an Iowa
      court can't apply New York law (if that's the right body of law to
      apply) or vice-versa.

      I hope that answers your questions?
    • James Kirchner
      ... I think the cases chosen for those shows are the ones that make the best showbiz. They re very entertaining, but they re often educational at the same
      Message 2 of 12 , May 3, 2008
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        On May 3, 2008, at 4:47 PM, Jirka Bolech wrote:

        > Thanks for your comments. The YouTube videos you've sent links to
        > are sort
        > of hilarious. US courtrooms are sometimes much like showbiz.

        I think the cases chosen for those shows are the ones that make the
        best showbiz. They're very entertaining, but they're often
        educational at the same time. I understand that after they started
        showing real cases on TV, instead of actors, judges noticed people
        showing up in court better prepared.

        My favorite case ever was one where a young woman had collected $3,000
        in parking tickets in her sister's car and then went to prison on a
        drug charge. She was out again, and her sister was suing her to get
        the money back from paying the parking fines. The deadbeat insisted
        to the judge that she didn't have to pay the money, "Because Jesus
        done forgive my debts when I became a Christian in prison." The judge
        barked at her, "Jesus died for your SINS, not for your parking tickets!"

        You don't have to watch TV to see cases like that, though. One of my
        sisters used to skip school and spend the day watching court trials.

        > On the other hand, the judges seem to be much more efficient than
        > anything I've ever
        > heard or been part of taking place in the Czech Republic...

        These happen to be the cases selected because they could be resolved
        within 15 minutes or a half hour.

        Jamie




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      • James Kirchner
        ... This is true even to the point that if one state wants to try a criminal who is resident in another state, they have to request extradition from that
        Message 3 of 12 , May 3, 2008
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          On May 3, 2008, at 6:29 PM, Michael Trittipo wrote:

          > That's because each state is technically a different country (that
          > has given up some of its sovereignty to the central government), and
          > most lawsuits are handled in state courts, not in the federal
          > (national) system.

          This is true even to the point that if one state wants to try a
          criminal who is resident in another state, they have to request
          extradition from that state, just as they would from another country.

          And sometimes that extradition is refused. In high school we were
          taught about a case where a man crossed the state line in order to
          escape prosecution for a crime he'd committed. Decades later, the
          state he'd left from found him and requested extradition. However, in
          the meantime the man had become a completely model citizen -- not only
          never committing any more crimes, but also greatly contributing to the
          betterment of his community. His state of residence refused to turn
          him over for prosecution.

          Jamie




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        • Jirka Bolech
          Thanks, Michel and Jamie, for educating me further on the subject. We ve basically started a new thread and not a very linguistic one. ... within 15 minutes or
          Message 4 of 12 , May 3, 2008
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            Thanks, Michel and Jamie, for educating me further on the subject. We've
            basically started a new thread and not a very linguistic one.

            > These happen to be the cases selected because they could be resolved
            within 15 minutes or a half hour.

            To pay justice (in exchange ;-)) to the Czech Republic's courts, they do
            deal with some cases efficiently, for example if you fail to have a valid
            fare ticket using city transport and refuse to pay the fine if cought by the
            wardens (or whatever you would call these guys who on a random basis check
            the passsangers for having paid the fare). There's normally no standing for
            that, only a kind of buraeucratic procedure. The same for failing to pay
            your insurance policy; policy contracts leave no space for defence.

            I also admit that the cases in those three particular YouTube shots were
            rather simple and the defendants rather simple too (although the middle one
            [as listed] was just unlucky to upset the judge). What I can't imagine being
            in this country is the way the judges shown there speak to the defendants.
            Maybe I'm wrong. Maybe the only real difference is we don't yet have TV
            shows like that over here...

            Jirka Bolech
          • James Kirchner
            ... The fact that it doesn t deal with syntax or linguistic terminology doesn t mean it s not useful to translators. I m finding more and more that people s
            Message 5 of 12 , May 5, 2008
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              On May 4, 2008, at 2:32 AM, Jirka Bolech wrote:

              > Thanks, Michel and Jamie, for educating me further on the subject.
              > We've
              > basically started a new thread and not a very linguistic one.

              The fact that it doesn't deal with syntax or linguistic terminology
              doesn't mean it's not useful to translators. I'm finding more and
              more that people's problems with translation are often due to an
              inability to visualize what's behind the words, and absorbing more
              knowledge about legal systems, technical processes or social behavior
              helps people make the jump from words on a page to actual
              understanding and sensible translation.

              It's possible to know every word on a page, and not understand
              anything. As I've mentioned before on the list, I demonstrate this
              with my ESL classes. I give them this paragraph, which contains no
              words that they don't know:

              "It was the day of the big party. Jennifer wondered if Tom would like
              a kite. She went to her room and shook her piggy bank. There was no
              sound."

              Then I ask them these questions:

              1. What kind of party is it?
              2. How old are Tom and Jennifer?
              3. Why is there no sound?

              A woman recently arrived from Lebanon says:

              1. "The party is a wedding."
              2. "I don't know how old Tom and Jennifer are, but they're definitely
              not children."
              3. "There's no sound because the guests haven't arrived yet."

              A man from Macedonia says:

              3. "There's no sound because the wind isn't blowing on the beach, and
              they can't fly the kites."

              A woman from Vietnam -- the best student in the class -- says:

              "I think this paragraph has no meaning!"

              The Chinese woman agrees.

              Most of the people who misunderstand the paragraph -- whose meaning is
              obvious to Americans -- come from countries with no tradition of
              children's birthday parties or of children having their own money.

              The same thing can happen to translators, even though they have
              relatively sophisticated language knowledge. I've done many a repair
              job on translations that were botched because the first translator
              couldn't picture the situation. I got one that had a Bohemian glass
              producer delivering large quantities of glass to St. John twice a
              year. Of course, by medieval times, St. John had been dead for
              centuries, but the original translator apparently had no clue about
              scheduling things according to the Catholic liturgical calendar (such
              as on the feast of St. John), rather than according to numerical dates.

              I've seen a Czech interpreter translate an explanation of how vacant
              housing in an American city is rehabilitated as if the US city were
              reenacting the 1948 communist seizure of the Czech bourgeoisie's
              houses and their breaking them up into apartments. The city was
              actually selling abandoned houses to people at a discount. The Czech
              interpreter lacked the mental schema for abandoned housing and its
              disposal, because this doesn't really exist in Europe.

              The same day, I saw an American banker talk about a volunteer
              organization of bankers that met a couple of times a week to research
              and apply for improvement grants for the city. It was all totally for
              free, but the then mayor of Brno talked to me later and had understood
              it as a scheme for flowing the grant money through the banks so that
              the banks could take a piece of it. This was not stated, and it
              wasn't happening, but because His Honor the Mayor lacked the right
              cultural schema in his mind, he completely misunderstood what was
              being told to him, even in his own language.

              So this cultural stuff is important.

              Jamie



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