BILL NUMBER: AB 2284 AMENDED
AMENDED IN SENATE JUNE 21, 2010
INTRODUCED BY Assembly Member Evans
FEBRUARY 18, 2010
An act to add
Section 631.01 to Chapter
4.5 (commencing with Section 630.01) to Title 8 of Part 2 of
the Code of Civil Procedure, relating to civil actions.
LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST
AB 2284, as amended, Evans. Jury trial: rules of court.
Existing law establishes the right to a trial by jury, and
provides that a jury may be waived in a civil case only pursuant to
specified manners. Under existing law, a jury trial consists of 12
persons, except that in civil actions and cases of misdemeanor, it
may consist of 12 or any number less than 12, upon which the parties
may agree. Existing law provides for the review of a judgment or
order in a civil action or proceeding by appeal, and requires the
Judicial Council to prescribe rules for the practice and procedure on
appeal consistent with state law. Existing law requires the Judicial
Council to provide by rule the practice and procedure for
coordination of civil actions in convenient courts, including
provision for giving notice and presenting evidence. Existing law
authorizes the Judicial Council to promulgate rules governing
pretrial conferences, and the time, manner, and nature thereof, in
civil cases at issue, or in one or more classes thereof, in the
This bill would establish the Expedited Jury Trials Act.
authorize the Judicial Council to adopt rules of court
to The bill would establish procedures for
conducting expedited jury trials in civil cases where the parties
sign a consent order to stipulate that those
rules and procedures shall apply,
including provision provisions for a
jury of fewer than 12 8 members ,
with no alternates, a limit of 3 peremptory challenges for each side,
and a limit of 3 hours for each side to present its case. This bill
would also provide that all parties waive all rights to appeal and
move for directed verdict or to make any post-trial motions, except
as provided. The bill would provide that the verdict in an expedited
jury trial is binding, subject to any written high/low agreement, as
defined. The bill would require the Judicial Council, on or before
January 1, 2011, to adopt additional rules and uniform procedures, as
Vote: majority. Appropriation: no. Fiscal committee: yes.
State-mandated local program: no.
THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:
SECTION 1. This act shall be known as the
Expedited Jury Trials Act.
SEC. 2. Chapter 4.5 (commencing with Section
630.01) is added to Title 8 of Part 2 of the Code of Civil
Procedure , to read:
CHAPTER 4.5. EXPEDITED JURY TRIALS
630.01. For purposes of this chapter:
(a) "Expedited jury trial" means a consensual, binding jury trial
before a reduced jury panel and a judicial officer.
(b) "High/low agreement" means a written agreement voluntarily
entered into by the parties that specifies a minimum amount of
damages that the plaintiff is guaranteed to receive from the
defendant, and a maximum amount of damages that the defendant will be
liable for, regardless of the ultimate verdict issued by the jury.
Neither the existence of, nor the amounts contained in any high/low
agreements, may be disclosed to the jury.
630.02. The rules and procedures applicable to expedited jury
trials are as follows:
(a) The procedures in this chapter and in the implementing rules
of court apply to expedited jury trials, unless the parties agree
otherwise as permitted under subdivision (e) of Section 630.03 and
the court so orders.
(b) Any matters not expressly addressed in this chapter, in the
implementing rules of court, or in a consent order authorized by this
chapter and the implementing rules, are governed by applicable
statutes and rules governing civil actions.
630.03. (a) All parties agreeing to take part in an expedited
jury trial and, if represented, their counsel must sign a proposed
consent order granting an expedited jury trial.
(b) Except as provided in subdivision (d), the agreement to
participate in the expedited jury trial process is binding upon the
parties unless either of the following:
(1) All parties stipulate to end the agreement to participate.
(2) The court, on its own motion or at the request of a party by
noticed motion, finds that good cause exists for the action not to
proceed under the rules of this chapter.
(c) Any agreement to engage in an expedited jury trial under this
chapter may be entered into only after a dispute has arisen and a
case has been filed.
(d) For an expedited jury trial involving a minor, an incompetent
person, or a person for whom a conservator has been appointed, the
court must approve the use of an expedited jury trial and any
high/low agreements or other stipulations before the trial.
(e) The proposed consent order submitted to the court must include
all of the following:
(1) A preliminary statement that each named party and any
insurance carrier responsible for providing coverage or defense on
behalf of a party, individually identified in the proposed consent
order, has been informed of the rules and procedures for an expedited
jury trial and provided with a Judicial Council information sheet
regarding expedited jury trials, has agreed to take part in the
expedited jury trial process, and has agreed to all the specific
provisions set forth in the consent order.
