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.
- There is no mandatory arbitration.
- The plaintiff gets to elect to go into the expedited process.
- Once elected to expedite the plaintiff will be limited to the $75,000 maximum award.
- 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.
- Discovery requests will be limited.
- The number of depositions will be limited.
- If a jury trial it will be a six-person jury.
- There is a six-hour limit to the trial. You can divide the six-hours any way you choose.
- Judges in bench trials may enter a verdict using a jury verdict form instead of findings of fact and conclusions of law.
- Evidentiary rules are relaxed regarding medical opinions. Reports using Q&A’s appear to be allowable.
- 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.