- EXPLORE Coupons Tech Help Pro Random Article About Us Quizzes Contribute Train Your Brain Game Improve Your English Popular Categories Arts and Entertainment Artwork Books Movies Computers and Electronics Computers Phone Skills Technology Hacks Health Men's Health Mental Health Women's Health Relationships Dating Love Relationship Issues Hobbies and Crafts Crafts Drawing Games Education & Communication Communication Skills Personal Development Studying Personal Care and Style Fashion Hair Care Personal Hygiene Youth Personal Care School Stuff Dating All Categories Arts and Entertainment Finance and Business Home and Garden Relationship Quizzes Cars & Other Vehicles Food and Entertaining Personal Care and Style Sports and Fitness Computers and Electronics Health Pets and Animals Travel Education & Communication Hobbies and Crafts Philosophy and Religion Work World Family Life Holidays and Traditions Relationships Youth
- HELP US Support wikiHow Community Dashboard Write an Article Request a New Article More Ideas...
- EDIT Edit this Article
- PRO Courses Guides New Tech Help Pro Expert Videos About wikiHow Pro Coupons Quizzes Upgrade Sign In
- Browse Articles
- Learn Something New
- Train Your Brain
- Improve Your English
- Explore More
- Support wikiHow
- About wikiHow
- H&M Coupons
- Hotwire Promo Codes
- StubHub Discount Codes
- Ashley Furniture Coupons
- Blue Nile Promo Codes
- NordVPN Coupons
- Samsung Promo Codes
- Chewy Promo Codes
- Ulta Coupons
- Vistaprint Promo Codes
- Shutterfly Promo Codes
- DoorDash Promo Codes
- Office Depot Coupons
- adidas Promo Codes
- Home Depot Coupons
- DSW Coupons
- Bed Bath and Beyond Coupons
- Lowe's Coupons
- Surfshark Coupons
- Nordstrom Coupons
- Walmart Promo Codes
- Dick's Sporting Goods Coupons
- Fanatics Coupons
- Edible Arrangements Coupons
- eBay Coupons
- Log in / Sign up
- Finance and Business
- Legal Matters
- Court Practice and Procedure
How to Write a Jury Excuse Letter
Last Updated: April 19, 2023
This article was written by Jennifer Mueller, JD . Jennifer Mueller is an in-house legal expert at wikiHow. Jennifer reviews, fact-checks, and evaluates wikiHow's legal content to ensure thoroughness and accuracy. She received her JD from Indiana University Maurer School of Law in 2006. This article has been viewed 317,337 times.
If you receive a summons for jury duty, you typically must appear in court. If you disobey this order, you may be subject to stiff fines or even jail time. However, the federal government and each state recognize legitimate reasons why you may be excused from jury duty because completing jury service would constitute a hardship for you. To find out whether the court will excuse you from jury duty, you must write a jury excuse letter and send it to the judge or clerk of court that issued your summons.  X Research source  X Research source
Assessing Your Qualifications
- Some exemptions typically considered acceptable may be listed on the summons, as well as what documentation the court requires to prove the exemption applies to you.  X Research source
- Carefully note any dates on your summons, including the dates you've been called to jury duty. You will have to include these dates in your jury excuse letter and may need to provide them to anyone else who you need to write a letter on your behalf as documentation.  X Research source For example, if you cannot appear for work-related reasons, you may need a letter from your boss that tells the court the reason you cannot be spared at work on those days.
- In addition to any exemptions listed on your notice or summons, there may be other exemptions that particular courts or judges often accept. These exemptions may be listed on the court website, or you may be able to learn them by calling the clerk's office.
- For example, the federal court exempts people from jury duty if they are public officials, employed as police officers or firefighters, or serving active duty in the armed forces.  X Research source
- Many states have additional exemptions for people over the age of 70 or 80, or people with medical or work-related issues.  X Research source
- Write down the rule number or statute number of any exemptions that fit your situation so you can reference them in your letter.
- Some excuses allow you to be excused from jury duty, while others only allow you to have your service deferred for a specific time. Make sure you know whether you're eligible for a complete excuse or a deferral so you ask for the right thing.
- Many states have pending or fully enacted "family friendly jury duty" laws. These laws provide exemptions from or deferrals of jury duty service if you are a breastfeeding mother or have active care and custody of young children, elderly, or disabled family members.
- Many states such as Massachusetts have strict legal requirements regarding disqualification from jury duty for medical reasons. If you plan on claiming you should be excused from jury duty for a medical reason, you should read these requirements carefully and talk to your doctor before writing your letter.
- Keep in mind that if you don't meet this deadline, you typically won't be excused from jury duty unless you have an emergency situation that requires your presence elsewhere.
- For example, the state of Texas allows you to postpone jury service at least once, but you must send a letter with your reasons for being excused at least two weeks before the date you're scheduled to serve.  X Research source
- For example, if you have a medical condition, you may need a note from your doctor in addition to your letter. You must plan in advance to get the documentation you'll need.  X Research source
- If you are asking to be excused from jury duty because it would present financial hardship, you will need to gather documents that prove the state of your finances or the fact that your income is necessary to care for dependents.  X Research source
- If you're claiming a work-related reason you should be excused from jury duty, you should talk to your supervisor or manager about writing a letter for you to include with your own letter describing the need for you to be at work on the dates you've been summoned.
Drafting Your Letter
- If the court to which you've been summoned to jury duty has a particular exemption form, it typically will be included in the envelope with your summons.  X Research source
- You also may be able to call the clerk's office and find out if there is a particular form that needs to be used.
- For example, if you are summoned to serve on a jury in New Jersey, the court includes a questionnaire that you must complete and return. On that questionnaire, you have the ability to indicate if you are not qualified to serve on a jury or if you want your service dates to be postponed.
- In some jurisdictions, these forms must be completed and sent within a certain period of time after you receive your summons, regardless of whether you are asking to be excused from service.  X Research source
- Date your letter with the date you intend to mail it, and include both your mailing address and the mailing address of the court. If you want, you may include other contact information such as your phone number or email address.
- Address the letter to the name indicated on your jury summons, whether the clerk of court or a specific judge. This name or title also should be included in your salutation.
- You may also address it to the Judge c/o the Clerk of Court. For a Judge, the proper salutation should be: Dear Honorable Judge (then the full name of the judge, for example. Honorable Judge Katherine Smith). Use the full name as provided for the Clerk. Do not abbreviate titles, nor change the person's name.
- If your summons includes a jury number or other reference number, include that in your introduction as well as the subject line of your letter.
- Using what you've learned about the kinds of excuses the court typically accepts, explain your situation and relate it to one of those acceptable excuses.  X Research source
- If the court states it accepts some work-related excuses, you need to explain the necessity for you to be at work or explain the hardship that would occur if you were you to miss work.  X Research source For example, you may work at a small business that would have to close for the day if you weren't there to run the shop.
- If you're requesting to be excused from jury duty because you must care for a child, you should also consider including reasons you are unable to find appropriate child care under the circumstances.
- Keep in mind that in some jurisdictions you are limited to one reason for your excuse. For example, in California your excuse is denied if you indicate more than one reason why you are disqualified from jury service. For this reason, rather than piling on multiple reasons you should pick the one for which you have the strongest documentation.
- Your request may have a greater chance of being approved if you are willing to serve at a different time. However, if this isn't possible, you should state so clearly. For example, many courts will excuse breastfeeding mothers from jury duty.  X Research source In that case, you may be willing to serve if your duty is postponed until a date in the future when your child is no longer breastfeeding.
- For example, if you prefer to be called rather than wait for a written response, you should mention this at the closing of your letter and provide the phone number at which you wish to be contacted.
- 7 Proofread your letter. Make sure you proofread your letter carefully before you print it to ensure there are no typographical or grammatical errors.
- 8 Type your name under space for your signature. You also may include your address and phone number or other contact information if you want.=
Submitting Your Letter
- Make sure you're sending your letter to the correct court address or office so it is received and considered before the date you were summoned for jury duty.
- For example, if you will be out of town on the date you were summoned for jury duty, and you've already made reservations or purchased plane tickets, copies of your reservations or plane tickets would provide proof of your excuse.  X Research source  X Research source
- State law or court rules may require you to include a note from a doctor (for medical-related hardships) or your employer (for work-related hardships).
- You also should double-check the deadline before you mail your letter. The summons or notice may state that your letter must be mailed by that day, or it may say the court must receive it by that day. If you're unsure whether the court will receive your letter by the deadline if you use regular mail, you may need to use priority two-day or next-day mailing services.
- Make copies of everything you send to the court before you mail it, so you have copies for your records.
- Keep in mind that courts typically consider each request on a case-by-case basis, and have the discretion to grant or deny your request. Just because someone else has been excused from jury duty for the same reason you've provided, that doesn't mean your request to be excused will be granted.  X Research source
Video . by using this service, some information may be shared with youtube..
- Employers are forbidden by law from firing you or taking disciplinary action against you for reporting to jury duty, so it isn't a valid excuse to claim you're afraid you'll lose your job if you serve on a jury.  X Research source ⧼thumbs_response⧽ Helpful 0 Not Helpful 0
- Some courts require you to show up in person on the date of your summons, even if you've been excused. Check your notice or summons carefully and make sure you fulfill all requirements to avoid fines or other legal penalties. ⧼thumbs_response⧽ Helpful 0 Not Helpful 3
- If you are physically unable to appear in court due to disability / disabilities, make sure to include that information in your letter requesting to be excused. Include the limits this disability creates. For example, "I cannot walk more than 30 feet and am unable to sit / use a wheelchair. Except to use the bathroom, I am mostly bedridden at home."
You Might Also Like
- ↑ https://www.texasbar.com/AM/Template.cfm?Section=Texas_Bar_Journal&Template=/CM/ContentDisplay.cfm&ContentID=17697
- ↑ http://thelawdictionary.org/article/best-way-to-write-a-jury-duty-excuse-letter/
- ↑ http://www.16thcircuit.org/qualifications-excuses-postponements
- ↑ http://www.cctexas.com/Assets/Departments/Municipal-Court/Files/JurorQualificationsExemptionsExcuses.pdf
About This Article
To write a jury excuse letter, start by checking with your court to see if they'd prefer you to fill out a specific form. If no form is available, you can type your letter using traditional business letter format. Write the date at the top and address the letter to the name indicated on your jury summons. Then, provide your full legal name and any identifying information included on your jury notice, like a jury number or reference number. After that, give a brief explanation of why you want to be excused from jury duty, sticking to the facts of your situation. Close your letter by telling the court if you want to be permanently excused or simply have the duty deferred or postponed to another time. Finally, print out the letter and sign your full name at the bottom in blue or black ink. For tips on submitting your letter properly, read on! Did this summary help you? Yes No
- Send fan mail to authors
Reader Success Stories
Feb 2, 2019
Did this article help you?
- Do Not Sell or Share My Info
- Not Selling Info
Don’t miss out! Sign up for
Get Access to ALL Templates & Editors for Just $2 a month.
- Google Docs
- Apple Pages
- Illustrator (AI)
- MS Publisher
- Vectors (EPS)
- Google Sheets
- Apple Numbers
- Power Point
- Coloring Pages
- Video Online
18+ Written Statement Templates in PDF | DOC
The written statement is a legal statement that the people have to go through when they face some legal ups and downs and generally for the official purpose. For eg: when a new head of the organization is selected then you have to address the committee through written statements. Here you will find statement templates that help in making such documents. If you want to make a notarized affidavit for an incident, a signed policy regarding recovery of money, or even a job application for school, we have templates that can help you make them.
