Order of Events in a Trial

Want to learn more about the sequence of events in a typical trial? Below, we will help you learn more about what to expect, how the process works and the role jurors play in a trial.

After a jury is selected, a trial will generally follow this order of events:

Opening Statement:

The lawyers for each side will explain the case, the evidence they plan to present, and the issues for the jury to decide.

Presentation of Evidence:

The evidence consists of witness testimonies and exhibits allowed by the judge. Exhibits admitted into evidence will be available to the jury for examination during deliberation. The jury will be asked to make decisions regarding the presented facts so attention at all time is very important. Juror note taking will be determined by the judge.

Rulings by the Judge:

During the trial, the judge may be asked to decide on questions of law. Occasionally, the judge may ask jurors to leave the courtroom while the lawyers make their arguments.

Instructions to the Jury:

After all the evidence is presented, the judge will read instructions to the jury, explaining the law and all considerations to be considered for the case.

Closing Arguments:

After the instructions are read, the lawyers have an opportunity to summarize all the evidence presented and try to persuade the jury to accept their point of view for the case.

Deliberation:

After closing arguments, the jury is isolated to decide the verdict of the case.