How Are the Facts Decided?
Each trial has a “finder of fact.” The finder of fact has the following responsibilities:
• Decides what facts are true or false.
• Decides whom to believe or whom not to believe.
• Applies the law to the facts.
In a nonjury trial, the finder of fact is the judge. In a jury trial, the finder of fact is the jury.
In a bench trial, there is no jury. In addition to deciding which laws should apply and how, the judge in a nonjury trial has the additional task of considering the evidence presented and deciding—or making a “finding” of—what the facts are based on the evidence presented. (Sometimes a judge will make a decision about something in the case, even when there is a jury present. That doesn’t ...