Table of Content
5 steps to create a written statement, step 1: statement is created in the doc file, step 2: title of the statement must be put at the top of the document, step 3: address your name and the purpose in the statement, step 4: mention the necessary points of evidence in it, step 5: submit the written statement, 1. simple statement of purpose template, 2. university personal statement template, 3. basic legal statement template, 4. written court statement template, 5. sample written statement incident witness example, 6. employee written statement of employment template, 7. basic evidence written statement format, 8. standard written statement fact format, 9. official committee written statement template, 10. formal written statement signed event example, 11. printable school written statement in pdf, 12. simple written statement recovery of money template, 13. sample written statement letter format, 14. written statement example, 15. simple written statement policy format, 16. job application written statement template, 17. professional written statement example, 18. written statement in doc, 19. employment written affidavit statement template, 20. request for notarized written statement.
More in Statement Templates
241+ FREE & Premium Statement - Download NOW
Beautifully Designed, Easily Editable Templates to Get your Work Done Faster & Smarter.
Jury instructions are instructions for jury deliberation that are written by the judge and given to the jury. At trial , jury deliberation occurs after evidence is presented and closing arguments are made. Jury instructions are the only guidance the jury should receive when deliberating and are meant to keep the jury on track regarding the basic procedure of the deliberation and the substance of the law on which their decision is based. Attorneys will propose instructions to the judge at the end of trial, often seeking specific phrasing that is advantageous to their client. However, the judge makes the final decision about content and phrasing. Jury instructions should ideally be brief, concise, non-repetitive, relevant to the case’s details, understandable to the average juror , and should correctly state the law without misleading the jury or inviting unnecessary speculation.
An attorney who opposes the jury instruction as being irrelevant, incorrect, or misleading must be careful to properly preserve their objection for appeal . A judge who notices a flaw in the jury instructions after they are issued must immediately correct the instructions sua sponte . If a judge corrects the instructions, the jurors should also be instructed to forget the previous instructions when deliberating. Historically, most successful appeals were the result of overlooked errors in jury instructions – often these errors were verbose instructions that confused jurors. For an appeal to be successful, the jury instructions have to be read as a whole and found to contain errors that were not harmless , but rather which ultimately made for an unfair trial.
Appeals due to errors in jury instruction have been greatly reduced by the implementation of model, standard, or pattern instructions for specific jurisdictions . These are civil or criminal jury instructions approved by a state court, bench committee, or bar association . They are commonly used by courts in the relevant jurisdiction, as they ease the process of drafting fair jury instructions and theoretically do not have errors. Model, standard, and pattern instructions are not binding, so a trial court may modify them as necessary to fit the circumstances of the case. A court will often reject parties’ proposed jury instructions if there are model instructions available on the topic, in an effort to avoid bias or manipulation.
[Last updated in June of 2020 by the Wex Definitions Team ]
- courts and procedure
- wex definitions
- Find a Lawyer
- Ask a Lawyer
- Research the Law
- Law Schools
- Laws & Regs
- Justia Connect
- Pro Membership
- Basic Membership
- Justia Lawyer Directory
- Platinum Placements
- Gold Placements
- Justia Elevate
- Justia Amplify
- PPC Management
- Google Business Profile
- Social Media
- Justia Onward Blog
CALCRIM No. 358. Evidence of Defendant’s Statements
Judicial council of california criminal jury instructions (2023 edition).
© Judicial Council of California .
Page last reviewed May 2023
- Bankruptcy Lawyers
- Business Lawyers
- Criminal Lawyers
- Employment Lawyers
- Estate Planning Lawyers
- Family Lawyers
- Personal Injury Lawyers
- Estate Planning
- Personal Injury
- Business Formation
- Business Operations
- Intellectual Property
- International Trade
- Real Estate
- Financial Aid
- Course Outlines
- Law Journals
- US Constitution
- Supreme Court
- Circuit Courts
- District Courts
- Dockets & Filings
- State Constitutions
- State Codes
- State Case Law
- COVID-19 Resources
- Legal Blogs
- Business Forms
- Product Recalls
- Justia Connect Membership
- Justia Premium Placements
- Justia Elevate (SEO, Websites)
- Justia Amplify (PPC, GBP)
An official website of the United States government
Here's how you know
Official websites use .gov A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.
Secure .gov websites use HTTPS A lock ( Lock A locked padlock ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.
- The Attorney General
- Organizational Chart
- Budget & Performance
- Privacy Program
- Press Releases
- Photo Galleries
- Guidance Documents
- Information for Victims in Large Cases
- Justice Manual
- Why Justice ?
- DOJ Vacancies
- Legal Careers at DOJ
- USAO Offices
Legal Terms Glossary
The Legal Terms Glossary defines over 100 of the most common legal terms in easy-to-understand language. Terms are listed in alphabetical order and can be better accessed by choosing a letter here:
A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z
acquittal - Judgment that a criminal defendant has not been proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
affidavit - A written statement of facts confirmed by the oath of the party making it. Affidavits must be notarized or administered by an officer of the court with such authority.
affirmed - Judgment by appellate courts where the decree or order is declared valid and will stand as decided in the lower court.
Alford plea - A defendant’s plea that allows him to assert his innocence but allows the court to sentence the defendant without conducting a trial. Essentially, the defendant is admitting that the evidence is sufficient to show guilt. Such a plea is often made for purposes of negotiating a deal with the prosecutor for lesser charges or a sentence.
allegation - Something that someone says happened.
answer - The formal written statement by a defendant responding to a civil complaint and setting forth the grounds for defense.
appeal - A request made after a trial, asking another court (usually the court of appeals) to decide whether the trial was conducted properly. To make such a request is "to appeal" or "to take an appeal." Both the plaintiff and the defendant can appeal, and the party doing so is called the appellant. Appeals can be made for a variety of reasons including improper procedure and asking the court to change its interpretation of the law.
appellate - About appeals; an appellate court has the power to review the judgment of another lower court or tribunal.
arraignment - A proceeding in which an individual who is accused of committing a crime is brought into court, told of the charges, and asked to plead guilty or not guilty.
arrest warrant - A written order directing the arrest of a party. Arrest warrants are issued by a judge after a showing of probable cause.
bail - Security given for the release of a criminal defendant or witness from legal custody (usually in the form of money) to secure his/her appearance on the day and time appointed.
bankruptcy - Refers to statutes and judicial proceedings involving persons or businesses that cannot pay their debts and seek the assistance of the court in getting a fresh start. Under the protection of the bankruptcy court, debtors may discharge their debts, perhaps by paying a portion of each debt. Bankruptcy judges preside over these proceedings.
bench trial - Trial without a jury in which a judge decides the facts. In a jury trial, the jury decides the facts. Defendants will occasionally waive the right to a jury trial and choose to have a bench trial.
beyond a reasonable doubt - Standard required to convict a criminal defendant of a crime. The prosecution must prove the guilt so that there is no reasonable doubt to the jury that the defendant is guilty.
binding precedent - A prior decision by a court that must be followed without a compelling reason or significantly different facts or issues. Courts are often bound by the decisions of appellate courts with authority to review their decisions. For example, district courts are bound by the decisions of the court of appeals that can review their cases, and all courts – both state and federal – are bound by the decisions of the Supreme Court of the United States.
brief - A written statement submitted by the lawyer for each side in a case that explains to the judge(s) why they should decide the case (or a particular part of a case) in favor of that lawyer's client.
capital offense - A crime punishable by death. In the federal system, it applies to crimes such as first degree murder, genocide, and treason.
case law - The use of court decisions to determine how other law (such as statutes) should apply in a given situation. For example, a trial court may use a prior decision from the Supreme Court that has similar issues.
chambers - A judge's office.
charge - The law that the police believe the defendant has broken.
charge to the jury - The judge's instructions to the jury concerning the law that applies to the facts of the case on trial.
chief judge - The judge who has primary responsibility for the administration of a court. The chief judge also decides cases, and the choice of chief judges is determined by seniority.
circumstantial evidence - All evidence that is not direct evidence (such as eyewitness testimony).
clerk of court - An officer appointed by the court to work with the chief judge in overseeing the court's administration, especially to assist in managing the flow of cases through the court and to maintain court records.
common law - The legal system that originated in England and is now in use in the United States. It is based on court decisions rather than statutes passed by the legislature.
complaint - A written statement by the plaintiff stating the wrongs allegedly committed by the defendant.
continuance - Decision by a judge to postpone trial until a later date.
contract - An agreement between two or more persons that creates an obligation to do or not to do a particular thing.
conviction - A judgment of guilt against a criminal defendant.
counsel - Legal advice; a term used to refer to lawyers in a case.
counterclaim - A claim that a defendant makes against a plaintiff. Counterclaims can often be brought within the same proceedings as the plaintiff’s claims.
court - Government entity authorized to resolve legal disputes. Judges sometimes use "court" to refer to themselves in the third person, as in "the court has read the briefs."
court reporter - A person who makes a word-for-word record of what is said in court and produces a transcript of the proceedings upon request.
cross-examine - Questioning of a witness by the attorney for the other side.
damages - Money paid by defendants to successful plaintiffs in civil cases to compensate the plaintiffs for their injuries.
default judgment - A judgment rendered because of the defendant's failure to answer or appear.
defendant - In a civil suit, the person complained against; in a criminal case, the person accused of the crime.
defense table - The table where the defense lawyer sits with the defendant in the courtroom.
deposition - An oral statement made before an officer authorized by law to administer oaths. Such statements are often taken to examine potential witnesses, to obtain discovery, or to be used later in trial.
direct evidence - Evidence that supports a fact without an inference.
discovery - Lawyers' examination, before trial, of facts and documents in possession of the opponents to help the lawyers prepare for trial.
docket - A log containing brief entries of court proceedings.
en banc - "In the bench" or "full bench." Refers to court sessions with the entire membership of a court participating, rather than the usual quorum. U.S. courts of appeals usually sit in panels of three judges, but may expand to a larger number in certain cases they deem important enough to be decided by the entire court. They are then said to be sitting en banc.
evidence - Information presented in testimony or in documents that is used to persuade the fact finder (judge or jury) to decide the case for one side or the other.
exculpatory evidence - Evidence which tends to show the defendant’s innocence.
exhibit - Physical evidence or documents that are presented in a court proceeding. Common exhibits include contracts, weapons, and photographs.
federal question - Jurisdiction given to federal courts in cases involving the interpretation and application of the U.S. Constitution, acts of Congress, and treaties. In some cases, state courts can decide these issues, too, but the cases can always be brought in federal courts.
felony - A crime carrying a penalty of more than a year in prison.
file - To place a paper in the official custody of the clerk of court to enter into the files or records of a case. Lawyers must file a variety of documents throughout the life of a case.
grand jury - A body of citizens who listen to evidence of criminal allegations, which are presented by the government, and determines whether there is probable cause to believe the offense was committed. As it is used in federal criminal cases, "the government" refers to the lawyers of the U.S. Attorney's office who are prosecuting the case. Grand jury proceedings are closed to the public, and the person suspected of having committed the crime is not entitled to be present or have an attorney present. States are not required to use grand juries, but the federal government must do so under the Constitution.
habeas corpus - A writ that is often used to bring a prisoner before the court to determine the legality of his imprisonment. A prisoner wanting to argue that there is not sufficient cause to be imprisoned would file a writ of habeas corpus. It may also be used to bring a person in custody before the court to give testimony, or to be prosecuted.
hearsay - Statements by a witness who did not see or hear the incident in question but learned about it through secondhand information such as another’s statement, a newspaper, or a document. Hearsay is usually not admissible as evidence in court, but there are many exceptions to that rule.
impeachment - (1) The process of calling something into question, as in "impeaching the testimony of a witness." (2) The constitutional process whereby the House of Representatives may "impeach" (accuse of misconduct) high officers of the federal government for trial in the Senate.
inculpatory evidence - Evidence which tends to show the defendant’s guilt.
indictment - The formal charge issued by a grand jury stating that there is enough evidence that the defendant committed the crime to justify having a trial; it is used primarily for felonies.
in forma pauperis - In the manner of a pauper. Permission given to a person to sue without payment of court fees on claim of indigence or poverty.
information - A formal accusation by a government attorney that the defendant committed a misdemeanor.
initial hearing - Court proceeding in which the defendant learns of his rights and the charges against him and the judge decides bail.
