Law Assignment: A Brief Summary of Trial Process

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A brief summary of what was going on in the trial while you were watching. 2. From your observations and from what you have learned in class about trials, would you say that trials are more co-operative or adversarial in nature? 3. From your observations and from what you have learned in class would you say that the processes and procedures used by the courts are a good way to arrive at the ‘truth”? Explain, with reference to specific examples, from the trial you watched. If you don’t think the process is a good way to arrive at the “truth”, lease provide possible alternatives. Please remember that the trial will begin with an opening statement given by the plaintiff, then the plaintiff will begin direct examination of witnesses (this is where the plaintiff and his/her witnesses will be permitted to explain the plaintiffs position on the issues). The defendant will then be able to cross examine the plaintiff and his/her witnesses if the defendant so chooses. The defendant will then give an opening statement and will commence the direct examination of the defendant and the defendant’s witnesses.

The plaintiff will then have the opportunity to cross examine the defendant’s witnesses. Both parties will then give closing arguments where they will provide the judge or judge and jury with the applicable law and how that law applies to the facts. ) You may only watch a small portion of any one of the stages of the trial – for best results on the assignment try to find a trial where witnesses are being examined. 4. Do you have any other observations or comments with respect to the trial that you watched? Additional Information:

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The courthouse is a highly traditional, very formal environment which warrants a respectful, sensitive and serious attitude from the public Please enter and exit the courtroom as quietly as possible. On entering and exiting a courtroom, it is customary to bow to the judge. Please stand when the judge enters or exits the courtroom. Please move about in small groups of no more than 4 people and stagger entrances and departures five minutes between groups. Please do not talk in court or discuss trial proceedings in the hallways.

Please remember that um, food, hats, knapsacks, weapons, recording devices, and cameras are NOT permitted in the courtroom. Turn OFF your cell phone! Trials usually run between 10:00 am to 4:00 pm Monday-Friday. You will be evaluated on the content of the paper as well as how it is written, so pay attention to grammar, spelling, vocabulary etc. Please PROOF READ your paper! You will also be evaluated on providing thoughtful reflections about the observations you are making while watching the trial and how well you integrate what you learned at the courthouse with the material you are learning in class.

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