STANDARD JURY INSTRUCTIONS - CIVIL CASES
This web site contains standard jury instructions prepared by the Florida Supreme Court Standard Jury Instructions Committee (Civil) and approved for publication by the Florida Supreme Court.
The Florida Supreme Court issued this corrected decision SC09-284 reorganizing and renumbering the civil jury instructions book in 2010. In the reorganized civil jury instructions book, many instructions have been revised to make them more understandable for jurors. In addition, the Court adopted substantive amendments to several instructions.
Applications for Membership: The Florida Supreme Court Committee on Standard Jury Instructions in Civil Cases is seeking applicants for vacancies to be considered at the committee’s October meeting. Judges and attorneys interested in applying may download an Application. Completed applications should be submitted by mail to Rebecca Mercier Vargas, Kreusler-Walsh, Compiani & Vargas, P.A., 501 S. Flagler Drive, Suite 503, West Palm Beach, FL 33401-5913, or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org, no later than October 1, 2014.
Contract and Business cases: In June 2013, the Florida Supreme Court approved a set of standard jury instructions for use in contract and business cases proposed by the Florida Supreme Court Standard Jury Instructions Committee (Contract and Business Cases). The Committee on Jury Instructions in Contract and Business Cases can now be found on the Florida Supreme Court’s website.
Recent amendments to rules: The Committee is working on revisions to comply with these recent rule amendments:
Florida Rule of Judicial Administration 2.451(b)(5): An amendment effective October 1, 2013, provides that the trial judge should advise the jury panel about the rules governing jurors’ use of electronic devices. See In re: Amendments to the Fla. R. Jud. Admin. 2.451 (Use of Electronic Devices), 118 So. 3d 193 (Fla. 2013) (Case No. SC12-764).
The Florida Supreme Court Committees on Standard Jury Instructions in Civil Cases, Criminal Cases and Contract and Business Cases filed a joint report requesting amendments in response to this decision.
Florida Rule of Civil Procedure 1.431(i)(3): An amendment effective January 1, 2014, requires a jury instruction on the limitations on communications between jurors and the court or court personnel. See In re: Amendments to the Fla. R. of Civ. P., 38 Fla. L. Weekly S836 (Fla. Nov. 14, 2013) (Case No. SC13-74). The Committee filed a Report requesting amendments to the civil instructions in response to this decision.
Products Liability: The decision of the Florida Supreme Court, In re Standard Jury Instructions in Civil Cases Report No. 09-10 (Products Liability), 91 So.2d 3d 785 (Fla. 2012), preliminarily approved the Committee’s proposal to amend several products liability instructions. The Court cautioned, however, that further work by the Committee is required on several other proposals before the Court will authorize the publication and use of these proposed products liability instructions, model forms, and verdict forms. The Court will be considering the products liability instructions as a whole before it gives final approval to any of these proposed amendments.
In June 2014, the Committee filed an Amended Report that proposes a new Model Instruction 7 and Special Verdict Form. In addition, this Amended Report revises the following products liability instructions previously submitted in the Committee’s April 2013 report: instruction 403.10 – Negligent Failure to Warn; instruction 403.13- Preliminary Issue; instruction 403.18 – Defense Issues; and instruction 403.19 – Burden of Proof on Defense Issues. The remainder of the products liability instructions proposed in the April 2013 report are resubmitted without change in the Amended Report. The Committee’s Report and Amended Report are available here. The substantive products liability instructions are contained in the “PL” section of the former jury instructions book.
For information on how to use standard jury instructions, including when they are useful and when they are required, please refer to the How to Use this Book section in the Standard Jury Instructions in Civil Cases book and Florida Rule of Civil Procedure 1.470(b).
The Committee encourages trial judges and trial counsel to suggest revisions to the standard instructions by CONTACTING THE COMMITTEE.
Viewing the Instructions:
Links to each individual Standard Jury Instruction for Civil Cases are provided in Rich Text Format. These documents are best viewed in a word processing application (Word or Word Perfect, etc.), not using a viewer.
To open the individual instruction in your word processor
- Right-click the link in Rich Text Format and save it to your local computer.
- Open the document from your word processing application using the File | Open option.
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