A DC Injury Attorney’s Approach to Trial

A DC attorney’s approach to trial can vary greatly depending on how the case is to be presented. Factors such as the judge, the experience of the attorney, the strength of the evidence, and the makeup of the jury all play into how an injury attorney’s approach to trial will adjust. Knowing the roles of each of the key players involved in a trial proceeding is crucial, and the help of an experienced lawyer by your side is invaluable when trying to fight any case the prosecution has charged you with.

The Judge’s Role

A judge’s role differs from an attorney’s approach to trial in many ways. A judge’s role is to rule upon legal issues throughout the course of the trial. Objections are only made as to the propensity of the question and possibly the answer, or the evidence that is being presented for a jury’s consideration. It is up to the judge to rule on the legal issues and consider the admissibility of that evidence.

The preponderance of the evidence is determined by the court based upon the information that is presented.

The Jury’s Role

The jury is chosen at the outset of the case primarily by the court, with the assistance of the attorneys. How a DC injury attorney approaches the trial can be heavily determinant on the makeup of the jury. The jury is typically a cross section of residents from the District of Columbia.

The judge will also advise the jury at the conclusion of the case as to the law controlling the facts. It is the jury who will make the ultimate determination regarding who is at fault, and what amount of damages, if any, should be awarded to the plaintiff.

Litigation Proceedings

The litigation proceeds step-by-step in the same order as it does in all civil cases. Typically, the plaintiff presents his or her case first because he or she bears the burden of proof. Then, the defendant has an opportunity to cross-examine the plaintiff’s witnesses and present any affirmative defenses.

  • Opening Statements: The attorneys deliver the opening statements. The plaintiff’s attorney will go first since he or she bears the burden of proof, followed by defense counsel. This is an opportunity for the attorneys to tell the jury about the case and the particular pieces of evidence that a jury will hear throughout the course of the trial. Again, a DC attorney’s approach to trial will vary depending on the strength of the evidence gathered.
  • Presenting the Case: The plaintiff always presents his or her case first as he or she bears the burden of proof. The defendant presents his or her case second. They are afforded an opportunity throughout the course of the plaintiff’s case to cross-examine any witnesses presented. Ultimately at the close of the plaintiff’s case, the defense is afforded an opportunity to present any evidence to support an affirmative defense.
  • Closing Statements: The attorneys present the closing statements, again, with the plaintiff going first in order to shape the arguments of either side based on the evidence that has been presented at the trial. A DC attorney’s approach to closing statements will depend on the strength of both the prosecution and the defense’s evidence. The closing statement is the opportunity for the parties to truly argue their case. The opening statement cannot argue any points, but instead can only tell the jury what evidence it will hear throughout the course of the trial. Therefore, at the close of the case, the parties can then explain his or her theory of the case.


Multiple Defendants

The litigation proceeds in exactly the same fashion regardless of whether there are one or multiple defendants. However, each defendant will likely have an attorney, and that attorney will be afforded the opportunity to cross-examine the plaintiff’s witnesses. The attorney will be able to present any evidence necessary to establish an affirmative defense.

Having multiple defendants can, in fact, influence the outcome of the case. The jury may be confused about the theory of liability, or unsure as to which of the defendants, if any, is liable for the incident. In such a case, a jury can become confused and rule against the plaintiff. However, generally speaking, a qualified and trained personal injury attorney can deal with multiple defendants easily, and handle the trial in such a way that will not affect the plaintiff’s claim.

No matter one or multiple defendants, there are no restrictions on health privacy laws if a party places his or her health at issue in a personal injury case.

The nature in which the claim is presented will be done in a manner that is effective to reach the most favorable outcome for the plaintiff – whether there are one or multiple defendants. It is usually of no consequence, as an experienced DC attorney will have the knowledge necessary to present a case ruling in favor of their client.