ORCP 58 – TRIAL PROCEDURE

TRIAL PROCEDURE

RULE 58

A Manner of proceedings on trial by the court. Trial by the court shall proceed in the manner prescribed in subsections (3) through (6) of section B of this rule, unless the court, for good cause stated in the record, otherwise directs.

B Manner of proceedings on jury trial. Trial by a jury shall proceed in the following manner unless the court, for good cause stated in the record, otherwise directs:

B(1) The jury shall be selected and sworn. Prior to voir dire, each party may, with the court’s consent, present a short statement of the facts to the entire jury panel.

B(2) After the jury is sworn, the court shall instruct the jury concerning its duties, its conduct, the order of proceedings, the procedure for submitting written questions to witnesses if permitted, and the legal principles that will govern the proceedings.

B(3) The plaintiff shall concisely state plaintiff’s case and the issues to be tried; the defendant then, in like manner, shall state defendant’s case based upon any defense or counterclaim or both.

B(4) The plaintiff shall introduce the evidence on plaintiff’s case in chief, and when plaintiff has concluded, the defendant shall do likewise.

B(5) The parties respectively may introduce rebutting evidence only, unless the court in furtherance of justice permits them to introduce evidence upon the original cause of action, defense, or counterclaim.

B(6) When the evidence is concluded, unless the case is submitted by both sides to the jury without argument, the plaintiff shall commence and conclude the argument to the jury. The plaintiff may waive the opening argument, and if the defendant then argues the case to the jury, the plaintiff shall have the right to reply to the argument of the defendant, but not otherwise.

B(7) Not more than two counsel shall address the jury on behalf of the plaintiff or defendant; the whole time occupied on behalf of either shall not be limited to less than two hours.

B(8) After the evidence is concluded, the court shall instruct the jury. The court may instruct the jury before or after the closing arguments.

B(9) With the court’s consent, jurors shall be permitted to submit to the court written questions directed to witnesses or to the court. The court shall afford the parties an opportunity to object to such questions outside the presence of the jury.

C Separation of jury before submission of cause; admonition. The jurors may be kept together in charge of a proper officer, or may, in the discretion of the court, at any time before the submission of the cause to them, be permitted to separate; in either case, they may be admonished by the court that it is their duty not to converse with any other person, or among themselves, on any subject connected with the trial, or to express any opinion thereon, until the case is finally submitted to them.

D Proceedings if juror becomes sick. If, after the formation of the jury, and before verdict, a juror becomes sick, so as to be unable to perform the duty of a juror, the court may order such juror to be discharged. In that case, unless an alternate juror, seated under Rule 57 F, is available to replace the discharged juror or unless the parties agree to proceed with the remaining jurors, a new juror may be sworn, and the trial begin anew; or the jury may be discharged, and a new jury then or afterwards formed.

E Failure to appear for trial. When a party who has filed an appearance fails to appear for trial, the court may, in its discretion, proceed to trial and judgment without further notice to the non-appearing party.

[CCP 12/2/78; §E adopted by CCP 12/10/94; §§A,B amended by CCP 12/9/00]