March 15, 1999
Appeal from the Supreme Court, Queens County (Browne, J., at trial; Erlbaum, J., at sentencing).
Ordered that the judgment is reversed, on the law, and a new trial is ordered.
A trial court must allow counsel to hear the contents of a jury note and give counsel the opportunity to suggest responses to the note before the jury is returned to the courtroom ( see, People v. O'Rama, 78 N.Y.2d 270; People v. Heath, 234 A.D.2d 388). Here, as the People correctly concede, the trial court committed reversible error when it denied defense counsel's specific application that counsel be permitted to hear the contents of the notes prior to the jury being returned to the courtroom, and that counsel be permitted to participate in formulating responses to the notes ( see, People v. Cook, 85 N.Y.2d 928).
O'Brien, J. P., Ritter, Thompson and Goldstein, JJ., concur.