Stages of Civil and Criminal Proceedings
1. List and briefly explain each of the major stages of a civil proceeding, including starting the case and pretrial, trial, and post-trial activities. A civil case starts out with pleadings. A lawyer files paperwork with the clerk of courts for his/ her client. This paperwork states that the client was injured in some way, either by the person or the unlawful act that was committed. After the pleadings the case then goes to the pretrial conferences. A judge and the 2 lawyers will sit and discuss what is relevant and what is not for the trial. At this conference both lawyers must state whom they will call for witnesses and what evidence they intend on presenting. Discovery is the next step. This is where the lawyers learn as much as they possibly can about their opponents case and gather more evidence for their case. Lawyers question witnesses, go though physical evidence, and gather other information that they may need. The next step is going to be motions. At any given time either lawyer can request for a motion. This motion can be filed at any given time of the case as long as the opposing party is served with a copy of the motion. After the opposing party has had time to respond the judge may hold a hearing before making a decision on that motion. After the motions it goes to settlement efforts and alternative dispute resolution. Sometimes it is best for both parties if they settle the case before it goes to trial. A settlement is a certain amount of money that the defendant pays to the plaintiff for the damages that he/she did. Both parties may want to settle due to not wanting the judge or jury to decide the case for them. If the parties decide to proceed then it moves on to the jury trials. The jury may consist of six to twelve jurors. During the jury trial the jurors have to decide what happened and use the proper proceedings the judge tells them to use to help them reach...
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