injunction - An order of the court prohibiting (or compelling) the performance of a specific act to prevent irreparable damage or injury.
interrogatories - Written questions asked to one party by an opposing party, who must answer them in writing under oath. Interrogatories are a part of discovery in a lawsuit.
interview - A meeting with the police or prosecutor.
issue - (1) The disputed point in a disagreement between parties in a lawsuit. (2) To send out officially, as in to issue an order.
judge - Government official with authority to decide lawsuits brought before courts. Judicial officers of the Supreme Court and the highest court in each state are called justices.
judgment - The official decision of a court finally determining the respective rights and claims of the parties to a suit.
jurisdiction - (1) The legal authority of a court to hear and decide a case. Concurrent jurisdiction exists when two courts have simultaneous responsibility for the same case. Some issues can be heard in both state and federal courts. The plaintiff initially decides where to bring the suit, but in some cases, the defendant can seek to change the court. (2) The geographic area over which the court has authority to decide cases. A federal court in one state, for example, can usually only decide a case that arose from actions in that state.
juror - A person who is on the jury.
jury - Persons selected according to law and sworn to inquire into and declare a verdict on matters of fact. State court juries can be as small as six jurors in some cases. Federal juries for civil suits must have six jurors criminal suits must have twelve.
jury instructions - A judge's explanation to the jury before it begins deliberations of the questions it must answer and the law governing the case. Each party suggests jury instructions to the judge, but the judge chooses the final wording.
jury pool - The group of people from which the actual jury is chosen. The jury pool is randomly selected from a source such as voter registration banks. Lawyers in the case choose the actual jurors from the jury pool through a process called voir dire.
jurisprudence - The study of law and the structure of the legal system.
lawsuit - A legal action started by a plaintiff against a defendant based on a complaint that the defendant failed to perform a legal duty, resulting in harm to the plaintiff.
law clerk (or staff attorney) - Assist judges with research and drafting of opinions.
librarian - Meets the informational needs of the judges and lawyers.
litigation - A case, controversy, or lawsuit. Participants (plaintiffs and defendants) in lawsuits are called litigants.
magistrate judges - Judicial officers who assist U.S. district court judges in getting cases ready for trial. They may decide some criminal and civil trials when both parties agree to have the case heard by a magistrate judge instead of a district court judge.
misdemeanor - Usually a petty offense, a less serious crime than a felony, punishable by less than a year of confinement.
mistrial - An invalid trial caused by fundamental error. When a mistrial is declared, the trial must start again, beginning with the selection of a new jury.
motion - Attempt to have a limited issue heard by the court. Motions can be filed before, during, and after trial.
nolo contendere - No contest. Has the same effect as a plea of guilty as far as the criminal sentence is concerned, but the plea may not be considered an admission of guilt for any other purpose. Sometimes, a guilty plea could later be used to show fault in a lawsuit, but the plea of nolo contendere forces the plaintiff in the lawsuit to prove that the defendant committed the crime.
oath - A promise to tell the truth.
objection - A protest by an attorney, challenging a statement or question made at trial. Common objections include an attorney “leading the witness” or a witness making a statement that is hearsay. Once an objection is made, the judge must decide whether to allow the question or statement.
opinion - A judge's written explanation of a decision of the court. In an appeal, multiple opinions may be written. The court’s ruling comes from a majority of judges and forms the majority opinion. A dissenting opinion disagrees with the majority because of the reasoning and/or the principles of law on which the decision is based. A concurring opinion agrees with the end result of the court but offers further comment possibly because they disagree with how the court reached its conclusion.
oral argument - An opportunity for lawyers to summarize their position before the court in an appeal and also to answer the judges' questions.
panel - (1) In appellate cases, a group of judges (usually three) assigned to decide the case; (2) In the jury selection process, the group of potential jurors.
parties - Plaintiffs and defendants (petitioners and respondents) to lawsuits, also known as appellants and appellees in appeals, and their lawyers.
petit jury (or trial jury) - A group of citizens who hear the evidence presented by both sides at trial and determine the facts in dispute. Federal criminal juries consist of 12 persons. Federal civil juries consist of six persons.
plaintiff - The person who files the complaint in a civil lawsuit.
plea - In a criminal case, the defendant's statement pleading "guilty" or "not guilty" in answer to the charges in open court. A plea of nolo contendere or an Alford plea may also be made. A guilty plea allows the defendant to forego a trial.
plea deal (or plea bargain or agreement) - Agreement between the defendant and prosecutor where the defendant pleads guilty in exchange for a concession by the prosecutor. It may include lesser charges, a dismissal of charges, or the prosecutor’s recommendation to the judge of a more lenient sentence.
pleadings - Written statements of the parties in a civil case of their positions. In federal courts, the principal pleadings are the complaint and the answer.
precedent - A court decision in an earlier case with facts and law similar to a dispute currently before a court. Precedent will ordinarily govern the decision of a later similar case, unless a party can show that it was wrongly decided or that it differed in some significant way. Some precedent is binding, meaning that it must be followed. Other precedents need not be followed by the court but can be considered influential.
procedure - The rules for the conduct of a lawsuit; there are rules of civil, criminal, evidence, bankruptcy, and appellate procedure.
preliminary hearing - A hearing where the judge decides whether there is enough evidence to require the defendant to go to trial. Preliminary hearings do not require the same rules as trials. For example, hearsay is often admissible during the preliminary hearing but not at trial.
pretrial conference - A meeting of the judge and lawyers to discuss which matters should be presented to the jury, to review evidence and witnesses, to set a timetable, and to discuss the settlement of the case.
probable cause - An amount of suspicion leading one to believe certain facts are probably true. The Fourth Amendment requires probable cause for the issuance of an arrest or search warrant.
probation - A sentencing alternative to imprisonment in which the court releases convicted defendants under supervision as long as certain conditions are observed.
probation officers (or pretrial services officers) - Screen applicants for pretrial release and monitor convicted offenders released under court supervision.
pro se - A Latin term meaning "on one's own behalf"; in courts, it refers to persons who present their own cases without lawyers.
prosecute - To charge someone with a crime. A prosecutor tries a criminal case on behalf of the government.
public defenders - Represent defendants who can't afford an attorney in criminal matters.
record - A written account of all the acts and proceedings in a lawsuit.
remand - When an appellate court sends a case back to a lower court for further proceedings. The lower court is often required to do something differently, but that does not always mean the court’s final decision will change
reporter - Makes a record of court proceedings, prepares a transcript, and publishes the court's opinions or decisions.
reverse - When an appellate court sets aside the decision of a lower court because of an error. A reversal is often followed by a remand. For example, if the defendant argued on appeal that certain evidence should not have been used at trial, and the appeals court agrees, the case will be remanded in order for the trial court to reconsider the case without that evidence.
search warrant - Orders that a specific location be searched for items, which if found, can be used in court as evidence. Search warrants require probable cause in order to be issued.
sentence - The punishment ordered by a court for a defendant convicted of a crime. Federal courts look to the United States Sentencing Commission Guidelines when deciding the proper punishment for a given crime.
service of process - The service of writs or summonses to the appropriate party.
settlement - Parties to a lawsuit resolve their difference without having a trial. Settlements often involve the payment of compensation by one party in satisfaction of the other party's claims.
sequester - To separate. Sometimes juries are sequestered from outside influences during their deliberations.
sidebar - A conference between the judge and lawyers held out of earshot of the jury and spectators.
statement - A description that a witness gives to the police and that the police write down.
statute - A law passed by a legislature.
statute of limitations - A law that sets the time within which parties must take action to enforce their rights.
subpoena - A command to a witness to appear and give testimony.
subpoena duces tecum - A command to a witness to produce documents.
summary judgment - A decision made on the basis of statements and evidence presented for the record without a trial. It is used when there is no dispute as to the facts of the case, and one party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.
temporary restraining order - Prohibits a person from an action that is likely to cause irreparable harm. This differs from an injunction in that it may be granted immediately, without notice to the opposing party, and without a hearing. It is intended to last only until a hearing can be held.
testify - Answer questions in court.
testimony - Evidence presented orally by witnesses during trials or before grand juries.
tort - A civil wrong or breach of a duty to another person as outlined by law. A very common tort is negligent operation of a motor vehicle that results in property damage and personal injury in an automobile accident.
transcript - A written, word-for-word record of what was said, either in a proceeding such as a trial or during some other conversation.
trial - A hearing that takes place when the defendant pleads "not guilty,” and the parties are required to come to court to present evidence.
uphold - The decision of an appellate court not to reverse a lower court decision. Also called “affirm.”
U.S. Attorney (or federal prosecutor) - A lawyer appointed by the President in each judicial district to prosecute and defend cases for the federal government.
U.S. Marshal (or bailiff) - enforce the rules of behavior in courtrooms.
venue - The geographical location in which a case is tried.
verdict - The decision of a petit jury or a judge.
victim advocate - work with prosecutors and assist the victims of a crime.
voir dire - The process by which judges and lawyers select a petit jury from among those eligible to serve by questioning them to determine knowledge of the facts of the case and a willingness to decide the case only on the evidence presented in court. "Voir dire" is a phrase meaning "to speak the truth."
warrant - An arrest warrant is a written order directing the arrest of a party. A search warrant orders that a specific location be searched for items, which if found, can be used in court as evidence. Search warrants require probable cause in order to be issued.
witness - A person called upon by either side in a lawsuit to give testimony before the court or jury.
writ - A formal written command, issued from the court, requiring the performance of a specific act.
writ of certiorari - An order issued by the Supreme Court directing the lower court to transmit records for a case for which it will hear on appeal. The Supreme Court is usually not required to hear appeals of cases. A denial of “cert” by the Supreme Court allows the previous ruling to stand.
- Judicial appointments
Being excused from jury service, reasons you may be excused.
In Queensland, you can’t postpone your jury service, but you may be considered for excusal for the following reasons:
- You have served as a juror in the past 12 months.
- Your state of health.
- Carer commitments during all or part of the time you’d be required.
- Your work or study commitments make it absolutely impossible.
- Jury service would result in personal financial hardship.
- Jury service would result in substantial financial hardship to a business where you’re employed.
- Jury service is against your religious beliefs.
- Other reason (to be explained).
You can be excused from jury service permanently if you:
(a) You can be excused from jury service permanently if you have medical reasons, such as illness or disability. You’ll need to provide a medical certificate that states you must be permanently excused.
(b) Persons aged 70 years and over are not qualified to undertake jury service unless they elect to do so. When a questionnaire is received, a person aged 70 years or more may:
- If they wish to undertake service – elect accordingly and return questionnaire.
- If they do not wish to undertake jury service – request a permanent excusal and return questionnaire, or;
- Do nothing. No further action will be taken but the person may receive further questionnaires in the future. It’s therefore recommended that persons aged 70 years and over that do not wish to undertake jury service seek a permanent excusal to avoid receiving further questionnaires in the future.
If you are the carer for a person in (a) or (b) above and the person is unable to complete the questionnaire, please return the uncompleted questionnaire to the registry along with a note explaining the circumstances.
Being excused later
If you make yourself available but your circumstances change later, such as after you receive a summons, you can apply for an excusal at that time.
If you are overseas, complete the form online or have someone return the notice via mail and include a letter stating the date you left, how long you will be overseas and the date you expect to return.
Future jury service
Even if your application is granted, you will still be listed as available for future jury service (at which time you can re-examine your circumstances and apply for excusal if necessary).
Applying for excusal
To apply for excusal, complete the application for excusal section on your questionnaire (either online or on the paper questionnaire):
- Provide details about why you can’t perform the jury service you’ve been selected for.
- If necessary, use a separate piece of paper to explain why you need to be excused.
- work commitments—a written statement from your employer (see below)
- medical grounds—a medical certificate stating the period of time that you can’t serve as a juror
- study commitments—a copy of your student identification card and timetable
- holidays—a travel itinerary or tickets
- personal or financial grounds—an explanation, such as that you are employed casually and will lose your income by performing jury service.
