California Civil Jury Instructions (CACI) (2017)

114. Bench Conferences and Conferences in Chambers

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114.Bench Conferences and Conferences in Chambers
From time to time during the trial, it may become necessary for me to
talk with the attorneys out of the hearing of the jury, either by having a
conference at the bench when the jury is present in the courtroom, or
by calling a recess to discuss matters outside of your presence. The
purpose of these conferences is not to keep relevant information from
you, but to decide how certain evidence is to be treated under the rules
of evidence. Do not be concerned about our discussions or try to guess
what is being said.
I may not always grant an attorney’s request for a conference. Do not
consider my granting or denying a request for a conference as any
indication of my opinion of the case or of my view of the evidence.
New December 2010
Directions for Use
This instruction is based on Model Instruction 1.17 of the federal Ninth Circuit
Court of Appeals. It may be used to explain to the jury why there may be
discussions at the bench that the jury will not be able to hear, and why sometimes
the judge will call a recess for discussions outside of the presence of the jury.
Secondary Sources
7 Witkin, California Procedure (5th ed. 2008) Trial, § 281
48 California Forms of Pleading and Practice, Ch. 551, Trial, § 551.77 (Matthew
1 California Trial Guide, Unit 4, Pretrial Evidentiary Motions, § 4.10[1] (Matthew
Matthew Bender Practice Guide: California Trial and Post-Trial Civil Procedure,
Ch. 2, Public Access to Trials and Records, 2.05