Judges Jury Trial Benchbook

Professor Simon’s “judges Jury Trial BenchBook” (A Trial Judges Best Friend)

afp.bench.book

CLICK ON LINK BELOW TO ACCESS THE BENCHBOOK:

JUDGES JURY TRIAL BENCHBOOK

U of M Law Professor Stephen Simon is one of the judiciary’s most iconic figures. Virtually every District Court Judge has at some point in their judicial career graduated from Professor Simon’s Judicial Trial Skills Program. Although he retired from the law school in 2013, he continues to mentor all newly appointed judges at his acclaimed Judicial Trial Skills Program. Following a long history of legal and academic achievements, one of his greatest accomplishments has been the development of an innovative, first of its kind, Online Jury Trial Benchbook specifically designed for trial judges.

WHY IS PROFESSOR SIMON’S “JUDGES JURY TRIAL BENCHBOOK” SO UNIQUE?  BELOW ARE THREE REASONS:

1.  While many of the trial procedures and practices that judges rely on to assist them in effectively managing trials are set out in rule, statute or case decisions, many are not. The practices and procedures described in this electronic bench book were developed and adopted over many years by judges to aid them in the management of trials, reduce reversible error and increase the fairness of a trial.

2.  Often these practices and procedures are not written down anywhere, they are passed on from a senior experienced judge to a new judge informally by word of mouth. There are few if any works that gather in one place all of the trial procedures, practices and other techniques judges use to effectively regulate the trial process. This Electronic Bench Book incorporates many of these trial management practices and procedures in one easy to access and user friendly on-line format.

 3.  The bench book is designed to allow judges to get quick “answers” to issues that arise immediately prior to or during trial. The format of each section is to state the basic rule or procedure and then give a short discussion of the rule, procedure or practice.  For example, a judge can have the electronic bench book opened on his or her laptop on the bench (or other mobile device) and, using the powerful search function, jump directly to the section that discusses that topic or issue.

JUDICIAL INPUT ENCOURAGED: This Benchbook is designed to be edited online. Judges are invited and encouraged to send Prof. Simon or Judge Pendleton suggestions for additional topics, procedures and practices that they have developed that address the suggested topic. The Benchbook will be expanded to include the collective wisdom and experience of members of the bench.

Professor Simon can be reached at: Simon001@umn.edu

Judge Pendleton can be reached at: alan.pendleton@courts.state.mn.us

JUDGES JURY TRIAL BENCHBOOK

 

 

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