Law Chap 3

Law Chap 3 - L aw Chap 3 Basic Trial Procedure Pleadings...

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Law – Chap 3 Basic Trial Procedure Pleadings Stage: A suit begins when the plaintiff serves defendant with the first of the pleadings, the complaint. The complaint must establish jurisdiction, provide a statement of the facts, and state what specific relief is being sought. Responses to the Complaint: The defendant must file a responsive pleading, which may include: Motion to Dismiss: Asserts that the court does not have jurisdiction or some other procedural defect in the plaintiff’s action. Answer: Must be filed by defendant if the suit is not dismissed; it responds to the plaintiff; it may admit or deny each of the plaintiff’s specific claims Counterclaim: Defendant may refute plaintiff’s charges and assert his own claim against plaintiff and request relief. Reply: While in most states the pleadings end with the defendant’s response, some state court systems require that the plaintiff reply to the defendant's answer. Discovery Stage: Obtaining Information before Trial —During this stage, the parties use a variety of procedural tools to obtain information. Tools of the Discovery Process can include Depositions and Interrogatories. A deposition is the sworn testimony of a witness recorded by a court official. Written interrogatories are written questions submitted by opposing party. Motion for Summary Judgment : If after discovery one of the parties determines that there are no disagreements about the facts to their dispute, the party may move the court for summary judgment. Pretrial Stage —The pretrial conference is intended to be a forum for planning the course of the trial. In some court systems, judges use the pretrial conference as a forum to encourage settlement. Judges have strong powers to pressure parties to settle. Trial Stage —If the dispute is not settled by dismissal, summary judgment, or settlement, it will be set for trial. The Jury : The 6 th and 7 th Amendments (and state constitutions) provide for the right to a jury trial in criminal and common law cases. In federal court, the amount in controversy in common law cases need be only $20.
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Jury Selection: The control that parties have over selecting from a jury pool varies from state to state and among judges. Jury consultants may be used in complex cases. Juries are selected from a pool by voir dire. The Trial— Judges may run trials differently if no jury is being used, such as eliminate opening statements and closing arguments. In a jury trial the following steps are typical: Opening Statements: The trial begins with the opening statements in which both attorneys present their positions with the plaintiff going first. Presentation of Direct Testimony: Plaintiff’s attorney calls witnesses to give testimony. Plaintiff’s witnesses are questioned by plaintiff’s attorney on direct examination. Defendant’s attorney questions
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Law Chap 3 - L aw Chap 3 Basic Trial Procedure Pleadings...

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