(A) When the jury is sworn, unless for special reasons the court otherwise directs, the trial shall proceed in the following order except as provided in section 2315.02 of the Revised Code:
(1) The plaintiff concisely shall state the plaintiff's claim, and briefly may state the plaintiff's evidence to sustain it.
(2) The defendant briefly shall state the defendant's defense, and briefly may state the defendant's evidence in support of it.
(3) The party who would be defeated if no evidence were offered on either side, first, shall produce that party's evidence, and the adverse party shall then produce the adverse party's evidence.
(4) The parties then shall be confined to rebutting evidence, unless the court for good reasons and in the furtherance of justice, permits them to offer evidence in their original cases.
(5) When the evidence is concluded, either party may present written instructions to the court on matters of law and request them to be given to the jury. The court shall give or refuse to give the written instructions to the jury before the argument to the jury is commenced.
(6) The parties then may submit or argue the case to the jury. The party required first to produce that party's evidence shall have the opening and closing arguments. If several defendants have separate defensesand appear by different counsel, the court shall arrange their relative order.
(7) The court, after the argument is concluded and before proceeding with other business, shall charge the jury. The court shall reduce a charge to writing if either party, before the argument to the jury is commenced, requests it. The parties may examine that charge before any closing argument is made by any of the parties. If a charge or instruction is written and given as prescribed in this division, the court shall not orally qualify, modify, or in any manner explain the charge or instruction to the jury . All written charges and instructions shall be taken by the jurors in their retirement, shall be returned with their verdict into court, and shall remain on file with the papers of the case.
(B) In all tort actions, the court shall instruct the jury regarding the extent to which an award of compensatory damages or punitive or exemplary damages is or is not subject to taxation under federal or state income tax laws.
As used in this division, "tort action" means a civil action for damages for injury, death, or loss to person or property. "Tort action" includes a product liability claim, as defined in section 2307.71 of the Revised Code, and an asbestos claim, as defined in section 2307.91 of the Revised Code, but does not include a civil action for damages for breach of contract or another agreement between persons.
Division (B) of this section shall be considered to be purely remedial in operation and shall be applied in a remedial manner in any civil action commenced on or after the effective date of this amendment, in which division (B) of this section is relevant, regardless of when the cause of action accrued and notwithstanding any other section of the Revised Code or prior rule of law of this state, but shall not be construed to apply to any civil action pending prior to the effective date of this amendment.
Effective Date: 07-06-2001; 04-07-2005