Arizona Judicial Branch

Courtroom Personnel

The Judge
The judge has many duties in connection with a trial. The judge must see that the trial is conducted in an orderly manner according to prescribed rules and laws covering the selection of the jury, the presentation of evidence, the arguments of the lawyers, the instructions to the jury, and the rendering of the verdict. The judge must decide the propriety of the questions put to prospective jurors as to their qualifications, and on requests to excuse jurors. The judge must also rule on objections. The judge must tell the jurors what issues of fact they must decide, the laws which apply to the case, and what their responsibilities are. If there is no issue of fact for the jury, the judge must direct a verdict for the party entitled to prevail or otherwise dispose of the case.

The Courtroom Clerk
The Courtroom Clerk: The clerk sits at the desk to one side of the judge. The clerk is an officer of the court and documents what happens in a case, orders made by the court during the trial, and the verdict at the end of the trial. The clerk also administers the oath or affirmation to jurors and all witnesses before they testify and marks all exhibits when they are received in evidence.

A person who gives testimony concerning the issue being tried.

The Bailiff
A bailiff is charged with keeping order in the courtroom during a trial. The Bailiff opens and closes the court each day and attends to the jury by sitting outside the jury room while the jury is deliberating on a verdict. Jurors should comply with requests of the bailiff while in the bailiff's charge.

Court Reporter
The court reporter records, in shorthand or on a machine, everything that is spoken on the record in the courtroom. These notes may be transcribed if necessary.  In some courtrooms the recording is made electronically without a court reporter.

The Defendant (also called Respondent)
In a civil case the defendant is the person against whom the lawsuit is brought. In a criminal case, the defendant is the person charged with an offense .

Lawyer (Attorney/Counsel)
The legal representative of a party in a trial.

County Attorney or Attorney General
The prosecuting officer who represents the State in criminal cases.

The Plaintiff (also called Petitioner)
The plaintiff is the person who starts a lawsuit; in a criminal case, this would be the State of Arizona.