231 Pa. Code § 223.2

Current through Register Vol. 51, No. 19, May 8, 2021
Rule 223.2 - Conduct of the Jury Trial. Juror Note Taking
(a)
(1) Whenever a jury trial is expected to last for more than two days, jurors, except as otherwise provided by subdivision (a)(2), may take notes during the proceedings and use their notes during deliberations.
(2) Jurors are not permitted to take notes when the judge is instructing the jury as to the law that will govern the case.
(b) The court shall give an appropriate cautionary instruction to the jury prior to the commencement of the testimony before the jurors. The instruction shall include:
(1) Jurors are not required to take notes and those who take notes are not required to take extensive notes,
(2) Note taking should not divert jurors from paying full attention to the evidence and evaluating witness credibility,
(3) Notes are merely memory aids and are not evidence or the official record,
(4) Jurors who take few or no notes should not permit their independent recollection of the evidence to be influenced by the fact that other jurors have taken notes,
(5) Notes are confidential and will not be reviewed by the court or anyone else,
(6) A juror may not show his or her notes or disclose their contents to other jurors until deliberations begin, but may show the notes or disclose the contents during deliberations,
(7) Jurors shall not take their notes out of the courtroom except to use their notes during deliberations, and
(8) All juror notes will be collected after the trial is over and immediately destroyed.
(c) The court shall
(1) provide materials suitable for note taking,
(2) safeguard all juror notes at each recess and at the end of each trial day, and
(3) collect all juror notes as soon as the jury is dismissed and, without inspection, immediately destroy them.
(d)
(1) Neither the court nor counsel may (i) request or suggest that jurors take notes, (ii) comment on their note taking, or (iii) attempt to read any notes.
(2) Juror notes may not be used by any party to the litigation as a basis for a request for a new trial.

231 Pa. Code § 223.2