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Trial Procedures and the Courtroom. Vary State by State State statutory requirements Federal statues – cases at federal level. Pleadings. Summons & complaint Include all allegations of each party to a lawsuit Filed with court Question law and fact Law = judge decides

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trial procedures and the courtroom
Trial Procedures and the Courtroom
  • Vary State by State
    • State statutory requirements
  • Federal statues – cases at federal level
  • Summons & complaint
  • Include all allegations of each party to a lawsuit
  • Filed with court
  • Question law and fact
    • Law = judge decides
    • Fact = trial decides
summons and complaint
Summons and Complaint
  • Plaintiff: person who initiates an action – files complaint
  • Defendant: person with complaint filed against them
  • May be multiple plaintiff and defendants
summons and complaint1
Summons and Complaint
  • Action starts – summons is filed
  • Summons
    • Defendant is served
  • Complaint
    • ID’s parties
    • States cause of action
    • Demands for damages
  • After complaint – response required of the defendant
    • Document “The Answer”
    • State defense: admit or deny
    • Must respond within set amount of time
bill of particulars
Bill of Particulars
  • Initial complaint may provide little information
  • Defense attorney request additional information
discovery of evidence
Discovery of Evidence
  • Process of investigating the facts before a trial
  • Four Objectives
discovery of evidence1
Discovery of Evidence
  • 1) Obtain evidence that might not be obtainable at the time of trial
  • 2) Isolate and narrow the issues for trial
discovery of evidence2
Discovery of Evidence
  • 3) Gather knowledge of the existence of additional evidence that may be admissible at trial
  • 4) Obtain leads to enable the discovering party to gather further evidence
discovery of evidence3
Discovery of Evidence
  • Discover and examine witnesses
    • EBT- examination before trial
    • Oral testimony
    • Cross examination
    • Deposition – permanent record of case
preparation of witnesses
Preparation of witnesses
  • Review of pertinent records
  • Helpful guidelines p 222
the court
The Court
  • In the court that has jurisdiction
  • Judge is responsible for conduct, must be fair to both parties
  • Determines if evidence is admissible
  • Maintains order
the jury
The Jury
  • Trial by jury – constitutional right
    • Can waive this right
    • Jury selected through jury list
    • 12 jurors
    • Counsel for both parties can question jurors
      • Bias, prejudicial thinking….
the jury1
The Jury
  • Once selected
    • Sworn in to try the case
    • Makes determination of the facts that have occurred
    • Determines the extent of damages
  • Legal order requiring the appearance of a person/documents to a court
  • Subpoena ad testificandum- orders appearance of a person
    • Contempt of court if you do not show
  • Subpoena ducestecum– command to bring records and documents as evidence
    • Served to the person who can produce items
opening statements
Opening Statements
  • Plantiff’s attorney- prove wrongdoing of defendant
    • Shell of the case
  • Defense attorney- indicate position of defendant and points of plantiff’s case in refute
burden of proof
Burden of Proof
  • Plantiff’s attorney must show that the defendant violated a legal duty by not following an acceptable standard of care
    • Plantiff suffered injury due to defendant’s breach
  • Facts proved or disproved during a lawsuit
  • To be admitted
    • Must be competent, relevant
direct evidence
Direct Evidence
  • Proof offered through direct testimony
  • Jury
    • Receive testimony
    • Draw conclusions
demonstrative evidence
Demonstrative Evidence
  • Evidence furnished by things themselves
    • Most trustworthy and preferred type of evidence
    • Consists of tangible objects
    • Admissible if relevant
demonstrative evidence1
Demonstrative Evidence
  • Not admissible
    • If prejudice, mislead, confuse, offend, inflame, or arouse sympathy or passion of the jury
  • Multiple forms of demonstrative evidence
documentary evidence
Documentary Evidence
  • Written evidence capable of making a truthful statement
    • Drug inserts, birth certificates…
  • Authentic
  • Original of a document must be produced
examination of witnesses
Examination of Witnesses
  • Each witness takes an oath
  • Examined by Plantiff and cross-examined by the defense autorney
expert witness
Expert Witness
  • For technical questions, the opinion of an expert is necessary
    • Training, experience, special qualifications
    • Give an opinion concerning hypothetical questions
    • Show extent or lack of damages to plaintiff
defense of one s action
Defense of One’s Action
  • Defendant’s case is presented to discredit the plaintiff’s case of action & prevent recovery of damages
    • Assumption of risks, comparative negligence, contributory negligence, good Samaritan law, ignorance of fact….
assumption of risk
Assumption of Risk
  • Knowing that a danger exists and voluntarily accepting the risk by exposing oneself
    • Show plaintiff given consent
    • Relieving the defendant
comparative negligence
Comparative Negligence
  • Each party is responsible for a proportional share of any damages
contributory negligence
Contributory Negligence
  • Any lack of ordinary care on the part of the person injured combined with negligent act of another = injury
  • Person does not exercise reasonable care for his or her own safety
good samaritan laws
Good Samaritan Laws
  • Relieves persons from liability in certain emergency situations
  • Delineates the scope of immunity for those persons eligible under the law
ignorance of the law unintentional wrongs
Ignorance of the Law & Unintentional wrongs
  • Defendant cannot use ignorance of law to excuse his negligent actions
  • Must learn & understand the potential consequences of your actions in health care setting
statute of limitations
Statute of Limitations
  • Time constraints that restrict the period of time after an injury occurs during which a legal action must commence
    • When injury occurs
    • When person discovers the injury
closing statements
Closing Statements
  • Attorneys opportunity to summarize for the jury
  • Point out opponent’s faults
  • Emphasize their strong points
judge s charge to the jury
Judge’s Charge to the Jury
  • Defines the responsibility of the jury, describes the applicable law, and advises the jury of the alternatives available to it.
jury deliberation
Jury Deliberation
  • Jury deliberates as to whether or not the defendant is liable
  • Returns to courtroom to deliver verdict
jury deliberation1
Jury Deliberation
  • Judge can over rule
  • New trial may be ordered
  • Losing party can motion for a new trial
  • Award of money to be paid to a person as compensation for loss or injury
  • Emotional distress, physical pain & suffering, economic loss