(2) The parties' agreement to all of the following:
(A) That all parties waive all rights to appeal and to move for
directed verdict or make any post-trial motions, except as provided
in Sections 630.08 and 630.09.
(B) That each side will have up to three hours in which to present
(C) That the jury is to be composed of eight or fewer jurors with
(D) That each side will be limited to three peremptory challenges,
unless the court permits an additional challenge in cases with more
than two sides as provided in Section 630.04.
(E) That the trial and pretrial matters will proceed under
subparagraphs (A) to (D), inclusive, and, unless the parties
expressly agree otherwise in the proposed consent order, under all
other provisions in this chapter and in the implementing rules of
(f) The court must issue the consent order as proposed by the
parties, unless the court finds good cause why the action should not
proceed through the expedited jury trial process, in which case the
court may deny the proposed consent order in its entirety.
630.04. (a) Juries in expedited jury trial cases will be composed
of eight jurors, unless the parties have agreed to fewer. No
alternates will be selected.
(b) The court must allow each side three peremptory challenges. If
there are more than two parties in a case and more than two sides,
as determined by the court under subdivision (c) of Section 231, the
parties may request one additional peremptory challenge each, which
is to be granted by the court as the interests of justice may
630.05. Nothing in this chapter is intended to preclude a jury
from deliberating as long as needed.
630.06. (a) The rules of evidence apply in expedited jury trials,
unless the parties stipulate otherwise to relaxed rules.
(b) Any stipulation by the parties to use relaxed rules of
evidence may not be construed to eliminate or in any way affect the
right of a witness or party to invoke any applicable privilege or
other law protecting confidentiality.
(c) The right to issue subpoenas and notices to appear to secure
the attendance of witnesses or the production of documents at trial
is as provided in the Code of Civil Procedure.
630.07. (a) The verdict in an expedited jury trial case is
binding, subject to any written high/low agreement or other
stipulations concerning the amount of the award agreed upon by the
(b) A vote of six of the eight jurors is required for a verdict,
unless the parties stipulate otherwise.
630.08. (a) Parties must agree to waive any motions for directed
verdicts, motions to set aside the verdict or any judgment rendered
by the jury, or motions for a new trial on the basis of inadequate or
(b) The court may not set aside any verdict or any judgment, may
not direct that judgment be entered in favor of a party entitled to
judgment as a matter of law, and may not order a new trial, except on
the grounds stated in Section 630.09.
630.09. (a) By agreeing to take part in the expedited jury trial
process, the parties agree to waive the right to bring post-trial
motions or to appeal from the determination of the matter, except as
stated in this section. The only grounds on which a party may move
for a new trial or appeal are any of the following:
(1) Judicial officer misconduct that materially affected the
substantial rights of a party.
(2) Misconduct of the jury.
(3) Corruption, fraud, or other undue means employed in the
proceedings of the court, jury, or adverse party in such a way that
either party was prevented from having a fair expedited jury trial.
(b) Within 10 court days of the entry of a jury verdict, a party
may apply for a new trial on any of the grounds in subdivision (a).
(c) Except as provided in subdivision (b), parties to an expedited
jury trial may not make any post-trial motions except for motions
relating to costs and attorney's fees.
(d) Before filing an appeal, a party must make a motion for a new
trial under subdivision (b). If the motion for a new trial is denied,
the party may appeal the judgment to the appropriate court with
appellate jurisdiction and seek a new expedited jury trial on any of
the grounds in subdivision (a). Parties to an expedited jury trial
may not appeal on any other ground.
630.10. All statutes and rules governing costs and attorney's
fees apply in expedited jury trials, unless the parties agree
otherwise in the consent order.
630.11. The Judicial Council shall, on or before January 1, 2011,
adopt rules and forms to establish uniform procedures implementing
the provisions of this chapter, including, but not limited to, rules
for all of the following:
(a) Additional content of proposed consent orders.
(b) Pretrial exchanges and submissions.
(c) Pretrial conferences.
(d) Time limits for jury selection.
(e) Time limits for trial, including presentation of evidence and
(f) Presentation of evidence and testimony.
(g) Any other procedures necessary to implement the provisions of
SECTION 1. Section 631.01 is added to the Code
of Civil Procedure, to read:
631.01. The Judicial Council, consistent with its rulemaking
authority, is specifically authorized to adopt rules of court to
establish procedures for conducting expedited jury trials in civil
cases where the parties stipulate that those rules and procedures
shall apply, including provision for a jury of fewer than 12 members
pursuant to Section 220.