Pennsylvania Code & Bulletin
COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA

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The Pennsylvania Code website reflects the Pennsylvania Code changes effective through 52 Pa.B. 7348 (November 26, 2022).

207 Pa. Code Rule 2.8. Decorum, Demeanor, and Communication with Jurors.

Rule 2.8. Decorum, Demeanor, and Communication with Jurors.

 (A)  A judge shall require order and decorum in proceedings before the court.

 (B)  A judge shall be patient, dignified, and courteous to litigants, jurors, witnesses, lawyers, court staff, court officials, and others with whom the judge deals in an official capacity, and shall require similar conduct of lawyers, court staff, court officials, and others subject to the judge’s direction and control.

 (C)  A judge shall not commend or criticize the verdict of the jury other than in a court order or opinion in a proceeding. This Rule does not prohibit a judge from expressing appreciation to the jurors for their service to the judicial system and to the community. Judges are expected to maintain their supervisory role over a deliberating jury.

Comment:

   (1) The duty to hear all proceedings with patience and courtesy is not inconsistent with the duty imposed in Rule 2.5 to dispose promptly of the business of the court. Judges can be efficient and businesslike while being patient and deliberate.

   (2) Commending or criticizing jurors for their verdict may imply a judicial expectation in future cases and may impair a juror’s ability to be fair and impartial in a subsequent case.

   (3) A judge who is not otherwise prohibited by law from doing so may meet with jurors who choose to remain after trial but should be careful not to discuss the merits of the case.



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