Preparing for a Jury Trial
The law gives you the right to a trial during which your peers in the community will listen to the facts of your case and review the evidence presented to support your claim. But, what most people know about a jury trial is what they see on television dramas or snippets during a news broadcast. These sources give most people a distorted view of what a jury trial looks like, and your attorney will help prepare you for the real deal.
Before trial, your jury trial lawyer will advise you on the basics of courtroom procedure and go over your testimony with you. Your attorney will go over the clothes you should wear, the steps that will occur in the courtroom, and the evidence you will present to the court. You will have plenty of questions, and your attorney should answer them to your satisfaction. You will also practice your testimony, and your attorney will prepare you for cross-examination by the opposing counsel.
Juror selection will take place at the start of your trial. During this process, both attorneys have an opportunity to question prospective jurors and select individuals who are sympathetic to their position. This process is relatively short and can take as short as a few hours or as long as a few days for a personal injury case. Jury selection can also occur at the same time that attorneys meet with the judge to determine the status of evidentiary issues, courtroom procedures, and any stipulations that the attorneys want to request.
Once the jury is selected and other issues are sorted out, the trial will begin. Most personal injury trials take between three days and two weeks to complete. Your attorney will give you an estimate of how long they expect the trial to last before it begins.
Finally, the jury will reach what is known as a determination of liability and deliver it to the court. If they find in your favor, they will then retire from the court and determine how much to award in compensation. In Texas, both the judge and jury can control how much they choose to award, and the judge can reduce (remittitur) or increase (additur) the amount the jury recommends.
Contact Welmaker Injury Law at (800) 494-1916 for more information about what you can expect during a jury trial. It's our pleasure to answer your questions and prepare you for the process.