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Uniform Rules for N.Y.S. Trial Courts


PART 220. Uniform Rules For Jury Selection And Deliberation Subpart--a Uniform Rules For Jury Selection And Deliberation
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220.1 Nondesignated alternate jurors
220.10 Note-taking by jurors
220.11 Copy of judge's charge to jury
220.12 Juror notebooks

Section 220.1 Nondesignated alternate jurors.

(a) Application. Upon consent of the parties, a court trying a civil case heard by a jury may adopt the procedure provided for in this section concerning the formation of the trial jury.

(b) Number of jurors. The number of jurors selected shall be as permitted by law.

(c) Designation of jurors. If more than six jurors are selected, they shall not at that time be designated as trial jurors and alternate jurors. Instead, if at the conclusion of the evidence more than six jurors remain on the jury, at that time the clerk of the court, in the presence of the court and the parties, shall randomly draw the names of six of the remaining jurors, who shall be the jurors who retire to deliberate upon a verdict. Unless otherwise determined by the court, the juror whose name was first drawn shall be designated as the foreperson. After the deliberating jurors have retired to deliberate, the remaining non-deliberating jurors shall be discharged. The court may, in appropriate circumstances, direct the discharged jurors not to discuss the case while the jury deliberates.

(d) Peremptory challenges. If the court adopts the procedure set forth in this section, the number of peremptory challenges specified in section 4109 of the Civil Practice Law and Rules shall be increased by one for every two jurors selected beyond the first six selected.

Historical Note
Sec. filed Oct. 14, 1999; amd. filed July 26, 2000 eff. July 24, 2000. Amended (c).

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Section 220.10 Note-taking by jurors.

(a) Application. This section shall apply to all cases, both civil and criminal, heard by a jury in any court.

(b) After the jury has been sworn and before any opening statements or addresses, the court shall determine if the jurors may take notes at any stage of the proceedings. In making this determination, the court shall consider the probable length of the trial and the nature and complexity of the evidence likely to be admitted.

(c) If the court authorizes note-taking, it shall direct the jurors that they may make written notes if they so desire and that the court will provide materials for that purpose if they so request. The court also shall instruct the jurors in the proper use of any notes taken, and its instructions shall include but not be limited to the following:

(1) jurors should not permit their note-taking to distract them from the proceedings;

(2) any notes taken are only an aid to memory and should not take precedence over a juror's independent recollection;

(3) those jurors who choose not to take notes should rely on their own independent recollection of the evidence and should not be influenced by any notes that another juror may take;

(4) any notes taken are only for the note-taker's own personal use in refreshing his or her recollection of the evidence;

(5) if there is a discrepancy between a juror's recollection of the evidence and the juror's notes, the jury should request a readback of the record and the court's transcript prevails over a juror's notes; and

(6) notes are not a substitute for the official record or for the governing principles of law as enunciated by the trial court.

These instructions shall be repeated at the conclusion of the case as part of the court's charge prior to the commencement of jury deliberations.

(d) The court shall require the jurors to print their names or other identifier on the cover of the binder that contains the notes and shall collect each juror's notes at the end of each trial day until the jury retires to deliberate. The jurors may refer to their notes during the proceedings and deliberations.

(e) Any notes taken are confidential and shall not be available for examination or review by any party or other person. After the jury has rendered its verdict, the court shall ensure that the notes are promptly collected and destroyed.

Historical Note
Sec. filed Oct. 14, 1999; amds. filed: March 13, 2000; Aug. 8, 2001 eff. July 20, 2001. Amended (b), (c).

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Section 220.11 Copy of judge's charge to jury.

(a) Application. This section shall apply to all civil cases heard by a jury in any court.

(b) Where the court determines that the jury's deliberations may be expedited or assisted by having a copy of the court's instructions available during deliberations, the court, upon its own motion or the motion of a party and after affording the parties an opportunity to be heard, may direct that at least one copy of the instructions be furnished to the jury when it retires to consider its verdict. If the court so directs, it shall state its reasons for doing so on the record. Where the copy thereby furnished is other than a transcript of the minutes of the proceedings, the court shall certify thereon that it is a correct copy of its instructions. Any copy of the instructions provided to the jurors in accordance with this subdivision shall be retrieved from the jury at the close of deliberations, and shall be filed with the clerk of the court.

Historical Note
Sec. filed Oct. 14, 1999 eff. Dec. 28, 1998.

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Section 220.12 Juror notebooks.

(a) Contents. At the discretion of the trial court, in cases of appropriate complexity, the court may authorize the distribution to each juror of identical notebooks, which may include copies of:

(1) selected exhibits that have been ruled admissible (or excerpts thereof);

(2) stipulations of the parties;

(3) other material not subject to genuine dispute, which may include:

(i) curricula vitae of experts;

(ii) lists or seating charts identifying attorneys and their respective clients;

(iii) lists or indices of admitted exhibits;

(iv) glossaries;

(v) chronologies or timelines; and

(vi) other material approved by the court for inclusion.

(b) Procedure to determine contents.

(1) The court shall require counsel to confer on the contents of the notebooks before trial begins and at any appropriate time thereafter.

(2) If counsel cannot agree on the contents of the notebooks, each party shall be afforded the opportunity to submit its proposal and to comment upon any proposal submitted by another party. The court shall be the final arbiter of the contents of the notebooks.

(c) Use of notebooks at trial.

(1) At the time of distribution, the court shall instruct the jurors concerning the purpose and use of the notebooks.

(2) During the course of trial, the court may permit the parties to supplement the materials contained in the notebook with additional documents as these become relevant and after they have been ruled admissible or otherwise approved by the court for inclusion.

(3) The court shall collect the notebooks at the end of each trial day until the jury retires to deliberate. The notebooks shall be available to the jurors during deliberations.

(4) Whenever note-taking is permitted by jurors, the court shall require the jurors to print their names or other identifier on the cover of their notebooks.

Historical Note
Sec. filed Oct. 14, 1999; amd. filed March 13, 2000 eff. March 8, 2000. Amended (c)(4).