The Second Department determined there was no need for the judge to notify defense counsel of a jury note which did not require any action by the court, Also, jury notes requesting exhibits did not need to be shared with counsel because counsel agreed at the outset of deliberations that the jury could request exhibits:
In the defendant’s view, the Supreme Court’s failure to read note 6 into the record constituted a mode of proceedings error. We disagree.
Note 6 did not request “further instruction or information with respect to the law, [or] with respect to the content or substance of any trial evidence” (CPL 310.30). Nor did it indicate that the jury was deadlocked or struggling to reach a verdict on any or all of the counts submitted to it, or otherwise apprise the court of a significant development in the deliberations … . All the note conveyed was that the jury was continuing to deliberate on all of the charges, and that they were nearing a verdict on the first count in the defendant’s case, as well as the two counts in the codefendant’s case. Plainly, then, there was no action for the Supreme Court to take, and, concomitantly, no input or participation from defense counsel was necessary to ensure that the defendant’s rights were “adequately protect[ed]” … . Note 6 was, in short, not a substantive communication from the jury. People v Edwards, 2022 NY Slip Op 04818, Second Dept 8-3-22
Practice Point: A jury note which does not require action by the judge need not be shared with defense counsel. Here the note informed the judge that they were near a verdict on certain counts.