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Texas Rules of Evidence Rule 513

Rule 513. Comment On or Inference From a Privilege Claim; Instruction

(a) Comment or Inference Not Permitted. Except as permitted in Rule 504(b)(2), neither the court nor counsel may comment on a privilege claim—whether made in the present proceeding or previously—and the factfinder may not draw an inference from the claim. (b) Claiming Privilege Without the Jury’s Knowledge. To the extent practicable, the court must conduct a jury trial so that the making of a privilege claim is not suggested to the jury by any means.

(c) Claim of Privilege Against Self-Incrimination in a Civil Case. Subdivisions (a) and (b) do not apply to a party’s claim, in the present civil case, of the privilege against self-incrimination.

(d) Jury Instruction. When this rule forbids a jury from drawing an inference from a privilege claim, the court must, on request of a party against whom the jury might draw the inference, instruct the jury accordingly.

History: Added Feb. 25, 1998, eff. March 1, 1998; amended effective April 1, 2015

Notes and Comments

Comment to 1998 change: Subdivision (d) regarding a party’s entitlement to a jury instruction about a claim of privilege is made applicable to civil cases.

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