What to Expect in the Jury Lounge & Courtroom

Jury Check-In & Orientation

When you arrive at the Jury Lounge (North Tower, 2nd Floor, Rm 2100), if you completed your Juror Qualification Form online, you will be asked to sign in at a kiosk. If you have not yet filled out your Juror Qualification Form, you should report to the Front Counter at the entrance to the Jury Lounge.

Watch a video or read a transcript (MS Word) on checking in at the kiosks  

Watch the Jury Duty Orientation Video 

During your stay in the Jury Lounge, you will have access to free wireless Internet. Magazines and books are also provided for jurors' reading pleasure. You are encouraged to bring reading or work material. Additional services available in the Jury Lounge are listed on the Amenities page.

Jurors are allowed to bring their electronic devices to the courtroom, but are not allowed to use them in the courtroom.

Serving on a Trial

Jury trials are held in either civil or criminal cases:
  • Civil cases: 6-person panel
  • Civil cases are disputes between private citizens, corporations, government agencies, and/or other organizations. Usually the party who initiates the complaint is asking for money. For example, a homeowner may sue a contractor for failure to fix a leaky roof.

    The party who initiates the complaint is called the plaintiff. The party to whom the complaint is filed against is called the defendant. There may be many plaintiffs and/or defendants in the same case.

  • Criminal cases: 12-person panel
  • A criminal case is a lawsuit brought by the State’s Attorney that charges a person with committing a crime. In these cases, the State’s Attorney is the plaintiff (prosecution), and the accused person is the defendant. The defendant is informed of the charge(s) by a charging document called an Information or an Indictment. A defendant may be charged with many crimes in the same case. The jury will be asked to consider each of the alleged crimes against the defendant separately.

Events in a trial usually happen in a particular order, although the judge may change the order:
  • Step 1: Selection of the jury
  • Step 2: Opening statements
  • Step 3: Presentation of evidence
  • Step 4: Jury instructions
  • Step 5: Closing arguments
  • Step 6: Jury deliberations
  • Step 7: Announcement of the verdict

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