- upload the supporting documentation within the online questionnaire and submit your form
- mail the questionnaire and supporting documentation to us.
Once your application for excusal has been determined, you will be advised of the outcome by text message, email or post.
Note that court may not grant your application for excusal.
However, you may not be required for jury service even if you don’t apply for excusal. There are several steps in the process of determining your suitability for jury service.
Work and family-related excusal
When you receive a ' Notice to prospective juror ' , discuss the potential impact of jury service with your employer. (You would probably attend no more than two mornings a week unless you’re empanelled on a trial.)
If you apply to be excused for work-related reasons, provide a letter from your employer stating why you can’t attend.
The letter should provide information as to:
- whether jury service would result in substantial hardship to you because of your employment or personal circumstances
- whether jury service would result in substantial financial hardship to you
- whether the jury service would result in substantial inconvenience to the public or a section of the public.
Upload/include a copy of this letter with your completed questionnaire.
Your employer can’t ask the court to excuse you from jury service—only a juror can apply.
By law, your employer can’t dismiss or disadvantage you for attending jury service. Any employer convicted of such an offence could be jailed for up to one year.
If you receive a ' Notice to prospective juror ' and have children, other dependents or other personal responsibilities, start planning alternative arrangements to cover these commitments in case you receive a summons.
Consider that the jury service could be any time during the year, including school holidays, and may require you to stay overnight at the end of the trial to reach a verdict.
If you can’t make alternative arrangements, apply to be excused from jury service. Give the exact reason why you can’t perform jury service for the whole notice period.
If you’re unavailable at a particular time or day during the notice period, note this also.
If you don’t apply
If you don’t apply to be excused, you may be eligible to be placed in a second selection, based on the answers to your questionnaire. If you’re randomly selected in this selection, you will receive a summons.
- Social media disclaimer
Skip to main navigation
- Email Updates
- Federal Court Finder
Guide to Writing Closing Arguments
Purpose : To persuade the jurors to adopt your view of the significance of the evidence and your view of the case. Attorneys are free to argue the merits of their case: “As we know from Witness A’s compelling testimony, Event X occurred, which clearly establishes who should be held responsible in this case.”
To the jurors: You have seen and heard the factual evidence in this case. I would like to review with you the key evidence presented today.
1. Factual Evidence
How it supports your case
2. Factual Evidence
How it supports your case
3. Factual Evidence
Comments on the credibility of witnesses:
How do the puzzle pieces of evidence and testimony fit into a compelling whole? This is your narrative of what happened.
Bottom Line: Why should the jurors decide in favor of your client?
DISCLAIMER: These resources are created by the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts for educational purposes only. They may not reflect the current state of the law, and are not intended to provide legal advice, guidance on litigation, or commentary on any pending case or legislation.
Knowledge repository and useful advices
How do you write an opening statement for a jury trial?
Table of Contents
- 1 How do you write an opening statement for a jury trial?
- 2 What is an opening argument in court?
- 3 What is a good opening statement for an essay?
- 4 How do you write an opening statement for arbitration?
- 5 How do you start an opening statement for an essay?
- 6 How long is an opening argument?
- 7 How does a court select a jury for a trial?
- 8 What’s the best way to prepare for a closing argument?
Opening Statement Checklist
- State your theme immediately in one sentence.
- Tell the story of the case without argument.
- Persuasively order your facts in a sequence that supports your theme.
- Decide whether to address the bad facts in the opening or not.
- Do not read your opening statement.
- Bring an outline, if necessary.
What is an opening argument in court?
The opening statement at the beginning of the trial is limited to outlining facts. This is each party’s opportunity to set the basic scene for the jurors, introduce them to the core dispute(s) in the case, and provide a general road map of how the trial is expected to unfold.
What goes in an opening statement?
An effective opening statement is built around a theme that can be summed up in a simple word or phrase or in a single sentence. The theme developed should be straightforward, clear, and designed to catch and hold the jury’s attention. It should get directly to the heart of the dispute.
What is a good opening statement for an essay?
Your essay introduction should include three main things, in this order: An opening hook to catch the reader’s attention. Relevant background information that the reader needs to know. A thesis statement that presents your main point or argument.
How do you write an opening statement for arbitration?
An effective, persuasive opening statement will assure the arbitrator that he or she can rely on your representations….The Hillen Factors are:
- Identify factual questions in dispute;
- Summarize all evidence on each;
- State which version he/she believes; and.
- Explain in detail why the chosen version was more credible.
What is the goal of an opening statement?
The purpose of opening statements by each side is to tell jurors something about the case they will be hearing. The opening statements must be confined to facts that will be proved by the evidence, and cannot be argumentative. The trial begins with the opening statement of the party with the burden of proof.
How do you start an opening statement for an essay?
- Attract the Reader’s Attention. Begin your introduction with a “hook” that grabs your reader’s attention and introduces the general topic.
- State Your Focused Topic. After your “hook”, write a sentence or two about the specific focus of your paper.
- State your Thesis. Finally, include your thesis statement.
How long is an opening argument?
Most opening statements take between 10 and 45 minutes, although, depending on the complexity of the case, some may take longer. Some jurisdictions have developed rules for how long opening statements, as well as closing statements, may be.
Why is an opening statement important in a criminal trial?
How does a court select a jury for a trial?
What’s the best way to prepare for a closing argument.
How to tell a jury a simple rule?
- Appellate, Federal and Local Court Rules
- Local Court Rules
- Central Violations Bureau
- Court Holidays
- Office Locations
- Staff Interpreters
- Court Reporters
- Transcript Requests and Fees
- District Statistics
- Fee Schedule
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Helpful Links
- Judges’ Calendars
- Judges’ Directory & Biographies
- Standing Orders
- Opinions / Notable Cases
- Jury Service General Information
- Jury Plan
- Trial Jurors Handbook
- Grand Jurors Handbook
- Austin Jury Instructions
- Del Rio Jury Instructions
- El Paso Jury Instructions
- Midland-Odessa Jury Instructions
- Pecos Jury Instructions
- San Antonio Jury Instructions
- Waco Jury Instructions
- Approved Surety List
- Attorney Admission
- Attorney Bar Status
- Attorney Change of Address
- Attorney Information
- Certificate of Good Standing
- Courtroom Technology Guidance
- Federal Records Center
- Mediator Information
- Attorney Appearance Pro Hac Vice
- Pro Bono Civil Appointments
- Post Judgment Interest Rates (Weekly)
- Registry Funds Information
- Selected Interest Rates (Daily)
- Service of Process
- Electronic Submission For Pro Se Filers
- FAQs For Pro Se Filers
- Pro Se Manual
- Civil Forms
- Criminal Forms
- eVoucher Login
- Training Materials
- Criminal Justice Act Forms
- CJA Helpful Links
- District CJA Plan Information
- Del Rio Division
- El Paso Division
- Midland-Odessa Division
- Pecos Division
- San Antonio Division
- Waco Division
- Austin Division
- Alternative Dispute Resolution
- Fort Cavazos Re-Entry / Diversion Program
- Sendero Re-entry Court – El Paso
- Section I – Civil Rules
- Section II – Criminal Rules
- Section III – Attorneys
- Section IV – Appendices
Legal Terms Glossary
Acquittal Legal judgment that a criminal defendant has not been proved guilty beyond a reasonable doubt of the charges against him.
Action Case, cause, suit or controversy disputed or contested before a court of justice.
Affidavit A written statement of facts confirmed by the oath of the party making it, before a notary or other officer having authority to administer oaths.
Affirmed In the practice of the appellate courts, the decree or order is declared valid and will stand as rendered in the lower court.
Allegation A claim or statement of what a party intends to prove; the facts as one party claims they are.
Allege To claim or declare that something is so.
Amendment The correction of an error in any process, pleading, or proceeding at law.
Answer The formal written statement by a defendant responding to a complaint setting forth the grounds for his defense.
Appeal A review by a higher court of the judgment or decision of a lower court.
Appellee The party against whom the appeal is taken.
Arraignment A proceeding in which the criminal defendant is called into court, the indictment is read to him, and he is called on to plead.
Arrest Taking physical custody of a person by lawful authority, for the purpose of holding him to answer a criminal charge.
Bail To obtain the release of a person from legal custody by giving surety for this appearance on the day and time appointed.
Bill of Particulars A statement of the details of the charge made against the defendant.
Bond A certificate or evidence of a debt; a written commitment to pay a certain amount of money if certain conditions are not met.
Bond for Costs A bond given by a party to secure the eventual payment of the costs of the suit.
Brief A written statement of the case, including a summary of the facts, a statement of the questions of law involved, and the arguments and legal authorities upon which the party relies. It serves as each party's principal submission to the appellate court for its decision.
Capias A writ requiring the marshal to take a defendant into custody.
Challenge An objection to the seating of a prospective juror on the jury panel for a trial.
Challenge for Cause A challenge to a juror for which some cause or reason is alleged. (See also Peremptory Challenge)
Charge to the Jury The judge's instruction to the jury concerning the law which applies to the facts of the case.
- To command the presence of a person; to notify a person of legal proceedings against him and require his appearance in the court, especially to face contempt proceedings.
- To read or refer to legal authorities in an argument or submission to a court. For example, to cite a case is to refer to a particular case in an attempt to persuade the Court to be guided by the decision reached in that case.
Civil Action Every law suit other than a criminal action; an adversary proceeding for the enforcement or protection of a legal right or the redress or prevention of a wrong.
Clerk of Court An officer appointed by a court of justice who has charge of the clerical work; keeps the records and seal, issues process, enters judgments and orders, and gives certified copies of documents from the record.
Complainant The party who complains or sues; one who applies to the Court for legal redress, also called the plaintiff.
Conviction A judgment of guilt against a criminal defendant.
Costs An amount of money awarded to the successful party (and recoverable from the losing party) solely as reimbursement for certain of the expenses in prosecuting or defending a suit.
Cross-examination After a witness has given evidence, the attorney for the opposing party examines or questions him about his testimony to verify or refute it.
Counter-claim A claim which a defendant makes against a plaintiff.
Court of Appeals An intermediate federal court, inferior to the U.S. Supreme Court but higher than the U.S. District Court. Its function is to review the final decisions of the district courts, if challenged. There is a Court of Appeals for the circuit in each of the judicial circuits.
Cross-claim A claim by one party against a co-party (a defendant claiming against another defendant, or a plaintiff against another plaintiff) arising out of the original complaint.
Damages A monetary compensation which may be recovered in the courts by a person who has suffered a loss or injury through the unlawful act or negligence of another.
Defendant The person defending or denying; the party against whom relief or recovery is sought in a civil action or suit; the party who is accused in a criminal suit.
Deposition An oral statement made by a person before an officer authorized by law to administer oaths. The attorney for the opposing party is notified to attend the deposition where he may cross-examine the deposed party. The deposition may sometimes be used later in the trial, or it may be taken only to obtain discovery.
Discovery The disclosure by one party of facts, titles, or documents, to the opposing party who needs this information to properly prosecute or defend the case.
District Courts Courts of the U.S., each having territorial jurisdiction over a judicial district which may include a whole state or only part of it. The district courts are the trial courts of the Federal Judiciary.
Diversity of Citizenship A phrase used with reference to federal jurisdiction, denoting a case in which the district courts have jurisdiction because all the persons on one side of the case are citizens of states different from all the persons on the other side. The matter in controversy must also exceed a value of $10,000.
Docket A book in which brief entries of all court proceedings are recorded.
Document Generally refers to writings, pictures, maps, etc. Denotes official papers such as deeds, agreements, title papers, receipts and other written instruments used to prove a fact.
Entry of Judgment Recording the judgment; putting into the docket book a statement of the final judgment and entering copies thereof in the record of the case and the judgment book.
Evidence Any kind of matter, presented at trial through witnesses, records, or documents for the purpose of persuading the court or jury of the correctness of the contentions of the parties.
