The most powerful person in court is the judge.Most courts have only one judge, but some higher courts have several. In the US Supreme Court, the nine judges are called justices,and the most senior is the Chief Justice of the United States.Many state judges are elected, but federal judges are appointed by the President.
The people on either side of a case are represented by lawyers,also called attorneys-at-law.In a criminal trial the defendant (=the person accused) is represented by a defense attorney.If he or she is too poor to pay a lawyer, the court will appoint a public defender.The prosecutionis led by an Assistant District Attorneyor, in a federal case, a federal attorney.In each county the people elect a District Attorney,who hires other attorneys. In a civil trial the defendant and the plaintiff (=the person who claims to have been wronged) pay their own attorneys. When only a small amount of money is involved people go to a court of common pleas and represent themselves.
Witnessesgo to court to testify (=tell what they know about the case). Sometimes one or both sides will pay expert witnesses.The bailiffcalls witnesses when it is their turn to come into the courtroom. The court reporterkeeps a record of everything that is said.
Summary | IV. THE JUDICIARY | Vocabulary | N O T E S | Exersises | Translate into English | Translate into English | Судебная власть | Pre-Trial Procedures in Criminal Cases | Trial: Civil and Criminal |