In civil litigation, the trial is the end of a long journey, beginning with the filing of a complaint, continuing through and completing discovery, and, often, motion practice.
In New York state court, the filing of the Note of Issue will result in the placement of the case on the trial calendar.
Before the matter is set down for jury selection, the court will often hold one or more conferences, in an effort to determine whether the case can be resolved (as many are) by settlement.
The major phases of a jury trial are:
- Jury Selection
- Opening Statements
- Presentation of Evidence (typically through fact and/or expert witnesses), subject to and in accordance with the Rules of Evidence
- Closing Arguments
- Post-Verdict Motions
In certain cases, a trial may be held before a judge; this is known as a “bench trial.”
A party who suffers an adverse ruling may, after entry of final judgment (or, in some cases, during the trial), file and prosecute an appeal.