Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court assembled, and by the authority of the same as follows:
SECTION 1. Section 13B of chapter 231 of the General Laws, as appearing in the 2012 Official Edition, is hereby amended by adding the following sentence:- In civil actions in the superior court, parties, through their counsel, may suggest a specific monetary amount for damages at trial.
SECTION 2. Section 28 of chapter 234 of the General Laws, as so appearing, is hereby amended by adding the following paragraph:-
Notwithstanding the above, the following procedures shall govern in all criminal and civil superior court jury trials:
(1) In addition to whatever jury voir dire of the jury venire is conducted by the court, the court shall permit, upon the request of any party's attorney or a self-represented party, the party's attorney or self-represented party to conduct an oral examination of the prospective jurors at the discretion of the court.
(2) The court may impose reasonable limitations upon the questions and the time allowed during such examination, including, but not limited to, requiring pre-approval of the questions.
(3) In criminal cases involving multiple defendants, the commonwealth shall be entitled to the same amount of time as that to which all defendants together are entitled.
(4) The court may promulgate rules to implement this section, including, but not limited to, providing consistent policies, practices and procedures relating to the process of jury voir dire.
SECTION 3. Section 2 shall take effect 150 days after the effective date of this act.
Approved, August 6, 2014.