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RULE 63: INABILITY OF A JUDGE TO PROCEED.

July 25, 2011

If a trial or hearing has been commenced and the judge is unable to proceed, any other judge may proceed upon certifying familiarity with the record and determining that the proceedings in the case may be completed without prejudice to the parties. In a trial or hearing without a jury, the successor judge shall at the request of a party recall any witness whose testimony is material and disputed and who is available to testify again without undue burden. In any trial or hearing, with or without a jury, the successor judge may recall any witness. [Added by order filed February 1, 1995, effective July 1, 1995.]

Advisory Commission Comments [1995]. The addition of this rule, which is similar to the federal version, is needed to cover the various situations where a judge starts but cannot complete a trial or hearing or the post-trial motion proceedings.

Advisory Commission Comments [1996.] In many jury trials, the substitute judge would be forced to recall witnesses in order to observe their demeanor —where crucial —due to Tennessee’s thirteenth juror rule, State v. Bibrey, 858 S.W.2d 911 (Tenn. Crim. App. 1993).

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