IN RE: STANDARD JURY INSTRUCTIONS IN CIVIL CASES-REPORT 17-01.
FINAL UNTIL TIME EXPIRES TO FILE REHEARING MOTION AND, IF
Proceeding - Supreme Court Committee on Standard Jury
Instructions in Civil Cases
Rebecca Mercier Vargas, Chair, Supreme Court Committee on
Standard Jury Instructions in Civil Cases, West Palm Beach,
Florida; and Laura K. Whitmore, Vice Chair and Subcommittee
Chair, Filing Subcommittee of the Supreme Court Committee on
Standard Jury Instructions in Civil Cases, Tampa, Florida,
Supreme Court Committee on Standard Jury Instructions in
Civil Cases (Committee) has submitted proposed changes to the
standard jury instructions and asks that the Court authorize
the amended standard instructions for publication and use. We
have jurisdiction. See art. V, § 2(a), Fla.
Committee proposes amending instruction 201.2 (Introduction
of Participants and Their Roles) and instruction 202.4 (Juror
Questions). The Committee published its proposals in The
Florida Bar News. No comments were received. The Court
did not publish the Committee's proposals.
201.2 is amended to include the following language pertaining
to the paragraph addressing communications with court
personnel, including the judge: "This means, if you are
outside the courtroom, any communication with me must be in
writing, unsigned, and handed directly to the bailiff. Do not
share the content of the writing with anyone, including other
202.4 is amended to clarify that jurors must ask questions of
a witness before the witness leaves the witness stand, by
adding the following language: "It is important to know
that if you have a question you believe should be asked of a
witness, you must raise your hand and request that I ask the
witness the question before the witness leaves the witness
stand. You will not have an opportunity to ask the witness a
question once the witness leaves the courtroom."
considered the Committee's report, we authorize the
Committee's proposals for publication and use as set
forth in the appendix to this opinion. New language is
indicated by underlining, while deleted language is
struck-through. In authorizing the publication and use of
these instructions, we express no opinion on their
correctness and remind all interested parties that this
authorization forecloses neither requesting additional or
alternative instructions nor contesting the legal correctness
of the instructions. We further caution all interested
parties that any comments associated with the instructions
reflect only the opinion of the Committee and are not
necessarily indicative of the views of this Court as to their
correctness or applicability. The instructions as set forth
in the appendix shall become effective when this opinion
LABARGA, C.J., and PARIENTE, LEWIS, QUINCE, CANADY, POLSTON,
and LAWSON, JJ, concur.
INTRODUCTION OF PARTICIPANTS AND THEIR ROLES
are the people here and what do they do?
I am the Judge. You may hear people occasionally refer to me
as "The Court." That is the formal name for my
role. My job is to maintain order and decide how to apply the
rules of the law to the trial. I will also explain various
rules to you that you will need to know in order to do your
job as the jury. It is my job to remain neutral on the issues
of this lawsuit.
A party who files a lawsuit is called the Plaintiff. A party
that is sued is called the Defendant.
The attorneys have the job of representing their clients.
That means they speak for their client here at the trial.
They have taken oaths as attorneys to do ...