The Bar News

Jurors now get written copies of instructions -- but no texting allowed

In the latest issue of ISBA's Trial Briefs newsletter, Judge Barbara Crowder discusses some important changes to the business of instructing Illinois jurors. Among them: IPI Civil 1.01 ("Preliminary Cautionary Instructions") now forbids jurors from using "cell phones, text messaging, internet postings and Internet access device" and doing independent research in connection with their duties. Also, Supreme Court Rule 239 was amended to provide that jurors receive a written copy of the instructions after closing argument. And these are just two of the changes wrought, all of which are to the good, Crowder opines. "Both new IPI 1.01 and the changes to Supreme Court Rule 239 will enable the jurors to better understand and follow the evidence and to reach a decision," she writes. Read the article.
Posted on October 26, 2009 by Mark S. Mathewson
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