Question 5: Discovery is the term for evidence gathering. This is what both sides plan to use in the trial itself. Under current law, each side must offer the evidence to one another, so that both parties have equal access to the facts. The idea here is for the case to be judged on its merits, not by sudden surprise or otherwise hidden evidence.
Question 9: Since the plaintiff comes from a different state, it is possible for this case to be heard in a federal court which has jurisdiction over cases involving citizens from different states. However, it is also possible for the case to proceed in the California state court system, where the accident occurred. Even assuming the case is scheduled for a California state court, it is possible, under current law, for the plaintiff to have it moved to a federal court. This is possible only since the case is over the $75,000 limit. If Connie decides, however, to have the case heard in a California court, the defendant, the restaurant, may choose to move it to a federal court where judges tend to be more experienced.
Question 1: Because in a criminal case, the decision may affect the life and liberty of the defendant, the requirements are higher than in civil cases. In fact, the state (or prosecution) must prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt to the satisfaction of all the jurors. In other words, the state must overcome the presumption of innocence to win the case.