Examination An interrogation or search. The examination of a witness consists of a series of questions asked by a party to the action or his attorney, in order to bring before the court or jury the knowledge which the witness has of the facts or matters in dispute, or probing and sifting the evidence as previously given.
Execution of Judgment A writ (order) to the marshal or sheriff requiring him to carry out the judgment of the Court.
Federal Question Refers to the jurisdiction given to the federal courts in cases involving the interpretation and application of Acts of Congress, the U.S. Constitution, and treaties.
File To put into files or records of the court; to file a paper is to place it in the official custody of the clerk. The clerk is to endorse upon the paper the date it is received and retain it in the record of the case subject to public inspection.
No entries at this time.
Habeas Corpus A writ that is usually used to bring a prisoner before the Court to determine the legality of his imprisonment. It may also be used to bring a person in custody before the Court to give testimony, or to be prosecuted.
Hearing A relatively formal proceeding similar to a trial, with one or more legal issues to be agreed upon or determined.
Impeach To impeach a witness is to introduce evidence intended to contradict testimony or to question his credibility.
In Forma Pauperis In the manner of a pauper. The permission given to a poor person to sue without payment of court fees.
In Rem An action in rem is one taken directly against property and has for its object the disposition of property, without reference to who owns the property.
Indictment The formal charging of the defendant with a particular crime by a grand jury.
Information The formal accusation charging the defendant with a particular crime but brought by the U.S. Attorney, rather than by the grand jury.
Injunction A temporary or permanent order of the Court prohibiting the performance of some specific act in order to prevent irreparable damage or injury.
Interrogatories Written questions asked by one party and served on an opposing party who must answer them in writing under oath as a discovery device.
Intervention A proceeding by which a third party is permitted to enter a lawsuit pending between other parties. He may join the plaintiff in seeking what is asked in the complaint; or with the defendant in resisting the claims of the plaintiff; or may demand some relief adverse to both of them.
- The disputed point or question in which the parties to a case have narrowed their disagreement; a single material point which is affirmed by one side and denied by the other. When the plaintiff and the defendant have arrived at some point which one affirms and the other denies, they are said to be "at issue." When the defendant has filed an answer denying all or part of the allegations of the complaint, the "issue has been joined" and the case is ready to be set for trial.
- To send out officially (to issue an order).
Judgment The official and authentic decision of a Court adjudicating with finality the respective rights and claims of the parties to a suit.
- Default Judgment – A judgment rendered because of the defendant's failure to answer or appear.
- Summary Judgment – Judgment given on the basis of pleadings, affidavits, and exhibits presented for the record without any need for a trial. It is used when there is no dispute as to the facts of the case and one party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.
- Consent Judgment – The provisions and terms of the judgment are agreed on by the parties and submitted to the Court for its sanction and approval.
- Declaratory Judgment – A judgment which declares the right and legal relations of the parties of a case.
Jurisdiction The power or legal authority of the Court to hear and decide a case.
Jury A certain number of persons selected according to law and sworn to inquire into matters of fact and declare the truth about matters laid before them.
- Petit Jury – Persons impaneled and sworn in a district court, who determine any question or issue of fact in any civil or criminal action according to law and the evidence introduced at the trial.
- Grand Jury – Made up of a larger group of persons who hear the government's evidence against a person who is suspected of a crime and determine whether it is sufficient evidence to bring that person to trial.
Litigant A party to a lawsuit.
Litigation A case, controversy, or lawsuit.
Local Rules A particular set of rules for each court governing matters not determined by the Federal Rules of Procedure.
Mandamus Literally, "We command." It is a command of a higher court to a lower court or a public officer to perform a lawful duty.
Minutes A record of what takes place in court.
Mistrial An invalid trial the result of which cannot stand because of some fundamental error. When a mistrial is declared, the trial must start again from the selection of the jury.
Moot A proceeding which seeks a judgment or ruling on a dispute which does not actually exist. For example, when one party brings a motion to compel the other to answer interrogatories and the other has already answered, the motion is moot.
Nolo Contendere No contest – has the same effect as a plea of guilty, as far as the criminal sentence is concerned, but may not be considered as an admission of guilt for any other purpose.
Notice Information or a warning usually given in writing, informing a person of some fact which it is his legal right to know.
Notice of Appeal Notice to the Court and to the other parties to the suit that a party intends to exercise his right of appeal. Filing the notice of appeal in the district court is the first step in making the appeal.
Opinion A formal judicial statement of the legal reasoning upon which the judgment is based.
Parties The persons or entities who prosecute or defend a lawsuit.
Peremptory Challenge A challenge to a juror without alleging any cause or reason; a limited number of peremptory challenges is allowed each side in any case.
Plaintiff (or Complainant) The one who brings the suit, asking for the enforcement of a right or the recovery of relief from a wrong.
Plea In a criminal proceeding it is the defendant's declaration in open court, that he is guilty or not guilty – the defendant's answer to the charges made against him in the indictment or information.
Pleading The formal written statements presented by the parties in a civil case – forming the basis for the lawsuit and defining the issues.
Preliminary Examination (or Preliminary hearing) A hearing before a magistrate or judge to determine if there is probable cause to warrant holding a person accused of a crime. It is a procedure to prevent a possible abuse of prosecutorial power.
Pre-trial Conference This is an informal conference between the attorneys for both sides to clarify the issues and to attempt to work out a settlement, with the judge or magistrate as a moderator.
Probation A sentencing alternative by the Court by which convicted defendants are released on suspended sentences, generally under the supervision of a probation officer as long as certain conditions are observed. The maximum period of probation which may be imposed upon the charges in a single indictment is five years.
Procedure The rules for the conduct of a lawsuit.
Proceeding The judicial business before the Court or judicial officer; any step or act taken in a lawsuit from the beginning to the executing of the judgment.
Process The summons or any other writ which may be used during the progress of the case.
Quash To annul or make void.
Record A written memorial of all the acts and proceedings in an action or suit.
Remand To send back. The act of the appellate court in sending a case back to the district court for further action.
Return The marshal reports back to the Court, with a brief account of his actions under the writ or notice he was required to serve, explaining the time and manner of service or the reason why he was unable to serve it, if that was the case.
Reversal The act of an appellate court annulling a judgment of a lower court because of an error.
Service The delivery of a writ, notice, or injunction, by an authorized person to officially notify another party of a proceeding in which he is concerned.
Service of Process The service of writs, summonses, or rules to the party to whom they ought to be delivered.
Subpoena A command to a witness to appear and give testimony.
Subpoena Duces Tecum A command to a witness to produce at a trial or hearing documents or papers in his possession that are pertinent to the issues of a pending case.
Summons A writ directing the marshal to notify the person named that an action has been commenced against him in the court, and that he is required to appear and answer the complaint.
Suppress To put a stop to a thing actually existing; a motion to suppress evidence or a confession which does not deny the existence of the evidence or confession, but asks the Court not to allow the use of such evidence in the case.
Temporary Restraining Order Prohibits a person from an action which is likely to cause irreparable harm. This differs from an injunction in that it may be granted immediately, without notice to the opposing party and without a hearing. It is intended to last until a hearing can be held.
Testimony Oral evidence given by a witness under oath.
Transcript The typewritten transcription of the shorthand notes of the proceedings in court.
Venue The geographical location in which a case is tried.
Verdict The formal decision or finding made by the jury upon the matters or questions submitted to them at the trial.
Voir Dire The preliminary examination of a juror to determine his competency or impartiality to serve on a case.
Writ A formal written command, issued from the Court, requiring the performance of a specific act.
Trump special counsel shifts focus of possible indictment to S. Florida
People familiar with the matter said prosecutors want to base much of the case where most of alleged misconduct happened.
Justice Department prosecutors are planning to bring a significant portion of any charges stemming from the possible mishandling of classified documents at Mar-a-Lago, the home of former president Donald Trump , at a nearby federal court in South Florida, according to people familiar with the matter.
The legal rationale for such a move is that the bulk of the conduct at issue in the investigation occurred in the southern district of Florida, in and around Trump’s Palm Beach residence and private club, even if much of the investigation — led by special counsel Jack Smith — has been handled by a grand jury in D.C., these people said.
That approach by prosecutors does not rule out the possibility of some charges, such as perjury or false statements, being filed in Washington in connection with grand jury appearances or law enforcement interviews that took place there, according to these people, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe the internal discussions.
A former aide to Trump, Taylor Budowich, appeared Wednesday before the federal grand jury in Miami. Other witnesses have appeared before the same grand jury in recent weeks, a person familiar with the matter said.
If Trump is charged on his home turf, he could face a significantly different jury pool than the one in Washington. Such a move could also speed up the path to a trial, former federal prosecutor Randall D. Eliason said, because it could eliminate potential legal challenges about whether charges were being brought in the right place.
“Because these are complicated issues that might go either way, you don’t want to risk spending the first year fighting over venue” and then perhaps being forced to move, Eliason, an adjunct professor at the George Washington University law school, said in an email. “The bottom line is that the venue issues could be complicated and could easily result in two separate indictments with different charges and/or different defendants in D.C. and Florida.”
The Justice Department’s manual calls for charges to be filed where the alleged crimes or parts of the alleged crimes were committed, though in practice federal prosecutors often apply that standard loosely. For example, improperly removing documents from Washington could be charged in the nation’s capital. But wrongfully retaining documents in Florida after the government demanded them back, or showing classified information there to an unauthorized person might be more properly charged in Florida.
The criminal investigation into Trump’s handling of classified material has been going on for more than a year, and attorneys for the former president say they expect Smith to finalize a charging decision in coming weeks. Trump advisers say they are preparing for a potential indictment of the former president, who has denied any wrongdoing.
On Wednesday, Trump posted on social media: “No one has told me I’m being indicted, and I shouldn’t be because I’ve done NOTHING wrong, but I have assumed for years that I am a Target of the WEAPONIZED DOJ & FBI.”
A spokesman for Smith declined to comment.
Trump’s lawyers met with Smith and other official s at Justice Department headquarters in Washington on Monday to make the case that their client should not be charged, people familiar with the matter said this week. Such meetings often happen as federal investigations get close to finishing.
Budowich, who now leads a pro-Trump super PAC, was seen arriving at the federal courthouse in Miami on Wednesday. His appearance lasted about an hour. At 11:31 a.m., Budowich tweeted that he had “fulfilled a legal obligation to testify in front [of] a federal grand jury.”
“I answered every question honestly,” the tweet said.
Prosecutors were at least partially interested in Budowich because of his role in an episode involving Trump in early 2022, according to people familiar with the matter who spoke on the condition of anonymity because grand jury proceedings are secret. After sending boxes of materials from his Mar-a-Lago home and private club to the National Archives and Records Administration, which catalogues and preserves presidential records, Trump drafted a lengthy statement saying he had given “everything” back to the federal government, The Washington Post has reported.
But Budowich did not release Trump’s statement after consulting with lawyers and advisers for the former president, people familiar with the episode said, speaking on the condition of anonymity to discuss internal conversations. At least some of Trump’s advisers did not believe he had returned “everything” at the time, the people said, even though the archives had been asking for months for Trump to give back any government material in his possession, as required by federal law.
Several days later, Trump issued a different statement that did not include the claim that everything had been returned.
Around the same time, a Trump lawyer rebuffed the former president’s request to tell the archives he had returned everything, The Post has reported, because the lawyer was not sure such an assertion was true.
Prosecutors have reviewed a draft of Trump’s statement, which contains at least one tangent about Germany and an overseas oil pipeline, the people familiar with the matter said. Multiple witnesses have been questioned by prosecutors about the statement, the people said, and asked whether Trump ever asked them to lie or mislead anyone about whether he continued to maintain classified information in his possession.
At least one federal grand jury panel in Washington has heard months of testimony in the Trump documents probe. But evidence gathered in Washington could also be presented to grand jurors in Florida.
The Justice Department launched its investigation after archives officials found more than 100 classified documents scattered among the various items Trump sent back from Mar-a-Lago.
