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BENCH TRIAL

Also called court trial. A bench trial is another term for a trial before a judge only without a jury. In general, the parties begin with the presentation of evidence, although in some cases they make opening statements. After the plaintiff finishes presenting his evidence, the defendant presents her case. After the defendant concludes her presentation, the plaintiff may rebut the defendant's case. Rarely are closing arguments made. The judge may rule immediately, but more often takes anywhere from a few hours to a few weeks to consider the evidence and reach a decision.

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