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Most cases arising under a federal statute may be filed in either state court or in federal court, i.e., concurrent jurisdiction.  Gulf Offshore v Mobil Oil (1981) 453 US 473, 478.  Concurrent jurisdiction is presumed, but this is a rebuttable presumption.

Federal jurisdiction may arise because the case involves a “federal question” or because of diversity of citizenship.  The bank may be incorporated in the State of Delaware, although it has thousands of branches within California.

In addition to federal question jurisdiction and diversity jurisdiction, a federal court has “supplemental jurisdiction” to decide claims arising under state law if the state law claims are “closely related” to the federal claims.  Not all claims, and counter claims are “closely related”, so it is possible for a defendant to remove a lawsuit filed in state court to federal court, but have some of the claims or counter claims remanded back to state court.  This can happen if a consumer files an action against a bank in state court, and the bank causes the lawsuit to be “removed” to federal court.  The bank files cross complainant for the debt owing on the credit card.  The cross complaint may not be “closely related”, and the bank’s cross complaint may need to be litigated separately in state court.

Many large credit card companies move cases that are filed against them in state court to federal court.  Large banks believe that federal courts are more favorable to them.  A California attorney must be separately admitted to federal court in order to practice in federal court.

In federal court, judges are appointed for life.  A case is assigned to one judge for all purposes.  All filings in federal court must be done over the internet.  Each judge has his/own rules which are peculiar to his courtroom.

In federal court, a unanimous jury verdict is required.  In California state court, 9 of 12 jurors can agree upon a verdict. 

WARNING.  If you want a jury trial that has been removed to federal court, you must file a “Demand for Jury Trial” right away.  In some situations, the deadline is 10 days after the defendant files the removal.