3-1 The Types of Jurisdiction and their Importance

Jurisdiction refers to the authority of the courts to listen to cases then make a binding decision for the concerned parties. Before getting the approval to hear cases, however, a court must have many jurisdiction types.

  • The first one is original jurisdiction

Kumar (2019a) stated that this jurisdiction grants courts the power to conduct trials and identify facts within cases. The courts, thus, get to hear and discover a conflict in the initial instance of a case.

  • Next is appellate jurisdiction

Kumar (2019b) argued that appellate jurisdiction enables courts to review the conclusions made by lower courts, to determine if they applied the law appropriately. It, therefore, involves removal of cases from the tribunal court to superior ones to evaluate the appropriateness of proceedings and decisions that the inferior courts made.

  • Personam jurisdiction

 Kubasek (2016) explained that this jurisdiction offers the power to present decisions that affect a particular person before court. A person gives the court personam jurisdiction over him/her when after signing a lawsuit. In other words, filing a case implies that the person (or plaintiff) asks the court to come up with a ruling that will affect his/her rights. For successful ruling of a case, however, the court must also gain jurisdiction over the party sued by plaintiff. The court must, thus, send a complaint file to the defendant to acquire this power over him or her. If a plaintiff is unable to locate a defendant, who happens to own property in the given state, the action is directly brought against that property. Kubasek (2016) referred to this as In Rem jurisdiction.

  • Subject matter jurisdiction

In emphasising the importance of subject matter jurisdiction, Kubasek (2016) explained that a judge cannot decide on cases over which the particular court lacks this jurisdiction. Even if a judge makes a decision, anyway, it will be void and without meaning. Moreover, no parties can grant a court this jurisdiction. Only the law can do it. The court systems with subject matter jurisdiction are exclusive federal, concurrent federal and, state jurisdiction. Exclusive Federal jurisdiction only applies to those cases over which state court cannot render decisions. Examples are bankruptcy cases, federal criminal prosecutions, and admiralty cases.  On the other hand, concurrent federal jurisdiction is relevant to cases that a federal or state court can hear. Given that exclusive jurisdiction hears very few cases, a state court system hears almost every case within its jurisdiction.

3-5 Definition and Rationale for the Existence of Attorney–client Privilege

The principle of this privilege is that a client should receive accurate legal guidance from an attorney. Forte (2003) argued that attorney-client privilege is founded on the concept of honour as it is intended to prevent the attorney from testifying against the client. Therefore, any person that pursues the assistance of a lawyer ought not to worry about the disclosure of their secrets. This means that the client is allowed to openly and truthfully communicate with the lawyer, disclosing all the useful details because the privilege establishes a zone of privacy (Forte, 2003). The principle also shares a close association with attorney work product (Kubasek, 2016). An attorney’s overall role is to produce documents or records that should be kept confidential.

  • Rationale

The attorney-client privilege exists because it benefits both the plaintiff and the lawyer who is handling the case. One benefit of attorney-client privilege is that it enables the attorney to understand the client and his or her case better. Kubasek (2016) stated that the effectiveness of an attorney’s representation depends on how deeply he or she understands the facts surrounding a case. As it is, the primary reason for establishing the privilege was to enable a client access sound and competent directive in exchange for complete disclosure to the lawyer.

Again, it minimises chances of encountering irreparable harm. One feature of the attorney-client privilege is that it promotes client honesty. This means the client will not withhold any details that are important to the case, knowing that the attorney is not allowed to use or reveal it without first seeking the client’s permission. This way, the attorney identifies all the vital points to raise of address when representing the client.

The other good thing about this privilege is that it may be exempted to prevent a client from committing a crime. For instance, Kubasek (2016) explained that disclosing information about a client’s intent to commit a crime is not an attorney’s requirement but is simply authorised. Even more, the privilege excludes communication with attorney that not for requesting legal guidance. Such communications are not confidential.