Appointed by us district court & serve fixed term. To assist with workload of us court judges. Can preside misdemeanor fed criminal trial (w/ permission of defendant) In civil case, if judge agrees then can have magistrate judge oversee. U. s. courts of appeals (no original jurisdiction, only has appellate jurisdiction) 12 u. s. courts of appeals at least 3 states/ numbered circuit. Md in 4th circuit (md, va, wv, nc, & sc) richmond, va (location of 4th circuit) Three judge panels: 2/3 (majority rule) b. En banc = before all judges of a court, not just a panel. Term begins first monday of october until beginning of july/end of june. Original jurisdictions for s. ct. : article 3, 11th amendment: 7-11 cases of oj/year, state v. state c. Special master = retired judges, usually u. s. district court judge c. i. Appellate jurisdiction set forth by statutes of congress: 8,000 9,000 appellate cases/year, petitions (when exhausted all appeals) b. i.