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2.7-2 Bifurcation of Liability and Damages

Revised to January 1, 2008

In a general sense, a civil trial such as this has two issues: liability and damages.  I have previously told you that I have bifurcated this trial, that is, cut this trial into two parts, such that you have heard only the evidence that relates to liability and you will decide that issue first.  I will be instructing you only on the law that applies to the issue of liability at this time.  You must not let speculation as to the plaintiff's claims of damages enter your deliberations on the issue of liability.  If you find that the plaintiff has proven one or more of the liability claims, then we will proceed to trial on the issue of damages.  If you find that the plaintiff has not proven any of the claims of liability, then this case is over because the issue of damages arises only if a defendant has been proven to be liable.

Notes

The trial court judge may order a trial bifurcated at his or her discretion, and bifurcation will affect the instructions that should be given to the jury at each step of the proceedings.
 


 

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