Understanding the Criminal and Civil Justice Systems

• Depositions (appearing in person to answer questions under oath) • Interrogatories (written questions) • Production of documents (providing originals or copies of requested papers) • Physical or mental

Ask your attorney if someone can attend meetings with you for support.

examinations (submitting to a medical or psychological exam) • Requests for

admission (asking a party to admit to a fact) There are time frames required for responding to a request for discovery. Pre-trial Conferences/Pre-trial Motions You may be required by the court to attend a pre-trial conference or a settlement conference. The court may ask you what has occurred in the case so far, including how many witnesses have been identified, as well as if some forms of discovery have taken place. You may be referred to a judge to talk about settlement in a case, or receive a trial date. Motions that can be filed with the court could include a “motion to dismiss” or a “motion to set-over” which could move the date of the trial. A judge will decide how to rule on a motion that has been filed. The Trial Process It is very common for a settlement agreement to take place before a trial starts. However, when both parties cannot come together in agreement, a trial may proceed.

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