After further questioning about whether Trump had more classified papers at his Florida home, his legal team handed over another 38 documents last June in response to a grand jury subpoena. An FBI search of Mar-a-Lago two months later turned up more than 100 additional documents and items marked classified.
The evidence examined so far by investigators in Washington includes surveillance video showing boxes of documents being moved the day before the visit by a federal prosecutor at Mar-a-Lago , and an audio recording of Trump talking about having an apparently classified document in his possession.
Lori Rozsa in Miami and Amy B Wang in Washington contributed to this report.
- Live updates: Trump indicted in classified documents case Just now Live updates: Trump indicted in classified documents case Just now
- Trump indicted in Mar-a-Lago classified documents investigation 38 minutes ago Trump indicted in Mar-a-Lago classified documents investigation 38 minutes ago
- What to know about the Trump classified documents investigation 2 hours ago What to know about the Trump classified documents investigation 2 hours ago
- Give this article
Read Prince Harry’s Written Statement to the Court
Prince Harry’s lawyers filed a statement with the High Court in London before he took the stand in his lawsuit against the Mirror newspaper group.
By The New York Times
- June 6, 2023
Before Prince Harry took the stand to answer questions in his lawsuit against Mirror Group Newspapers on Tuesday, his legal team filed a written statement to the High Court in London that lays out his version of the facts of the case.
Read Harry’s statement.
- AP Top News
- World News Russia-Ukraine war Africa Asia Pacific Australia Europe Latin America Middle East
- Politics President Biden Congress Supreme Court Election 2023
- Sports MLB French Open NBA Finals NHL NFL WNBA Soccer Golf
- Entertainment Film reviews Movies Music Television Fashion
- Business U.S. economy Financial markets
- Health COVID-19
- More AP Investigations Climate and environment Oddities Photography Travel Science AP Fact Check Lifestyle Religion Press Releases
- Trump indictment
- Exclusive Ukranian dam photos
- Smoky haze blankets US
- GOP cancels Wray contempt vote
- Legalizing fentanyl test strips
- E. Jean Carroll
- General News
- NYC State Wire
- NY State Wire
Donald Trump’s lawyers seek to cut sex abuse jury award from $5M to under $1M
NEW YORK (AP) — The $5 million awarded to a columnist by a jury that concluded she was sexually abused in the 1990s by Donald Trump in a New York luxury department store should be reduced to less than $1 million, the former president’s lawyers told a judge Thursday, saying the award was grossly excessive and based on “pure speculation.”
The lawyers noted in a written submission that a Manhattan federal court jury last month rejected a rape claim made by the writer, E. Jean Carroll, concluding instead that she had been sexually abused in spring 1996 in the store’s dressing room.
“Such abuse could have included groping of Plaintiff’s breasts through clothing, or similar conduct, which is a far cry from rape,” the lawyers wrote.
They said the $2 million granted by the jury on a sexual abuse claim was “grossly excessive” and another $2.7 million issued for compensatory defamation damages was “based upon pure speculation.”
Trump charged over classified documents in 1st federal indictment of an ex-president
Republicans set to push mail ballots, voting methods they previously blasted as recipes for fraud, ruff day in court: supreme court sides with jack daniel's in dispute with makers of dog toy, biden, sunak vow to stick together on ukraine, deepen cooperation on clean energy transition, ai.
The award should consist of no more than $400,000 for sex abuse, no more than $100,000 for defamation and $368,000 or less for the cost of a campaign to repair Carroll’s reputation, the lawyers wrote.
If a judge does not grant the suggested reduction in the award, then he should permit a new trial on damages, they said.
Carroll, 79, testified at the trial that she had a flirtatious and friendly chance encounter with Trump at a midtown Manhattan Bergdorf Goodman store until he followed her into a dressing room and became violent.
Trump, 76, did not attend the trial, but lengthy excerpts of a videotaped deposition from last October were played for jurors. In them, he denied ever encountering Carroll at the store or knowing her. He said he believed she made the claims against him in part to promote a 2019 memoir in which she first publicly made allegations against him.
Roberta Kaplan, Carroll’s attorney, said in an emailed statement that the arguments by Trump’s lawyers were frivolous.
She said the unanimous jury had concluded that Trump sexually assaulted Carroll and then defamed her “by lying about her with hatred, ill-will, or spite.”
“This time, Trump will not be able to escape the consequences of his actions,” Kaplan said.
Trump may still face a second defamation trial resulting from another lawsuit Carroll filed against him. That case has been delayed with appeals as the U.S. Justice Department sought to substitute the United States as the defendant in place of Trump. Government lawyers say Trump can’t be held liable for the comments he made as president.
Donald Trump indicted for allegedly mishandling classified documents seized at Mar-a-Lago: Live updates
The federal charges come amid wide-ranging legal challenges for trump as he campaigns for president, including new york criminal charges and a $5 million judgment in a civil case..
WASHINGTON – Former President Donald Trump was indicted Thursday by a federal grand jury on charges related to the hundreds of classified documents seized from his Florida estate, Mar-a-Lago , an unprecedented step in the wide-ranging investigations that include his previous indictment in New York .
More than 300 classified documents were recovered more than a year after Trump left the White House, most under subpoena in June 2022 or during an FBI search in August 2022. Justice Department special counsel Jack Smith has been investigating the potential mishandling of national defense records.
Trump was indicted on seven charges, according to a person who has been briefed on the case.
Trump confirmed the indictment in a statement and protested his innocence in a post on Truth Social. He said that he was summoned to appear Tuesday at the federal courthouse in Miami at 3 p.m.
"The corrupt Biden Administration has informed my attorneys that I have been Indicted," Trump said in the statement, contrasting his treatment to the discovery of classified documents at President Joe Biden's former office and home. "I AM AN INNOCENT MAN!" Trump added.
Trump said that the "Biden Administration" had informed his attorneys "that I have been Indicted, seemingly over the Boxes Hoax." He then complained about Biden's own possession of classified documents, which is the subject of another investigation.
A Justice Department spokesperson declined comment on Trump's announcement.
Legal experts have argued charges alleging the mishandling of classified documents could be the most straightforward case against Trump because the records were seized at Mar-a-Lago. But Trump has argued repeatedly that he could take records with him after leaving the White House, despite the Presidential Records Act giving ownership to the National Archives and Records Administration , and that he had declassified them, despite the lack of documentation for his assertion.
"I have the absolute right to do whatever I want with them," Trump said at a recent CNN town hall.
Allies, adversaries weigh in with opinions
A wave of Trump aides and allies took to social media, email, and television networks to condemn the indictment.
One of Trump's lawyers, Alina Habba, told Fox News that Trump would be "vindicated," and attacked the Justice Department for "selective prosecution" and "selective persecution.” She called the case “Russia third-world stuff."
Karoline Leavitt, a spokesperson for Make America Great Again Inc., said the case reflected a two-tiered justice system in America “that must be confronted and destroyed.”
"The Biden Regime, which is realizing they can’t beat or cheat their way to another victory, has taken the unprecedented step to indict President Trump,” Leavitt said. “This will be done when we re-elect President Donald J. Trump in 2024.”
Trump is currently in Bedminster, New Jersey. A person familiar with the situation who was not authorized to discuss it publicly said Trump's lawyers were contacted by prosecutors shortly before he announced on his Truth Social platform that he had been indicted, according to The Associated Press.
House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., called it “a dark day” for the country and threatened to fight the “weaponization" of the prosecution by the Biden administration.
“It is unconscionable for a President to indict the leading candidate opposing him,” McCarthy said in a tweet. “Joe Biden kept classified documents for decades. I, and every American who believes in the rule of law, stand with President Trump against this grave injustice. House Republicans will hold this brazen weaponization of power accountable.”
Others echoed the same sentiment.
"It's a sad day for America," said Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, a staunch defender of Trump during his impeachments and chairman of the House Judiciary Committee.
Barb McQuade, a former federal prosecutor who teaches law at the University of Michigan, said prosecutors probably picked Florida as a venue because the bulk of the alleged activity took place there. "If the charges include willful retention of classified or national defense documents, obstruction of justice, or unauthorized disclosure, then that activity likely occurred in Florida," she said.
Political rivals also began to weigh in. Former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson, who is campaigning against Trump for the Republican nomination for president, called on Trump to end his campaign out of respect for the office. Hutchinson said Trump is entitled to a presumption of innocence, but that two indictments would be a major distraction.
“Donald Trump's actions – from his willful disregard for the Constitution to his disrespect for the rule of law – should not define our nation or the Republican Party,” Hutchinson said.
The top Democrat on the House Oversight and Accountability Committee, Rep. Jamie Raskin of Maryland, who led the second impeachment of Trump, said the indictment suggests Trump put national security at risk “by pilfering and hoarding government documents.”
“After reviewing a trove of factual evidence, the federal grand jury found probable cause to believe that former President Trump knowingly retained hundreds of presidential and classified records, deliberately defied subpoenas, obstructed law enforcement, and lied about his continuing retention of records,” Raskin said.
The documents and what they mean to the case
The documents at stake had labels suggesting they held some of the country's most closely guarded secrets about national defense and the identities of spies overseas. Federal officials have an audio recording from July 2021 of Trump discussing a classified Pentagon document about a possible attack on Iran, CNN reported, citing multiple unidentified sources.
Federal charges are unprecedented against a former president and add to the legal headwinds Trump faces as he campaigns again for the White House :
- Smith is also investigating potential election fraud from Trump’s attempt to overturn the results of the 2022 election .
- E. Jean Carroll won a $5 million civil verdict against Trump for sexual abuse and defamation over an encounter at a New York department store in the 1990s. Trump has appealed.
- Trump faces 34 charges of falsifying business records in New York for hush payments to women who claimed to have had sex with him. He pleaded not guilty and the trial is set for March, when presidential primaries are scheduled.
- In Georgia, Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis is investigating potential election fraud because of Trump’s fake electors in that state and because of his call Jan. 2, 2021, asking state Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to “find” enough votes to overturn the election results.
Here is what we know about the federal charges:
What laws were allegedly violated?
The FBI search of Mar-a-Lago in August 2022 was for evidence of violations of three federal statutes. The nonpartisan Congressional Research Service described the three statutes under Chapter 18 of the criminal code:
- The Espionage Act: Section 793 is part of the 1917 Espionage Act. The law covers more than spying, applying to information “relating to” or “connected with” national defense. The law doesn’t define what counts as national defense documents. But courts have interpreted the phrase to mean “relating to the military and naval establishments and the related activities of national preparedness,” according to the Supreme Court, and information whose disclosure is “potentially damaging” to the United States, according to lower courts.
- Removing government records: Section 2071 This statute general prohibits willfully and unlawfully concealing, removing, mutilating, obliterating, or destroying a “record,” “paper,” or “document” that is “filed or deposited with any clerk or officer of any court of the United States, or in any public office, or with any judicial or public officer of the United States.” A person convicted under this statute would be disqualified from holding public office. In a case involving Oliver North, a co-conspirator in the Iran-Contra scandal for altering National Security Council documents, a federal court rejected his argument that presidential records were exempt from the statute.
- Obstruction of justice: Section 1519 criminalizes the destruction of evidence in obstruction of certain federal investigations or proceedings. Prosecutors have used it to charge activities undermining investigations such as hiding objects and shredding documents. Violations require four elements: the defendant knowingly altered, destroyed, mutilated, concealed, covered up, falsified, or made false entries; the government must show that the prohibited behavior was done to “any record, document, or tangible object” such as a computer hard drive; the defendant acted with the “intent to impede, obstruct, or influence;” and the government must demonstrate that the defendant sought to obstruct “the investigation or proper administration of any matter within the jurisdiction of any department or agency of the United States.”
Trump has repeatedly denied wrongdoing , said he had the right to keep the documents and that he declassified them, although authorities found no documentation to support that claim.
