California’s New Expedited Jury Trials Act - Special Issue By: Steven Werth and Caroline Chen


Starting January 1, 2011, parties in civil actions will have the option of trying their case before a jury trial in an expedited fashion, potentially reaping significant savings in litigation costs. By the passage of AB 2284 also known as the "Expedited Jury Trials Act,"1 which Governor Schwarzenegger signed into law on September 30, 2010, plaintiffs and defendants if they choose to, may try their case before a jury of eight members, with only three hours for each side to put on their case, and only three peremptory challenges per side for jury selection. The bill was passed unanimously by the state legislature before reaching the Governor's desk. Both the plaintiff and defense bars appear to be wholly supportive of the new trial option.

Though the goal is to conclude the case in one day, there is no restriction on the time needed by the jury to deliberate. A vote of six out of eight jurors is required for a verdict, and the verdict will be binding, subject to any "high/low" agreements.

Please see full white paper below for more information.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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