The views expressed in this blog are those of the owner and do not reflect the views or opinions of the owner’s employer. All content provided on this blog is for informational purposes only. The owner of this blog makes no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information on this site or found by following any link on this site. The owner will not be liable for any errors or omissions in this information nor for the availability of this information. The owner will not be liable for any losses, injuries, or damages from the display or use of this information. This policy is subject to change at any time. The owner is not an attorney, and nothing posted on this site should be construed as legal advice. Litigation Support Tip of the Night does not provide confirmation that any e-discovery technique or conduct is compliant with legal, regulatory, contractual or ethical requirements.
New tips for paralegals and litigation support profesionals are posted to this site each night. Click on the blog headings for better detail.
Summary Charts and Demonstratives in the Jury Room
While demonstratives are usually excluded from the jury room during deliberations, a trial court can allow their use at its discretion. In United States v. Natale, 719 F.3d 719 (7th Cir. 2013), the Court of Appeals affirmed the district court's denial of a motion for a new trial by a defendant whose motion was based on the fact that the jury was allowed to use demonstratives during their deliberations. It concluded that the court did not abuse its discretion because:
1. Both sides were given the opportunity to give the jury demonstratives.
2. The demonstratives accurately represented evidence.
3. The demonstratives did not transport counsel to the jury room since labels were removed and the jury would have to identify their content by recalling testimony.
Taking the labels off a demonstrative exhibit can help separate it from an expert's testimony about the demonstrative.
Summary charts are real evidence which a jury can review during deliberations. Federal Rule of Evidence 1006 allows summary charts or calculations to be used to show the content of voluminous records, so long as the originals can be examined by other parties. This type of summary chart is based on admissible evidence. A pedagogical device summary is used to assist the jury in reviewing testimony or admitted exhibits, and a court may not permit it to be used during deliberations.