How Courts Work

Steps in a Trial

Judgment

The decision of the jury doesn’t take effect until the judge enters a judgment on the decision - that is, an order that it be filed in public records.

In a civil suit, the judge may have the authority to increase or decrease the amount of damages awarded by the jury, or to make some other modifications before entering judgment. In criminal cases, the judge generally has no authority to modify the verdict. In most jurisdictions, he or she must accept it or reject it (e.g., by granting a motion in arrest of judgment).

If the defendant doesn’t pay the damages awarded to the plaintiff in a civil case, the plaintiff may ask for an execution of the judgment. The clerk of the court in such a case will deliver the execution to the sheriff, commanding him to take and sell the property of the defendant and apply that money to the amount of the judgment.

>>Diagram of How a Case Moves Through the Courts
>>Civil and Criminal Cases
>>Settling Cases
>>Pre-trial Procedures in Civil Cases
>>Jurisdiction and Venue
>>Pleadings
>>Motions
>>Discovery
>>Pre-Trial Conferences
>>Pre-trial Procedures in Criminal Cases
>>Bringing the Charge
>>Arrest Procedures
>>Pre-Trial Court Appearances in Criminal Cases
>>Bail
>>Plea Bargaining
>>Civil and Criminal Trials
>>Officers of the Court
>>The Jury Pool
>>Selecting the Jury
>>Opening Statements
>>Evidence
>>Direct Examination
>>Cross-examination
>>Motion for Directed Verdict/Dismissal
>>Presentation of Evidence by the Defense
>>Rebuttal
>>Final Motions
>>Closing Arguments
>>Instructions to the Jury
>>Mistrials
>>Jury Deliberations
>>Verdict
>>Motions after Verdict
>>Judgment
>>Sentencing
>>Appeals


How Courts Work Home | Courts and Legal Procedure | *Steps in a Trial*
The Human Side of Being a Judge | Mediation

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