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Name: U.S. v. Arnold
Case #: 99-50713
Court: US Court of Appeals
District 9 Cir
Opinion Date: 02/07/2001
Subsequent History: Cert. den. 6/25/01

A trial judge’s physical absence from proceedings held during jury deliberations may be considered error depending upon the facts. Here, the judge was physically present to answer the jury’s first question. He had his answer transcribed and delivered to the jury. The judge was not physically present when the jury asked its second question, but the judge convened a telephonic hearing in which he presided over and controlled the proceedings related to the request. There was therefore no abdication of judicial control over the process. Moreover, the jury did not even know the judge was absent from the courthouse.