Justice Edward Mansfield, Iowa Supreme Court Justice outlined the basic framework of a proposed expedited civil action rule for claims having a value under $75,000. If you follow this link to the December 2013 Iowa Lawyer issue you can read the entire article beginning on page 8. Here are some of the highlights.

MAJOR CHANGES

  1. There is no mandatory arbitration.
  2. The plaintiff gets to elect to go into the expedited process.
  3. Once elected to expedite the plaintiff will be limited to the $75,000 maximum award.
  4. There are a few ways to get out of the election, but they will probably not be easy to prove or to persuade the judge to allow you out.
  5. Discovery requests will be limited.
  6. The number of depositions will be limited.
  7. If a jury trial it will be a six-person jury.
  8. There is a six-hour limit to the trial. You can divide the six-hours any way you choose.
  9. Judges in bench trials may enter a verdict using a jury verdict form instead of findings of fact and conclusions of law.
  10. Evidentiary rules are relaxed regarding medical opinions. Reports using Q&A’s appear to be allowable.
  11. A “health care provider statement in lieu of testimony” is permitted.

To see the complete Order, Proposed Discovery Amendments and the Proposed Expedited Civil Action Rule follow these links.

Steve Lombardi
Iowa personal injury, workers' compensation, motorcycle, quadriplegic, paraplegic, brain injury, death
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