A San Diego Personal Injury Attorney Explains What Happens When Your Case Goes to Trial
This entry was posted on Wednesday, December 17th, 2014
Posted in News & Articles | Posted by: George Heppner - San Diego Personal Injury Attorney
In this article, a San Diego personal injury attorney discusses the format and procedures that are followed in a trial.
It’s Not Like TV
Television shows are intended to be dramatic, and their intention is to keep you watching. They are not meant to give an accurate portrayal of what actually goes on in a court of law. What you see on a courtroom drama and what actually occurs in a courtroom are often two entirely different things.
What Really Happens
With the exception of jurisdictional differences, when you and your San Diego personal injury lawyer take your case to court, you can expect the proceedings to follow a sequence similar to the following especially if yours is not a high-profile or complex case:
a. The trial is declared open when the judge summons all interested parties into the courtroom. This includes the plaintiff, defendant, their respective counsel, all the people who have been called for jury duty and any other related personnel.
b. Jury selection can be done either by lottery or by a process known as “voir dire.” In voir dire, attorneys can choose from the pool of jurors those individuals that they feel may be sympathetic to their case. Part of the voir dire process is to reveal the presence of any bias on the part of the jurors. Attorneys can also refuse a certain juror if they see fit. Whether the judge or the attorneys actually question the jurors to determine their fitness to serve depends upon the jurisdictional regulations in each state.
c. When jury selection is complete, counsel for both prosecution and defense will address the jury with a preliminary statement that gives the jurors an overview of the case. These tend to be fairly brief with the normal length being approximately thirty minutes.
d. When both sides have finished their opening remarks, the cross-examination of witnesses begins. Your San Diego personal injury lawyer will begin this part of the trial by calling not only you, but any other witnesses that can testify for you to the stand for questioning. This presents your case to the jurors and shows them the evidence that supports you.
e. When your attorney is finished, counsel for the defense will cross-examine, that is, address questions to each person on the stand.
f. Finally, your lawyer will question you and your witnesses once again. This is referred to as re-direct examination.
Make the Right Decision
One of the most important decisions you can make is the selection of experienced, skilled legal counsel. For help in your case, contact George C. Heppner, your San Diego personal injury attorney at 844-891-3500 for a free case evaluation now!