What happened Jan. 6?: A breakdown of the 187 minutes Trump was out of view on Jan. 6 as aides urged him to act
What happened with classified documents? Graphics: How Biden's case differs from Trump's classified documents seized at Mar-a-Lago
Legal experts suggested other charges are possible:
- Removal and retention of classified documents: Section 1924 makes it a crime for an officer or employee of the United States to knowingly remove classified documents with the intent to retain them in an unauthorized location. Trump has acknowledged moving the documents from the White House to Mar-a-Lago when he left office in January 2021. He has argued he declassified the records, although there is no documentation of that.
- False statements: Section 1001 makes it a crime for someone to make a willfully false statement about a material fact to a federal investigator. Trump lawyer Christina Bobb signed a certification in June 2022 when served a subpoena that no more classified documents were at Mar-a-Lago. Trump lawyer Evan Corcoran helped draft the certification. More classified documents were found during the August search. Bobb and Corcoran were called as witnesses before the grand jury. The open question is whether prosecutors can prove Trump directed Bobb and Corcoran to mislead investigators.
Contributing: Maureen Groppe , USA TODAY
Classified documents probe: Trump lawyers told by DOJ he is the target of investigation
The latest news in the investigation of Donald Trump's handling of classified documents
- A federal grand jury in Florida is meeting in special counsel Jack Smith 's investigation of former President Donald Trump’s handling of classified documents, according to sources familiar with the investigation.
- Trump's lawyers were told in a meeting with Smith that the former president is a target of the investigation, according to two sources briefed on the meeting. Here's what that means .
- The Florida grand jury is separate from a panel that was convened in Washington, D.C. It has also heard testimony from witnesses but appeared to take a hiatus the last few weeks.
- Trump's handling of classified documents came under FBI investigation last year when the National Archives alerted it that government documents he had returned after having been out of office for about a year included 184 that were marked as classified. Trump has denied any wrongdoing.
Coverage on this live blog has ended. Please click here for the latest updates.
What is a target in an investigation?
Laura Jarrett and Adam Reiss
Prosecutors informed Trump’s lawyers Monday that he is a target. What does that mean?
There are three general categories in criminal investigations: a witness (someone with relevant information), a subject (someone whose conduct is within the realm of the grand jury’s work) and a target (someone prosecutors believe committed a crime).
Prosecutors don’t subpoena targets. Instead, sometimes they send a letter inviting the target to come in and testify if he or she wishes (recall that something similar happened near the end of the Manhattan hush money investigation before Trump was indicted). But sometimes it is done verbally. It’s all a matter of discretion.
Justice Department regulations say: “The prosecutor, in appropriate cases, is encouraged to notify such person a reasonable time before seeking an indictment in order to afford him or her an opportunity to testify before the grand jury.”
Recipients of target letters are often, but not always, indicted.
- Share this -
Trump lawyers were told he is a target in special counsel probe
Trump’s attorneys were told at Monday’s meeting in Washington, D.C., with prosecutors at the Justice Department that Trump is a target of the classified documents investigation, according to two sources briefed on the meeting.
That does not rule out the possibility that his legal team understood or was told he was a target before the meeting. A Justice Department spokesperson declined to comment.
Ex-Trump lawyer previews possible defense strategy
Former Trump lawyer Timothy Parlatore told CBS News that the former president's team has a defense plan should an indictment come down that includes alleging prosecutors committed misconduct in their investigation.
Parlatore said that the defense team's plan might have evolved since he left two weeks ago but that lawyers planned to file motions to dismiss any criminal charges because of alleged misconduct.
"Prosecutorial misconduct is a big issue that’s infecting this case," Parlatore said.
Parlatore has complained about prosecutors' conduct before. In March, he told N BC News that prosecutors had committed misconduct when they questioned him when he appeared before the grand jury to testify about his efforts to make sure Trump had no more government documents.
He said then that prosecutors had tried to bar him from discussing his attempts to include the FBI in the search and that they had improperly pressed him for information about his conversations with Trump. He said he'd refused to do so on the grounds of attorney-client privilege. Parlatore said the prosecutor asked him in front of the panel why Trump wasn't waiving that privilege, which he said was “completely improper.”
The special counsel's office has declined to comment on the allegation.
Trump ally Bannon subpoenaed in special counsel Jack Smith’s Jan. 6 grand jury probe
Jonathan Dienst , Laura Jarrett and Ryan J. Reilly
Elsewhere in Smith's investigation ...
Former Trump White House official Steve Bannon has been subpoenaed by a federal grand jury in Washington, D.C., in connection with Smith’s investigation into Jan. 6 and Trump’s efforts to stay in office, two sources familiar with the matter said.
The subpoena, for documents and testimony, was sent out in late May, the sources said. The grand jury investigating Trump’s actions surrounding Jan. 6 and in connection with efforts to interfere with the peaceful transfer of power is separate from the grand jury in Miami, which heard testimony Wednesday about Trump’s handling of classified documents.
Steve Bannon subpoenaed in Jan. 6 grand jury probe
Read the full story here.
What did Budowich say publicly about classified documents?
Lisa H. Rubin
Taylor Budowich has been quoted frequently on the classified documents. Here are some examples:
- "Just like every Democrat-fabricated witch hunt previously, the water of this unprecedented and unnecessary raid is being carried by a media willing to run with suggestive leaks, anonymous sources and no hard facts," Budowich told The New York Times .
- He criticized The Washington Post's coverage. He told The Independent that the Post “continues to serve as the propaganda arm of the Biden administration." He added, “Instead of operating openly and honestly, they collude in never-ending leaks and lies at the expense of the integrity of the FBI and DOJ [Department of Justice].”
Pence doesn't say whether an indictment should disqualify Trump from race for the White House
Former Vice President Mike Pence, who launched his bid for the White House today , did not say whether an indictment of Trump should disqualify him from the 2024 presidential campaign.
Asked by NBC News' Jonathan Allen at a campaign event whether "President Trump should end his campaign if he's indicted in federal court," Pence smiled and then appeared to walk toward a crowd of his supporters.
Trump sidesteps whether he's been told he's a target of probe
While one of the former president's allies reported Wednesday that Trump has been told he's a target of federal prosecutors, he sidestepped the issue in a post on his social media platform, Truth Social.
"No one has told me I’m being indicted, and I shouldn’t be because I’ve done NOTHING wrong, but I have assumed for years that I am a Target of the WEAPONIZED DOJ & FBI," Trump wrote.
He also called on the GOP to come to his defense, writing in all caps, "Republicans in Congress must make this their #1 issue!!!"
‘No one has told me I’m being indicted,’ Trump says
Trump posts about 2022 report that he says supports his contention he had broad authority to declassify.
Trump posted a quote on his social media website from a 2022 report from the American Bar Association that "seemed to agree with Trump’s assertion that 'guidelines support his contention that presidents have broad authority to formally declassify.'"
He appeared to be quoting from an article written by ally John Solomon on Wednesday that claimed that federal prosecutors informed Trump that he's a criminal target and will most likely be indicted imminently.
A fact - check from the ABA last year said legal guidelines support Trump's contention that presidents have broad authority to declassify most documents," but it says "while they are in office."
NBC News reported last year that legal and presidential records experts are skeptical of Trump's claim that any sensitive documents he took from the White House to Mar-a-Lago had been declassified.
Trump tells N.Y. Times he hasn't been told he's getting indicted
Trump told The New York Times he hasn't been told that he's getting indicted, reporter Maggie Haberman tweeted.
This came in response, Haberman noted, to a report by one of Trump's allies that claimed he was sent a target letter.
Haberman added in a follo w -up tw eet that when she asked Trump whether he had been told he's a target, he "demurred, saying he doesn’t talk directly to prosecutors."
Trump blasts FBI and DOJ as 'fascists'
Shortly after his former campaign spokesman testified before a federal grand jury in Miami, Trump blasted the Justice Department, the FBI and others investigating him as "fascists" on his social media website.
"Wow, this is turning out to be the greatest & most vicious instance of ELECTION INTERFERENCE in the history of our Country," Trump wrote on Truth Social , suggesting he shouldn't be investigated by anyone because he's running for president and doing well in the polls.
He said "they are launching all of the many Fake Investigations against me RIGHT SMACK IN THE MIDDLE OF MY CAMPAIGN, something which is unheard of & not supposed to happen," he wrote of the multiple investigations, all of which began before he announced his campaign. "DOJ, FBI, NEW YORK A.G., NEW YORK D.A., ATLANTA D.A. FASCISTS ALL!" he concluded.
Chris Christie says he will 'wait to react' to potential Trump indictment
Republican presidential contender Chris Christie will "wait to react" to a potential second Trump indictment, the former New Jersey governor told NBC News.
"Having done that for seven years, I know you never know when someone’s getting indicted, and the only person who probably knows in this instance is the special counsel," Christie said, referring to his time as a federal prosecutor. "So I’ll wait to react to seeing whatever he does."
He added that he does not know how the potential federal indictment could compare to Trump's indictment in New York.
"I think indictments have to be read, and the evidence has to be evaluated before you can give an opinion," he said.
Budowich questioned about statement he made on Trump's behalf, source says
Vaughn Hillyard and Laura Jarrett
A source familiar with today’s grand jury proceedings in Miami says Taylor Budowich testified for about an hour in Smith’s inquiry into Trump’s retention of classified documents.
Budowich answered questions, the source said, about a past public statement on behalf of Trump representing that the former president had not retained classified records. He was questioned about how he formed the basis for that understanding.
At least one email communication was also of interest to investigators, the source said.
According to the source, today’s proceeding was focused exclusively on the issue of classified documents — not on the other part of Smith’s investigation of Trump’s alleged efforts to overturn the 2020 election.
Taylor Budowich criticizes grand jury appearance as a 'bogus and deeply troubling effort'
Vaughn Hillyard and Summer Concepcion
Confirming his appearance before the federal grand jury, Budowich slammed the investigation into Trump’s handling of classified documents as a “bogus and deeply troubling effort to use the power of government to ‘get’” the former president.
“I fulfilled a legal obligation to testify in front a federal grand jury and I answered every question honestly,” the onetime Trump spokesman tweeted .
“America has become a sick and broken nation — a decline led by Joe Biden and power hungry Democrats,” he added. “I will not be intimidated by this weaponization of government. For me, the need to unite our nation and make America great again has never been more clear than it is today.”
Budowich said he will “not be deterred from pursuing” Trump’s re-election.
Top Trump aide seen at Florida courthouse amid classified documents investigation
Trump tv ad criticizes special counsel smith.
A new ad released today by the Trump campaign previews the former president’s political response to any possible additional criminal indictments, painting prosecutors, including special counsel Jack Smith, as “wolves” working to distract the country from President Joe Biden's problems.
The new ad, which will air on national cable but has not yet been placed, according to the Trump campaign, opens with a question that echoes Trump’s social media posts: “Just how far are the radical left and the Beltway bandits willing to go to stop him?”
Trump has long cast the various criminal investigations into his conduct both as president and as a private citizen as “election interference” — an effort to use to the courts to defeat him when his political foes could not. The ad puts at least some of Trump’s campaign war chest behind that argument.
“Let’s impeach him. Let’s get tainted, radical left prosecutors to charge him,” a narrator says as images of former FBI Director James Comey, Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg, Smith and former special counsel Robert Mueller appear on the screen. “Let’s conspire with Hillary and the FBI, with fake stories about him — all to distract from Biden’s incompetence, weakness and money-grabbing corruption.”
The ad shows a gnarling wolf spliced in with other images, including video of Biden falling onstage at an event last week.
Following his indictment in New York in April, Trump effectively rallied Republicans to his defense with a similar rhetorical argument — forcing Republicans to take sides between a “radical left” DA or the party’s front-runner. Every major GOP presidential candidate except for Asa Hutchison embraced Trump’s argument at the time. His campaign touted a fundraising bump of more than $12 million in the immediate aftermath of his indictment.
