Process of Law A law trial begins when a party brings suit against another party, or several parties. A request for jurors is sent out, and a list of possible jurors is created. The defendant (s) for both parties may now filter out jurors through the list, in two different ways. The first, For Cause, means a juror is dismissed because they are or were employed by or related to one of the parties. If reasonable legal reason exists, there is no limit to how many times a For Cause challenge can occur.
The second type of challenge a lawyer can make is called a Peremptory challenge. Each party is allowed a certain number of challenges that dont require a reason. After the jury is selected (6 or more in Circuit Court civil cases and Probate cases, 12 or more in Circuit Court criminal cases), the trial convenes and the opening statements of the defendants is heard. The opening statement is typically used to show what their party claims, and outlines what evidence is going to be used in the trial. After both opening statements are heard, the evidence is presented to the court. Evidence can be a document, or a photo, or some other physical object.
The major form of evidence is testimony, which is made by the witnesses. Some evidence can be restricted from being introduced if it prolongs the trial too much, or is not completely believable. Once all the evidence has been presented, and all witnesses heard, the closing arguments are heard from the defendants of both parties. This basically outlines and underlines the evidence and the testimony. The jurors then retire to the jury room to discuss the case.
In a Circuit Court criminal or Probate Delinquency case, the defendant must be proven guilty beyond reasonable doubt. In Civil cases the evidence must be very convincing, and in the other Probate cases the burden of proof must be clear and convincing. Once a verdict is reached in the jury room, the jury reports back to the courtroom and the verdict is heard by the courtroom.