Storyboarding - Taking Content to Vision

A Pass Educational Group, LLC recognizes the value of high-quality storyboards. Storyboards must be designed to enable the most effective engagement possible while fulfilling specific educational objectives. In the 21st century, this can mean using technologically interactive applications. But A Pass knows that technology is not the answer to everything. When building storyboards, we recognize that sometimes asking students to respond to a question in writing is the best type of engagement. High quality instructional designers rely on a full repertoire of learning activities, as does A Pass.


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Storyboard Backward

How Civil Cases Progress Through the Federal Courts

Demonstration Storyboard by A Pass Educational Group

Screen 1

Audio Narration

Welcome to SS125. In this lesson, you will learn how civil cases progress through the federal court system. By following the progress of a realistic case through the court system, you will be introduced to the various types of federal courts, including their similarities and differences. You will also consider what happens when cases move from one court level to the next and how judicial rulings guide this progress.

After completing this course, you will be able to:

  • List the various types of federal courts in which a case may appear
  • Identify the similarities and differences in the three types of courts
  • Describe what must happen for a case to move to a different court
  • Describe the significance of a ruling at each court level


How Civil Cases Progress Through the Federal Courts
Justice Scales
  • List the various types of federal courts in which a case may appear.
  • Identify the similarities and differences in the three types of courts.
  • Describe what must happen for a case to switch courts.
  • Describe the significance of a ruling at each court level

Media Instructions

  • Use courtroom photo similar to Shutterstock 81190930. Image should fill screen.
  • Play audio narration on screen open.
  • Show individual learning objectives one at a time over the image, as they are mentioned in the audio.
  • Flash the forward arrow to prompt user to click to next screen.

Screen 2

Audio Narration

The U.S. Constitution describes three branches of government: the executive branch, or the presidency; the legislative branch, or Congress; and the judicial branch, or the federal court system.

Three types of federal courts make up the judicial branch of government. These include:

  • U.S. District Courts
  • U.S. Appellate Courts
  • The U.S. Supreme Court

Click each of the court images to learn more about them.


Types of Federal Courts
Types of Federal Courts

Media Instructions

  • Play opening audio narration and show Constitution photo on screen open.
  • Show photos of individual courts as they are mentioned in the audio.
  • When user clicks a court photo, show corresponding overlay and play corresponding audio.

Screen 3

Audio Narration(U.S. Disctrict Courts)

The United States is divided into 94 districts. In each district, there is a U.S. district court. The U.S. district courts are the federal trial courts—the places where federal cases are tried, witnesses testify, and juries serve.

Congress placed each of the 94 districts in one of twelve regional circuits. Each circuit has a court of appeals. If you lose a case in a district court, you can ask the court of appeals to review the case to see if the district judge applied the law correctly.

Audio Narration(U.S. Appellate Courts Courts)

Appellate courts are empowered to hear an appeal of a trial court. There are three levels:

  • The Trial court, which initially hears cases and reviews evidence and testimony to determine the facts of the case
  • The Intermediate appellate court
  • The Supreme Court, which reviews the decisions of the intermediate courts

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit hears appeals from certain courts and agencies, such as the U.S. Court of International Trade, the U.S. Court of Federal Claims, and the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.


Federal Courts
  • 94 Districts
  • Exist within 12 Regional Circuits
  • Where federal cases are tried
  • If you lose here, can go to Appellate Court
  • Hears appeals of a trial court
  • Three levels: Trial, Intermediate, Supreme
  • Reviews evidence and testimony
  • Reviews decisions of other courts
  • Highest court in the country
  • Decisions are not subject to any further review
  • Hears appeals from lower courts
  • Can decide whether or not to review a case

Audio Narration(U.S. Supreme Court)

The Supreme Court of the United States is the highest court. The decisions of the Supreme Court are not subject to further review by any other court. The Supreme Court hears appeals from decisions of lower trial courts, or from intermediate-level appellate courts. If you lose a case in the Court of Appeals, you can ask the Supreme Court to hear your appeal. However, the Supreme Court does not have to hear it. In fact, the Supreme Court hears only a very small percentage of the cases it is asked to review.

Screen 4

Audio Narration(Opening)

A civil case begins when a person believes he or she has been injured by the wrongful act of another person or organization. The injured person, called the plaintiff, files a complaint against the defendant, the person or organization that allegedly caused the injury.

In this case, "injury" can be physical, financial, or another type of wrongdoing.

Throughout this course, we will look at the fictional civil case of Caldwell vs. Chang and follow its progress through the federal courts.

We will also check in occasionally with our legal expert, Miranda Justice, to study her analyses as the case proceeds.

Click Track the Case! to learn how Caldwell vs. Chang began.


How a Federal Civil Case Begins
Federal Civil Cases

Media Instructions

  • Play opening audio narration on screen open.
  • Show individual steps of the process, one at a time as audio plays.
  • Show Miranda photo when she is mentioned in the audio.
  • When learner clicks Track the Case!, play track the case audio narration and fade out images on this screen, fading in the images on the next.

Screen 5

Audio Narration(Track the Case!)

Edwin Chang is a general contractor in southwestern Pennsylvania. Lacey Caldwell is a homeowner in Morgantown, West Virginia who hired Mr. Chang to manage a major home addition project at her home in Morgantown. The total estimated cost of the home addition was $120,000.

On May 17, 2012, Ms. Caldwell paid Mr. Chang a deposit of $40,000 to pay for materials, which Chang needed to purchase before beginning on the home addition. Chang delivered a load of materials on June 14, 2012. This partial delivery had a value of around $10,000. On June 16, Chang subsequently requested a project labor fee of $50,000 to hire subcontractors and begin the project. Caldwell delivered the check to Chang on June 17, 2012.

Mr. Chang never started the work, and repeated requests to return the $100,000 were ignored. On August 1, Ms. Caldwell filed suit against Mr. Chang in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania. The lawsuit requested damages in the amount of $100,000 to cover Ms. Caldwell’s expenditures and additional punitive damages in the amount of $15,000.


Ask an Expert

Click Ask an Expert to get Miranda Justice’s expert opinion on the case, including why this is a federal case.

Media Instructions

  • When learner clicks Ask an Expert, open the expert overlay (shown below).
  • Flash the forward arrow to prompt user to click to next screen.
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