trialdex ™ jury instructions

 

from the trialdex library

360 Federal Crimes (2020) is a 550 page field guide to the most commonly charged federal crimes.
A Detective's Guide to Interrogation Law (2022) covers-in plain language, and with illustrative case examples-every important interrogation law principle.

recent blog posts

January 2023
Jury instruction notes from Alaska and Vermont
Ninth Circuit updates its § 924(c) instruction
Vermont updates its sexual assault instructions
December 2022
California posts its 2023 CACI
November 2022
Alaska revises its contracts instructions
Unofficial Second Circuit jury instructions?
RIP litigation tools
The Seventh Circuit Criminal Jury Instructions have been updated

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Welcome to the trialdex blog. For a complete and up-to-date set of links to federal and state instructions, see the trialdex front page. To keep up with new developments, sign up for the jury instruction alerts.

 

Jury instruction notes from Alaska and Vermont

Alaska has recently posted pattern jury instructions for sexual assaults committed after January 1, 2023.

On January 26, 2023, the Vermont Bar Model Criminal Jury Instructions Committee revised its the reporter’s notes for the defenses of insanity and diminished capacity to include references to State v. Webster, 2017 VT 98, ¶ 20, 206 Vt. 178 and State v. Bourgoin, 2021 VT 15, ¶¶ 25-27.

(01/27/23) (permalink)

 

Ninth Circuit updates its § 924(c) instruction

The Ninth Circuit updates its model criminal and civil instructions every three months. They just posted the "December 2022" set of criminal instuctions.

There is only one substantive change this time. The Comment to Instruction 14.23 (Firearms—Possession in Furtherance of Crime of Violence or Drug Trafficking Crime) now notes that Conspiracy to commit Hobbs Act robbery is not a predicate crime of violence for a § 924(c) offense, citing United States v. Reed, 48 F.4th 1082 (9th Cir. 2022).

They will likely post the new civil instructions sometime in the next few days; I'll keep an eye on the site and post about them when they show up.

(01/21/23) (permalink)

 

Vermont updates its sexual assault instructions

On January 12, 2023, the Vermont Bar Model Criminal Jury Instructions Committee updated the sexual assault instructions and reporter’s note to reflect the Vermont legislature’s 2021 revision and reformulation of the sexual assault statutes. The revisions removed the element of “compulsion” and refined the definition of “consent,” among other changes.

The prior version is archived here.

(01/13/23) (permalink)

 

California posts its 2023 CACI

The Judicial Council of California Civil Jury Instructions has published its 2023 Edition (CACI). New and revised instructions are listed here. The prior edition is posted here.

(12/24/22) (permalink)

 

Alaska revises its contracts instructions

The Alaska Court System has thoroughly revised its Article 24 ("Contracts") jury instructions. The prior versions of these instructions are archived here.

(11/27/22) (permalink)

 

Unofficial Second Circuit jury instructions?

As most of you know, not every circuit has civil and criminal pattern jury instructions. The Sixth and Tenth Circuits have criminal, but not civil, pattern instructions. The First and Fourth Circuits have unofficial instructions that are "quasi official" in the sense that they are linked on official court Web sites. Until recently, the Second Circuit had no pattern instructions at all. All of this is explained on the federal pattern instruction list on the trialdex front page.

However, the Vermont District Court Web site recently added a Recommended Jury Instructions page with links to Civil and Criminal instructions. The Civil link goes to a 35-page PDF of civil instructions, with no cover sheet or other hint about authorship. The Criminal link is "under construction."

The trialdex federal pattern instruction list has been updated to link the new page. This should be a great resource for folks practicing in the Second Circuit, especially after the criminal instructions get posted.

(11/15/22) (permalink)

 

RIP litigation tools

Over the years I have experimented with a number of "litigation tools"; notably infographics and a federal criminal statute tracker. The number of page views they have attracted was not high enough to justify the time investment in keeping them current, so I have removed them from the site. For the curious, they are archived here.

(11/04/22) (permalink)

 

The Seventh Circuit Criminal Jury Instructions have been updated

Last year the Seventh Circuit posted "2021 Proposed Revisions/Additions" to the 2021 Seventh Circuit Criminal Jury Instructions on its Web site. Those proposed instructions appear to have now been folded into the official instructions, so that the link now reads "The William J. Bauer Pattern Criminal Jury Instructions (2022 updates)."

You can view these changes by looking at the 2021 Proposed Revisions/Additions (they appear in redline/strikeout). By the way, this link no longer appears on the Seventh Circuit site, but the file is still there.

They have also posted a set of 2022 Proposed Revisions to the Pattern Criminal Jury Instructions (once again, with the changes in redline/strikeout). The proposed changes are to:

  • 18 U.S.C. § 201(b)(1)(A) – Giving a Bribe – Elements (new instruction)
  • 18 U.S.C. § 201(b)(2)(A) – Accepting a Bribe – Elements (new instruction)
  • 18 U.S.C. § 666(a)(1)(B) – Accepting a Bribe (changes to instruction and comment)
  • 18 U.S.C. § 981(a)(1)(A) – Forfeiture Instruction (changes to instruction and comment)
  • 18 U.S.C. § 982(a)(1) – Forfeiture Instruction (changes to instruction and comment)
  • 18 U.S.C. § 982(a)(2) – Forfeiture Instruction (change to instruction)
  • 18 U.S.C. § 982(a)(3) – Forfeiture Instruction (changes to instruction and comment)
  • 18 U.S.C. § 982(a)(4) – Forfeiture Instruction (changes to instruction and comment)
  • 18 U.S.C. § 982(a)(5) – Forfeiture Instruction (changes to instruction and comment)
  • 18 U.S.C. § 982(a)(6) – Forfeiture Instruction (changes to instruction and comment)
  • 18 U.S.C. § 982(a)(7) – Forfeiture Instruction (changes to instruction and comment)
  • 18 U.S.C. § 982(a)(8) – Forfeiture Instruction (change to instruction)
  • 21 U.S.C. § 853 – Drug Forfeiture – Elements (changes to instruction and comment

So ... you are well advised, at a minimum, to start your trial preparation with the official instructions (which have the 2021 proposed revisions folded in), and then consult the 2022 Proposed Revisions for the instructions listed above (I assume that in most cases a trial court would be inclined to give the proposed revised instruction).

(11/01/22) (permalink)