Thursday, January 21, 2010

Court reviews whether Tennessee's Rules of Evidence allow juror testimony that falls outside the scope of Rule 606(b)

LINDA KAY GAINES, ET UX. v. LESLIE MCCARTER TENNEY, ET AL. (Tenn. Ct. App. January 21, 2010)

In a negligence action arising from an automobile accident, the original trial resulted in a jury verdict in the amount of $10,000 for the plaintiff. The plaintiff then moved for a new trial, alleging juror misconduct. After reviewing a juror's deposition testimony, the trial court ordered a new trial. A second jury trial and verdict resulted in a $30,000 judgment for the plaintiff. Following the second judgment, the defendants timely appealed the trial court's order for a new trial. We hold that Tenn. R. Evid. 606(b) prohibits introduction of juror testimony concerning the deliberation process that does not fall under one of the three exceptions enumerated in the rule. The order for a new trial is reversed and the lawsuit remanded for enforcement of the original judgment.

Full opinion may be found at:

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