Court can be a stressful experience for anyone. No matter the reason you’re there, it’s important to understand what exactly will happen and who the people are in the room. Any time you step foot into a courtroom, there are several people there who play very important roles. From the judge to the court reporter, everyone involved has a specific reason for being there. Here are the key players you’ll find in the courtroom.
The judge is the one who will decide the outcome of your court case. Sitting at a desk overlooking the room, they have several basic tasks. They must preside over court proceedings and make sure that order is maintained in the courtroom. Any evidence that is entered into court must be reviewed and the judge will decide if it’s allowed to be used.
If a jury is present, the judge must give the jury members instructions about the laws surrounding the case. For a bench trial, the judge will decide the outcome of the case.
Depending on the type of court case, the defendant and the plaintiff will be present in the courtroom. Each of these may have an attorney present to represent them. Attorneys are situated at a counsel table and will face the judge. Defendants and plaintiffs will be beside their attorneys. Lawyers must abide by the laws and present facts relating to the case.
Attorneys are responsible for representing their clients using fair and legal procedures. In a family law case, the attorney will focus on representing their client in a divorce or other family law matters, such as child custody, paternity, legitimation or modifications of previous orders. In a personal injury case, the attorney represents their client and will try to get them a reasonable settlement for injuries.
An often-overlooked key player in the courtroom is the court reporter. They usually are located near the witness stand. Court reporters use a stenographic machine and their duty is to type the official record of the trial. This means that they will type to record everything that’s said, as well as record everything that’s introduced as evidence. This word-for-word transcript is required by federal law. If either party requests a copy of the transcript, the court reporter is required to supply one to them. It is always wise to request an official recording of the proceedings; this is called “participating in the takedown.”
Throughout the courtroom, you’ll also find some other key players. One of these is the courtroom deputy. They are usually seated close to the judge and will help to mark the exhibits, administer oaths to witnesses, and help to keep the courtroom running as smoothly as possible. In some cases, you may also find witnesses. They give testimonies regarding facts that are in dispute, usually after being asked by either party.
If you find yourself in a situation where you will be in a courtroom, having an experienced attorney on your side will help make sure you get the representation you are entitled to. At Family Matters Law Group, our family law attorneys put your best interests first. Contact us today to review your case.