What is trial really like?

Chris explains what a real trial is like

Hey guys, this is Chris Parks and I want to talk to you today about something really basic.

Yesterday, I was meeting with a client, and they asked me the simplest question, “what is trial like?” Literally, they've never sat in a trial. They don't know what trials like. They've seen it on TV obviously, but they're just wondering, what’s it really like. And so let me tell you.

A civil trial, which is what I do, has to do with trying to get money damages for injuries. And if you're going to trial in a civil case, the very first day you're in the courtroom, you're going to walk into the courthouse and you're going to have to go through the metal detectors, and there’ll be policemen there that are checking you.

You'll go down the hallway and wander into the courtroom, and when you open the courtroom, there's usually pews, or seating sort of like a church, and then there's a couple of doors in the back of the courtroom, and in front of those doors is the bench where the judge sits.

And when you go to court, the judge will come out. There'll be a bailiff there, a person that is sort of like a policeman for the court, and the judge will call the court to order. And the lawyers usually get up and say something like, “I'm Chris Parks and I'm here for the plaintiff, Your Honor.” Then, the other side will stand up and say, “Your Honor, I'm Brian and I'm here for the insurance company.”

The first person to speak usually stands up and says, when they're presenting their case, “may it please the court.” Now, that is an old-fashioned way of starting a trial. It just shows respect to the trial. And then you begin to put on your case.

So, if I was representing someone in court this morning, I would go in, I would introduce myself to the court, to the Judge. I would introduce my client to the judge. And then as I began my argument, I would say, “May it please the court, Your Honor. I'm here this morning arguing a motion for summary judgment, which is just a motion hearing. Or, if we were in front of a jury, we would pick a jury.

And then if the jury was what we call, in the box, then there, when they're sitting next to the judge and they're about to listen to the argument, when I started, I would stand up and say, “May it please the court.”

After that happens, things get pretty familiar for anyone that's watched a TV show or a movie that has to do with courtroom drama.

People take the stand. They testify under oath. There are objections. There are motions that are made. There's a lot of recesses.

But, just to give you an idea. If you were to go in a courtroom this morning, that's pretty much what's going to happen.

So, I'm Chris Parks. Give me a call if you'd like some more information. I’d be happy to talk to you.

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