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Attending Court is not Compulsory

Attending Court is not Compulsory

Do the litigating parties in a personal injury case have to be present in court every day of the trial? The answer is no, both sides do not have to attend court proceedings every day. However, the best attorneys will always advise their clients that they have to be there in court every day until the trial is over and the verdict is given. Experienced lawyers will especially advise their injured clients to be there in court every day for a variety of reasons.

If the jury has to be there, so should you.

It is Prudent or Wise for the Victim to Attend Court Everyday

When the jury looks around and does not find the injured victim attending court, they might wonder if the trial is not important enough for the plaintiff. If it were important, the victim would be attending the court proceedings each day that court is in session. The jury has to be present every day to listen to every part of the trial, listen to different testimonies, and the judge’s instructions. Hence, the jury will feel that if they have to be there in court every day, why is not the injured victim present (as already mentioned above)?

Therefore, a prudent lawyer will always tell his client that they should think how if they were a member of the jury how would they fill if the plaintiff did not show up every day for the trial?

Should the defense do the same?

However, what about the defense, which will be the doctor or the other driver you have sued, for instance? Does the defense have to be in court every day? The answer is that it is not required for them to be present every day, and secondly it may not be possible for them, especially for a doctor or someone working to attend court every day. For instance, in your medical malpractice case you might have sued a doctor or multiple doctors of a hospital. It is highly unlikely for those doctors to be in court every day.

On top of this, you should not worry about their schedules – you should be focused on your own and being a shining light in the eyes of the jury.

It is not practical for them to be present every day because they are busy practicing medicine, they are busy seeing patients, or performing surgery. In fact, the defense lawyer will tell potential jurors during jury selection that his client is a doctor who is actively practicing medicine and it is not possible for him to be in court every day.

The lawyer will ask the potential juror whether he is going to hold this against his client. The defense lawyer will also reinforce this fact during opening or closing arguments, so that the jury understands that it is not possible for the doctor to be present in court each day of the proceedings. He will remind the jury that just because the doctor is not present does not mean he is not concerned or interested in the outcome.

A Clear Difference

Nevertheless, the injured victim does not have the luxury of saying: I will be at home, and call me when the verdict is read in court. It does not work that way. The injured victim must be in court every day, so that the jury can see the victim’s concern and interest in the outcome of the case. Whereas the defense has the opportunity to excuse themselves and convey to the jury that since they are doctors or other professionals they have other critical aspects to handle in addition to being interested in the case.