What was Taylor Budowich doing for Trump
Budowich served in an all-encompassing role for the former president, traveling with him and serving as his spokesman before Trump formally launched his 2024 bid for president. At that point, Budowich officially announced that he’d be at the helm of the Trump-aligned super PAC MAGA Inc., which at the time had a budget of more than $100 million.
Taylor Budowich gave public statements about Trump's handling of documents
As a spokesman for the former president and his PAC, Budowich also provided public statements to news outlets in response to questions about the special counsel’s investigation of the documents, potentially making him an important witness.
In at least one example, The Washington Post quoted him in an article Oct. 12 declining to offer detailed responses to questions but providing a statement. Prosecutors are likely to question him today about how he received information about Trump’s retention of classified documents and anything he knows about the movement of boxes.
D.C. chief U.S. district judge says court is 'all geared up'
U.S. District Court Chief Judge Jeb Boasberg just told the reporters at the Washington federal courthouse: “Everyone is all geared up this week, but I’m not sure this is the week to be all geared up. We’ll see.”
Boasberg has been responsible for ruling on recent disputes that have arisen out of the grand jury in Washington.
Taylor Budowich, former Trump spokesman, appears at Florida courthouse
Lisa H. Rubin and Vaughn Hillyard
Taylor Budowich, a former spokesman for Trump who also worked for the former president's super PAC, appeared at the Wilkes D. Ferguson Jr Courthouse in Miami.
Budowich was spotted with his attorney walking into the courthouse.
Dozens of Secret Service agents have been subpoenaed or appeared before grand jury in Trump docs probe
About two dozen Secret Service agents have been subpoenaed or have appeared before a federal grand jury in Washington that’s looking into former President Donald Trump ’s handling of classified documents, two sources familiar with the matter confirmed Tuesday.
The sources said prosecutors have interviewed agents assigned to Trump’s security detail at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida, about 24 of whom have been asked to testify before the grand jury. All complied, the sources said.
The testimony occurred in the “past few months,” meaning not recently, since the grand jury has been on hiatus, the sources said.
Secret Service agents have testified before grand jury in Trump docs probe
- BREAKING NEWS
Local 10 News @ 11PM
The latest local, regional and national news events are presented by the Local 10 News Team along with updated sports, weather and traffic.
Trump told to appear in Miami after indictment by federal grand jury, ABC reporting
Former President Donald Trump has been indicted by a federal grand jury after a months-long investigation into his handling of classified documents after leaving office, sources told ABC News.
A coastal flood statement in effect for Monroe Middle Keys and Monroe Upper Keys Regions
See the complete list
Jury returns $63M verdict after finding Chevron covered up toxic pit on California land
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – A California jury has returned a $63 million verdict against Chevron after finding the oil giant covered up a toxic chemical pit on land purchased by a man who built a house on it and was later diagnosed with a blood cancer.
Kevin Wright, who has multiple myeloma, unknowingly built his home directly over the chemical pit near Santa Barbara in 1985, according to his lawsuit.
Starting in 1974, Chevron subsidiary Union Oil Company of California had operated a sump pit for oil and gas production, a process that left the carcinogenic chemical benzene on the property, court papers said.
Wright bought the land and built the house in 1985. Nearly three decades later, he was diagnosed with the cancer that attacks plasma cells in the blood and can be caused by benzene exposure, court documents said.
The jurors in Santa Barbara on Wednesday returned the $63 million verdict, said Jakob Norman, an attorney for Wright. Norman called the case a “blatant example of environmental pollution and corporate malfeasance.”
Chevron said Union Oil Company would appeal the judgment.
“We strongly disagree with the jury’s decisions to award compensatory and punitive damages," Chevron said in a statement Thursday.
Wright’s cancer is in remission, his attorneys said, but he regularly undergoes chemotherapy treatments to hold the illness at bay.
“They cut corners, and my life was turned upside down as a result,” Wright said in a statement provided by his attorneys. “Chevron’s continued denial of the harm they caused is a shameful reminder that this company values only profits, not people.”
Copyright 2023 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.
Senators ask U.S. Justice Dept to probe Binance statements to Congress
[1/2] U.S. Senator Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) and U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) attend a Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., April 18, 2023. REUTERS/Amanda Andrade-Rhoades/File Photo
WASHINGTON, June 8 (Reuters) - The U.S. Department of Justice should investigate whether cryptocurrency exchange Binance made false statements to Congress in a written response to lawmakers this year, two Democratic U.S. senators said in a letter released on Thursday.
"This is a serious matter," Senator Elizabeth Warren and Chris Van Hollen wrote in a letter to the Justice Department, saying a bipartisan group of lawmakers in March were seeking information from the industry as they weighed potential new laws.
"It appears that Binance and Binance.US undermined this important investigation and the legislative process by providing false and misleading information to Congress" in their reply to the information request, the senators said, adding: "The department should, in conjunction with the ongoing SEC complaint, conduct a rapid and thorough investigation of this matter."
U.S. financial regulators this week cracked down on the crypto industry with legal action against Binance, the world's largest cryptocurrency exchange, and cryptocurrency platform Coinbase (COIN.O) .
Representatives for Binance did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the letter. Representatives for the Justice Department could not be immediately reached.
Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.
More from Reuters
Meta Platforms' Instagram, Alphabet's YouTube, TikTok and Twitter could face regulatory action after European consumer group BEUC complained to the European Commission and consumer authorities that the online platforms allegedly facilitate the misleading promotion of crypto assets.
The opening statement provides the first impression of the case and shapes the impressions of the jury. An opening statement forecasts to the jury the evidence they will see and hear during the trial—it allows the jury to know what to expect and to be able to understand the evidence when it is presented.
An opening statement is a factual narrative that should last no longer than is needed to keep the jury's attention. It should preview, in an understandable way, the anticipated testimony and evidence. It should not bore or confuse the jury with too much detail. It also should not overpromise that which may not, or cannot, be delivered.
The rule, consistent with the reasoning in Nobles, is designed to place the disclosure of prior relevant statements of a defense witness in the possession of the defense on the same legal footing as is the disclosure of prior statements of prosecution witnesses in the hands of the government under the Jencks Act, 18 U.S.C. §3500 (which S. 1437 ...
Criminal trial: An individual is accused of committing a crime that is considered against society as a whole. Twelve people, and alternates, make up a criminal jury. A unanimous decision must be reached before a defendant is found "guilty.". The government must prove the crime was committed "beyond a reasonable doubt.".
Part 1 Assessing Your Qualifications Download Article 1 Read your jury notice. Your jury notice or summons will contain information about when you've been called to jury duty as well as the steps to take to seek an exemption.
Circuit Court for Harford County Office of the Jury Commissioner Catherine Valdivia, Jury Commissioner Telephone: 410-638-3251 8:30 am - 4:30 pm M-F ... Please complete your juror form and include a written statement specifying the required accommodation (Question 17/Code F). In some instances, you may be required to submit the Request for an ...
Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals, 509 U.S. 579 (1993), and Kumho Tire Co. v. Carmichael, 526 U.S. 137 (1999). Hearsay " Hearsay " is defined as any statement made outside of court that is "offered in evidence to prove the truth of the matter asserted."
It is important for the Court to know the impact this crime has had on its victims. Victim impact statements describe the emotional, physical, and financial impact you and others have suffered as a direct result of the crime. Victim impact statements can be either written or oral statements. Written impact statements are submitted to the United ...
1. Simple Statement of Purpose Template 2. University Personal Statement Template 3. Basic Legal Statement Template 4. Written Court Statement Template 5. Sample Written Statement Incident Witness Example 6. Employee Written Statement of Employment Template 7. Basic Evidence Written Statement Format 8. Standard Written Statement Fact Format 9.
CHAPTER 21. INDICTMENT AND INFORMATION Art. 21.01. "INDICTMENT". An "indictment" is the written statement of a grand jury accusing a person therein named of some act or omission which, by law, is declared to be an offense. Acts 1965, 59th Leg., p. 317, ch. 722, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1966. Art. 21.011.
In the opening statement, a lawyer should provide the jury with a theme that will serve as framework for every piece of evidence the jury hears during the case. The theme should communicate how the evidence will fit together, and why your client's position in the case is the right one.
An opening statement provides the lawyer with an opportunity to address the jury in a trial and shapes the impression of the case and the jury. It forecasts to the jury the evidence they will see and hear during the trial. In other words, it lets the jury know what to expect and allows them to understand the evidence when it is presented to them.
Jury instructions are instructions for jury deliberation that are written by the judge and given to the jury. At trial, jury deliberation occurs after evidence is presented and closing arguments are made. Jury instructions are the only guidance the jury should receive when deliberating and are meant to keep the jury on track regarding the basic procedure of the deliberation and the substance ...
Criminal Jury Instructions & Model Colloquies. CJI2d[NY] PENAL LAW ARTICLE 175 . Offense Involving False Written Statements . OFFENSE PENAL LAW DESCRIPTION WPD PDF; FALSIFYING BUSINESS RECORDS 2: 175.05-WP: PDF: FALSIFYING BUSINESS RECORDS 1: 175.10-WP: PDF ; TAMPERING WITH PUBLIC RECORDS 2: 175.20:
Judicial Council of California Criminal Jury Instructions (2023 edition) Download PDF. 358. Evidence of Defendant' s Statements. Y ou have heard evidence that the defendant made [an] [oral] [and] [a] [written] statement[s] (before the trial/while the court was not in. session). Y ou must decide whether the defendant made any (such/of. these ...
A. acquittal - Judgment that a criminal defendant has not been proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.. affidavit - A written statement of facts confirmed by the oath of the party making it. Affidavits must be notarized or administered by an officer of the court with such authority. affirmed - Judgment by appellate courts where the decree or order is declared valid and will stand as decided ...
Being overseas If you are overseas, complete the form online or have someone return the notice via mail and include a letter stating the date you left, how long you will be overseas and the date you expect to return. Future jury service
Guide to Writing Closing Arguments. Purpose: To persuade the jurors to adopt your view of the significance of the evidence and your view of the case. Attorneys are free to argue the merits of their case: "As we know from Witness A's compelling testimony, Event X occurred, which clearly establishes who should be held responsible in this case
The opening statement provides the first impression of the case and shapes the impressions of the jury. An opening statement forecasts to the jury the evidence they will see and hear during the trial—it allows the jury to know what to expect and to be able to understand the evidence when it is presented.
Brief A written statement of the case, including a summary of the facts, a statement of the questions of law involved, and the arguments and legal authorities upon which the party relies. It serves as each party's principal submission to the appellate court for its decision. C
When the New York state grand jury that was investigating hush money payments Trump made to an adult film star and a former Playboy model was winding down its investigation, Trump wrote on Truth ...
The legal rationale for such a move is that the bulk of the conduct at issue in the investigation occurred in the southern district of Florida, in and around Trump's Palm Beach residence and ...
By The New York Times. June 6, 2023, 6:20 a.m. ET. Before Prince Harry took the stand to answer questions in his lawsuit against Mirror Group Newspapers on Tuesday, his legal team filed a written ...
Lawyers for former President Donald Trump say a $5 million jury award for his sexual abuse and defamation of a columnist in a department store dressing room in 1996 should be slashed to less than $1 million. The lawyers noted in a written submission Thursday that a Manhattan federal court jury last month rejected a rape claim made by the writer, E. Jean Carroll. They said the $2 million ...
1:14. WASHINGTON - Former President Donald Trump was indicted Thursday by a federal grand jury on charges related to the hundreds of classified documents seized from his Florida estate, Mar-a ...
Former Trump White House official Steve Bannon has been subpoenaed by a federal grand jury in Washington, D.C., in connection with Smith's investigation into Jan. 6 and Trump's efforts to stay ...
A California jury has returned a $63 million verdict against Chevron after finding the oil giant covered up a toxic chemical pit on land purchased by a man who built a house on it and was later ...
The U.S. Department of Justice should investigate whether cryptocurrency exchange Binance made false statements to Congress in a written response to lawmakers this year, two Democratic U.S ...