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New Rules For Jury Trials In Civil Matters Heard in California Courts


Currently, taking your civil case in front of a jury requires a lot of time and money. Large juries must be selected, and then after the jury is seated, the trial can drag on for days, weeks, or even months. The California legislature hopes to pass a Bill soon that will make jury trials much quicker and less expensive for the parties involved.

Assembly Bill 2284 (AB 2284) is an act that, if passed, will establish the Expedited Jury Trials Act. Currently, all trials heard in civil court are required to be heard in front of a jury of up to 12 people. The new law will require only up to eight jurors. This means it will take less time to get a proper jury seated and ready for trial.

AB 2284, if passed, will become a law that allows both parties in a civil action to request an expedited jury trial. This means the trial will begin and end in only one day. This will allow plaintiffs to get a judgment much faster than the current system.

There are more reasons that AB 2284 will be good for all parties involved in civil actions. If the Bill passes, some of the new rules in place will be:

  • Both parties must sign a waiver stipulating to an expedited jury trial. The trial will take only one day from beginning to end.
  • Juries for expedited trials will have no more than eight people, and no alternates. This means a jury will be found much faster than under the current law.
  • Each side will have a limit of three peremptory challenges to eliminate potential jurors from the pool. Again, this will speed up the jury selection process and allow claims to go to trial much quicker.
  • The trials will be short. Each side will have only three hours to present their case. This is to guarantee that the trial takes only one day whenever possible.
  • The jury’s decision is final. Both parties must agree to waive their right to appeal or make post-trial motions. This will eliminate cases that are frivolous or questionable, and free up the docket for judges to hear cases that are more substantial. If a party is not sure they will win, they probably won’t want to agree to waive their appeals.
  • The Judicial Council has until the beginning of the year (Jan. 1, 2011) to adopt additional rules or procedures. These rules will be amended into the Bill and become law once approved.

We at Bisnar Chase Personal Injury Attorneys Personal Injury Attorneys are highly in favor of passage of this Bill. Plaintiffs often suffer when trials drag on for months and even years. A quick trial, and quick — and final — decision will allow victims to recover damages and move on with their lives in a more just and reasonable period of time.

Another noteworthy bill to mention is the Medical Radiation Safety Act of 2010 which will put safeguards in place that have been sorely needed. Learn what the Medical Radiation Safety Act will do for your family by visiting the American Lawyer Academy blog.

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One response to “New Rules For Jury Trials In Civil Matters Heard in California Courts”

  1. Anonymous says:

    The courts are under-funded as it is.Most cases settle before trial. Why do we need this?

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