Alabama Law Firm Advises You throughout the Trial Process in Insurance Defense Cases
Defending Individuals and Businesses in Alabama
Facing litigation can be scary. However, with Shealy, Crum & Pike by your side, you can proceed with confidence knowing that your best interests are protected. The knowledgeable attorneys are meticulous in their preparation, leaving no stone unturned in building your case.
Explaining the trial process
If a settlement could not be reached through pretrial mediation, then your Alabama insurance case will go to trial. The following is a list of what you might expect if that happens.
- Jury selection -- A jury of your peers will be selected and asked a series of questions during a phase known as voir dire. If any jurors think that they would not make decisions in your case in a fair and unbiased way, they may be excused for cause. Attorneys for either side may make a peremptory challenge and eliminate a juror for any reason. In most cases a jury of 12 must be seated, but the number needed is some cases may be fewer than that. If no jury is seated and is adjudicated solely by the judge, it is known as a bench trial.
- Opening statements -- Opening statements are made once the jury has been chosen. The attorney for the plaintiff (the party bringing suit) speaks first, followed by the defense. Opening statements provide the jury with the opportunity to hear both sides in the case and what the lawyers believe about the case.
- Evidence -- Each side presents the evidence it feels supports its case. Witnesses are called to face direct examination by the attorney who called them. Counsel for the opposing side may also cross-examine the witnesses. Essentially, questioning will continue until each side has asked all relevant questions. The judge may ask questions as well, but may choose not to do so.
- Exhibits -- Exhibits are tangible pieces of evidence such as clothing or photographs that may be submitted by each side in support of the case.
When each attorney has called all witnesses and presented all evidence and exhibits, the attorney will rest the case. The opposing attorney has the opportunity for rebuttal, to contradict any evidence presented. Either side may offer rebuttal in the case.
- Jury instructions -- The judge instructs the jury to consider the relevant laws in the case, and to make its decision based only on those laws.
- Closing arguments -- During closing arguments, the attorney for the plaintiff speaks first, followed by the defense attorney. The attorney for the plaintiff gets the opportunity to speak again.
- Jury deliberations -- The jury convenes to reach a decision in the case.