Legal Memorandum: Drafting of Proposed Jury Instructions

Issue: What is the standard for drafting proposed jury instructions?

Area of Law: Litigation & Procedure
Keywords: Proposed jury instructions; Court's discretion; Competent evidence
Jurisdiction: Federal
Cited Cases: 317 F.3d 799
Cited Statutes: None
Date: 04/01/2013

“The trial court has broad discretion to instruct the jury in the form and language it considers a fair and adequate presentation of [state] law.” Grogan v. Garner, 806 F.2d 829, 836 (8th Cir. 1986); accord Life Plus Int’l v. Brown, 317 F.3d 799 (8th Cir. 2003) (also explaining that the district court has discretion in the style and wording of jury instructions so long as the charge as a whole fairly and adequately states the law), as amended in part on rehearing.  Jury instructions should also be supported by competent evidence in the record.  Brown v. Sandals Resorts Int’l, 284 F.3d 949, 953 (8th Cir. 2002). 


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