Both trial and appellate lawyers should be interested in this item. The Louisiana Supreme Court Committee to Study Plain Civil Jury Instructions has drafted proposed opening instructions for all cases, proposed interim instructions on selected issues, and proposed closing instructions for most cases. The proposed instructions will available on the Supreme Court’s web site until March 15, 2013. Between now and then, the committee is accepting comments. You may send your comments to Tereze Matta by e-mail (email@example.com), by fax (504-310-2587), or by snail-mail (Louisiana Supreme Court, 400 Royal Street, Suite 1190, New Orleans, LA 70130).
Why is this project so important? Because several studies have shown that about half the time, jurors don’t understand the instructions. The committee’s work shows its awareness of this problem and a worthwhile effort to overcome it, through instructions written in plain English. Please do your part: take the time to read the proposed instruction and send your comments to Tereze.