How will the jury know what law to use when deciding your Maryland medical malpractice case? Believe it or not, the jury will not have to use a stack of law books or use the search function on the internet to find the answers. The short answer to the question of how will the jury know what law to use is that the judge will instruct the jury as to the applicable law.
If you are reading this educational article and are not in the state of Maryland, be sure to talk with an attorney in your jurisdiction about this process, as things might be different in your state.
BENCH TRIAL VS. JURY TRIAL…
Before getting into more depth regarding the above question, let me step back and explain the differences between a bench trial (judge only) and a jury trial. In some cases, the parties to a case may decide that they do not want a jury to hear a case, but that they would like the judge to decide the matter.
When there is a bench trial, the judge will not only decide the matters of law, but the judge will also decide the factual issues in the case. This is an important difference between a bench trial vs. a jury trial. The judge will listen and view all the evidence in the case and make the ultimate decision as to the issues.
On the other hand, when you have a jury trial, the jury will decide the facts of the case. This is one of the main functions of a jury in our system. So, things like the credibility of witnesses, and essentially what happened in the case, the jury will take the lead on those issues in a jury trial.
HOW WILL THE JURY KNOW WHAT LAW TO USE?
As briefly mentioned above, the judge will charge the jury with the law to use on the case. In Maryland, both sides (plaintiff and defense) will submit to the judge jury instructions. If both sides can agree on the law to use, they can submit all the instructions together. If there are instructions that both sides cannot come to an agreement on, the judge will listen to arguments by both sides and decide whether the instruction(s) in question will be used.
One other fact to take into consideration regarding jury instructions is that the evidence and facts, as uncovered in the trial, will help determine whether a particular jury instruction will be used. Therefore, the jury is usually instructed at the close of all the evidence and testimony in the trial.
DO YOU HAVE QUESTIONS REGARDING YOUR MEDICAL INJURY?
To speak with me further regarding what happened with your baby during birth, or your medical injury, this is what I invite you to do. Pick up the phone and give me a call. I can be reached at 301-850-4832. I answer Maryland birth injury and medical malpractice questions just like yours all the time and I will be happy to listen to your story.
J. Renee Boston, Esq.
Boston Law Group, LLC
2 Wisconsin Circle, Suite 700
Chevy Chase, Maryland 20815
1-833-4 BABY HELP