In a positive development for both plaintiffs and defendants, a bill establishing an expedited jury trial procedure has sailed through the California Legislature. The Wall Street Journal Law Blog and The Recorder reported today that Assembly Bill No. 2284 was approved by the legislature on a unanimous vote. The bill, entitled the Expedited Jury Trials Act, was introduced by Assembly Member Noreen Evans (D-Santa Rosa). It calls for the establishment of strealined jury trials in civil cases, where the parties stipulate to them. Some of the highlights:
- Waiver of all rights to appeal, motions for directed verdict, and post-trial motions;
- Only 3 hours per side to present its case;
- Jury sizes of 8 or fewer, with no alternates, and only 3 peremptory challenges;
- Provision for high/low agreements: (i.e., a voluntarily agreement specifying a minimum and maximum amount of damages, regardless of the ultimate verdict issued returned by the jury).