Who does what in the courtroom of your Maryland medical malpractice trial? To take things a step further, are you nervous about your Maryland medical malpractice trial because you have no real clue regarding who will be in court the day of your trial? If you are nervous because of this, do not think that you are alone. For many people who are heading into a civil trial the thought of the unknown creates many issues.
The main purpose of this educational article is to help you get a better understanding of not only the players in the courtroom of your medical malpractice trial, but also their roles. Remember that the information here is general in nature and that each courtroom may be set up a little different.
JURY TRIAL VS. A BENCH TRIAL
Before getting to the question of who does what in the courtroom of your Maryland medical malpractice trial, it is important that you understand the difference between a jury trial and a bench trial, as there are key differences between the two.
In a jury trial, your case will be decided by the jury. So issues like whether the doctor departed from the standard of care, causing your injury or harm, will be decided by a jury. In a jury trial, the jury will decide the factual issues. The judge in a jury trial will decide issues of law (objections, motions, etc…) and instruct the jury on the law to be applied.
A bench trial, on the other hand, has some stark differences from a jury trial, namely the absence of a jury. With that said, in a bench trial the judge will act as not only the fact finder (the decider as to the facts of the case), but will also decide issues of law. The judge in a bench trial plays dual roles.
WHO DOES WHAT IN THE COURTROOM OF YOUR MARYLAND MEDICAL MALPRACTICE TRIAL?
Back to the question of who does what in the courtroom of your Maryland medical malpractice trial, the judge and jury have been explained above. However, there are other players in the courtroom that some people may not know.
Who is the court reporter and what is their function? If you are in circuit court in Maryland, you are more than likely going to see a court reporter. This person’s function is to take down everything that is said during your trial and keep an accurate report of the court “record.” Court reporters are important because if your case is appealed, then the appellate court will more than likely review the “record” of what happened in the lower court.
Another important player in your Maryland medical malpractice trial is the bailiff. The bailiff assists in certain tasks during the trial. For example, if documents need to be handed to the judge, the bailiff might be the one responsible for placing the documents in the judge’s possession for review. The bailiff also takes care of courtroom security. The bailiff also works with the jury regarding escorting them to and from deliberations, etc…
Finally, if the defendant in your case is represented by counsel, their counsel will also be in court advocating on their behalf.
WANT TO SPEAK WITH ME ABOUT YOUR MEDICAL MALPRACTICE CASE?
If you have questions about a medical injury that you have suffered at the hands of a doctor, or have been injured while in a hospital, this is what I invite you to do if your injury happened in Maryland. Pick up the phone and give me a call. I can be reached at 301-850-4832. The call is free and I answer medical and birth injury questions like yours all the time.
Marcus B. Boston, Esq.
Boston Law Group, LLC
2 Wisconsin Circle, Suite 700
Chevy Chase, Maryland 20815