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Civil Jury Instructions

About this Edition

The current Civil Jury Instruction Committee was appointed by former Chief Court Administrator William J. Lavery in March 2006 to review and expand the collection of civil jury instructions. To date, the committee has added fifty new instructions. The collection was reorganized into 5 substantive areas: Preliminary, General, Torts, Contracts, and Miscellaneous Actions, with a sixth section for Verdict Forms. The whole collection has been renumbered. The numbering system was chosen to be flexible and allow for additions.

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Using these Instructions

Many new instructions were added in the Torts section to include:

  • Clear and Convincing Evidence

  • Damages - Double or Treble

  • Damages - Loss of Consortium

  • Damages - Punitive

  • Damages - Wrongful Death

  • Allocation of Negligence - Two Defendants with Special Defense of Comparative Negligence

  • Apportionment Claim - One Defendant (No Special Defense) and One Apportionment Respondent Only

  • Apportionment - One Defendant (with Special Defense of Comparative Negligence) and One Non-Defendant Apportionment Respondent

  • Need for Actual Injury

  • Negligence - Un/Under-Insured Motorist

  • Commercial Mode of Operation

  • Private Nuisance – Injury to Property (revision of prior charge)

In the Professional Malpractice section, the following instructions were added:

  • Professional Malpractice General

  • Fiduciary Duty

  • Legal Malpractice

  • Legal Malpractice - Settlement Advice

  • Insurance Agent Malpractice

In addition, complete new sections have been added for the following actions:

  • Defamation

  • Emotional Distress

  • Intentional Torts

  • Employment Actions

A new section has been added for Verdict Forms, which currently contains 2 forms for apportionment claims.  The committee plans to add more forms.
Footnotes appear in the body of the instruction to reference case law discussing specific language.
The Authority section cites to the primary authorities, including case law, statutes, and treatises, for the proposition(s) stated in the instructions.
Some instructions have a Notes section, which provides practice tips for using and adapting the instructions.
The revision date indicates the date the Civil Jury Instructions Committee approved the adoption or substantive revision of an instruction.  (Currently, all instructions are dated January 1, 2008.)  When a minor stylistic change or an update to the commentary is made, but the substantive body of the instruction remains the same, it will be indicated by a parenthetical date for modification.  For example, “Revised to January 1, 2008 (modified June 15, 2008)” means that on June 15, 2008, the instruction or its commentary was modified in some minor way that did not affect the substance of the instruction.
When a revision or modification is made, it will be announced on the opening screen and a chronological listing of all changes will be accessible under Recent Changes.


1. Preliminary and Trial Instructions2. General Instructions 3. Torts | 4. Contracts | 5. Miscellaneous Actions | 6. Verdict Forms

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