Transcription

Hi. My name is John Skiba and I’m an attorney in the state of Arizona and I help people who have been sued by debt collectors. Often when I meet with people who have a trial send in their debt collection lawsuit, their biggest source of anxiety is really just not knowing what to expect from the day of trial. In this video I wanna go over some of the basic things, like where you actually sit when you go into trial, to some of the procedures as far as how the case will flow. When you first arrive at the courthouse, you’re gonna go into the courtroom and the first thing you’re gonna see is that there will be two tables set on either side of the courtroom. One is for the Plaintiff and one is for the Defendant. You will be the Defendant in this case, so you will need to sit at the table that is furthest away from where the jurors sit. On one side of the courtroom there will be several chairs in a box, the juror box, the Defendant’s table is the table furthest away from the jury box, so that’s where you’re gonna sit. The next thing to know is some of the protocols about the judge in your case. When a judge enters the room, usually the clerk will ask the parties to stand. If the clerk doesn’t ask them, it’s still customary that you’ll stand when the judge enters the room. Once the judge comes in, they may go over some preliminary instructions and then they’re going to ask the parties to provide Opening Statements. Opening Statements in the Justice Courts in Arizona are usually fairly brief. The Plaintiff, who will go first, they will tell the court what it is that they’re asking for, and then it will be your opportunity to give a very brief opening, telling the court why you don’t believe you owe the money. These are usually less than five minutes, usually substantially less than five minutes. Next, the Plaintiff will be required to put on their case. They’ll usually call their first witness and then they will conduct what’s called, Direct Examination where the Plaintiff’s attorney will ask their witness a various questions and try to prove the elements of their case. You will then have a chance to cross-examine that witness and asked the Plaintiff’s witness any questions that you may think are relevant. After you do your cross-examination, the Plaintiff’s attorney will then again be given the opportunity to ask questions of their witness. Once they’re done with asking the questions of their witness, they’ll dismiss them and if they have any other witnesses, they’ll call them and you’ll go through that same procedure. Once they’ve completed the questioning of all their witnesses and the presentation of all their evidence, they will rest their case, then you’ll have an opportunity to call any witnesses that you may think will help your defense. The same type of procedure will follow, you’ll be doing a direct examination of your witness, the Plaintiff’s attorney will then be able to ask any follow-up questions or cross-examination of your witness. Once you have called all of your witnesses and put on all of your defenses, the Court will then have the parties submit Closing Arguments. Again, the Plaintiff will go first, they will be able to argue to the court why it is they think a Judgment should be entered against you. You then will be given an opportunity to provide your Closing Argument as far as why you don’t think a Judgment should be entered. They will then, The Plaintiff will be given one more opportunity to give a final Closing Argument. In the Justice Courts in Arizona, the Court can then issue its ruling, right then and there, from the bench. Often, they will take the case under advisement, this means that the Court wants to consider the evidence, to think about it a bit, and then they’ll issue a written Ruling within about 30 days. So, if you’re being sued by a debt collector and you have questions, I’m happy to help you, I’m happy to go over any of them. I’m meet with people all day long on these types of lawsuits and I’d be happy to help you. Thanks for watching.