Presentation on theme: "Civil litigation begins with pleadings: formal papers filed with the court by the plaintiff and defendant. Plaintiff - the person bringing the lawsuit."— Presentation transcript:
Civil litigation begins with pleadings: formal papers filed with the court by the plaintiff and defendant. Plaintiff - the person bringing the lawsuit. Defendant - the person who the lawsuit is against The complaint expresses the plaintiff’s claims against the defendant. Pretrial Hearing - Before the trial takes place, a pretrial hearing occurs. This hearing is an informal meeting before the judge.
Steps in Trial - When a case is filed, parties must decide whether they want a jury trial or a court trial. In a court trial, there is no jury, and a judge makes the decisions. If and when a jury trial is requested, trial then begins by choosing the jury members. Jury decides verdict Selecting the Jury The judge has a jury drawn from the group of people who have called to serve. Jury determines the facts of the case, and applies the laws to those facts. Lawyers question each juror to predict whether they will be fair or unfair.
Lawyers consider the juror’s: Background Education Experience Relationship Attitudes Employment Arguments and Evidence After jury members are chosen, lawyers then make opening statements. Opening Statements- explain what the lawyers intend to prove. Plaintiff’s lawyer speaks first, followed by the defendant’s lawyer. Plaintiff’s lawyer presents all the plaintiff’s evidence, then witnesses testify.
Defense lawyer has the chance to cross-examine the plaintiff’s witnesses. Cross-examination – test the truth of the witness’s statements. When both lawyers are done, they rest their cases. Plaintiff’s lawyer is the first to give a closing argument, followed by the defense lawyer. Each lawyer gives a summary and explanation on why the judge or jury should go in the clients favor. Instructions to the Jury Judge must explain the law to the jury. Lawyers from both ends may suggest instructions. Verdict and Judgment
Jury members then go to the jury room to discuss the case, and decide who won the suit or verdict. Following the jury’s verdict, the court issues a judgment. Judgment is the court’s determination of liability in the case, or who is responsible for what. If no jury is available, the judge then issues findings of fact, and then conclusions of law and a judgment. Remedies When a defendant is found liable in a civil trial, the plaintiff is granted a remedy. Courts provide two types of remedies: Money Requires some other action by the defendant.
Execution of Judgment A judgment is enforced when the judge issues an execution order. Sheriff might be ordered to take some of the property that belongs to the losing party, and then sell that property in an action. Money from the sale will then be distributed to pay the winning party. The Appeal Process Parties are permitted to appeal the judgment of the court. Appeal process is different from trial. An appeal can only be based on a legal mistake by the judge. There is no retrial at the appellate level The lawyers argue their case before, which then can Affirm Reverse Remand The case back to the lower court