The concept of concurrent jurisdiction refers to a situation which can be found to occur in the functioning of the U.S. judicial system, in which more than one court possesses the right to exercise jurisdiction over a particular legal matter.
The existence of concurrent jurisdiction can lead to the occurrence of forum shopping. In this way, defendants and plaintiffs involved in ongoing legal actions have been observed to attempt to secure more desirable results for themselves from a legal action by bringing a suit in a more amenable judicial setting.
Concurrent jurisdiction can occur in a number of different specific, potential forms. To this end, concurrent jurisdiction could be found to exist between two courts: one at the Federal level and the other at the State level.
Alternately, concurrent jurisdiction could also be enjoyed by a higher and lower court of the same State. Moreover, concurrent jurisdiction might even exist between any kind of U.S. court and another governmental entity which is not a court at all but nonetheless possesses some kind of judicial power.
The place of concurrent jurisdiction in American legal theory and practice is set down by the provisions made for such a situation in the United States Code, Title 28, Sections 1331 and 1332. Specifically, this legally codified language provides for the ability of the courts at the Federal level to exercise concurrent jurisdiction along with the states. Concurrent jurisdiction can also occur between legal systems of different countries.