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Lucy, Esq.
Lucy, Esq., Attorney
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Imagine if a college or a university fires a basketball coach

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Imagine if a college or a university fires a basketball coach and the basketball coach sues the college or university for wrongful termination, and the coach loses the case. Additionally, imagine if a pizza parlor is taken to court on a Personal Injury lawsuit because one of their delivery drivers was involved in a car accident, and the pizza parlor loses the case. My question is this: Can both the basketball coach and the pizza parlor in the hypothetical situations as described above appeal their court decisions to higher courts up to The Supreme Court? Thank you for your assistance.

My name is XXXXX XXXXX I'd be happy to answer your questions today.

Either person in those situations could appeal throughout the courts all the way to the state Supreme Court. In most states, a party must apply to the Supreme Court to have the case heard - it is not automatic. That means that a person cannot automatically argue his case before the Supreme Court.

To get before the Supreme Court of the United States, a person must apply for a writ of certiorari. The Court will not review a state court decision that is based entirely on principles of state law. There would have to be federal constitutional principles involved to take a case from the state Supreme Court to the Supreme Court of the United States.

Most negligence cases are based on state law, not federal, and therefore likely would not make it before the Supreme Court. There could be an exception if the case was filed in federal court because the parties were citizens of different states and the case was asking for more than $75,000.

The same is true of the coach, with the caveat that it depends on why he is fired. If he was fired due to discrimination or under the federal whistle blower statue, he theoretically could get before the Supreme Court of the United States.
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Customer: replied 4 years ago.

In the 2 hypothetical situations as indicated above, if the basketball coach and/or the pizza parlor wants to appeal to the higher courts, or for just going to court, period, would their attorneys charge them as follows: If the attorney believes the chances of winning are good, the attorney will tell his/her client that his/her client could pay him/her after the case by paying a certain percentage or portion of the quantity of money won. However, if the attorney believes the chances of winning are not good, the attorney will demand his/her client to pay him/her in advance. Is that how it works?

In the pizza example, the restaurant is getting sued, so that fee structure wouldn't work - they're not winning any money. A lawyer would most likely charge an hourly rate, billed in installments.

In the employment case, it depends on whether the case is brought under a federal law that allows recovery of attorney's fees. If it is, a lawyer might agree that the person pay when the case is won (again, based on hourly billings at the lawyer's normal hourly rate).

Most attorneys will represent tort plaintiffs on a contingency basis, so the client only pays when he wins. The payment is a percentage of the total recovered, which gives the attorney incentive to fight for more for the client. But your scenarios include one tort defendant, and one breach of contract plaintiff, so the fee structure would probably be based on hourly billing. Not all attorneys operate that way, but it's pretty common.
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Customer: replied 4 years ago.

When one appeals to "the higher courts", are jurors involved in these courts too or are they decided by judges only?

Can you please also list all the higher courts by name from the lowest to the highest? I believe 2 of them are The Circuit Court of Appeals and The State Supreme Court, but I don't know any others nor which ones are smallest to highest. (with the exception that The State Supreme Court is the highest)


Thank you.

The names are XXXXX XXXXX every jurisdiction. What state are you in?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.


Thank you.

The appellate courts do not have juries. For the federal courts, it's the Federal District Court (which is a trial court), then the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, then the Supreme Court of the United States.

At the state level, the high court is the Texas Supreme Court for civil cases or the Court of Criminal Appeals for the criminal courts. The intermediate court for both is the Court of Appeals. There are multiple trial courts, with different functions. This flow chart shows all the different courts.
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