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Definition of Hearing

A hearing or court hearing is a gathering in a courtroom with the specific purpose of holding some type legal procedure. There are many types of hearings, and the structure and process will vary based on the focus and whether the case is criminal or civil in nature.

In a civil hearing the participants include the lawyers, the judge, witnesses and the parties involved in the civil suit. In a formal hearing the lawyers will argue to the judge that their client should receive a favorable decision. The plaintiff begins the hearing by presenting evidence, including witness testimony. The defendant follows the same process. Witnesses can be cross-examined. After the judge hears all the information he will issue a written decision called an Opinion. The rulings can initiate settlement discussion, update strategies or make the trial shorter.

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