Have a trial coming up and have no idea what to expect? Well, here at Fry Law Corporation, we’ve done dozens and can walk you through it.
Once the parties have finished litigating and are ready to present the case to the jury or judge, trial is set.
In most counties/jurisdictions, there are many pretrial requirements, including sharing witness lists, exhibits, trial briefs and motions in limine.
Motions in limine are usually first up. That’s where the Court determines, before trial, whether some evidence or issue needs to be resolved. For example, you can ask the Court to eliminate witnesses before they even take the stand.
After pretrial motions, if it’s a jury trial, a jury is selected. That process involves vior dire (or questioning) and various challenges to jurors. This process usually takes at least half a day, maybe multiple days. You want a jury that’s fair and impartial and that’s not always easy to find.
Once a jury is selected (or the case is a bench trial), the parties are typically allowed to give an opening statement where they tell the jury/judge what they expect the evidence to show. This is not evidence in itself, but is a litigant’s opportunity to tell the story they expect to tell by way of witness testimony and physical evidence.
After opening statements, the Plaintiff goes first and calls its first witness. Questions and answers by the Plaintiff’s attorneys and then the defense gets to cross-examine. This happens with each and every witness.
Once the Plaintiff has called all witnesses, their case is rested and the defense does the same. There is an opportunity to get a summary verdict/decision, which is known as a nonsuit, but that’s for another blog. Here’s some info.
Once all witnesses have testified and all documents have been admitted, the parties have another opportunity for summary type motions, but typically, the case moves on to closing arguments. This is where the attorneys will summarize the evidence that was presented, including the testimony. This is different than the opening in that occasionally, the evidence isn’t always what you expected at the beginning of the trial (which is why you always need a good lawyer). This is also where the attorneys will argue why, based on the evidence heard, that their case is better than the other side’s.
After all of this, the jury deliberates or the judge takes the matter under submission for a ruling. Then, the decision!
There are various post-trial activity that the parties can pursue, but again, that’s for another blog.
If you are looking for an attorney to litigate and try your case, we are here to help. Connect with us as soon as possible!