Numerous types of cases can be brought in both state and federal court but the path each such case takes will differ depending upon which court the case proceeds in. For example, a case brought in federal court will typically require more time than a similar matter brought in state court. A case brought in federal court, however, will often move at a faster pace. Federal courts are generally more demanding with regard to procedure than state courts and often require a more vigorous approach from a procedural standpoint.
There are certain cases that are always brought in federal court, such as those involving alleged violations of federal statutes. One such example is an action alleging violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act. Although state claims are often brought against the alleged violator as well, the Fair Labor Standards Act itself is a federal statute and such actions are therefore typically handled in federal court.
Commercial litigation matters, including contract actions, will sometimes be brought in federal court where they involve alleged violations of a federal statute or where the parties to the action reside in different states.
Certain criminal matters, such as white collar cases, often involve alleged violations of a federal statute and are therefore more often brought in federal court. Criminal cases brought in federal court are subject to different rules than criminal cases initiated in state court. One significant difference in handling a criminal case in federal court is the complex guideline structure for sentencing, which is detailed in nature and provides an entirely different array of potential sentences than those available in state court.
For these reasons, it is important that the attorney handling your case be familiar with the specific procedural rules applicable to federal court. For several years, Mr. Millman served as a Senior Associate with a law firm that handled cases exclusively in federal court and has since represented clients in civil and criminal matters in numerous federal courts throughout the tri-state area.