Introduction

This Guide has been revised for Internet publication by the Administrative Office of the Courts to promote greater understanding of how the courts operate. It describes the types of cases heard in court, what the judicial process is and how it works, how a trial proceeds, and the way the Maine courts are organized. We hope that the Guide will be helpful to citizens generally, and in particular to students, to the media, and to those of you who may appear in the courtroom, whether as a juror, as a party or as a witness in a trial.

This Guide is not intended to provide legal advice or to be a comprehensive description of criminal or civil procedure. The Guide, however, does present a general outline of what goes on in a trial. Your lawyer, the judge, or the court clerk's office may be able to help when more specific information is required, although Judicial Branch Employees are prohibited by law from giving legal advice.

Words in this Internet version that are underlined and shown in blue or other contrasting color are hyperlinks. Clicking on them will take you to other sections of this guide, or other web legal resources relating to the topic.

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