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The Beginning of Trial
Trials can last a few hours or stretch an entire year or more, but most are organized similarly. The attorney for the person bringing the lawsuit -- called the plaintiff -- makes an opening statement to the jury describing the facts she intends to prove at trial. After she is done, the defense attorney makes an opening statement. The plaintiff then presents her evidence, followed by the defendant. In some states, the defense attorney can opt to wait to make her statement until the plaintiff's attorney finishes presenting her evidence.
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