Expedited Jury Trial
Required agreements and waivers
The Expedited Jury Trial Act, permits parties to reach a judge's trial calendar more quickly, and conduct the trial more quickly by making certain agreements and waivers. The minimum agreements and waivers are governed by the Expedited Jury Trial Act and Rule 4-501. They include:
- Six jurors with no alternates will try the case, five of whom may render a verdict on any question. The parties may also agree that a verdict or a finding of four jurors is the verdict or finding of the jury.
- Voir dire is limited to no more than one hour.
- Each side will exercise no more than one peremptory challenge.
- Each side will have no more than three hours to present its case.
- The minimum amount of damages that plaintiff is guaranteed to receive and the maximum amount of damages that a defendant will be liable for, regardless of the jury's verdict.
- The parties waive the right to file a motion for a directed verdict or motion to set aside the verdict. The parties waive the right to file a motion for a new trial or file an appeal, except:
- for judicial misconduct or juror misconduct that materially affects a substantive right;
- for 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; or
- to correct errors of law.
- The parties waive the right to file post-trial motions except:
- for costs and attorney fees;
- to correct a clerical error in the judgment; or
- to enforce the judgment.
Optional agreements and waivers
The parties may also make other agreements and the statutes and rule suggest the following:
- Changes to the Rules of Civil Procedure regulating disclosure and discovery;
- Changes to the Rules of Evidence; and
- Other agreements about evidence, such as:
- limits on the number of witnesses;
- statements of fact to be presented to the jury without evidence;
- evidence that will be admitted without foundation;
- what constitutes necessary or relevant evidence for any fact;
- admissibility of testimony, exhibits, depositions or declarations;
- methods of presenting summary evidence, such as witness narratives, diagrams, charts, summaries, photographs, slides, overhead presentations, and audio or video presentations;
- methods of presenting written materials instead of live testimony, including a verified written report of an expert and an affidavit of the expert's resume, doctor reports, medical records, witness depositions, and notebooks for jurors; and
- pretrial motions.
The agreement is binding.
The agreement is binding upon the parties and any insurance carrier responsible for coverage or defense on behalf of a party, unless all parties stipulate to end the agreement or the court finds, upon motion, good cause to end the agreement.