Definition: Trial

Modified on 2009/10/14 21:36 by admin
After the pleadings, motions, and discovery stages have been completed the case will go to trial. The trial stage is the most familiar to the American public through its portrayal in television dramas. The trial will proceed as follows:

1. Jury Selection - Your lawyer and the Defendants lawyer will pick and choose jurors from a pool referred to as the "venire." The lawyers will ask the prospective jurors questions on certain topics in an effort to determine their views on personal injury litigation. The goal of the jury selection process is to find jurors who will give your case fair and impartial consideration. It should be noted that in some trials juries do not decide the case. In such circumstances the judge acts as the jury. The job of the jury is to find the facts, hence the jury (or the judge in certain circumstances) is often called the "fact finder." 2. Opening Statements - After the jury has been chosen and sworn in, your lawyer and the Defendants lawyer will present opening arguments to the jury. This stage is rather brief and allows the parties an opportunity to preview and summarize their cases. 3. Presentation of Evidence - This is the heart of the trial. First your lawyer will present your side of the story through evidence and witnesses. Then the Defendant will attempt to rebut your claims with other evidence and witnesses. 4. Charge Conference - The lawyers and the judge meet to discuss what instructions the jury should be given with regard to deciding the case. 5. Closing Arguments - Like the opening statements, during the closing arguments the lawyers summarize the evidence and remind the jurors of the key points of the case. 6. Jury Retires - The jury will then meet in private to discuss the evidence as presented by both sides and to decide which sides story to believe. The jurys decision is called the "verdict."

See Also

  1. What is a Lawsuit
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