Since the verdict must be based on the evidence in the case, a juror should know what may be taken into consideration as evidence.

If a lawyer, during the trial, admits some statement of fact made by the other side to be true, or if the lawyers on both sides, either before or during the trial, agree that certain things are true, you must accept as true the facts admitted or stipulated.

Answers to questions are evidence. Exhibits are evidence. A deposition is evidence.

Pleadings in the case being tried are not evidence. Matters offered to be proved, but not allowed by the court, are not evidence. Statements made by lawyers on what they expect to prove, or what they claim they have proved, are not evidence. If any statement is made by a lawyer that differs from your recollection of what the evidence was, you must rely on your own recollection.

Information on the case, the parties, the lawyers, or the witnesses gained from sources other than the evidence presented in court is not evidence and must not be considered.

Sometimes, remarks reflecting favorably or unfavorably upon the case, or upon someone connected with it, are made in the presence of jurors. Presumably, the person making the remark is not known and, at the time, is neither under oath nor subject to cross-examination, and his or her interest, motive, or source of information may not be known. The remark may have been made in the hope that a juror would overhear and be influenced by it. Such remarks are not evidence and must be disregarded.

It sometimes happens that the lawyers on one side will object to a question asked or an exhibit offered by the other side. Under the rules, a lawyer is within his or her rights in objecting to the introduction of any evidence that is believed to not be proper. If the judge thinks the evidence is not proper, he or she will sustain the objection, and such a ruling keeps that evidence out of the case. If the judge thinks the lawyer is mistaken in objecting, the objection will be overruled, and the evidence will be permitted to become a part of the case. Objections by the lawyers, or the rulings of the judge with regard to them, should not cause a juror to take sides. A trial is not a contest between lawyers but instead a search for justice according to the evidence received and the law as explained by the court.

Occasionally, the lawyers approach the bench and have a conference with the judge in a low tone. Also, at times, the jury is excused from the courtroom while the lawyers argue a point of law before the judge alone. The purpose of such procedures is to secure a ruling from the judge as to some matter relating to the trial, generally as to what may or may not be presented to the jury. Although these conferences may appear to the Jury to be unnecessary interruptions, in the end they often result in the saving of time.
The information in this section has been provided courtesy of the Indiana State Bar Association.