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Rule 48 and Rule 49Sometimes during a personal injury case, a mistake can occur. If this happens, an attorney can ask the court to consider if a mistrial has occurred. Idaho Civil Rule 48 describes what happens if the court decides that the trial is a mistrial. This can be either from the court’s own initiative or by a motion from one of the parties. If the court decides that it is a mistrial because of the deliberate action of one of the parties, then the court could require that party to pay reasonable expenses (including attorney fees) to the other side.

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Idaho Civil Rules 48 and 49 are as follows.

Idaho Civil Rule 48: Mistrial

After a trial is commenced, at any time prior to the rendering of a verdict, the court may declare a mistrial on its own motion or on motion of any party if it determines an occurrence at trial has prevented a fair trial. If the court determines that the deliberate misconduct of a party or an attorney caused a mistrial, the court may require the party or the attorney, or both, to pay the reasonable expenses including attorney fees incurred by the opposing party or parties resulting from the misconduct.

In any personal injury case that goes to trial, the most important aspect is what verdict is reached by the jury. A verdict is what the jury has decided, such as fault or damages. Idaho Civil Rule 49 describes how verdicts are handled under the Idaho Rules of Civil Procedure. First, the rule lays out what is required for special verdicts to be issued. For that to occur, the court can submit written questions to the jury that they answer. The court would have to give jury instructions on each of the special issues though.

The court can also ask the jury for a general verdict. To do this, the court submits questions to the jury and can also include some questions of fact for the jury to decide as well.

If the jury verdicts are not consistent with one another, the judgment cannot be entered.

Idaho Civil Rule 49: Verdicts

  1. Special verdict.
    • In general. The court may require a jury to return only a special verdict in the form of a special written finding on each issue of fact. The court may do so by:
      1. submitting written questions that may be answered by a categorical or other brief response;
      2. submitting written forms of the special findings that might properly be made under the pleadings and evidence; or
      3. using any other method that the court considers appropriate.
    • The court must give the instructions and explanations necessary to enable the jury to make its findings on each submitted issue.
    • Issues not submitted. A party waives the right to a jury trial on any issue of fact raised by the pleadings or evidence but not submitted to the jury unless, before the jury retires, the party demands its submission to the jury. If the party does not demand submission, the court may make a finding on the issue. If the court makes no finding, it is considered to have made a finding consistent with its judgment on the special verdict.
  2. General verdict with answers to written questions.
    • In general. The court may submit to the jury forms for a general verdict, together with written questions on one or more issues of fact that the jury must decide. The court must give the instructions and explanations necessary to enable the jury to render a general verdict and answer the questions in writing, and must direct the jury to do both.
    • Verdict and answers consistent. When the general verdict and the answers are consistent, the court must direct the entry of an appropriate judgment on the verdict and answers. Answers Inconsistent with the Verdict. When the answers are consistent with each other but one or more is inconsistent with the general verdict, the court may:
      1. direct the entry of an appropriate judgment according to the answers, notwithstanding the general verdict;
      2. direct the jury to further consider its answers and verdict; or
      3. order a new trial.
    • Answers inconsistent with each other and the verdict. When the answers are inconsistent with each other and one or more is also inconsistent with the general verdict, the judgment must not be entered; instead, the court must direct the jury to further consider its answers and verdict or must order a new trial.

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Our Idaho Falls, Idaho law office services clients in and surrounding Idaho Falls, including for injuries and accidents in Ammon, Rigby, injuries and accidents in Shelley and Blackfoot, and injuries and accidents in Rexburg. If you are looking for an attorney in the Idaho Falls area, visit or call our Idaho Falls office now. 3423 Merlin Dr., Idaho Falls, ID 83404 Phone:(208) 552-0467

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Our Pocatello, Idaho law office services clients in and surrounding Pocatello, including for injuries and accidents in Chubbuck. If you are looking for an attorney in the Pocatello area, call our Pocatello office now. Our experienced personal injury attorneys will work hard to get you the compensation you deserve. Call (208) 232-7274 for a free consultation.151 North 3rd, Suite 202A Pocatello, ID 83204 Phone:(208)232-7274

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