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Encyclopedia > Trial (law)

In legal parlance, a trial is an event in which parties to a dispute present information (in the form of evidence) in a formal setting, usually a court, before a judge, jury, or other designated finder of fact, in order to achieve a resolution to their dispute. The law of evidence governs the use of testimony (eg. ... A court is an official, public forum which a public power establishes by lawful authority to adjudicate disputes, and to dispense civil, labour, administrative and criminal justice under the law. ... A judge or justice is an official who presides over a court. ... This article may be confusing for some readers, and should be edited to enhance clarity. ...


Types of trial divided by the finder of fact

Where the trial is held solely before a judge, it is called a bench trial. Where the trial is held before a group of disiniterested members of the community, it is called a jury trial. Bench trials involve fewer formalities, and are typically resolved faster. Furthermore, a favorable ruling for one party in a bench trial will frequently the other party to offer a settlement. A bench trial in the U.S. is a trial before a judge in which the defendant has waived his/her right to a jury trial. ... A jury trial is a trial in which the judge of the facts, as opposed to the judge of the law, is a jury, made up of citizens who are usually randomly selected and are generally not legal professionals. ... A settlement is a contract that is one possible result when parties sue (or contemplate so doing) each other in civil courts, usually seeking money as reparations for the alleged wrongdoing of the defendants. ...


Types of trial divided by the type of dispute

Trials can also be divided by the type of dispute at issue. A criminal trial is designed to resolve accusations brought by the government against a person alleged to have commited a crime. In common law systems, most criminal trials are held before a jury. A civil trial is generally held to settle a dispute between private parties (although the government can both sue and be sued in a civil capacity). Because the state is attempting to use its power to deprive the accused of life, liberty, or property, criminal defendants are afforded greater leeway to defend themselves than parties to a civil suit. Criminal procedure refers to the legal process for adjudicating claims that someone has violated the criminal law. ... This article concerns the common-law legal system, as contrasted with the civil law legal system; for other meanings of the term, within the field of law, see common law (disambiguation). ... Civil law has at least three meanings. ...


Other kinds of trials

Some other kinds of processes for resolving conflicts are also expressed as trials. For example, the United States Constitution requires that, following the impeachment of the President, a judge, or another federal officer by the House of Representatives, the subject of the impeachment may only be removed from office by a trial in the Senate. The Constitution of the United States is the supreme law of the United States of America. ... The impeachment trial of President Bill Clinton in 1999, Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist presiding. ... Seal of the House of Representatives The United States House of Representatives is one of the two houses of the Congress of the United States, the other being the Senate. ... Seal of the Senate The United States Senate is one of the two chambers of the Congress of the United States, the other being the House of Representatives. ...


In earlier times disputes were often settled through a trial by ordeal, where parties would have to endure physical suffering in order to prove their righteousness; or through a trial by combat, in which the winner of a physical fight was deemed righteous in their cause. Trial by ordeal is a judicial practice by which the guilt or innocence of the accused is determined by subjecting them to a painful task. ... The Judicial Duel. ...


 
 

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