BILL NUMBER: AB 2284	CHAPTERED
	BILL TEXT

	CHAPTER  674
	FILED WITH SECRETARY OF STATE  SEPTEMBER 30, 2010
	APPROVED BY GOVERNOR  SEPTEMBER 30, 2010
	PASSED THE SENATE  AUGUST 20, 2010
	PASSED THE ASSEMBLY  AUGUST 23, 2010
	AMENDED IN SENATE  AUGUST 18, 2010
	AMENDED IN SENATE  JULY 15, 2010
	AMENDED IN SENATE  JUNE 21, 2010

INTRODUCED BY   Assembly Member Evans

                        FEBRUARY 18, 2010

   An act to add and repeal Chapter 4.5 (commencing with Section
630.01) of Title 8 of Part 2 of the Code of Civil Procedure, relating
to civil actions.



	LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


   AB 2284, 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
superior courts.
   This bill would establish the Expedited Jury Trials Act that would
be operative until January 1, 2016. The bill would establish
procedures for conducting expedited jury trials in civil cases where
the parties sign a consent order to stipulate that those procedures
apply, including provisions for a jury of 8 or fewer 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 to move
for a 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
provided.


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 entered into by
the parties that specifies a minimum amount of damages that a
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 returned by the jury. Neither the existence
of, nor the amounts contained in any high/low agreements, may be
disclosed to the jury.
   (c) "Post-trial motions" do not include motions relating to costs
and attorney's fees, motions to correct a judgment for a clerical
error, and motions to enforce a judgment.
   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 shall apply to expedited jury trials, unless the parties
agree otherwise, as permitted under subparagraph (E) of paragraph (1)
of 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 participate in an expedited
jury trial and, if represented, their counsel, shall 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 occurs:
   (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 participate in an expedited jury trial under
this chapter may be entered into only after a dispute has arisen and
an action has been filed.
   (d) The court shall approve the use of an expedited jury trial and
any high/low agreements or other stipulations for an expedited jury
trial involving either of the following:
   (1) A self-represented litigant.
   (2) A minor, an incompetent person, or a person for whom a
conservator has been appointed.
   (e) The proposed consent order submitted to the court shall
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 that party, individually identified in the proposed consent
order, have been informed of the rules and procedures for an
expedited jury trial and provided with a Judicial Council information
sheet regarding expedited jury trials, have agreed to take part in
or, in the case of a responsible insurance carrier, not object to,
the expedited jury trial process, and have 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 shall have up to three hours in which to
present its case.
   (C) That the jury shall be composed of eight or fewer jurors with
no alternates.
   (D) That each side shall 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
court.
   (f) The court shall 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 shall deny the proposed consent order in its entirety.
   630.04.  (a) Juries in expedited jury trial cases shall be
composed of eight jurors, unless the parties have agreed to fewer. No
alternates shall be selected.
   (b) The court shall 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
require.
   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.
   (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
shall be in accordance with this code.
   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
parties.
   (b) A vote of six of the eight jurors is required for a verdict,
unless the parties stipulate otherwise.
   630.08.  (a) By agreeing to participate in the expedited jury
trial process, the parties 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
excessive damages.
   (b) The court shall not set aside any verdict or any judgment,
shall not direct that judgment be entered in favor of a party
entitled to judgment as a matter of law, and shall not order a new
trial, except on the grounds stated in Section 630.09.
   630.09.  (a) By agreeing to participate 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 provided 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 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 that prevented a
party from having a fair trial.
   (b) Within 10 court days of the entry of a jury verdict, a party
may file with the clerk and serve on each adverse party a notice of
the intention to move for a new trial on any of the grounds specified
in subdivision (a). The notice shall be deemed to be a motion for a
new trial.
   (c) Except as provided in subdivision (b), parties to an expedited
jury trial shall not make any post-trial motions except for motions
relating to costs and attorney's fees, motions to correct a judgment
for clerical error, and motions to enforce a judgment.
   (d) Before filing an appeal, a party shall 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 trial on any of the
grounds specified 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 shall 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
argument.
   (f) Presentation of evidence and testimony.
   (g) Any other procedures necessary to implement the provisions of
this chapter.
   630.12.  This chapter shall remain in effect only until January 1,
2016, and as of that date is repealed, unless a later enacted
statute, that is enacted before January 1, 2016, deletes or extends
that date.