Nolo's Plain-English Law Dictionary

Federal Court

A branch of the United States government with power derived directly from the U.S. Constitution. Federal courts decide cases involving the U.S. Constitution, federal law -- for example, patents, labor law, federal taxes, and federal crimes, such as robbing a federally chartered bank. Federal courts may also decide cases where the parties are from different states and are involved in a dispute for $75,000 or more.
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