Fast Food Justice

gavelPTOSpeedy trial rights may now actually mean a speedy trial.  The federal court in the Northern District of California adopted a speedy trial program that offers litigants a binding one-day trial within six months after both sides agree to the process. 

A committee chaired by U.S. District William Alsup began working on the project in September 2010, the court announced Aug. 18.

“We expect that there is a demand in some cases for streamlined and expedited trials, with attendant saving in cost and risk, so we are providing this option upon stipulation by all parties,” Alsup said.

And the court committee plans to use webinars to train the bar in the use of the expedited trial program.

For more details check out the court’s list of terms here, and for the whole enchilada check out Rule 64, which governs the one-day trial experiment. 

 Here are a few of the terms:

The program is by consent and is binding.

Cases may be tried by a judge or jury.

Experts are limited to one per side, unless parties or the court agree to more.

Parties must execute an agreement for the expedited trial and gain approval of the court.

The judge conducts the voir dire of jurors and sets limits for opening statements and closing arguments.

Pretrial motions are permitted with permission of the court and can’t exceed three pages.

Each side gets three hours for presentation of its case – including cross-examination.

Grounds for new-trial motions and appeals are limited.

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