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First Substitute H.B. 349
7 LONG TITLE
8 General Description:
9 This bill creates a new part in Title 78B, Chapter 3, allowing for expedited jury trials.
10 Highlighted Provisions:
11 This bill:
12 . creates Title 78B, Chapter 3, Part 9, Expedited Jury Trial Act, as a pilot project;
13 . defines terms;
14 . requires that all parties to an action agree to participate;
15 . requires the Judicial Council to create rules;
16 . allows parties to set limits on damages;
17 . limits post-trial motions;
18 . requires a report to the Judiciary Interim Committee in 2016; and
19 . is repealed January 1, 2017.
20 Money Appropriated in this Bill:
22 Other Special Clauses:
24 Utah Code Sections Affected:
26 63I-2-278, as last amended by Laws of Utah 2008, Chapter 3 and renumbered and
27 amended by Laws of Utah 2008, Chapter 382
29 78B-3-901, Utah Code Annotated 1953
30 78B-3-902, Utah Code Annotated 1953
31 78B-3-903, Utah Code Annotated 1953
32 78B-3-904, Utah Code Annotated 1953
33 78B-3-905, Utah Code Annotated 1953
34 78B-3-906, Utah Code Annotated 1953
35 78B-3-907, Utah Code Annotated 1953
36 78B-3-908, Utah Code Annotated 1953
37 78B-3-909, Utah Code Annotated 1953
39 Be it enacted by the Legislature of the state of Utah:
40 Section 1. Section 63I-2-278 is amended to read:
41 63I-2-278. Repeal dates, Title 78A and Title 78B.
42 (1) Section 78A-9-103 , Practicing law without a license, is repealed May 3, 2012.
43 (2) [
44 Title 78B, Chapter 3, Part 9, Expedited Jury Trial Act, is repealed January 1, 2017.
45 Section 2. Section 78B-3-901 is enacted to read:
47 78B-3-901. Title.
48 This part is known as the "Expedited Jury Trial Act."
49 Section 3. Section 78B-3-902 is enacted to read:
50 78B-3-902. Pilot project -- Rules and procedures.
51 The Judicial Council shall by rule create and provide procedures for a pilot project for
52 expedited jury trials in civil actions.
53 (1) The program shall comply with all constitutional and statutory requirements for
54 jury trials.
55 (2) All parties to an action shall agree to participation in an expedited jury trial.
56 (3) Any matters not expressly addressed in this part, in the implementing rules of the
57 court, or in an agreement authorized by this part, are governed by applicable statutes and rules
58 governing civil actions.
59 Section 4. Section 78B-3-903 is enacted to read:
60 78B-3-903. Agreement.
61 (1) An agreement to participate in an expedited jury trial under this part may be entered
62 into only after a dispute has arisen and an action has been filed.
63 (2) Any party to an action may file a motion with the court for an expedited jury trial.
64 (3) Notice of the motion shall be served on all other parties.
65 (4) All parties agreeing to participate in an expedited jury trial and, if represented, their
66 counsel shall sign the agreement filed with the court.
67 (5) The agreement to participate in the expedited jury trial process is binding upon the
69 (6) The conditions of the agreement shall include:
70 (a) waiver of the right to appeal the verdict;
71 (b) waiver of the right to move for a directed verdict;
72 (c) waiver of the right to file post trial motions, except as permitted by rule and Section
73 78B-3-906 ; and
74 (d) an agreed-upon range of monetary damages that will be awarded, regardless of the
75 verdict, if liability and allocation of fault are proved.
76 (7) The Judicial Council may by rule impose additional reasonable conditions.
77 (8) If the jury verdict is within the agreed range of monetary damages, the court shall
78 enter the verdict as rendered. If the jury verdict is outside the agreed range of monetary
79 damages the court shall, as appropriate, increase or decrease the damages to the minimum or
80 maximum agreed amount.
81 Section 5. Section 78B-3-904 is enacted to read:
82 78B-3-904. Juries.
83 (1) Juries in expedited jury trial cases shall be composed of no less than six jurors with
84 no alternates.
85 (2) Nothing in this part is intended to preclude a jury from deliberating as long as
87 Section 6. Section 78B-3-905 is enacted to read:
88 78B-3-905. Rules of evidence.
89 (1) The rules of evidence apply in expedited jury trials, unless the parties stipulate
91 (2) Any stipulation by the parties to use relaxed rules of evidence may not be construed
92 to eliminate or affect the right of a witness or party to invoke any applicable privilege or other
93 law protecting confidentiality.
94 (3) The right to issue subpoenas and notices to appear to secure the attendance of
95 witnesses or the production of documents at trial shall be in accordance with the Utah Rules of
96 Civil Procedure.
97 Section 7. Section 78B-3-906 is enacted to read:
98 78B-3-906. Post-trial motions -- Appeals.
99 (1) A party may move for a new trial or appeal a judgment only on the following
101 (a) judicial misconduct that materially affected the substantive rights of a party;
102 (b) misconduct of the jury; or
103 (c) corruption, fraud, or other undue means employed in the proceedings of the court,
104 jury, or adverse party that prevented a party from having a fair trial.
105 (2) Parties may file post-trial motions:
106 (a) relating to costs and attorney fees;
107 (b) to correct a clerical error in a judgment; and
108 (c) to enforce a judgment.
109 Section 8. Section 78B-3-907 is enacted to read:
110 78B-3-907. Attorney fees.
111 Unless the parties otherwise agree in the consent order, all statutes and rules governing
112 costs and attorney fees apply in expedited jury trials.
113 Section 9. Section 78B-3-908 is enacted to read:
114 78B-3-908. Judicial Council to make rules.
115 The Judicial Council shall, on or before July 1, 2012, adopt rules and forms to establish
116 uniform procedures implementing the provisions of this part, including:
117 (1) additional content of proposed agreements;
118 (2) pretrial exchanges and submissions;
119 (3) pretrial conferences;
120 (4) time limits for jury selection;
121 (5) time limits for trial, including presentation of evidence and argument;
122 (6) presentation of evidence and testimony; and
123 (7) any other procedures necessary to implement this part.
124 Section 10. Section 78B-3-909 is enacted to read:
125 78B-3-909. Report to Legislature -- Repeal date.
126 (1) The Administrative Office of the Courts shall present a report to the Judiciary
127 Interim Committee not later than September 2016 regarding the program. The report shall
129 (a) the number of expedited jury trials held;
130 (b) the number of appeals from expedited jury trials;
131 (c) the approximate cost increase or cost savings experienced by using expedited jury
132 trials; and
133 (d) a recommendation to continue or sunset this part.
134 (2) This part is repealed January 1, 2017.
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