Justices amend juror privacy, alternate dispute resolutions rules

The Indiana Supreme Court has issued orders amending rules of the court, some of which concern juror privacy and public access to juror questionnaires.

In separate orders issued Friday, the high court spelled out changes to Indiana Alternative Dispute Resolution Rule 8.3 and Indiana Jury Rule 10.

First, the high court inserted language in Indiana Alternative Dispute Resolution Rule 8.3 concerning agreements to mediate. The new language states that individuals participating in mediation under Rule 8.3 “shall have the same ability afforded litigants under Trial Rule 26(B)(2) of the Rules of Trial Procedure to obtain discovery of the existence and contents of any insurance agreement under which any person carrying on an insurance business may be liable to satisfy part or all of a settlement” under the rule, or to indemnify or reimburse for payments made to satisfy a settlement under the rule.

The justices also changed Jury Rule 10 dealing with juror safety and privacy, striking language that states, “personal information relating to a juror or prospective juror not disclosed in open court is confidential, other than for the use of the parties and counsel. The court shall maintain that confidentiality to an extent consistent with the constitutional and statutory rights of the parties.”

In its place, the high court inserted that jury questionnaires are excluded from public access. Additionally, it added language that says a court may order sensitive information provided by a juror or prospective juror during an individual voir dire or sidebar interview excluded from public access.

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