A. GENERAL INSTRUCTIONS
100.Trial Process (Before or After Voir Dire)
[Jury service is very important and I would like to welcome you and
thank you for your service.] Before we begin, I am going to describe for
you how the trial will be conducted, and explain what you and the
lawyers and I will be doing. When I refer to “the People,” I mean the
attorney[s] from the (district attorney’s office/city attorney’s office/office
of the attorney general) who (is/are) trying this case on behalf of the
People of the State of California. When I refer to defense counsel, I
mean the attorney[s] who (is/are) representing the defendant[s],
<insert name[s] of defendant[s]>.
[The ﬁrst step in this trial is jury selection.
During jury selection, the attorneys and I will ask you questions. These
questions are not meant to embarrass you, but rather to determine
whether you would be suitable to sit as a juror in this case.]
The trial will (then/now) proceed as follows: The People may present an
opening statement. The defense is not required to present an opening
statement, but if it chooses to do so, it may give it either after the
People’s opening statement or at the beginning of the defense case. The
purpose of an opening statement is to give you an overview of what the
attorneys expect the evidence will show.
Next, the People will offer their evidence. Evidence usually includes
witness testimony and exhibits. After the People present their evidence,
the defense may also present evidence but is not required to do so.
Because (he/she/they) (is/are) presumed innocent, the defendant[s] (does/
do) not have to prove that (he/she/they) (is/are) not guilty.
After you have heard all the evidence and [before] the attorneys (give/
have given) their ﬁnal arguments, I will instruct you on the law that
applies to the case.
After you have heard the arguments and instructions, you will go to the
jury room to deliberate.
New January 2006; Revised June 2007
There is no sua sponte duty to give an instruction outlining how the trial will
proceed. This instruction has been provided for the convenience of the trial judge