Trial Procedure

Courtroom trial events are substantially the same in both civil and criminal cases. In all criminal cases, the plaintiff is the State of Indiana and the plaintiff's lawyer is the Prosecuting Attorney or a Deputy Prosecuting Attorney.

Sequence of Events



1. Selection of Jury



2. Preliminary Instructions by Court



3. Opening Statements


A. By Plaintiff
B. By Defendant (ii' he/she so chooses)

4. Plaintiff's Evidence


A. Witnesses for Plaintiff
(1) Direct examination by plaintiff's lawyer
(2) Cross-examination by defendant's lawyer
(3) Re-direct examination by plaintiff's lawyer
B. Exhibits for Plaintiff (These may be submitted during tile questioning of witnesses.)

5. Plaintiff Rests



6. Defendant's Evidence

(if he/she so Chooses)
A. Witnesses for Defendant
(1) Direct examination by defendant's lawyer
(2) Cross-examination by plaintiff's lawyer
(3) Re-direct examination by defendant's lawyer
B. Exhibits for Defendant (These may be submitted during the questioning of witnesses.)

7. Defendant Rests



8. Plaintiff's Rebuttal Evidence

(Optional) (Same as Number 4, except that this evidence is confined to answering the defendant's evidence.)

9. Defendant's Surrebuttal Evidence

(Optional) (Same as Number 6, except that this evidence is confined to answering the plaintiff's Rebuttal Evidence.)

10. Argument


A. Argument by Plaintiff's Lawyer
B. Argument by Defendant's Lawyer
C. Closing Argument by Plaintiff's Lawyer

11. Final Instructions by Court



12. Jury Deliberations



13. Verdict of Jury



The opening statements and closing arguments are optional, so if they should not be made during the trial, such fact should not be considered a sign of weakness or held against the party.


The information in this section has been provided courtesy of the Indiana State Bar Association.