US District Court • Southern District of New York

Handbook for Trial Jurors

Serving the United States District Court

Purpose of This Handbook

Importance of Jury Service

The Courts

The Criminal Case

The Civil Case

The Voir Dire Examination

The Jurors' Solemn Oath

The Eight Stages of Trial

The Arguments of Counsel

The Charge to the Jury

The Jury’s Verdict

Courtroom Etiquette

Conduct of the Jury during the Trial

In the Jury Room

After the Trial


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The Arguments of Counsel

After presentation of the evidence is completed, the lawyers have the opportunity to discuss the evidence in their closing arguments. This helps the jurors recall testimony that might have slipped their memory.

The chief purpose of the argument is to present the evidence in logical and comprehensible order. The lawyers fit the different parts of the testimony together and connect up the facts.

It must be remembered that each attorney presents the view of the case that is most favorable to his or her own client. Each lawyer’s side appears to be right to that lawyer. Each lawyer’s statement may be balanced by the statement of the lawyers on the other side.