New Standard Civil Jury Instructions!

Commercial litigators don’t think too often about jury instructions.Actually, I take that back.At some point during the course of the case, we will assign a few associates to bill many hours to prepare instructions, so that the client pays for retooling old work product that most likely will never be reviewed, let alone used.

Well now we have a legitimate reason to bill for it all over again, because the Florida Supreme Court has completely revamped the standard civil jury instructions:

As a result of the manner in which revisions of the standard civil jury instructions have been perfected over the years, use of the current book has become rather difficult. Following extensive review and revision, the Committee submitted its report in case number SC09-284, proposing the reorganization of the standard civil jury instructions and amendments limited to plain English modifications to make the instructions easier to understand. The Committee also submitted a number of reports that extended beyond reorganizing and rewording the civil instructions, seeking amendment of substantive aspects of some standard civil instructions under the reorganization format.2 The Committee presented the book reorganization to the bench and bar in a notice published in The Florida Bar News on April 15, 2008, inviting comment and identifying the web address on The Florida Bar’s website for access to the entire reformatted book. Proposed amendments to specific instructions were published separately. As discussed below, we authorize the Committee’s proposals with the exception of the proposed modification to the standard civil instruction defining greater weight of the evidence.

(Note — I have no idea whether Scott was actually involved in these revisions, but I’m just going to assume he was and post his picture anyways.)