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What is a "charge conference?"

 

A: A charge conference is a detailed meeting with the trial judge and the attorneys on your case to determine what law the judge is going to give to jury after closing arguments.

Typically, the attorneys for both sides will request that different areas of law be given to the jury. The judge will hear arguments from both sides as to whether certain provisions in the law are applicable. After hearing argument, the judge will make a decision about which sections of law he or she will read to the jury. In order to protect their client's rights, a lawyer will make their objections known on the record as was the reason why they believe certain sections of the law should or should not be given.

This has an effect if the case goes on appeal since a higher court will then decide whether the judge was correct in choosing to give or not give a particular section of law to the jury.

The judge “charges” the jury with a law in a particular case. In New York, this is known as a “charge conference,” and is done outside the presence of the jury.