It's been a long few years to get your case to trial.
You suffered significant injury because of someone else's carelessness. Maybe it was a careless driver. Maybe it was a careless doctor. Maybe it was a negligent manufacturer.
A jury has been selected and in just a few minutes your trial will start.
You walk into the courtroom and you see lots of unfamiliar faces sitting in the back of the courtroom observing. You wonder who they are. You ask your attorney who these people are.
He tells you that many of them are other lawyers waiting to speak to the judge or the judge's law clerk about their own cases. The judge schedules conferences on cases each day and they must be seen.
In a civil lawsuit here in New York, the courtrooms are always open to the public. They are never locked. People can come and go as they please. You can walk in, observe for a few minutes and then walk out.
There is only one instance where the judge will actually locked the courtroom and prevent people from coming and going. That would be at the end of the trial when the judge is giving legal instructions to the jury, he does not want to be interrupted.
Other than that, there will be a constant flow of people in and out of the courtroom during your trial.
However, in significant cases there may be times where the claims adjuster or claims examiner or even their supervisor comes into court to observe the trial. They do this for one key reason.
They want to see firsthand exactly what is happening in your trial. This happens when there is a considerable amount of money at risk. The claims adjuster will not announce himself to you. In fact, it is unlikely that your attorney will even know who this person is. However, he will be seen speaking to the defense attorney.
Depending upon how your case is going, this claim examiner's observations could influence whether settlement negotiations are started and whether their offer is increased or decreased.